The North Shore Fishing Report Fishtankfacts.com The recent snowfall has cooled the rivers down to 35 degrees and the steelhead action has slowed. However, this should improve over the next few days. Anglers are still catching northern pike and walleyes on soft plastics and crankbaits. Steelhead are also beginning to show up in the Crooked River.
Smelt are moving into Crooked River
The smelt run usually starts in Chequamegon Bay, near Ashland, and migrates up the South Shore to Park Point. Once the water temperatures reach the low 40s, the smelt will begin to move into the shallows in North Shore streams.
Last Saturday, smelt dippers had a great day. Most of them managed to catch several fish in a few dips. Many were able to haul out five-gallon buckets, which is the legal limit. However, keeping more than the legal limit can result in a ticket.
In addition to smelt, anglers are also catching lake trout, rainbow trout, and pike. Some whitefish have been caught, and there are a few reports of decent-sized perch. But, if you’re looking for walleye, the fishing is still not great.
Smelt are moving into Crooked river on the north shore. The river is largely ice-free, but the water level has decreased. Anglers are encouraged to use 12-14 size bead head flies to target these fish.
North Shore Fishing Report
Steelhead are in Crooked River
Despite a recent heat wave, steelhead fishing on the Crooked River is still strong. Steelhead have been found in the lower section of the river from Mack’s to the mouth. Using classic hairwing patterns and traditional swung fly tactics has proven to be effective.
There is still a small amount of smoke in the area, but it is expected to dissipate this weekend. Fishing pressure is light and you can enjoy hopper-dropper fishing in the late afternoon and evening. Small Perdigons, Split Case PMD’s, and Zebra Midges are good flies to use.
Anglers are finding success catching panfish and catfish below the weir, as well as Muskellunge. Many have been having good luck using live bait in the early mornings and late evenings. Steelhead are also being found in Elk Creek, Raccoon Creek, and Walnut Creek. The most popular baits are spoons and pastebait. Largemouth bass are also showing up in the Fairview Gravel Pit Ponds.
Streamer fishing is good and nymphing can fool some fish. However, if you’re fishing with indicator lines and tungsten, be sure to get your flies in the strike zone. During the day, fish see natural insects and don’t chase too far to feed. For that reason, the best flies to use on the Crooked are Perdigon’s and Zebra Midge.
North Shore Fishing Report
Lake trout are in Crooked River
If you’re looking for a place to catch a nice trophy trout, Crooked River on the north shore is one of the best options. On Sunday, Wyatt Crews hooked a 16-inch seatrout by rigging a live shrimp on a 1/16-oz. Zombie Head and equalizer float. Another angler, Scott Smith, caught a nice red snapper offshore of Georgia on Saturday.
The city of Andover maintains boat access at Bunker Hills Blvd for fishing. While the water quality is generally poor, the aeration system in the park helps prevent winter kill. This system also helps to improve the quality of the lake, which has been the source of most angling opportunities in the past.
Bluefish are still hanging on in the Great South Bay
Bluefish are still hanging on in the Great south Bay, and this is good news for anglers. While this is not the most productive time of the year, the bay has plenty of other species to offer.
For example, kingfish, blowfish, and porgies are plentiful in the inlet. The bay is also home to flounder, which are biting on any bait. And, if you’re a fan of bass, you can plug in schoolies in the middle of the bay with a jig or plug. Also, fluke, makos, and blowfish are all active in the bay and are still a good way to get in on the action.
The local bluefish bite has turned into a porgie dominated affair, but there are still schools of bluefish near shore. If you’re looking for them, try Jessups and Cedar Point. You can also pay attention to the birds, which can often indicate where bluefish may be lurking. Similarly, the Tobacco Lot remains a good place to catch fluke.
Fortunately, the recent warming of water temperatures has allowed anglers to use different types of lures to catch bluefish. Some baits for fishing bluefish include jerk baits and topwater poppers. For the deeper waters, you can try a variety of techniques, including light tackle jigging.
North Shore Fishing Report
Smelt run is a fraction of what it was in the 1960s through the 1980s
Massachusetts’ smelt fishery is suffering from a significant decline. Between the mid-1960s and late-1980s, the smelt run accounted for nearly a third of commercial landings along the East Coast. Today, most smelt runs are only a fraction of their former size. In fact, smelt runs on the North Shore are only half as strong as they were in the 1960s and 1980s.
The smelt run on the north shore is largely restricted to small coastal rivers, with the Merrimack River being the largest river. In one study, there were only eight rivers with average spring discharges above one m3/s. These low discharge levels clearly limit the spawning habitat used by adult smelt. However, these flows are enhanced by the snow melt that occurs in March.
A study conducted by the DMF in the late 1960s revealed that smelt runs were not returning to their normal levels. The findings of the study found that the smelt population was decreasing due to a reduction in spawning habitat. Another reason for the decline of smelt populations is the proliferation of zebra mussels, a species of mussels that filter out plankton. This may have driven the adult smelt away from their spawning grounds.
The Lester River is a prime night spot during the smelt season. It is famous for its smelt fights, rubber boots, and full beer kegs. It is expected to be a busy weekend with a full moon.