AP NEWS

The Fish - and Sharks, and Whales - Are Still Out There

August 31, 2018

The last FishFinder of the season has arrived. Labor Day is here and with it pro football, high school sports and hunting seasons. I will continue to follow the fishing as it occurs. The great fall migration is weeks away but is still one of the most powerful times of year for striped bass anglers.

SALT WATER

NORTH SHORE -- The striped bass await in Portsmouth Harbor. The fish are not huge but many schoolies have moved in and are great fun on a fly rod. You might find a big fish chasing squid and a few pogie that just seem to go on and on. The offshore fishery, according to Eastman’s, was slow for the first time all summer, but the past few days saw fishing make a comeback. Decent pollock, cusk, a good supply of haddock, one boat with another big trip of whiting so many they have slated six whiting-only trips out of Seabrook. Plum Island has some bass of the southern end with a big challenge of a great white still hanging in the area. If you see that fin, reel fast or cut the line. You don’t have a chance against a 10-foot, 1,000-pound shark. The mouth of the Merrimack had a school or two of mackerel, sending even the party boats in the river to clean up. Just offshore it’s a whale’s tale.

BOSTON HARBOR -- There are at least four humpback whales in Boston Harbor. They are cleaning up on the missions of pogies. Well, Jay Ponte is also cleaning up in the harbor finding those schools and live lining pogies. He landed four bass all over 20 pounds on Wednesday. Stripers are all over the inner harbor with bluefish in the mix. Just outside and at Egg Rock has been the hot spot of the summer as striped bass to 40 pounds hit hard on the tube and worm. Fish in close or throw hardware at the rocks for some early-morning action.

CAPE COD -- Cape Cod Bay has plenty of bass and now bluefish have come in. The blues are not like 20 years ago but there are plenty to keep everyone happy. A 12-pounder will fight hard and provide a great meal. Bass here are up to 34 inches for Hap Farrell. Stellwagon is another great spot as tuna are showing their colors. Use a pogie or a six to 10-pound bluefish to entice the tuna. Fluke are off Nantucket Sound and the striped bass frenzy continues in the Westport River.

FRESH WATER

LOWELL AREA -- Carp love bread so feed them. Buy a cheap loaf and head to the Merrimack. Take a slice and mush it up in your hand, placing it on your hook. On a sliding hook, get it out to the deeper section of the river. A small to a giant carp might take your offering to Haverhill. The Swift River continues to produce great trout fishing even in 100-degree temps. Hard to believe but rainbows and brook trout to 19 inches are being caught on worms.

-- BILL BISWANGER

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