2009 Fishing Report

Boston fishing charters
Boston Harbor light tackle charter fishing

Captain Patrick Helsingius

We had some great fishing trips in 2009 and our clients have pictures and memories to recall their trips in scenic Boston Harbor. The fishing patterns once again changed from the previous year which made it both challenging and interesting to fish these waters. Bait and wind were the main reasons for these changes. Bait is clearly critical in bringing predators like stripers into the harbor and the surrounding waters; and the type of bait and its prevalence will help determine the size and numbers of our target fish that will be found during the season. Weather has a huge effect on the quality and type of fishing available on a given day. A change in weather conditions almost always produces a change in fishing, and in 2009 the weather was variable a lot of the time. Fronts with North and Northeast winds were common, with several Northwest days thrown in for good measure. In general windy days will make it more challenging to land fish and certainly will make top water action less likely. It seemed like we were always adjusting the charter schedule due to weather.

We had a nice spring herring run with alewives heading up harbor rivers to spawn. The mackerel run was short lived compared to last season. In 2008 the mackerel lasted into late June in significant numbers and could be found in pockets through July. This season the mackerel was hard to find after the first week of June. Herring of various types was available throughout the season which is the norm, but there was significant changes in the menhaden (pogies). For a number of reasons there were simply less pogies in the harbor, certainly the seine net boats found in Wollaston were part of the reason. In the fall, peanut bunker (juvenile pogies) can produce feeding frenzies often accompanied by diving birds. While not nearly as prevalent as in the 2006 or 2007 years, peanut bunker was more abundant than in 2008, which may be a good harbinger.

Go Fish was on the water at or before dawn on most days as these hours are often the most productive of the day. When the wind is relatively light there is the possibility of sight casting off beaches, flats, and other relatively shallow water areas. These fish fight harder and it's hard to beat the explosive surface takes on the soft plastic lures we typically use. While it is painful to get up early enough to beat the sun up - even for me after all these years, it is worth it for the scenery alone. Many boats will appear relatively early in the day but there are only a few on the water around dawn when the harbor belongs to us. We probed the water mostly with top water plastics and jigs custom made by the captain. While casting is my favorite technique it is not always the most productive. As the days progressed we usually varied the technique to include trolling and drifting with lures and live bait, often targeting somewhat deeper waters.

The season began in earnest late May when large bass were taken both on artificial lures and live mackerel. Though the mackerel did not last long, the alewife run helped keep larger bass in the area for awhile. Compared to the rest of the season it was easier to hook large bass using various deep jigs. June kept us busy mostly inside the harbor as did most of July. The later part of July found us targeting waters outside the harbor and to the north, and on many days this paid off. August gave us less pogies than in the past so live-lining was limited. Nevertheless fishing with artificial lures and trolling continued to be successful methods. We had to wait until September before we saw bluefish in significant numbers, and there were stretches where they were readily available, mostly outside the harbor. September brought some peanut bunker blitz action and also some high wind days that disrupted some nice fishing patterns. When we could fish the action was mostly very good. The fishing continued into October but ended a little earlier than previous seasons.

Fishing is a continuous learning process. When you think you've figured it out, things change. Bait and weather patterns shift. What worked in previous seasons may not be as effective any more. Sometimes this can be frustrating but in truth it is also what makes fishing challenging and fun. Time on the water is essential, and I plan on being on the water a lot in 2010 to increase our odds. Below are selected fishing reports from the daily fishing log I keep.

May 20

Boston Harbor charter fishing I love fishing in late May and early June. As an avid fan of artificial lures it's a great time period to try out some larger jerk bait concoctions. The possibilities are endless. It's a little hard to scientifically determine if and when adding eyes, rattles, and scent make a soft plastic lure more effective. The answer depends very much on the fishing situation. The inshore waters provide excellent opportunities to hunt nice size bass in relatively shallow water, but there are no guarantees. At the same time you can choose to head outside the harbor and try your luck at finding mackerel as bait. Chances are quite good that you will find some and if you do you can live-line a favorite striper meal. The first day of June was a calm and sunny day and I decided to head to the outer islands and beyond to fish some ledges. At this depth jigs are among the best tools in the arsenal. A classic bucktail can work but more often than not I will add some soft plastic to a jighead. Today I used a 1.5oz which given the current was not quite enough to get vertical. Within a few minutes I felt a steady tug and set the hook. As the line peeled off the reel I remembered that my reel had a massive birds nest mess at about 150 feet that I had promised myself to untangle the previous evening. Naturally I had forgotten to do so and now I was stuck. I engaged the fish harder than usual but soon enough it had stripped line all the way down to the tangle. All I could do now was to hold on. Moving the boat in the direction the fish was traveling I managed to gain a few feet before the fish pulled it off again. After a few minutes I managed to make some headway and was able to land the fish, measuring over 30 pounds and 46 inches. I was lucky on this one, and yes there is a moral to this story.

June 3

On board today was Philip Andrews who likes likes to get out early in the season and as always brought along a few new lures to try. We made sure to pick a good weather day and sure enough we had very calm winds and partialy cloudy conditions. Boston Harbor charter fishing Our initial scan around the harbor did not reveal much and I was about to target structure to do some blind casting when we found some rising fish around President Roads that were relatively easily hooked. The previous day had displayed similar activity but for some reason the fish would not bite much. We followed the fish to Spectacle Island. All the fish were hooked on jigs and Fin-S lures. It's always a good idea to fish deep under the breaking fish but today that did not produce much. We were landing fish after fish until the surface fish spread out. All the fish had been schoolies to this point and were specifically targeting small baitfish. Phil then spotted a breaking fish on the surface and quickly cast his jig towards it. He immediately hooked up on a 33 inch fish, proof that there were some larger fish in the mix. Phil was having a lot of success with his technique which was to let the lure sink, then give it a couple quick pops, interspersed with a slow retrieve. After a couple hours the action was pretty much done and it was time to hunt again. Structure in Quincy Bay did not produce but we spotted some hovering birds at Hangman. Fish were indeed there but this time more difficult to hook. Nevertheless we went through a couple spells of good fishing action. All in all, Phil had picked a winner again.

June 15

Onboard today were Keith Gopel, along with his father and brother Brian. The goal was to hunt the shallows early. Our first stop in Quincy Bay did not produce and we motored towards the inner harbor to scan around. With no apparent activity I decided to fish the Sugar Bowl area which worked out quite well. We hooked some nice schoolies on both jigs that we worked at various depths and also topwater jerk bait. After this action tapered off we tried the deeper channels and structure around the airport which are often very productive, but unfortunatelly not very productive today. After the first week in June the fishing has slowed down. Mackerel are almost done and the alewife run is over. There are fish but you sometimes need some luck picking the right spots. I heard later that one of the spots we targeted heated up a couple hours later - that's just the way it goes some time. We finally found some good structure that held some staging stipers, which was a good note to end the day on as we had a stretch of consistent hookups. Keith and his crew were pleased, and when these fish moved on it was time to return to downtown Boston.

June 27

Today our crew consisted of Tara Krueger, and friends Aaron, Jill, and Matt, all from Cambridge. All were relatively novice fishermen but were ready to give it try. Tara had picked a very nice calm weather day. Generally this is a good omen for sight and shallow water casting but for whatever reason the fish had not been cooperating the last few days. We spend the first hour learning to cast and work the jerk bait and jigs. Technique certainly can make a big difference as shallow water fish on calm days can be quite selective and there is only so much you can learn in a short amount of time. Nevertheless Tara and company picked up the skills required quite well. Technique only helps if there are actually fish around so it was time to try some different areas. We motored into the inner harbor to see if we could spot any action, and failing that tried Castle Island and a couple other structure areas. As casting had produced only a few fish it was time to change our approach as we switched to tube and worm gear. Our next stop over structure that often produces quite well using this approach was slow so I decided to try some deeper channels along the airport. Finally the action picked up as we were hooking fish on most trolling runs. While no larger fish were hooked, Tara and crew were quite happy with the action and had thoroughly enjoyed there first Boston Harbor fishing experience.

June 28

Juan Melendez is an avid fisherman and had collected a group of diehard's for the day. His friends were Xavier, Cruz, and Juan. The forecast for the day was decent with Northeast winds in 5 to 10mph range. Juan shows up early to take advantage of the morning bite. However, the surface bite did not materialize which has been the pattern so we explored structure with various jigs. The first fish hit a 3/4oz. Ronz lure that I had recently added to the arsenal. We stayed in the Castle Island area for a bit and then explored other structure spots in the inner harbor area. We found some marking fish but few were interested in our lures. While this crew preferred casting which in my view is generally the most fun, we needed to hook more fish.

Boston Harbor charter fishing

Switching to trolling worked out quite well. Tubes are certainly among the most productive methods, especially when the conditions are not great. By now the wind had increased to the top end of the forecast and we were experiencing chop up to two feet. While landed a couple schoolies and then had a real rod bender of a hit. Within a few seconds the fish was off the hook. With the proper resistance set on the trolling reel, a fish will almost always hook itself on a tube. On this occasion it may have helped to have had the rod in hand. I decided to change venues again and found a channel with tons of fish marking. Timing is often critical, these fish were plentiful but initially ignored our offerings. As we approached low tide the action increased and we started to have consistent hookups with increasingly larger fish. We went from schoolies to fish just over legal size, and ultimately hooked a nice 35 inch fish. We had saved the best for last and it was time to return to dock.

June 30

Each summer, Go Fish Sport Fishing Charters participates in the Safe Summer Kickoff sponsored by The Fishing Academy. The goal is to get kids, many from the inner city, out on the water and to focus on positive experiences during the summer. Today my group included Lauren (counselor)and four kids: Ashley, Mikhaila, Deanna, and Robert. Since our time on the water would be relatively short, and since we had four young kids on board, I felt it was important to hook fish quickly. Boston Harbor charter fishing Generally on a nice day like today I would explore shallows with top water lures but this does take patience and also pretty good skills to cast and work lures. With young kids this can be difficult. For these situations I employ an interactive trolling method that gets the anglers involved but leaves the rods in the holders until a fish strikes. We found fish on the first structure that I targeted in the inner harbor area, and stayed with it for the duration. We were getting consistent hookups, often doubling up, on every trolling pass. Most fish were schoolies with a few just over legal size, but they all were challenging to reel in. On most fish, the captain or Lauren had to help reel in. It turned out to be a great fishing experience for all, with more than enough action and sore arms for all.

July 15, 22, 23, 29

During July we had a lot of trips with kids on vacation which is lots of fun. The joy kids experience when catching fish is what the rest of us strive for! On board on the 15th we had a full boat with counselor Mike and four kids. Top water action was back with some diving birds as well. We helped some of the kids do some casting and were able to hook fish quite readily with shad body jigs. With the light tackle rods we use most of the kids needed a little help reeling in these stripers. The action continued for about an hour before the schools broke up. Switching to trolling the action continued with hookups on most passes over Boston harbor structure. On the 22nd, 23rd and 29th we had more trips with kids.

Boston Harbor charter fishing Boston Harbor charter fishing

Boston Harbor charter fishing

What made these days truly enjoyable is that we had good topwater action and even some nice sight fishing. On two of these days we stuck with the casting rods all day moving from one good spot to another. Frankly, a couple of these days were probably the best of the whole summer. Most of the fish were schoolies up to legal size although we did have a few bass up to 38 inches. More importantly, the action was what you hope for. Good casts and retrieves were rewarded with followers, some aggressive takes, and tenacious battles; not to mention several misses and lost lures. Truly great stuff; these kids will assume fishing is always like this.

July 31

Boston Harbor charter fishing The last charter for July was scheduled by David Ball who brought along his son Jack. David was joined by his friend Ian and his son George; all were on a vacation trip from England. After picking up the crew in Boston we immediately found some fish and bird activity. All topwater jerk bait seemed to be quite effective and we were landing some nice fish. We followed the schools to the Rainsford area and Nantasket Roads. The fish were quite fast moving and started to thin out. Dave was twitching a lure on the surface when it was engulfed by a large bass, his first fish of the day and was impressed by the strength of the 36 inch bass that he landed. George and Ian also hooked up a few times before the fish dispersed. Moving on, we found nothing in Quincy Bay. At high tide the fish were scattered so we needed to continue the hunt and switch tactics. We found tons of fish marking along the deeper channels at the airport but for a good stretch of time it looked like they were going to ignore all our offerings. On the third pass we finally hooked up on another 36 inch fish that Jack reeled in, and on the very next pass we hooked a large 43 inch striper. The fish actually broke the reel, but we managed to get the fish onboard by motoring towards the fish and cranking in on the crippled reel - we were a bit lucky on that one. Boston Harbor charter fishing After releasing both the fish I wanted to see if I could find a little more casting action before the trip was over. The large fish brought the teenagers back to life and we headed back to Quincy Bay. It was immediately clear that there were fish in our midst as we could see followers inspecting our twitched lures. The fish were all school sized stripers and smaller bluefish, but the action was relentless and Jack and George were into it. We had been tracking the approaching weather front and now it began on rain, and then it started to pour. The boys were eager to fish on. At the end of the trip George was standing tall on the bow casting into the rainy wind, hooking fish consistently. Dave said the trip was the highlight of a very nice trip to the Boston area that included a Red Sox game and a whale watching trip. He had taken a lot of charter trips, including Patagonia and told the boys fishing is not always like this.

August 3

Onboard were Phillip Andrews, his brother Justin, and his son Nyle. Phillip is an avid fisherman and had scheduled this charter to help hook Justin and Nyle on fishing. The first obstacle was getting up early. We started around dawn with two rather sleepy looking youngsters. We had a sunny calm day in store so naturally our first plan of action would include hunting some shallows. Despite the perfect conditions, the fish were clearly somewhere else. A call from a fellow charter captain had us on the move towards Rainsford Island. By the time we arrived these fish were gone but more appeared closer to Peddocks. As time went on we followed these fish out towards Boston Light. We were able to hook some nice fish with the boys landing schoolies and a couple keepers also. After a good stretch of fishing the schools dispersed and it was time to hunt. On the incoming tide a nice rip developed at Nubble that I wanted to try and it did yield one good size schoolie but that was it. As the hunt continued we found diving birds and fish chasing bait by Spectacle. Phillip also hooked up on large chartreuse Storm shad but Nyle was the most productive fisherman on our boat with a very slow and steady retrieve on smaller jigs. Finding the best lure action is a matter of trial and error; sometimes it's the simplest approach that works the best. As the day progressed and the fish scattered it was time to try our luck trolling some deeper waters. Areas that had been active just a few days earlier were barren so it was time to find some new spots. We fished some ledges in the inner harbor and soon enough were landing fish again, using both casting and trolling methods. The action was quite consistent so we stayed in this area until it was time to return to dock. We had enjoyed some very good fishing on a beautiful day in Boston Harbor.

August 4

Today Augustine Collins and his sons Rene and Jay boarded Go Fish in downtown Boston on a picture perfect day in Boston Harbor. Looks can be deceiving and I had the sense that this would not be a great top water or shallows fishing day. The Northwest wind conditions from the previous day continued and in fact the fishing pattern would be the same. We would find limited fish in the shallows but as the day progressed would find some breaking fish along with diving birds in the inner harbor. Our first stop was the Rainsford and Peddocks area out to Boston Light but the fish that were there the previous day were not to be found. We actually did manage to find some fish in the shallow. Today they were small bluefish and did not last too long. The hunt continued around Nubble Channel, Quarantine Rocks, and Castle Island with limited results. We decided to fish some deeper ledges and found some productive spots that landed several fish up to keeper size. It's a good idea to scan the area as you fish, and sure enough we spotted some diving birds close to Thompson Island which yielded a decent top water bite. After this action, kind of a gift at this time of day, we returned to our deeper ledges and hooked fish consistently, which Jay thoroughly enjoyed, until it was time to return the happy crew to Boston.

August 14

Boston Harbor charter fishing Jim Phillips brought his two sons Nick and Joe for some vacation fishing in Boston. As we headed out from downtown Boston we immediately found some birds at Castle Island but they refused all offerings and we headed to Quincy Bay which did not produce either. As the harbor seemed devoid of fish I headed out along the North Channel and found schools of bass. They were sparse and fast moving but we were able to get some nice hookups. Boston Harbor charter fishing By now it seemed that all the boats in the harbor had found the birds that were joined in the chase so we moved to a separate school of fish by the Deer Island rip. We chased the schools for about an hour with consistent hookups and better success I would say than other boats we saw in the fray. I wanted to try some shallow water in case stripers had moved in with the tide but to no avail. It looked like the active feeding was done so I decided to target some deeper structure in the harbor and this turned out to be a good idea as we had the boys reeling in fish every few minutes. While they were mostly school fish there was more than enough work for the boys. Jim was especially pleased with the top water action earlier in the day, and the boys no doubt had some sore arms after the continuous reeling.

August 27

On the charter today were Vasile Anghel from Constanta Romania, along with daughter Gabi, as well as Frank Morton. The trip was part of a family vacation trip for the Anghel family. We were welcomed by stiff North wind. Despite the chop I decided to try the shallows in the early hours and was a bit surprised to have the crew hook a good size bluefish along with a couple misses. As fish had been active in Broad Sound the day before that is where I headed. We fished a number of spots quite hard to no avail. The fish that were here yesterday had clearly gone somewhere else. It was time to change gears and target some deeper water in the harbor at which point we started to get consistent hookups. A call from a fellow charter captain indicated there was a bite going on in Revere and it seemed like a worthwhile risk so we headed out again, but as is often the case there was not much going on by the time we go there. However the flats area north of Revere is often worth a good try. The tide was promising at mid outgoing. We were casting Fin-S lures and other top water jerk bait to avoid the eel grass and we raised a couple fish, and a couple that just missed the hook. Boston Harbor charter fishing Vasile was new to the technique so I recommended the wrist motion that would result in better lure action, and then tried to show him myself. I was not able to do any better and realized that the Assassin was partially severed and needed to be replaced. Soon after this he experienced a major take and line was started to hum off the reel - it was clear he had a large fish. Initially it fought like a bluefish but soon settled down into a steadier pull. The crew was amazed at the size of the shadow in the water as it came closer to the boat. I told Gabi that Vasile needed to take his time, and she interpreted this for him - usually as the fish sense the boat there will at least one more major attempt to escape and sure enough it came. Soon enough it was boat side and I lifted the 44 inch fish into the boat. Vasile was rightfully proud of this fish. The action had been a little slow this morning; but with some good lure action and some good luck, Vasile had been rewarded with a top water, spin casting prize. After awhile, with no further interest from the local fish we motored back towards the Boston Harbor anchorage and continued fishing deeper which again resulted in consistent hookups on fish up to keeper size. It had been a great day of harbor fishing.

August 29

Weather was a challenge for a good part of the season, and especially as we headed toward September. While today was quite calm, it was right after a good size storm had hit the area yesterday. Onboard today were Rory McGuiness, along with Kevin and Alex. If you could choose between fishing ahead of after a storm you will almost always do better in front. Since the weather if beyond our control you have to maximize the opportunities for any given day. Our first stop was back to the North Shore area that had worked a couple days before, and not too surprisingly there were few signs of fish. We had raised a couple fish that missed the lures. I think we all realized that it was going to be a difficult day for casting. It was time to hunt for fish staging along deeper ledges and found some very good action along Deer Island and close to Spectacle. With one or two fish on every pass we were hoping for a keeper or two in the mix but this was not to be. However, we had taken what the harbor would give this day and the crew was pleased, and plan to be back next year.

September 6

Boston Harbor charter fishing Today the crew consisted of Kirk Woodcock and his 12 year old son Tyler. They were on a family trip visiting from Indianapolis. The weather was less than ideal with strong Northeast winds and waves up to 2 feet it was very much a borderine day but rescheduling was out of the question and Kirk was eager to give it a try. In these conditions casting would be difficult but I wanted to give it a try. Our first stops were Deer Island and Snake Island in part to get out of the wind. Without a lot of tide movement these spots were barren and it was time to change tactics. In these conditions trolling will almost always be the most effective approach and it worked well today. With runs of ledges and other inner harbor structure we were hooking fish, sometimes two at a time. Tyler who had been camping out in the small center console cabin perked up as action become consistent. The fishing lasted until it was time to return to downtown Boston and both the anglers were well pleased. On my way back to dock I encountered breaking bluefish by Castle Island - now why couldn't they have showed up a half hour earlier?

September 15

Mike Harrington had scheduled a charter for himself, his nephew Matt, and friend Lyle. During the course of a turbulent September weather wise this day was going to be an oasis of fine weather. More winds were scheduled for the next day. This may have been the way the fish saw it as well as we encountered great fishing action all day. Boston Harbor charter fishing Our first stop was in Wollaston to see if there were any pogies to snag but none were apparent and I did not want to waste any of the morning hours. After quick scan of the inner harbor I intended to head out to Broad Sound but encountered birds at the north tip of Long Island where stripers had bait pinned against the rocks. We had some quick hookups on our casts including Matt's 35 inch fish. Flocks of birds were building in the channel closer to Deer Island. As there were not too many boats around we simply followed these fish finders for over an hour towards Broad Sound. Around slack tide the birds thinned out and I decided to head north to fish some flats during the outgoing tide but instead found a few more clusters of fish. Off Revere beach we tried some blind casting and hooked both bluefish and stripers. We fished the area quite hard, and when it was clear the fish were gone we needed to decide to continue north or to use the outgoing tide that was now establishing to troll in the harbor. We had no luck on our first attempts, but soon we were hooking fish on every pass. We fished a few spots with similar results, mostly good sized schoolies and a few up to 30 inches long. Overall we encountered more fish than in the last couple weeks, and the group had a great time - and was very happy that this charter had been rescheduled from the previous Thursday due to strong NE winds.

September 19

Juan Melendez has fished a few times with Go Fish. With him today were Jose, Xavier, and George. We had been tracking the weather closely as we have had a few days of bad weather and this one would be a close call. Generally I will not go out if waves are predicted to be over 2 feet, and certainly prefer much calmer conditions to have a chance of top water casting. The weather looked like it was improving a bit so we decided to go ahead. Unfortunately in the evening the forecast shifted again and it was clear that we would be in 2-3 foot seas and 15-20 Mph NW winds, but the captain could not get in contact with the eager crew. The plan for the day would be to fish on the lee side and avoid as much of the chop as possible. Our stops at Rainsford, Long Island and Deer Island did produce a couple fish. We even spotted some birds diving on a small school. Juan took advantage and hooked a striper just over keeper size. The school was very hard to stay with given the waves. The crew showed great fortitude as we braved the elements. As always this group are a fun bunch but I'm sure they would have liked to see some more hookups. The harbor won this round and next time we WILL pick a low wind day.

September 20

On board today were Wim Schaeffer and his friend John, along with their sons Johnny, AJ, Choat, and Christian. The boat was loaded! What a difference a day can make. The day was sunny and more importantly calm for all the kids onboard. A quick tour of the Quincy Bay and the inner harbor confirmed my hunch that it would be limited activity in those areas. As we headed out of the harbor scanning the horizon for birds, the immediate impression was that not much was going on. Further north saw a few birds sitting on the water so I decided to use that spot to give some quick casting lessons for the crew. Quite soon there was a hookup and the competition was on between the two families. Sometimes birds just resting on the water mean you have just missed a bite, but they may also just be waiting for fish to push the bait up again. After the fish was landed and pictures taken, we had another fish on. We could see swirls in the water and the occasional splash. We were in the midst of a bluefish school, and there were clearly others, all moving relatively quickly. Boston Harbor charter fishing The calm seas allowed us to see surface activity from quite a distance which allowed us to follow the fish and sight cast. Over time we moved closer towards Lynn and Revere beach with non-stop action. For some reason we essentially had all these fish to ourselves. After awhile we headed towards the harbor entrance again and found schools of birds between Nixes Mate and Deer Island and again followed them out of the harbor - this time followed by the Sunday fleet. All the kids hooked and landed fish on their own. At one point AJ decided to just let his jig drop deep and relax in the rear seat. The fish apparently liked this presentation as we heard AJ yell that he had a fish on. After about five minutes of hanging on to the bent over rod he handed it over to his dad to finish the job. With some more work a tough 12 pound blue was landed. It was hard to leave these fish but the crew wanted to find some stripers also. Fishing the structure of the inner harbor we hooked about five but landed only two school sized stripers. At this point we were essentially at slack high and it was time to call it a day. All in all a great trip with more than enough action for all.

September 24

Brian Wells likes to schedule his charters during the fall. Along for the ride today were Mark, as well as Mike and his dad Kappy. Brian's first experience fishing in the harbor with Go Fish was in 2007 when we ran into a full scale fishing "blitz" with continuous breaking fish and diving birds. The peanut bunker they were chasing essentially disappeared the 2008 season but have been a little better so far in 2009. In any event, the expectations were high! We had some excellent weather with a slight breeze that actually died down as the day progressed. The harbor has been quite devoid of fish the last couple weeks so we set our bearings for Broad Sound and Revere beach. We fished a couple spots quite hard before deciding to try our luck back inside before we lost all of the outgoing tide. Ledges that often hold fish in the inner harbor showed nothing marking so it was time to find some new grounds. On a hunch I decided to try Little Faun. After a little patience Mark hooked a fish that immediately took significant line on a fairly stiff drag - a welcome sight indeed. After a short fight the line went slack, and we thought the fish had escaped.

Boston Harbor charter fishing

I asked Mark to reel in as fast as he could and after a few seconds it was clear the fish was still on - it had been swimming towards the boat. All were impressed by the large shadow that approached and we soon brought onboard a 39 inch fish. We had two more hits, we lost a keeper plus sized fish just at the boat and then landed a good size schoolie. At slack low the bite disappeared and I decided to hunt Quincy Bar for cruising fish. The conditions were ideal for sight casting but there were no signs of anything. After fishing a couple spots in the bay Mark spotted some birds and breaking fish in the distance. For the next hour and a half we would had non-stop action with bluefish up to 10 lbs. and the occasional striper. A few were just in keeper range with one that stretched the tape to 32 inches. The blues chewed through the plastic lures and several leaders but it was well worth it. Much of the time we had multiple hookups at the same time. The crew was very pleased and left the marina with striper and bluefish fillets destined for the grill and possibly a smoke box. Today we enjoyed all of these areas essentially to ourselves!

September 30

A beautiful day awaited Philip Andrews in Boston Harbor. Today, Philip had coaxed along neighbor Wayne. Wayne was an old salt that has owned both sailboats and powerboats and was quite familiar with the harbor and the fishing areas. As has been typical as of late, my plan was to head out of the harbor but we never made it that far. The inner harbor was loaded with schools of fish chasing bait to the surface. Birds could be found in several spots diving down on the helpless bait. We moved from one spot to another continuously hooking fish for about three hours. Philip loves casting and he certainly got his share today. The only thing missing was a large fish, instead we had plenty of stripers up to keeper size and some blues mixed in. The crew was very happy with the feeding frenzy.

October 2

Boston Harbor charter fishing Phil Jackson usually fishes at least once a year and waited until the last moment for this trip. Once again we had good fishing conditions, but with not so great forecasts for the coming days this might be one of the last good fishing days for this season. The scan around Boston Harbor immediately found some "blitz" activity with working birds over frantic bait fish. The schools were mostly stripers with some blues mixed in. While we hooked no real large fish the schools contained above average size fish. Almost every striper landed was close to keeper or above, and the largest bluefish was ten pounds. Phil has landed quite a few large stripers on Go Fish previously, and was happy with the level of action. Once the schools dispersed it was time to try our luck trolling over structure. Using tubes and pogies are usually great methods, but they did not yield any fish over these grounds today. I believe that most large fish have left the Boston waters, a little earlier than usual. Nonetheless, it was another very nice day of fishing in Boston.

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