BackBayFishing

North Shore Advice

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I live on the central north shore and have always focused most of my fishing inside our various harbors and from my boat. Recently I've been trying to figure out our beaches on the sound with boulder fields. My success has been pretty limited though. I have caught fish but it has always been a very slow pick. I fish mostly at dusk and into the night with minnow-style plugs. I am not looking for any spots or stuff like that. Just some general advice from people who have more experience surf fishing in this area. Thank you as always!

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These beaches typically turn on later in the season. Say October, or November. I know a spot that everyone else knows around there, but it doesn’t turn on in the summer. Most you’ll get is cocktail blues and maybe northern kings in the spring. In fall, it’s a different story. I once before a front traveled there and witnessed 6 foot swells on a sound beach and in close to shore the biggest bait  ball of mullet, some discovery channel stuff. Wait for the weather to get hairy, or go there at night when it is. That’s been my personal experience.

John Skinner fishes these areas all the time in his NE videos. He knows boulder fields. 

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I'm no expert, but the entire concept of "reading the surf" doesn't seem to apply along the Central North Shore because there's not much to "read."  As you noted, for the most part, boulders provide the most obvious structure, with the occasional point or other shoreline irregularity thrown in.  But in my experience some boulder areas produce while others seem dead, and there is no obvious difference between the two.  Also, there don't seem to be any obvious currents or rips along CNS beaches that you'd see off the south shore.

 

I've found one area along the beach I fish that seems to produce pretty consistently, but I have no idea why.  There are some rocks and maybe a steeper-than-usual dropoff close to shore, but that's about it.  So the only advice I can give is keep trying different areas with boulders or other distinguishing features until you stumble across one that produces regularly.  Also, in my (limited) experience, striper fishing generally seems to be better off the CNS in the very early morning (before 7 a.m.) than in the evening.  And obviously now is not the best time of year, which you probably already know.  Spring through early July and fall have produced best for me.

 

Hopefully others on the site give you better advice.  I could use some myself.  Good luck!    

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Outside of fishing a certain north shore estuary, my experience is limited. This time of year going out in the middle of the day means sea robin after sea robin. Try getting out early and throwing top water around those boulders. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

my experience "Devils Playground" and some of these 15foot boulderfields limited to big fluke shad cocktails and schoolies.. when I lived out there I would swim out 50 yards and rock hop and would barely get anything over 17".     during fall however I have had days at the ghetto where I have gotten 80 bass by running left and right looking for birds. porgy guys would look at me like I was walking the beach naken.

 

Northshore is produces in spots where water is moving/exiting,  run and gun open beach in October, or a hard NE wind.

Edited by GarbageFish

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What is your setup, another important aspect for north shore. I understand going light in braid helps with some lures depending on your fishing style. Can't offer much advise as I've only fished north shore few times but going too heavy won't help. 

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The fall information makes sense and I will keep at it until it clicks for me lol. The comment about reading the surf here is so true. There is usually little wave action, not a lot of moving water, and the typical things you look for when fishing. Definitely takes some figuring out 

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2 hours ago, BackBayFishing said:

The fall information makes sense and I will keep at it until it clicks for me lol. The comment about reading the surf here is so true. There is usually little wave action, not a lot of moving water, and the typical things you look for when fishing. Definitely takes some figuring out 

Central NS produces for me almost always on a crappy, ugly day out. Wind in face. Other than that it seems like a one and done kinda thing, or...sea robins lol. Good luck its fun!

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Fish this type of structure often. My calendar photos show late June through July is the best window for those boulder fields for bass. I love false dawn/ first light and a moving tide, shallow water over high. Go to lure is a pencil popper worked walking the dog style. Just yesterday AM, took the first skunk in a few weeks. Not saying it's over but the water's getting really warm.  Sometimes towards late August the peanut bunker will flood the area turning it back on but nowhere near the bite of early summer. When the teen sized blues were common they'd usually take over this area through August and September but not to be since 2017. 

 

The other thing is they sometimes hang shallower then you think, 2-3' of water. For that I'd highly suggest having a friend on the bow as you meander closer barely moving your boat in. Tilt your engine as high as it'll take water. Maybe row or push pole as I do to get you in tight. I'll only do this when there's no onshore wind and low to non-existent boat traffic as a large wake can suck the water out from you and bounce you on the hard. Or roll you into a nearby boulder. That's why I love false dawn....

 

Funny story years ago, was  chasing down sporadic pops of Albies off Eaton's Neck. To no avail. Mid-September. Took off the deadly dick arriving at the boulder fields ready to tie on the Pencil Popper for bass. The minute I clipped the tin off, you guessed it, bonito up ten feet off my bow in 6' of water among the boulders. Quick enough re-tie and they came up for a second cast, fish on. At times worth glassing inside these fields when they're in the area. Especially early AM. 

Edited by brushfly

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3 hours ago, brushfly said:

Fish this type of structure often. My calendar photos show late June through July is the best window for those boulder fields for bass. I love false dawn/ first light and a moving tide, shallow water over high. Go to lure is a pencil popper worked walking the dog style. Just yesterday AM, took the first skunk in a few weeks. Not saying it's over but the water's getting really warm.  Sometimes towards late August the peanut bunker will flood the area turning it back on but nowhere near the bite of early summer. When the teen sized blues were common they'd usually take over this area through August and September but not to be since 2017. 

 

The other thing is they sometimes hang shallower then you think, 2-3' of water. For that I'd highly suggest having a friend on the bow as you meander closer barely moving your boat in. Tilt your engine as high as it'll take water. Maybe row or push pole as I do to get you in tight. I'll only do this when there's no onshore wind and low to non-existent boat traffic as a large wake can suck the water out from you and bounce you on the hard. Or roll you into a nearby boulder. That's why I love false dawn....

 

Funny story years ago, was  chasing down sporadic pops of Albies off Eaton's Neck. To no avail. Mid-September. Took off the deadly dick arriving at the boulder fields ready to tie on the Pencil Popper for bass. The minute I clipped the tin off, you guessed it, bonito up ten feet off my bow in 6' of water among the boulders. Quick enough re-tie and they came up for a second cast, fish on. At times worth glassing inside these fields when they're in the area. Especially early AM. 

This is so true about the bluefish. Up until about 5 years ago, I remember any outgoing tide I could go into the back bays or sound and find bluefish of all sizes very consistently. Have not seen that in a long time. Has almost become a struggle to find fish during the summer months in the sound. 

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Finding fish on the central north shore is difficult during the summer months. Very inconsistent. Personally I don't even fish the north shore in the spring. Larger bass and blues are on the south shore in my experience. Central north shore defiantly becomes worth fishing in the fall.

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90% of my fishing is North Shore and I fish like 4 times a week for the entire season. Lots of Skunks but I get into some quality fish even during summer months. Nothing like 10-15 years ago but I still keep going. 
 

-Fish at night, or at least low light 

-find the structure at low tide

-sluggos, Hogys, big bottles, metal lips, Mag darters and Bombers fished very slow      around boulders in the dark 

- Pencil poppers 90% of the time if there’s light out. Big pencils=big fish

- Keep fishing your back bay spots, especially at night. 

 

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5 hours ago, Stripsettter said:

Lots of Skunks

Thank you for making me feel not so bad now, knowing that I am not the only one.

More skunks than fish but I do not care.

Really.

Just being and walking by the water is good enough for me.

Any fish comes as bonus.

 

 

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