|Cape AnnCape Ann has been somewhat consistent with schoolie sized stripers from Gloucester Harbor to around the cape to the Annisquam and at the Essex.
Large schools of mixed sized macks have been seen at the north entrance of the Annisquam and in Sandy Bay. Tons of sand eels have invaded the Essex and could bring some improved action at Coffin and Crane.
If you are expecting to boat a ton of stripers this weekend, you'll be disappointed. The stripers that are present are finicky to the say the least with as many as 1/2 dozen chases per single hook-up.
We had success tossing flies, white Slug-Go's and topwater twitch baits like the jumping minnow and the Badonk-a-Donk, both in white.
There are some larger stripers to be had if you like fishing live macks or Pollock. And the commercial chunkers are doing well in the usual offshore spots around Halibut point and the Gloucester groaner, however, be mindful of the 3 mile line.
Merrimack River Plum Island
The Merrimack continues to display a fickle pattern of an "on again, off again" striper bite. Last Friday morning the striper bite up on the flats was awesome with bent rods everywhere.
The bite went on for about two hours before low tide. However, on Saturday, everyone was hard pressed to find a single striper up on the flats with some stripers at the mouth at tide bottom.
The night fishing on the flats is displaying a similar pattern but some fish to 40+ inches being taken with live eels (check the Surfland report).
At mid-week the flats once again came alive with pods of schoolies feeding on sand eels from the sailboats to well downriver at the Badgers and at the entrance to the Plum Island River.
So if you heading to the Merrimack this weekend, align your expectations with the possibility of little to nothing to a blitz! Don't overlook the flats at tide top and at the turn before venturing outside.
Regis from Albany with two nice stripers taken on the Slug-Go
Capt Skip Montello