North Coast Angler Fishing Report From Captain Skip Montello

Fishing Report: 7-12-2013

This week’s fishing report is much like last weeks in that the best Cape Ann fishing was again inside the Gloucester Harbor with numerous bait blitzes throughout the week. The stripers are chasing schools of mackerel, small herring and now some small squid have been reported. The other bright spot has been bluefish showing along the back shore, especially early mornings. There has been some good striper action reported at both ends of the Annisquam as well. Early morning action with topwaters and cut bait during day.

At Plum Island, the stripers are running and gunning the school of herring up and down the entire length of the beachfront. So persistence and good eyesight will be the key to finding them on any given day. The striper action at the river mouth has been waning as the remaining stripers are keyed in on the abundant sandeels and are a bit difficult to coax to a fly or other baits. The flats are still producing some night action on eels but during the day, only a few dinks can be found up on the flats. Daytime water temperatures on the flats are approaching 80 degrees, not striper friendly.

Best bets this weekend are Gloucester Harbor at the beaches and rock fronts at the Castle.The Manchester,Magnolia Beaches, Crane Beach in the deeper water and Plum Island beach. Watch the birds… they’ll show you where!

Reid and Miriam with two nice stripers taken with topwaters along Plum Island

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North Coast Angler Fishing Report 7/5/13

Fishing Report: 7-5-2013

I only got out fishing just one morning this past week (at Plum Island) so I don’t have a whole lot of intel to pass along. This is what I do know;
The Cape Ann fishing is settling in to its usual summer pattern with the best bite happening in the mornings. Gloucester Harbor continues to fish fairly good along the various beaches and a few anglers are taking some big fish outside the harbor at the Woe and groaner. Best bait continues to be live mac’s. Some big blues are also in the mix here and there but not big numbers as yet. Steve P and Brianmoc reported spotty action around fishtown and at Rockport, however Brian and buds had a few good mornings at Crane with one big striper pushing the tape beyond 45 inches. So plan on shifting gears to full on summer pattern; mornings with live bait or tossing plugs at the beaches.

The Merrimack and Joppa are running really stained and foul as last week’s torrents are flowing brown on the flats and at the mouth. We did manage a few dinks on the flats Tuesday but had our best luck running and gunning the beachfront with topwaters. A few guys were taking some quality fish drifting live or dead mac’s on the dropping tide at the mouth. I have also heard that the night shift anglers are starting to get some action at the tide top drifting eels on Joppa. So indeed the summer pattern is taking shape there as well. That’s all I got!

Dave B with a quality striper taken using a topwater

Matching the hatch with the abundant sandeels

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North Coast Angler Fishing Report 6/21/13

Capt Skip Montello Submits-

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(508)395-5871 Rockport

Fishing Report: 6-21-2013

The overall fishing over the past week has been one of "transition", from very good at the beginning of the week to just fair from mid week on. That’s not to say that "all" locations from Cape Ann to the Merrimack River were off, but Joppa Flat was affected negatively by the heavy rainfall and the stripers that were up on the flat moved to cleaner water outside at the river mouth and along the beaches north and south. We had a very good day Monday fishing flies , topwaters and soft plastics just outside the river mouth. The river mouth was again super clogged with all sort of boats drifting, trolling or anchored up and catching stripers with live macks, clams or chunks, a very scary place!Later in the week I had the good fortune to fish with Capt Paul Rogato and we got to fish a few of his new 2013 line up of surface plugs. These new plugs were a blast to fish with as the stripers would track and smack the plug until they owned it! Watch the video. These plugs are available at Fin & Feather, Surfland and First Light Anglers.

Ocean Lures (new for) 2013

Brad and Keith, Flies and OL Sandeel Plug

Guy W, out with Capt Al

Cape Ann Fishing Report From Captain Skip Montello 6/7/13

Fishing Report: 6-7-2013

The overall striper fishing was very good from last weekend through this week. Good numbers of stripers were available from Cape Ann to Plum Island and the Merrimack. The Cape Ann backwaters were chock full of very small schoolies, 7 to 11 inches in length and I landed about 20 in an hour at Little River on Wednesday late afternoon. I’m assuming that these stripers are from the 2011 year class and made the swim up from the Chesapeake spawning areas. Eric L. also found them there on Tuesday and as well landed a nice fluke on a fly. The Annisquam also fished well at the north end during the early part of the week with good numbers of keeper sized fish in the mix.

Another bright spot is the oceanside surf fishing is also picking up as Steve P. landed a nice fatty using a new Ocean Saltwater Lures Sandeel Plug;

Brian O’C did OK at the Essex backwaters. He also pointed out that tons of baitfish are beginning to drop back creating a food glut so the stripers are well fed and not so aggressive but will eat with angler persistence.

Up at Plum Island, Capt Al did well with his client Paul D landing quite few nice keeper fish and numerous schoolies last Sunday.

The cold front that moved through on Monday put the brakes on a bit on what had been a consistent striper bite as John C. and I found on Tuesday. We only managed half dozen schoolies before the N/W wind made for lousy flats drifts and nasty fly casting. I got out again on Thursday to scout the river mouth and flats and found lot’s of stripers but many had lock jaw as I had countless follows and refusals. I suspect that the tons of bait in the river and river mouth are keeping the stripers well fed and less likely to crash an artificial bait. Even the guys drifting live macks at the river mouth were not getting too many takes either. But all in all, I did manage a dozen schoolies on flies and one nice striper that couldn’t resist an MD Sandeel in shallow water.

I expect the heavy rain this weekend will most certainly negatively impact the Cape Ann backwaters and quite possibly lead to stained water out on the flats. May be best to fish the oceanside beaches.

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North Coast Angler Fishing Report 5/24/2013 From Skip Montello

Fishing Report: 5-24-2013

Sorry about the weekly fishing report being late, as I’m just back from Abaco, Bahamas (@ 1 this morning) hunting bonefish and tangling with big ‘Cudas, huge Mutton Snappers, and the shark that ate half of the biggest bonefish of a lifetime; estimated at 34 inches and 12 pounds!

Abaco Fishing

Capt Al reported that the Merrimac and Joppa were alive all of last weekend as solid numbers of stripers were chasing tons of herring. The guys that got out to fish were well rewarded as stripers pushing 40 inches were mixed in with schoolie sized fish. Flies and soft plastics were the hot baits. Meanwhile, Cape Ann enjoyed some very good backwater fishing at the Candy House, Jones Creek and at the Essex Greenbelt areas. Most of the stripers were schoolies, but few fish in the mid 30 range were also taken. Steve P. was taking his fish with the jumping minnow, skitter pops and plastics on a jig head. Brian also did OK with fish at Crane but the Essex backwaters slowed as the rains fouled the water quality, best baits were topwater JM’s and the MD sandeel.

Video from Brian featuring Matt A. two weeks past

Rocco with a nice Essex backwater striper

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Tyler From Yankee Fleet’s Gloucester MA Fishing Report Filed 6/28/12


Tyler writes-

Good morning fisherman!!!
So here’s the latest scoop, the bluefish are in, the toothy blue assassins are flushing out the mackerel making them harder to find, which only makes the live mackerel more valuable for people trying to live line for stripers. 

There are plenty of squid around as we had a mate fill a bucket while sittin on one of our docked vessels two nights ago. Calamari for dinner!!  Live lining squid like stated last week can be a very effective striper method if done at the proper time ( which is later at night with a moving tide). 

It is absolutely the time to be slinging eels at night for stripers as the water temperature continues to rise, use a small live line hook, hooking the eel through the lower jaw and out an eye ball, it is important to get the eel in the water as quickly as possible as they will entangle themselves very quickly, it is also very important to hook through an eyeball that way the eel stays alive and presents a much better meal ( will present diagram below).


Flounder fishing continues to be good, with good fishing off of Niles beach. If you are new to the saltwater fishing scene come down and sign up for a harbor adventure tour! they run Friday and Saturday’s from 4:30 – 8:00 pm. These trips focus on stripers, mackerel, flounder and other inshore species. Let us do the driving and fish finding! 

tyler striper

New Feature: Tyler From Yankee Fleet’s Gloucester MA Fishing Report


Tyler writes-

Based on what I’ve heard and seen, there are COPIOUS amounts of squid around and many people are catching them for dinner while others are fishing them for big stripers at night. Use a yo-zuri squid jig and look for pilings with bright light once it gets dark as the light brings them in.

I have had many customers coming in buying seaworms saying that the flounder bite is still very hot. sandy bottoms per usual are the best places to find them. The dogbar was "loaded" with flounder I heard from two customers who quickly bought a dozen worms to head back out there. If you’re looking for stripers with this warm weather, the water temperature will be rising and as the summer progresses you will have to change your fishing times to early in the morning and later at night as they will be heading to deeper, cooler water during the day as the summer heats up, but for now there are still mackerel around the groaner.  Using sabiki’s is still catching striper candy.   If surf fishing from the rocks, fish the white water for the big linesider of the season.

No word on bluefish, but with the water temps heating up its only a matter of time. Come down to the tackle shop at 121 east main street to get all the tackle and information you need, and if we don’t have what you are looking for we are more than happy to order it for you!

Feel free to leave a question for my in the comment section directly under this post and I will do my best to answer it for you.

tyler striper and our telephone number is 1 855 546 3474 ( 1 855 5GO FISH )

121 east main street gloucester ma
hours of operation weekends 5 am.
weekdays 530
thursday 4 am
open till 6