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yinzerheader

Do you kayak fish Salem Harbor?

12 posts in this topic

If so, I'd love some advice (and connections!).

 

I've been rock hopping around Marblehead, Salem and Beverly this past year, always wishing I could just reach a little further. May pull the trigger on a kayak in the next few weeks, and have a few questions for those of you who know these waters well. I'm a lifelong fisherman who only switched to the salt last year, a moderately experienced sea kayaker and have spent a reasonable amount of time on these waters up to Gloucester rowing an ocean shell - though an absolute newcomer to kayak fishing.

 

- Is there anything you wish you'd known when you got started?

- How bad is the boat traffic in the summer? Total clown show or tolerable if you're cautious?

- Is it worth targeting anything other than stripers in these waters?

- Do you use a fish finder to locate structure and/or fish, or just wing it?

 

Any words of wisdom you're willing to share would be greatly appreciated. And if you are interested in meeting up for an outing, let me know!

 

Best,

yinzerheader

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21 mins ago, yinzerheader said:

If so, I'd love some advice (and connections!).

 

I've been rock hopping around Marblehead, Salem and Beverly this past year, always wishing I could just reach a little further. May pull the trigger on a kayak in the next few weeks, and have a few questions for those of you who know these waters well. I'm a lifelong fisherman who only switched to the salt last year, a moderately experienced sea kayaker and have spent a reasonable amount of time on these waters up to Gloucester rowing an ocean shell - though an absolute newcomer to kayak fishing.

 

- Is there anything you wish you'd known when you got started?

- How bad is the boat traffic in the summer? Total clown show or tolerable if you're cautious?

- Is it worth targeting anything other than stripers in these waters?

- Do you use a fish finder to locate structure and/or fish, or just wing it?

 

Any words of wisdom you're willing to share would be greatly appreciated. And if you are interested in meeting up for an outing, let me know!

 

Best,

yinzerheader

I'm a little north of you and not familiar with Salem harbor, but to answer the bolded question, I wish I had just bought a pedal kayak to begin with. Although, I guess I got some paddling experience and have that boat as a backup or spare for a friend/family member. But if I did it again, I'd skip right to getting a Hobie.

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I spent several years fishing Marblehead to Gloucester vector.  Hands down one of the best fishing waters on the East Coast for Striped Bass. It’s an actual adventure, really.  Pack a lunch or even dinner. As long as you can perform a self rescue and take every precaution imaginable you too can start your own adventure.  I would start learning Devareaux Beach in Marblehead. You may get a little surf in there, good place to practice surf launches and landings. All the rocks to the left of dev. Beach and round the m-head lighthouse. Then as you learn expand to Children’s and the other islands after m-head lighthouse....then it never ends...at each turn is another adventure.  Wear a good pair of polarized glasses and you will see where all the bass are hiding at noon.  We call it the aquarium around the islands for a reason. Buy a Sanitini Tube in red and a couple of dozen worms and get right into the rocks with that tube. Right against the white water, that’s where the kayak shines.  In right against the rocks around all those boulders.  Bring an alternative outfit with some plugs or plastics.  You can spend summers out here having fun.  I know I did!

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The reason why I took you out of Salem Harbor, is normally the large will cruise out at Bakers, Children’s , Dev Beach during May - October.  Doesn’t mean you won’t get bass in Salem Harbor there will be just less traffic out front and unmolested areas and less anglers. 

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4 hours ago, The Riddler said:

I spent several years fishing Marblehead to Gloucester vector.  Hands down one of the best fishing waters on the East Coast for Striped Bass. It’s an actual adventure, really.  Pack a lunch or even dinner. As long as you can perform a self rescue and take every precaution imaginable you too can start your own adventure.  I would start learning Devareaux Beach in Marblehead. You may get a little surf in there, good place to practice surf launches and landings. All the rocks to the left of dev. Beach and round the m-head lighthouse. Then as you learn expand to Children’s and the other islands after m-head lighthouse....then it never ends...at each turn is another adventure.  Wear a good pair of polarized glasses and you will see where all the bass are hiding at noon.  We call it the aquarium around the islands for a reason. Buy a Sanitini Tube in red and a couple of dozen worms and get right into the rocks with that tube. Right against the white water, that’s where the kayak shines.  In right against the rocks around all those boulders.  Bring an alternative outfit with some plugs or plastics.  You can spend summers out here having fun.  I know I did!

That sounds awesome.

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18 mins ago, csteven said:

That sounds awesome.

It is awesome. Those rocks produce up there. The Gooseberries, backside of Bakers, Children's. rocky shore line from Dev Beach to Marblehead light house. Goosberry is a far pedal or paddle but it is yakkable on almost every spring, summer and fall day.  I didn't even have the Hobie or OT PDL  back then it was the Malibu eXtreme and then the Tarpon 120 and Prowler 13. I paddled everywhere and caught fish. You don't need a pedal kayak to score.  I was 30 back then and 47 now and do like the pedal option but paddle works too.  You just have to pick the right days and have the right platform to take some of the swell and chop that happens. Every one of the missions I took was Solo and I did what I was supposed to do, self rescue, radio, wear my PFD, float plan, wear the correct paddle clothing.

 

 

 

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The great thing about a kayak is you can go over boulder fields and get to knee deep water.  Kayaks are stealth fishing craft.   Most of my favorite fishing moments are while fishing from a kayak: Nantucket sleigh rides, having a school to yourself because boaters can't navigate the water you can; stripers so thick they hit your hull; and hooking a big one and trying to wrest it from the deep - a kayak only gives you so much leverage.  

 

Get a chart and study it.  Go out at low tide to get a feel for the structure you will be fishing.  Structure + rips are gold. Always have a PFD, a compass and a handheld VHF.  Don't chase surface feeds across the harbor in a kayak.  Stay away from channels when there is a lot of traffic.   Just go and you'll find them sooner or later.  

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6 hours ago, Rick67 said:

Does that mean your coming up in August?

Unfortunately, no. If I can make it out in a couple weeks, I'll fill you in.

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