Ten years later, herring numbers are steadily rising

Mary Schwalm / BOSTON HERALD
A fish spins at the surface of the water at the locks between the Charles River and Boston Harbor on Friday in Boston.

The Division of Marine Fisheries has announced they will finally get around to counting the river herring the went up the Mystic and Charles River.

This fishery was so important to the species when it was floundering just 10 years ago, which led to a ban to any fishing for this fish by anglers. Last year the fishery had come way back to some 700,000 strong up from just 100,000. With this count maybe a fisherman could be allowed to keep 10 fish and do what he or she wants to do with them. Often they are used for stripe bass bait or smoked.

North shore

Wells, Maine, has some great stripe bass action for fish to 34 inches. York, the same. The Piscataqua River has it all, bass to 30 inches up river, squid, some mackerel are in and out but scattered by the bass.

Seabrook has some decent action off the jetties using clams or cut bait. Off shore it is haddock to fill the coolers. Plenty of cod come over the rail but all must be released.

The Merrimack in Newburyport and Salisbury has stripers up and down the river but few big fish. The mouth of the river has a few keepers but the ocean front and Joppa Flats have been the most productive on live eels at dawn and late evening.

Pogies are everywhere and so close to shore you can about walk on them. Snag one, fish one.

Boston Harbor

Good stripe bass to 40 pounds have moved in finding the pogie schoolies to their liking. These schools are all over the inner harbor with some 25 acres in size together.

Good fishing at the Amelia Dam with the fish holding the pogies in place. The bass just getting the feed bag on when they want. South of here larger schools of pogies draw in bluefish. Scituate to Hull has seen blues to 8 pounds.

Cape Cod

Tuna now being caught off south Cape waters to 600 pounds. They are feeding on bluefish. Monomoy is a great place to head for blues to 12 pounds and a scattering of stripe bass to 15 pounds. The canal was slow with spirited runs this week keeping anglers happy. A 45-pound bass came to shore on a jig.

Black sea bass are all the rage off Vineyard sound. Cape Cod Bay is now bluefish and stripe bass.

But beware, when you’re reeling in your fish a great white just might be following in your dinner.


Bill Biswanger’s email address is bboutdoor1@aol.com.