Some of the very best fishing of the season is going to take place over the next two weeks right here in Lowell for the last group of Atlantic Salmon stocked by the state of New Hampshire. The state wildlife officials have released some 700 salmon that range from 4-15 pounds each. These big bright fish will hit the flashy spoon and provide the angler the best fight and table fare ever.
NORTH SHORE --The stripers have arrived. We have reports of them in the Piscataqua, as well as in the bay and up to the head-of-tide dams. Striped bass anglers have been catching larger fish in amongst the schools of migrating herring in the Exeter, Lamprey, Cocheco and Merrimack Rivers. The best way to catch a striper at these spots is with live herring in New Hampshire and look-alike herring in Mass. As luck would have it, river herring is plentiful this spring! In New Hampshire call 603-868-1095 if you are not clear on the rules. Live eels have been working well in the river; these are available at some of the local bait shops, but call ahead if you are counting on them. Mackerel are being caught consistently close to our shores, and there are even reports of flounder around. Surfland said Stripers have moved up to the Lawrence dam and beyond. Bass are out front of the island to 20 pounds and mackerel are at Salem Willows and there are plenty for the party boats, which still get plenty of short cod and haddock with keeper pollock. Joppa Flats in Newburyport has finally started to give up keeper bass on live eels.
BOSTON HARBOR -- The big bass have arrived with a keeper 37-pound fish finding its way to the scales the other night. The big fish was 48 inches long and took a jig. The harbor is alive with herring which has brought the stripers to feed. You need to fool them with lures that look like them because we cannot yet use a herring like New Hampshire, but the Sabile looks like and swims like a 10-inch herring. You can also use a jig, tube and worm or a sand eel. The harbor still has a good number of flounder and it's easy to fill a 5-gallon bucket with door mats when you fish from Deer Island Light to Winthrop Harbor.
GREATER LOWELL -- You should give the river a try for the Atlantic Salmon stocked over the past three weeks. They are arriving daily. Also try for the smallmouth bass around the rocky shores of UMass Lowell. Carp fishing is great along the boulevard. Use bread for good results. Panfish are plentiful and take a small worm.
-- BILL BISWANGER