Not everyone is lucky enough to own a boat and therefor lots of fishermen have to fish from beaches, points and jetties. At times, this type of fishing can be somewhat frustrating as we can see fish breaking just out of reach. For those anglers that are restricted to shore, the following locations can be productive.
For the purposes of this article we will start in Lynn and work our way north. We will look at some of the more popular locations as well as some of the lesser-fished locations. We will skip over those locations that can not support a lot of fishermen or display difficulties parking. For some of these more restrictive locations, stop by the shop for more details.
The first location we will look at is the fishing pier located just off the Lynnway at the General Edwards Bridge. The pier juts out into the channel of the river and can be quite productive. Fishermen have caught many species of fish at this location including flounder, bluefish and bass. Most fishermen will use sea worms, mackerel chunks and herring chunks for bait. Clams and squid are also used. Because this location is secluded and somewhat off the beaten path, it should be avoided after dark.
The next spot is obvious, well fished and productive. Lynn Beach is popular among both bass and bluefish anglers. There is plenty of room to spread out but the beach can become crowded on a warm summer night when the bluefish are making their presence known by slashing through schools of bait. Often times when the bluefish are in fishermen can observe schools of blues travel the length of the beach.
Red Rock is a popular location among local fishermen throughout the fishing season. Anglers start the season by casting generous portions of sea clams to the active surf in the hopes of landing the first cod of the season. Often times, the first fishermen of the season can be seen by the beginning of March if weather conditions are not too severe.
King’s Beach in Swampscott draws fishermen from all local communities. Once again, the beach can be crowded during a bluefish run. Often times, you can observe fishermen casting mackerel jigs, rigged in tandem of singularly, to schools of fast moving mackerel during their peak runs in the spring and the fall.
Devereux Beach in Marblehead is one of the area’s most popular surf spots. Fait to good numbers of bass are caught at both ends of the beach on all baits, from chunked mackerel and herring to live eels. This is also the location of the popular Kid’s Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Marblehead Surfcasters. This popular event takes place in June and draws kids from all over the state. Fishermen start looking for cod by the end of winter then change gears and work the beach for stripers and bluefish right into fall. Devereux is generally regarded as a late producing beach.
As difficult as it is to fish during an easterly blow, this is usually when Devereux becomes a “shining star” among popular beaches.
Chandler Hovey Park, otherwise known as Lighthouse Point can be a great place to cast a line. Its rocky bottom usually holds good numbers of striper, though not always of keeper proportions. If you decide to fish with a bottom rig, be prepared to lose some gear.
The old Lead Mills is extremely popular during the beginning of the season. Fishermen line the banks and cast small plugs, shad darts and tiny tubes to the edges of the current, scoring on schoolies and hickory shad. At times this location can be difficult to fish as fishermen jockey for a prime piece of real estate.
Winter Island, otherwise known as the old Coast Guard Station is one of the most popular locations in Salem. The rocky shores of the island make for prime striper waters and attracts fishermen from all over. The lighthouse is a prime spot for anglers casting chunks of mackerel and herring during the early morning and evening hours. There is a “top notch” launching facility with plenty of parking, campsites and a secure perimeter. It’s a great family location.
The Salem Willows Pier is an easy place to fish. The pier juts out into Salem Sound and can be the location of some fast action. The pier is extremely popular among mackerel fishermen. Spring and fall anglers arrive at the pier early in the morning, as this is a prime time for passing schools of mackerel to invade the area around the pier. Persistent anglers score on mackerel, flounder, cod and stripers. Small boat rentals are also available at the pier for short money.
The Beverly Fishing Pier is another location that is easy to fish and popular among families blessed with young anglers. The pier extends to the edge of the main boating channel to the entrance of the Danvers River. Mackerel fishermen make good use of the pier, as do night fishermen looking for squid.
There is a small beach at the end of Water St. in Beverly that is popular among a limited crowd of fishermen. At the edge of this small each there is a breakwater and a small launching ramp. During the summer months fishermen manage to catch fair numbers of stripers in this location. Each year, some angler will hang a trophy-sized linesider.
Singing Beach in Manchester is a favored location among striper anglers. During the course of the season, good numbers of hefty bass attack offerings of mackerel chunks, herring chunks, squid and sea clams. The best areas of the beach are generally around the rocks at each end of the sand. As with most beaches, daytime fishing is restricted when swimmers are present.
There are a number of beaches in Gloucester that are both popular and productive. Cape Hedge and Good Harbor beaches are among the most popular spots. These beaches give up good numbers of bass each year to persistent fishermen.
Of course, Plum Island is well known throughout the region and visited by hundreds of fishermen each year. Impressive numbers of stripers are brought to gaff by both novice and experienced fishermen alike. Popular areas of the island include the Coast Guard Station and the jetty. All sorts of baits are cast to the surf as well as clouser, shrimp and eel fly patterns.
These are some of the best fishing locations that the North Shore has to offer and at any given time are capable of bestowing a trophy sized fish on a devoted fishermen. Fish these areas long and hard and you just might be rewarded with the catch of a lifetime.