July 11, Macs plentiful, bass not-so-much

July 11, Macs plentiful, bass not-so-much

If you like to catch mackerel, this is your kind of week. They are everywhere according to multiple fishermen and tackle shop reports. Now we would expect this to make the fishing great, but it’s only so-so. I went out Friday at sunrise, went up to Breaking Rocks off Hampton, and grabbed numerous 6-at-a-time sabiki rigs full of tinkers. We only had to hang out there for 20 minutes. Among the small macs, were some horse-sized ones too. My pals Steve and Mariel love to broil them, so I brought a few home for them.


Off we went to the mouth of the Merrimack for the outgoing tide to drift our live macs. In three hours we only landed one 27″ striper, and lost 4 or so others due to your author’s tendency to try to set the hook too early. I guess I’m not used to the patience needed to wait when using circle hooks. We saw a few other folks hook up, but not like we expected. You can see, though, that the macs are active:


Hey, check out our new Facebook page. We’re posting tons of photographs. Surfland Facebook.

I got this cool note yesterday. Welcome a new surfcaster to the fold: “I’ve been a fresh water fisherman my entire life and at 25 years old last fall I started looking into saltwater fishing as a new challenge. I started off slow without really knowing the ropes of this sport. So myself and a coworker chartered a shore guide lesson from Brian O’Conner last month who showed us the ropes of casting and reading the beach. This morning I am glad to report it finally paid off. We found a spot at the southern end of the island where the birds were diving on a few small schools of sand eels. Didnt seem there were too many fish around but in the mix of it I caught my first striped bass using Sufland clams about 2 hours before low tide.”  – Ryan from Billerica


I also got this nice Series from Joe Gugino: “We went out at 4:30 on Thursday morning on the Essex River and fished the outgoing tide from about 5:00 – 9:00.  We caught 14 total fish and 10 keepers.  The largest was a 35 incher.  We were using chunks of Herring as well as using a chum bag and smaller chunks of herring as chum as well.  It was a great morning of fishing, and we were surprised not to see any blues.”

— Joe



Stickman is the resident web design guy at Surfland. We pay him in eels.

    Posted at 11:38h, 11 July

    “4:30 on Thursday morning on the Essex River” 🙂 try 5:30…

  • LeenoteeL
    Posted at 16:49h, 11 July

    To Mr OConnor,

    Ilove the way you proudly dislay your catches on you tube, and actually have good beach savvy, but there is more than one way to catch a striper. I am not much of a bait guy myself, but some people are and as a whole (fisherman), we have to accept how others partake in the sport.

    I do notice how your site is full of information, and allows you to talk about other people and the things they do that you do not like, but they cannot post back to you.

    Personally, you should not BEACH YOUR FISH IF YOU DON’T NEED TO! They have a protective enzyme on their scales that if compromised, leaves them susceptable to disease and parasites, and possible death. Your already wet, go in after it

  • El Guapo
    Posted at 20:08h, 11 July

    The soapbox. It’s everywhere.

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