Plum Island, 5/17 AM [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Plum Island, 5/17 AM

05-17-2001, 12:24 PM
Started at 4:00 AM. Incoming tide and ferocious surf rolling up the channel (rockin' & rollin' the charter boats at their slip). Beachfront not only unfishable but downright dangerous!

Fished the shelf upstream to the party boats with 3 other flyfisherman. Nothing. Terns wheeling and diving but no noticible fish breaking under them.

Comorants by the boats were surfacing with what looked like very large sand eels. No sign of game fish at this tide though. I find the incoming tough in this locale.

On the bright side, no one was soccer-kicking schoolies back into the river.

05-18-2001, 03:44 AM
I have found that a low tide just starting to turn incoming to about 1/2 tide incoming to be the most difficult tides to consistently find fish. Guess that it's time to check the old logbooks.
Not to worry, though....a couple of more days and the low a.m. dropping tides start all over again!

05-18-2001, 09:15 AM
Thanks Doug,

What I need is to find a good incoming tide shore-access striper spot between PI and Kittery. everywhere I fish is dropping tide only. Any suggestions to try?

05-18-2001, 10:02 AM
Good question, let's see:

I've found good fishing on the early flood at Joppa, but only for 30 minutes until I get the heck out of there.

Also, from a boat on the shoals out in front of the charter boats on the early flood.

The rockpile at the refuge has been an effective early flood spot for me.

Anything sticking out in the current at the mouth of the Ipswich has been explosive for me on the early flood.

Hampton between the end of the bridge on the MA side and the fishing terminal to the south, there is a little flat with a deep channel that the fish barrell up through on the flood. Also all the way out there at the rocks at the corner of the beach on the early flood. With a little skiff, the shoals in side Hampton are fabulous on the flood.

Salisbury between the mussel beds and the jetty as the tide rolls in has been good for me in the past, especially when there are herring in the river. You can tell because they come hide around your legs and won't go out into that current even when you kick your legs, they come right back in. Put on a good looking fly and >WHAM<

Cranes fishes well on the flood, but it not in line with PI-Kittery.

My observations are the same as yours, the fishing turns off as the tide turns incoming. Based on info from other locations I'm sure they go into high-gear to motor to the incoming tide stations upriver, or go greet bait that habitually enters the estuary with the flood.

We are probably finding them at their low tide station where they hold thru the bottom of the tide and I believe they just bolt up river as soon as the tide permits. It would be interesting to test that theory anyway.

When I fish the flats on the cape, the fish clearly hold in deep holes and channels thru the low and go into a mad scurry to get onto the flats as soon as the water level will allow them to get on. Most likely to pick up sand eels as they emerge when the tide washes over them.

I tried a little test last year at Browns. Wondering if Markey's was the only place with hand fed stripers, I saved a couple steamers and threw them off the Browns side during a hard incoming tide. Within 10 seconds the little cove was swarming with stripers eating my leftovers.

05-18-2001, 10:53 AM
I can't add too much to Juro's reply...except that I have been known to "tip toe" off of Joppa on a rising tide, hoping that my waders don't flood with water.
This time of year the creek at the State Res. can have fish on a rising tide in the morning...depending on how much boat traffic there is.

And I'm going on record as saying I have never seen Juro on Joppa! Ha Ha!! :)

05-18-2001, 11:45 AM
That's funny - I've never seen you there either ;-)

Honestly, last year I think I hit it three or four times. If you saw someone wading way far to the east, it might have been me. It's muckier when you park down at the next lot and those pot holes in the marsh can be up to your eyeballs, if anyone's ever tried that. Sometimes I go fish up to the left on the point on the very beginning of the outgoing up past the benches at the top end. No one is ever fishing at Joppa (except the boats) during that tide and I have had great days there. I met LarryB the first time out there though a few years back. Also met quite a few folks from the various boards out there over the last few years.

But once late May / early June rolls around it gets really hard to spend my precious few fishing hours anywhere but on the Cape. My family is on cape almost every weekend and there's that really addictive place called Monomoy contending for my undivided attention. ;-)

I did hit the PI/Joppa/refuge/Cranes area perhaps a dozen times last year though, in total. Way more the year before, and even more the year before that. I still buy my state sticker for the rear view mirror every year... but I can hardly be called a North Shore 'regular' like you guys!

05-18-2001, 11:54 AM
juro (05-18-2001 12:45 p.m.):
But once late May / early June rolls around it gets really hard to spend my precious few fishing hours anywhere but on the Cape. My family is on cape almost every weekend and there's that really addictive place called Monomoy contending for my undivided attention. ;-)

Ok, guys here's what we do. We wait in the parking lot and whack Juro over his head. Slap the ducktape over his mouth so we don't have to hear the repetetive chanting of "Must get to Rip Ryders...Must get to Rip Ryders..." Then we deposit Juro in the outgoing rip at P.I. and hand him a St. Croix 9 wt. with Deep Eel on (none of this girly Sage with Squid pattern stuff the Cape wimps use). I tell ya, you may never see him cross the canal again. He'll be in heaven. ;)


05-18-2001, 11:57 AM
LOL! Hey why don't we do a North Shore get together? Doesn't have to be a big deal, just putting faces to names. I always wanted to expand my N/S knowledge to the North Beach / Rye rocks as well. Great Bay is known to be big cow territory and most feel it is not good for FF... HUMBUG! We'll figure that out. ;-)

05-18-2001, 12:04 PM
Thank you Doug and Juro, I love that this board is so helpful.

I should try the Hampton outlet on a rising, it's the closest to my place anyways.

Juro -- I'm sure you know this, but the "Mass." side of the 1A bridge over the Hampton River is still NH. it is actually considered part of Hampton Beach (occasionally during the summer you'll see those poor NH troopers slogging through the sand fully dressed harassing 'sea vermin' [personal watercraft operators] beached downstream of the bridge)

Midtide-rising looks like it's tough unless you're along the oceanfront in certain locales or deep into the estuaries. I know some shore access sites deep into the estuaries at Hampton that I should explore on a flood.

Thanks again,


05-18-2001, 04:41 PM
I double posted somehow read the next one.

05-18-2001, 04:44 PM
This idea is from very limit experience so take for what it's worth. Last year I fished twice at Odinine Point (spelling?) and found fish on an in coming tide. This was in the month of June and I'm not at all sure if it's consistant. I was at the North end and threre were huge amounts of baitfish and pollack around. White Clousers were the ticket to reach the stripes that were below the pollack.

05-19-2001, 09:37 AM
Check out the Piscataqua River. I'm sure the fishing is very similar to the Merrimack. 2 hours before and after low are always prime time on the 'mack.