Boston Fishing Reports

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September 21, 2023

Those big “marks”

Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters told me he’s having no trouble finding them in CCB now. What he’s also spotting under the schools is huge marks. When asked if those might have been big bass beginning to migrate he said “those fish are not pushing the bait upward, so what do you think they are?”. The point being that bass have to move the bait towards the surface to dispatch them while tuna simply snap them up with ease! Fishery regulators have freed up additional quota for giants on Sunday, so timing for those big “marks” in Cape Cod Bay may be good. Don’t delay if you want a brute of a bluefin; doubtless that quota won’t be open for long. "On The Water"
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September 23, 2023

Western Edge

For a better bead on where cod are congregating I consulted Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters who told me that the western edge of Stone Ledge in about 204’ has been the sweet spot. If while pounding lead or jigs on the bottom, the unmistakable “suction” sensation of mud is being transmitted through your line than you’re in haddock territory, if you’re jig is coming up with chips/divots marring it’s finish than more likely you’re going to find cod. The fish have been full of shrimp making pink teasers hot! As for stripers, not surprisingly they are on the move with previously quiet estuaries/rivers reloaded with life. "On The Water"
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September 14, 2023

“Sea monsters”

Captain Mark of Legit Fish Charters said that bluefish have pushed mackerel inshore and up against ledge with tuna in tow! “Sea monsters” up to 110” have been following both species with some of those brutes as close as 4 miles out! While targeting tuna with RonZs, the Legit Fish crew got a surprise in cod up to 30 pounds! Close to rockpiles/ledge you’re likely to find rock cod, while white-bellies are more likely to be found in 80-90’ in open water. Along with haddock, “fun-sized” 2 – 3 pound pollock have been prevalent. The skipper usually cruises into port with mackerel in the livewell to treat patrons to some fast paced striper action right in Scituate Harbor! As Mark put it, the harbor is so stacked with stripers, you could “walk on them!”. "On The Water"
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September 3, 2023

Opportunistic feeders

Of course something can be said for the Gulf of Maine, especially if you’re Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters. Bass and blues aren’t the only species packing on the protein right now; from the Southwest Corner of Stellwagen all the way to Scantum tuna are on a tear. Slack tide at the edge of drop-offs with a bluefish on the line is the trick according to Captain Rowell. Some of these fish are pushing bait on the surface as close as five miles out from Scituate Harbor and when breaching the surface look like “school buses.” As for cod, the skipper has been catching 10-15 pound “white bellies” in 90-114’ of water. The edges of different structure, especially where hard bottom abuts mud, is where you’ll find more forage as well as opportunistic feeders such as cod. Small green teasers are a good option to match the ubiquitous spike mackerel. Bunker in both big and small versions can be found from Plymouth to Point Allerton and are holding both bass and blues. You’ll have to search for mackerel but once found will not last long among rocky outcroppings of the South Shore. "On the water"
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September 1, 2023

keeper cod awaits

According to Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters, your keeper cod awaits you on the South Shore among most any interesting bottom structure in 75’ of water. On a recent haddock trip to Stone Ledge the crew had to cull through about 100 cod to catch a half dozen haddock! The patrons also put the pedal to an impressive porbeagle which was released after giving an upper state New York bunch an experience they never get up there. Stripers from schoolie to beyond slot are chasing peanuts in the Three Bays, Green Harbor, Scituate Harbor and among embayments all along the South Shore. "on The Water" 
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August 24, 2023

Cull through market-size cod

What fishers do care about in deep water is cod! Beginning September 1st and lasting until October 31st, anglers will be able to keep one cod per person at a minimum of 22” in the GOM and state waters. Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters has had personal experience with this as he has had to cull through market-size cod to catch haddock. The Stone Ledge area in 205’ of water is holding both species as well as slab Arcadian Redfish of 2-3 pounds! South Shore harbors such as Scituate are chock full of peanut bunker and silversides which is keeping stripers in check. "On the Water"
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August 13, 2023

Bottom Composition

There’s more of a pogy presence now on the South Shore. Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters has been experiencing the smaller version in Scituate Harbor as well as Cohasset with adults hanging around the North River. Blues are less of a factor which may be the reason that mackerel acquisition is a bit easier. Those macks tossed around structure from The Gurnet through High Pine Ledge to Cowen Rocks as well as off Gunrock Beach are resulting in a reliable slot-to-larger bass bite. With an influx of peanut bunker, blitzes are getting more common which bodes well for a significant fall run. Haddock as well as double-digit cod can be found by the Double LLs on Stellwagen. Having a feel as to bottom composition matters as cod are more likely to frequent rocky, irregular bottom while mud is good for haddock. Just maybe best of all is the lack of dogfish, making clams and other types of bait a viable option. For consistent blues, Provincetown is where it’s at, with everything from snappers to gators figuring in the mix.
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August 7, 2023

Goal for this Week

When I spoke to Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters last week, he told me that his goal for this week was to land a halibut, and boy did he come close to pulling it off. In 202’ of “mud” inside the shipping lanes of Cape Cod Bay while fishing a whiting close to the bottom the crew came tight to a halibut. These guys were prepared with tuna-grade gear loaded with 80 pound braid and a top shot of 100 pound fluorocarbon leader. They had the beast on for 45 minutes when the braid gave out! Far from an aberration, a nearby cohort of the captain landed – 3 halibut! Suffice to say the skipper knows where these things are; the timing of a trip for this fish-of-a-lifetime may not ever be better! While hoping for halibut, tuna were active in the same spot as were bigger-than-average whiting. Stone Ledge is holding some haddock, in fact I’m hearing of an overall increase in haddock harvests throughout the GOM as well. "on the water"
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July 31, 2023

Teeming with forage

Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish’ mantra could be, “there’s no place like home”! During a time when big bait is lacking, finding 6” striper snacks at port is a huge advantage. South Shore and South Coast harbors are teeming with forage with everywhere from Westport to Green Harbor through Cohasset Harbor holding plenty of low 30-inch stripers along with the occasional tackle tester. Captain Rowell believes it’s baby bunker which are keeping the fish in place. With no big schools of pogies throughout the Bay State, the opportunistic bass continue to be found where there is reliable forage and that can be anything from krill to crabs to herring to mackerel and possibly even peanuts. A live mackerel by day or eel at night shouldn’t last long wherever you find the stripers. The south-of-the-Hub sweet spot for cows seems to be between the 21 Can and Minot Ledge. Commercials who have been needing a dolly to move their coolers have been observed trolling X-Raps back and forth between those two areas. As for Race Point, it is loaded with bluefish! "on the water"
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July 22, 2023

Inside scope of the lobster pot

Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters has an interesting take on blues/bass and bluefin off Race Point. While the forage is pretty consistent in both sand eels/mackerel, the fish associate to structure and current differently. Among the inside scope of the lobster pot lines, striped bass stage with 30’ of water a good place to start, outside of the pots in 40-45’ water blues lurk. Deeper still in 50’ depths pelagics patrol hoping for an errant bluefish to wander into the line of fire. For bass and blues trolling mackerel is working well with size fish varying between slot-and-up for stripers and blues of both snapper and gator proportions. Scituate Harbor as well as the North River are still holding plenty of stripers with most fish hovering around the slot size. The find of the week may be haddock near Stone Ledge! For some reason summer and Stone Ledge just work well for haddock. "On The Water"  
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July 13, 2023

Sink a Mackerel Down !

For consistent CCB blues, according to Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters, Race Point is the place to be. Should you desire one of the slot stripers that are swimming below the choppers, sink a mackerel down quickly and deeper with an egg sinker or fish finder rig. Closer to Scituate, Mark is finding steady slots most everywhere especially among inshore ledge where stripers are rummaging around for a lobster dinner but won’t pass on a lively mack. Tuna fishing remains terrific with the sweet spot between Peaked Hill Bar and the NW corner of Stellwagen. Sand eels/mackerel continue to keep Charlie in check at those spots. "On The Water"
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July 6, 2023

Bumper crop of bait

As for the fishing, a bumper crop of bait is often the key to catching. From the SW corner of Stellwagen out through Peaked Hill scads of sand eels have attracted school to medium tuna making casting or trolling for them with RonZ soft plastic stick baits deadly! Mark has been into a pile of pelagics up to 68” but tuna don’t play by our rules so there’s always the risk of a giant coming to play and then things get really interesting. Mackerel are prevalent with the wildcard being harbor pollock among most of the inshore ledge/rockpiles along the South Shore. While not as effective as mackerel, the small pollock make for pretty good bait also. " On the Water"