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  #1  
Old 04-20-2005, 05:56 PM
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Default John Altson's weekly Mass report 2005

Folks

Here we go again!

Haddock here, only $71 a pound?.
That?s a story I?ll relate to you after my 2004 retrospective.
It seems every winter gets longer and tougher but, fellow fisherfolks, we
got through it again!
I?m going to be in the business of selling Christmas ornaments which are
hand-painted collectable ornaments and exact replicas of striped bass.
Check out www.sportsornaments.com - the ornaments will be here in time for the season.
Here?s my 2004 assessment:
Offshore
? Cod and haddock: Good haddock fishing most of the year. Some very
large cod later in the season. Schools of dogfish causing problems in the
summer. 2005 should be a good haddock year.
? Pollock: Not as good as 2003, but decent fishing in July and August.
Inshore
? Shad: At the Rocks Village Bridge in early May. Decent fishing for a
few weeks.
? Striped bass: School bass in mid-May, the large ones showing up in
June. Great fishing off Joppa Flats in June and early July. ?Finicky? in
July and August. Fall fishing on the beaches not as good as in 2003.
? Mackerel: Very good in early-mid June.
? Bluefish: Showed up in June. Sporadic until late August, then good
fishing into October.
? Fluke: Very few reported.
? Flounder: A poor year.
And, my ?lessons learned? in 2004:
? Get out to Joppa Flats in June and July.
? Try some mid-summer codfishing if the dogfish have slowed down
? Enjoy the bluefishing in August and September.
Let?s talk about this year?s fishing?
After hearing about the good haddock fishing, I went out last Saturday on
the Captains Lady II with Oscar Boreth, son Brad, and 7 of Brad?s friends.
Although the forecasts earlier on were for easterly winds and 6-8 foot
seas, when we left the oceans were flat and calm. The fishing all day was
slow, as in ?watch the grass grow?. The good news was that I was high-hook in our party of 9; the bad news was that I caught the only fish ? a 3-pound haddock that yielded one pound of fillets ? hence the $71 a pound (after buying bait, tackle, etc.) The fishing was so slow that, at one point,
Oscar boomed out in a loud voice: ?The fishing is slow, so let?s sing our
favorite arias?. The high point of the trip was cook Byron?s unbelievable
chowder ? free to the patrons on the return trip.
When I spoke of the trip with Chris Charos of Captains Parties, he was
befuddled on why our boat did so poorly while the other boats, including
Captains Lady I, did well. ?That?s why it?s fishing, not catching?, I
guess. Chris said that, through most of last week, both boats had done well with haddock to 11 pounds, codfish to 10-12 pounds and a few large wolfish ? to 18 pounds. Chris said that the codfishing should be improving as the bait moves onto Jeffrey?s Ledge. Captains Parties are sailing everyday except Tuesday and Thursday. Please give Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.
Captain Rick LaPierre of the Yellow Bird writes (regarding Sunday?s trip):
?In the past few days the haddock have been coming aboard like I've never seen before. The average angler has been going home with 30+ fish. And then along came today, with the total catch reaching 40 fish. A gradual shut down would have been nice, but hey, that's fishing. ? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.
Mike, at Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, spoke of great rainbow
trout fishing in the Ipswich River, Essex River, and Haverhill ponds. He
also said that largemouth bass were ?all around? the area.
I spoke with Martha Moulton of Surfland on Plum Island. Martha had heard
rumors of ?the water boiling on Joppa Flats? and one angler catching 16
striped bass. We both discounted that rumor as the water temperature is
only 42 degrees and it?s too cold (?) for stripers. Stay tuned.
Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said ?no news?? Henn said that the water was still too cold, that the shad had not shown up yet, and that any stripers caught would be ?hold-overs?.
As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg, and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories. Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]. I?d love to hear from you.
Have a great weekend!
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2005, 01:23 PM
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Default we?re still

Rotten weather equals a shorter column this week ?that and we?re still
watching and waiting.
George Charos of Captains Fishing Parties gave me the first report. Like
the ocean recently, last week had its ups and downs? Last Sunday through
Wednesday were slow offshore, then fishing picked up on Friday and was
actually quite good ? most of the fish caught were haddock, with the pool
fish being a sixteen pound cod. Captains Parties did not sail on Saturday
or Sunday due to the weather. Please give Chris or George Charos a call at
1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.
Captain Rick LaPierre of the Yellow Bird did sail last Saturday. He wrote:
?It wasn?t as bad as forecast said it would be today. We were able to get
out to Jeffries with out any delays. The bite was slow today with haddock
being the largest part of the catch. The first and last stops produced a
decent amount of fish, but it was slim picking in between ? You may call
1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.
Martha Moulton?s gave her report from Surfland on Plum Island; she said
that a few ?hold-over? stripers had been caught upriver near Lawrence along
with the first shad of the season. Martha said that there were alewives in
the Parker River where, traditionally, the striped bass ?schoolies? show
first. It won?t be long.
Paul Hogg of Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury reported 4-5 small
schoolies, probably ?hold-overs?, being caught right under the Plum Island
Bridge. Paul spoke of furious largemouth bass and pickerel action at the
Artichoke Reservoir; he suggested worms, spinners, and Seinko soft
plastics. He added that the Exeter River was providing good trout fishing
(try white Rooster Tails) for rainbows and brook trout.
Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said: ?Still
nothing doing?.
As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg, and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories. Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]. I?d love to hear from you.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2005, 06:42 AM
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They?re here!

Martha Moulton gave me the big news last Sunday. A group of anglers was
casting jigs off of the jetty and picked up twelve school-sized striped
bass ? to 20 inches. She said that the bass were definitely not
?hold-overs?, that they were brightly colored. Martha went on to report
that five shad were recently caught at the Rocks Village Bridge, the
largest being a 23 incher. The best lures for catching shad, she said, were
darts combined with a ?flutter?.

Paul Hogg of Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury is putting his boat in
the water as we speak. The ?Hogg Tide? is available for charter by calling
978-360-6963. Paul recommended using Storm lures or Bomber jigs for the
school stripers. Paul said that there was a great deal of bait in the water
and, with the bait there; the big schools of bass cannot be far behind.
Paul went on to report great fresh-water fishing in the Artichoke reservoir
? folks ?killing? the largemouth bass while using shiners as bait..

Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury had a few days off,
missing out on the action. I?m sure he?ll have some news next week!

The codfish are definitely getting larger. Captain Rick LaPierre of the
Yellow Bird described the weekend fishing: ?We set up on a ton of fish
Saturday, but didn't catch half of what we should have. The first stop was
very productive, with most of the fish being market size cod. It was
downhill from there, picking a few fish everywhere we went. Sunday also
started out good with a fair amount of cod coming over the rails. It slowed
down in the late morning when we lost the drift, but then exploded for the
last couple hours of the trip, with a bunch of market size cod coming
aboard. The jigs were more productive than the bait was today, even though
the pool fish was caught on bait (a 25lb. cod.)? You may call
1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.

George Charos of Captains Fishing Parties told me that last week?s fishing
had been ?ok?, with no really large fish ? the biggest pool fish being a
wolfish of 14 lbs. George said that there had been a good mix of cod and
haddock, with most of the fish still being haddock. The Captains Parties
may be running a half-day boat on Sunday ? Mothers? Day. Please give Chris
or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg, and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories. Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]. I?d love to hear from you
__________________
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2005, 12:13 AM
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Wouldn?t it be great if we had some decent weekend weather and we could
really test the fishing? Despite last weekend?s blowout, we had some
promising reports from the previous week?

Chris Charos of Captains Fishing Parties said that while they did not sail
last weekend, the cod and haddock fishing had been ?decent.? They pulled in
an 18 lb. wolffish last week and, on Wednesday, they had many codfish in
the ?high teens? and one cod in the 38-40 lb. range. The large cod was
caught on clams, while many of the other cod were caught on jigs. They ran
a ?marathon? charter on Thursday and had ?phenomenal? fishing in very rough
seas ? those that were not seasick had a great deal of trouble standing at
the railings. The Thursday trip returned home early, partly because of the
seasick passengers and partly because they had so many fish! Chris said
that his fish-finder has spotted schools of what were probably mackerel on
the way out to Jeffrey?s Ledge; he may be running a half-day boat soon for
mackerel. Please give Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to
make your reservations.

Captain Rick LaPierre of the Yellow Bird confirmed the news of good
offshore fishing: ?Thursday had us up on the northern portion of Jeffries,
fishing for cod. The morning bite was very good, with cod coming in as fast
as you could catch them. The only problem was we were only keeping about 1
out of every 5 fish. We worked south, and at the end of the day got into a
little bunch of haddock to cap off the day.? And Friday?s report:
?Unfortunately for the guys that were on yesterday, I have to tell you that
we had a great day of haddock fishing today. The bite was steady all day,
and exploded for the last couple of hours of the trip.? You may call
1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.

Paul Hogg of Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury reported the first
keeper striped bass of the season ? a 28-incher caught near the Chain
Bridge. Paul had his first charter last Friday ? going out to the southern
tip of Jeffrey?s Ledge to get ?as many haddock as we wanted.? Paul said
that the haddock were ?nice and fat?, with many in the 6-7 pound range.
Paul reported mackerel being caught at Breaking Rocks, and continued good
fresh-water fishing at the Artichoke Reservoir.

Kay Moulton at Surfland was bemoaning the weekend sea conditions. She
reported a few fish caught on the oceanfront ? at the jetties. The largest
striper she has seen this year has been a 23? throwback ? I suspect that
will change very soon. Meanwhile, Kay said that there were loads of shad
upriver ? that in addition to school stripers. Stop by Surfland for the
latest on lures and ?hot spots.?

Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury summarized the
state of the fishing world: ?Sooner or later??.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg, and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories. Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2005, 06:03 PM
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Mike Hoska from Surfland gave me the top story. Mike said that Stripers
were ?consistently? hitting at the beaches. Mike picked up a 30-incher last
Friday and a friend of his, Stan, picked up a 36? bass on the same day.
Mike said that the stripers were hitting Storm Lures (or clones) as well as
white bucktails. Along with the stripers, Mike said, there were actually
some good-sized shad caught off of the beaches ? these were ?stacked up?
against the jetty.

Mike Hoska continued with the upriver picture ? Plenty of shad around (try
the Rocks Village Bridge) for those using ? ounce jigs with a ?flutter?.
Some stripers were being caught in the river from the jetties on down (try
clams and jigs) , but the best fishing seemed to be on the beaches. Biggest
bass so far: a 42? striper upriver at the Lawrence Dam. Oh, yes: Mackerel
are still 15 miles offshore.

Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury reiterated that the
shad fishing at Rocks Village Bridge was ?really good.? Want flounder? Paul
said that they were being caught (yes, with some skate) just outside of the
south jetty. Many of his patrons were gobbling up the seaworms, so to
speak, to try for flounder.

Mike, from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury saw three keeper striped
bass last week: One was caught off Deer Island, one near the Captains Lady,
and one in an ?undetermined location.? Mike suggested using clams or
herring as bait; he said the herring are just beginning to move upriver.

Captain Rick LaPierre of the Yellow Bird wrote of his Friday the 13th trip:
?We ended up ok today, we worked hard all day trying to put fish in the
boat. The sign of fish and bait on the ledge was incredible, unfortunately
you can't catch sign. We did have a good early bite of cod and haddock, but
it tailed as the day went on. High hook was Jimmy Warmsley with 22 keepers,
and John Oulette won the pool with a 30lb cod.? You may call 1-888-234-3531
for Yellow Bird reservations.

Ryan, from Captains Fishing Parties said that the haddock fishing offshore
was still good. Ryan said that, in addition, they were picking up a few
wolffish in the 10-12 lb. and increasing numbers of cod to 15-16 lbs.
Please give Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your
reservations.

.As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg, and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories. Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]. I?d love to hear from you.
__________________
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke
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Old 05-25-2005, 12:43 AM
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Kay Moulton, of Surfland gave me a great report on the striped bass
fishing. ?Lots and lots of fish?, Kay said. Last Sunday they weighed in
fish of 12 lbs and 14 lbs and they had a number of pictures of fish,
recently taken, in the 11 ? 15 lb. range. Kay said that there are two good
choices: Fishing the end of the outgoing tide at the mouth of the Merrimack (the beach from the Captains Parties? dock up to the jetty) or fishing the Plum Island oceanfront on the incoming tide. On the oceanfront, Kay recommended tin squids and, while fishing the river, she suggested lead-head jigs, worms, or clams. Kay additionally reported stripers being caught upriver at the Chain Bridge (using top-water plugs) and shad fishing at the Rocks Village Bridge.
Richard from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury told me that they had been weighing in stripers from 31 inches to 35 ? inches ? most of them having been caught on clams or on seaworms. Richard said that the beaches were productive, as well as upriver at the ferry landing and at Deer Island. Richards added that top-water plugs were effective and that chunk herring might soon work.
Rene of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said ?great fishing.? He has
been selling Storm lures, bucktails, and Sluggos to fishermen working
upriver and Joppa Flats (yes, they are starting at Joppa).
We now welcome inputs from the charter boat(s) Erica Lee! Kate Yeomans
wrote me this about last Saturday?s trip: ?We picked mainly haddock, with
three or four cod, and one 12-pound ocean cat, a total of about 60 fish
among 9 anglers. To say the weather was sour in building seas was an
understatement, but we pulled the day off and hit the dock just in time!?
Please call 978-463-9425 for your charter reservations.
Captain Rick LaPierre of the Yellow Bird described last Saturday?s trip: ?A
little change in the weather had them biting today. Actually by day?s end
it was a big change in the weather, but nonetheless, they were hitting
pretty good. The tide was running as fast as ever, and everyone, with the
exception of Doug, worked hard to put fish in the boat. How to hang tough
boys.? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.
Chris Charos, from Captains Fishing Parties said last Saturday?s fishing
was ?rough, but good.? Friday?s tide, he said was ?just about unfishable?
and last Wednesday (the 18th), they had 99% cod. The pool fish have mostly
been in the teens, with the biggest being 32 lbs. Please give Chris or
George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.
.As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg, Kate Yeomans, and the local sport-fishing captains
for their forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me,
John Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories. Better
yet; send them by e-mail to [email protected].
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