North Shore...Sight fishing? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: North Shore...Sight fishing?

06-15-2006, 10:57 AM
Dave's post got me thinking.

I used to do the Chatham/Brewster flats thing as much as I could. It was like crack. Up at 3 on the cape by know the routine. Living in the Boston area it was always like this for me and was a no brainer.

I graduated to a kayak. I started fishing the North shore more as it is closer to my house. I've had success, but honestly I find more success with rubber and (God forbid, T and W). I just don't think I understand the rock fishing as much as the sight fishing.

I now have a boat. It's been a blast so far this year as I just love being on the water. Any weather anytime, through me some salty air and I smile. While learning the water and learning the boat over the past few months, I've gotten lazy. Sluggo's, Sabikis, Mackeral...all are easy to do by myself in the boat. I've found it too tough to probe an area with the fly rod and keep the boat positioned right near the rocks etc. I'm getting better, though. Stay tuned for that story...

What I miss is the gleaming sun, the sand flats, the shadows, the visual experience. I'm looking for that a little closer to home. There's no place for sluggos here as far as I'm concerned. I want the exacting control of a fly placed feet from the prey and dancing it in the water in front of them.

Any one ever had any luck sightfishing much on the North Shore? I've got a few spots but just can't seem to see any fish. Wrong tide, wrong time of day, etc. I think I know the spots mostly, just but I'm looking for a bit of help in strategy I guess...any suggestions besides pointing the trailer south on 95?

PM is cool, thanks for the tips!


06-15-2006, 12:15 PM

A few thoughts on the rocks thing. Here I can't say enough about the fly line tamer. It provides a lot of comfort in that I can throw the rod in there at a moments notice if I feel that "oh sh&*" I better get out of here soon feeling. Its also great for general blind casting as it allows you to run spot to spot without reeling up. Essential for tunoids as well. Back to the rocks, I find it helpfull to do a test drift with either the spin or no rod at all to get a sense of how the wind/tide will take me. I feel a lot more comfortable after that first swing. And with the rocks I don't feel like I am moving fish off doing it. A buddy has a trolling motor on his rig and that is a nice feature. I am considering it but have some serious concerns over cluttering up what is a very clean deck.

Can't help with North Shore sight fishing gig.


06-15-2006, 12:26 PM
Essex River behind Cranes beach offers good sight fishing ops. Likewise, up towards Hog Island there are flats which will allow some sight fishing. The Annisquam has a lot of flats, particularly at the Annisquam end, both inside and outside the mouth. All along Crane's, depending on tide and weather, lots of good areas to spot big fish. Up in the Ipswich and into the Middle Ground, like wise. You have a lot of the same habitat as Chatham and Brewster, just on a much smaller scale.

06-15-2006, 12:37 PM
Nick -

Sight fishing is excellent on the essex estuary system, the flats adjacent to Crane's and off Wingaersheek from a boat. Also Anniqsquam has some select areas where I was able to spot and hook fish from a kayak. It would have been much better from a boat. However with three times the tide change the window is smaller and it's no Monomoy.

The Parker River Refuge to Essex to Gloucester area is a vast sandy flats / shoal area with excellent visibility between 10 am and 2pm, and directionally before and after that time frame. I've had some banner days there on friend's boats and no one for miles working the flats. Another area that is good is Hampton Harbor but only on the right tide and again for a limited window.

And NO rocks :) (well not many)

Yet I still remember that first fish I had you back up to get the proper presentation to... what a gorgeous fish it was and in what I called "frenchmans lane" (long story). It was gone the other day but ten more popped up in other places after the winter storms.

I try to commit to a more varied course of exploration but after 170,000 miles my tundra wheel turns violently to the elbow of the cape whenever I try to steer astray!

I would be honored to show you the fishery I have explored up there if you are interested.

(btw - joppa's eastern section at Woodbridge Is is a must now that you have a boat, it's not sight fishing per se but you won't need the hardware to get into HUGE fish)

06-15-2006, 02:31 PM
Thanks guys for the tips. I've investigated the Essex some, but with all the rain this spring its either been overcast or muddied. I guess that's some of the problem!

Sean, I'll have to check a tamer out. Sounds like it may be just the ticket.

Juro, I'd be GLAD to take you out. I've got a jammed up summer though with a bunch of weddings....I do have Friday's half free though. Let's see if we can put something together!

Forecast is for clear skies and a high around 4pm tommorow. I'm going to see what I can find in the early afternoon and hope that tide isn't too far along at that point.

06-15-2006, 02:52 PM
Juro, I'd be GLAD to take you out. I've got a jammed up summer though with a bunch of weddings....I do have Friday's half free though. Let's see if we can put something together!

I appreciate it Nick.

Watch out, that wedding stuff is contagious. Watch your lady's eyes during the ceremony... if they get really sparkly and starry you're a goner! :lildevl:

06-15-2006, 03:39 PM
Well we had only 4 last summer (including ours) but this year we have 9...tis that time of our life i guess...

06-15-2006, 04:49 PM
??? Did I zone out or something ???

Or did you run off to some secret tropical isle without the press and fanfare ;)

Wow the brain cells sure ain't what they used to be :o

a belated but twice as heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS!

06-16-2006, 06:43 AM
A little bit of both perhaps?? ;)

Last spring wedding in Key Largo (best idea we've EVER had) then of to NZ for a honeymoon...

Thanks man!