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  #1  
Old 05-26-2004, 10:26 AM
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Default JOHN ALSTONS WEEKLY

JOHN ALSTONS WEEKLY
Martha Moulton at Surfland told me that the school stripers were ?hot and
heavy? at the sand bar (mouth of the Merrimack) at low tide ? fisherfolks
using clams or sea worms. Larger fish, Martha said, were being caught at
the jetty on the incoming tide. Martha reported that keeper sized bass were
being caught by boaters on the outer edge of Joppa Flats at low tide. ?The
mackerel are in?, Martha said. She said that some anglers were using chunks
of mackerel at the jetty or on the oceanfront.

Mike Hogg of Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury told me of good
striper fishing ?upriver? at Deer Island and the Route 1 Bridge. Herring
was the suggested bait and he saw several bass to forty inches.

Rene at Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said that he weighed in a few
bass to thirty-six inches. He said that these bass were caught in the
?Toothpick? area using clams as bait. Rene said that the shad fishing was
still good at the Rocks Village Bridge.
If you have your own
stories, please call me, John Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news,
recipes, and stories Better yet; send them by e-mail to [email protected].
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2004, 04:04 PM
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Default JOHN ALSTONS WEEKLY Striper Blitz!

Striper Blitz!

I had my first taste of the blitz last week when I put in a couple of
evening hours fishing fillets of mackerel near the Route 1 Bridge. I had
10-12 hits, and then landed a 27 inch bass.

Martha Moulton at Surfland mentioned that there were lots of mackerel out
there. Martha said that strips of mackerel were working well at the river?s
mouth. . She then showed me pictures of some nice bass she had weighed in:
a twenty pounder off of the jetty and, separately, a twenty-one pounder ?
both caught on herring. Martha said that last Saturday was ?fantastic
fishing? at Joppa Flats before the wind picked up and that bass were even
being caught in the surf at Sandy Point at the southern end of Plum Island.

Paul DeFrancisco at Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said that they were
?slamming? forty inch plus bass at the mouth of the river while catching
mackerel at the same time; Paul has weighed in stripers to seventeen
pounds. Paul?s advice is as follows: Get some pearl-colored Storm lures or
white bucktails ? both are very effective. If fishing upriver, he said, use
herring and, if fishing the ocean side of the Route 1 Bridge, use herring,
mackerel, or clams. Paul said that Joppa Flats has been great in the early
morning, but you needed to ?follow the working birds?, casting into the
area under the diving birds.

Mike Hogg of Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury reported mackerel at
Breaking Rocks and good striper fishing in the river. He has seen ?lots of
keepers? with four in the 45-inch to 48-inch range.

George Charos of Captain?s Parties on Plum Island said that it was an ?ok?
week offshore. He has had a number of decent trips for mackerel (running
all sizes) and a great day with the haddock on a Kiever-Willard charter.
The dogfish, George said, were ?manageable? and he has been picking up cod
to thirty pounds. Please give Chris or George Charos a call at
1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

The winds have been wild lately. Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote: ?It
wasn't raining out today, but that was the only thing we had going for us.
The wind was howling out of the NW and the seas were steep out on the
ledge. On our first stop we had a nice steady pick of haddock until the
tide got the best of us and we had to seek higher ground. We finally got
situated in some shallow water and had a decent pick going until we had to
head for home. It was not a fun ride in.?. You may call 1-888-234-3531 for
Yellow Bird reservations.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, and the local
sport-fishing captains for their forecasts and news. If you have your own
stories, please call me, John Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news,
recipes, and stories Better yet; send them by e-mail to [email protected]
:D
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2004, 12:50 AM
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Default Got the blues?

Got the blues?

It was to good to be true? Loads of mackerel, all sizes, and big striped
bass chasing the mackerel. Enter the bluefish to drive the macks way ?
maybe. The blues were certainly making their presence known, in the river
and outside to Speckled Apron. Let?s watch to see what happens.

Martha Moulton at Surfland said she?s been real busy. Fishermen rigging
live eels were catching big stripers, to the low twenties, at Joppa Flats
at night. Stripers were being caught on the Salisbury side, by Shad Creek.
A lucky fly fisherman fought a 23-pound striper on the Flats last Saturday,
while a kayak fisherman pulled in a 21-pounder on Sunday. The sand bar at
the river mouth, at low tide, is still a productive area.

Paul Hogg, from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury weighed in Dave
Wilson?s 37-pound striped bass last week; it was caught in the mouth of the
river using mackerel as bait. Paul charters his boat, Hogg Tide, and
reported good striper action last week ? one of his charters landed a 43
inch, 30 pound bass. Paul spoke of good striper fishing ?upriver?.

Paul DeFrancisco at Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury went out last
Saturday and picked up four keeper bass in two hours ? along with some
mackere; the bluefish then came in and spoiled the fishing. Paul was busy
listening to his customers? stories all last week: Moe had a twenty two
pound bass near Joppa Flats and quite a few in the 40 inch range were
photographed and weighed in.

Then, there?s my story. I went out last week on friend Oscar Boreth?s boat.
We fished the outskirts of Joppa just before and just after high tide using
chunk herring as bait. I could not even get a hit while Oscar managed one
strike, Brad Boreth (Oscar?s son) pulled in a schoolie and Tom Dunphy
caught three school stripers. I think the bass were moving around that
night? I rationalize by saying it was a beautiful evening, a spectacular
sunset and good company.

Frenchie of Captain?s Parties on Plum Island reported good cod and haddock
fishing out at Jeffrey?s Ledge. George Simolaris jigged up a 38 pounder on
a day when there were many fish in the twenties. Frenchie said that the
haddock were still around in good numbers. (Captain) Chris Charos pulled in
a huge 18-pound haddock. Last but not least, Frenchie said that the
mackerel fishing was ?unbelievable?. Please give Chris or George Charos a
call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote (of last Sunday?s fishing): ?We had a
long ride today, but it turned out to be worth it. There was a nice steady
pick of haddock for most of the day. There weren?t too many big fish today,
with the pool being a 12lb. cod , but we did have about 200 haddock at
day?s end.? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2004, 05:54 PM
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Default A new school of big stripers has moved in.

A new school of big stripers has moved in.

Martha Moulton at Surfland told me that the new school of big stripers has
gone into the river and onto Joppa Flats. Martha was busy weighing in large
bass when I called last Sunday: A 29 pound bass was caught from a kayak, a
21 pound bass was caught near Plum Island Lot 1 on seaworms, while a 34
pound bass was caught on a live mackerel ?between the jetties? at low tide.
Martha reported that mackerel were still out at Breaking Rocks, with
bluefish sometimes scattering them.

Richard from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury told me that Paul Hogg
had several good charters on his boat Hogg Tide ? stripers to the ?high
thirties and mid-forties? (pounds, not inches). Richard said that the best
baits were tinker mackerel or clams; he said that there was good striper
fishing by the mouth of the river and near the Deer Island backwater. ?Lots
of fish?, Richard said.

Rene at Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said that they also were
weighing in some big stripers. A 35-pound bass was caught at the river
mouth, a 29-pound bass outside the mouth using live mackerel, and a 40-inch
bass caught off the docks at Cove Marina. Rene said that there were big
fish on Joppa Flats, but that they were becoming ?finicky?. Rene mentioned
that small bluefish were coming into the river at low tide.

George Charos of Captain?s Parties on Plum Island told me about a charter
he had last week - the Plum Island Surfcasters Club fathers and sons went
out mackerel fishing last Saturday and loaded up. George said that the kids
had a great time ?learning the ropes? and catching lots of mackerel. George
told me that the offshore fishing was ?OK? after the moon tides had slowed
down a bit; he said the pool winner on the 17th was a 43 pound cod - caught
jigging. George said that the boats could usually ?work around? the
dogfish, and that a few haddock were still around. Please give Chris or
George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about his Fathers? Day trip: ?We set
up on a boat load of fish today, but the tide was running hard up into the
wind keeping us from catching as many as we would have liked, and being
that we did have a father's day crowd, (I mean the kids? dads) I think we
did very well. We had a bunch of nice market cod, and some haddock, along
with about 20 cusk for the catch..? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow
Bird reservations.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2004, 01:15 PM
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Default John catches the biggest fish of his life

John catches the biggest fish of his life
I certainly had my share of good striper fishing recently. On the 22nd,
Paul Piraino and I went out on his boat for a fast two hours of striper
fishing on Joppa Flats ? we landed 36 fish and two keepers. Then, on the
27th, Bob Lee, his son Tyler, and I went out again on Paul?s boat; we could
not do anything much on the incoming tide, as the howling wind was working
against the tide and the lines kept drifting under the boat. We did,
however pull in 11 fish when the tide started running out, Bob Lee landing
his first keeper bass. Paul had taken us out lobstering earlier, with two
keeper lobsters going into the fish cooler.

All of the above was a rehearsal for last Monday night?s show. Margaret
Mullen, Deb Cole (fellow IBMers) and I went out again with Paul Piraino.
Paul first went out to his lobster pots and pulled in 7 lobsters for Deb to
take home. We then fished Joppa Flats, picking up 4 keeper stripers out of
a total of 28: Margaret getting 6, Deb 6 (with her first keeper) and with
me getting the biggest fish of my life.

My monster 40-inch bass hit and stripped out line like a runaway freight
train. When I saw the fish on the surface, I noted the large distance from
head to tail and knew that this was going to be quite a fight... I played
the fish for what seemed like an eternity until Paul deftly netted the fish
(he was not sure it would fit in the net). I was shaking for 30 minutes
afterwards ? this was a really big deal for me. I?d get on your phone right
now and call Paul at 978-465-1961 to arrange a charter, even if it?s for
2005.

Kay Moulton at Surfland said that the fishing was excellent. She reiterated
that there were lots of fish out on Joppa Flats with one lucky angler
pulling in a 40-pound striper ? caught on a top-water popping plug. Kay
said that there were bluefish at the tip of the jetty and good flounder
fishing for those fishing outside the mouth of the river and drifting down
towards the site of the old Plum Island church. Kay said that there were
plenty of bass on the sand bar on the outgoing tide and a few small fish on
the ocean front (lot one) being caught at dawn.

Richard from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury told me that they
weighed in a 52-pound cod last week and a number of large stripers, to 36
pounds, caught in the mouth of the river. Richard said that Joppa fishing
was red-hot at night - one angler, using eels, caught 79 fish in one
night?s work.

Rene at Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury reported excellent striper
fishing, bluefish around, and flounder fishing ?picking up?. The biggest
fish they weighed in last week was a 47-inch, 35-pound bass.

Ryan, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island told me that Steve Ivers pulled
in a 58-pound cod on the 22nd; Steve?s fish was caught out at Jeffrey?s
Ledge and on clams. ?Codfishing is picking up?, Ryan said, ?and the haddock
are still around?. Ryan said that the mackerel fishing was slowing down,
due to the bluefish. Please give Chris or George Charos a call at
1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about a recent trip: ?Pretty good day
of fishing today. We started out the morning fishing close to shore trying
to put a couple of bigger fish in the boat, and then headed offshore to
finish out the trip. We ended up with about 130 fish including 2-20's,
1-30, and 1-40. We could have had more numbers, but we stayed inshore
trying to hunt down a couple of lunkers for over two hours.? You may call
1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.

On preparation of striped bass? We soaked a cedar plank in water for 30
minutes, and then grilled the striper fillets (brushed with olive oil and
herbs) on top of the cedar plank for 10-12 minutes. We served the bass with
a lime-based sauce and the meal was nothing short of fantastic.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected].
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2004, 06:30 PM
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Default It?s still pretty darn good fishing.

It?s still pretty darn good fishing.

Rene at Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury called it ?awesome?; he had
just weighed in a 41 pound, 47 inch striped bass ? caught at the mouth of
the river on fresh herring. Rene said the bluefish were ?in and out?, with
some showing up on Joppa Flats where the striper fishing was ?real good?.
Rene said that the mackerel fishing was ?finicky? and that the flounder
fishing (just outside and along the beach) was still very good.

Kay Moulton at Surfland said that the fishing was slower and spottier,
although ?lots of fish? were still around. Kay, in addition, reported very
good flounder fishing.

Richard from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said that the striper
fishing was slower because of the bluefish being around. Paul Hogg had two
recent charters where, trolling off of Breaking Rock, he had a good mix of
schoolie bass, some keeper bass, and quite a few bluefish.

Ryan, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island told me that their fishing was
?pretty good?. Captains Parties is making afternoon trips for striped bass
and getting a few keepers along with many schoolies ? the bass trips are
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons. The offshore trips, Ryan said,
are still producing some haddock and a number of large codfish: Al Vovidio
had a 20 pound cod and a 36 pound cod, while Ben Paquette landed a 43
pounder. Ryan said that the dogfish were ?not too bad?. Please give Chris
or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about last Sunday?s trip: ?Absolutely
beautiful day on the water today; there wasn't a ripple on the water the
entire day. We had to soak em out today, and wait for the bite, and it paid
off with a very nice flurry of fish from mid-day on. Young Lylie Warmsley
(11 years old) took the pool with a twenty lb. pollock, I think she also
had the second biggest fish on the boat. You guys better hope she doesn't
come on tomorrow?s big money marathon.? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for
Yellow Bird reservations.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected].
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2004, 03:47 PM
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Default Flounder fishing and fear of tsunamis?

Flounder fishing and fear of tsunamis?

Bob Kelleher (you remember Bob; he ran for mayor), Oscar Boreth and I went
out last Sunday morning on Bob?s boat, ?Shades of Grey? for a half-day of
flounder fishing. While Bob had a life raft on the top of his boat (as well
as two life preservers) and while Oscar had brought his own life preserver
and while the forecast was for one-foot seas and 5-10 knot NE winds, there
was still a sense of deep foreboding. Oscar and Bob (and I, to a lesser
extent) kept wondering if this was the day to ?break out the survival
kits?. Maybe the long-overdue Great Merrimack Tsunami (GMT) would bear down
on us from the Gulf of Maine. Maybe, just maybe, our luck with the good
weather had run out.

It never happened. We landed two keeper flounders and one mackerel (a few
skate and the ugliest fish I?d ever seen ? perhaps one of those poisonous
lionfish that you read about?). We then sped away to Bob?s highly secret
lobstering area where Bob pulled in eleven keeper lobsters. It really
turned out to be a great day, with no tsunami at all. (Although our fears
heightened, one again, as we approached Bridge Marina ? perhaps Captain
Bill?s Harbor Tours boat would loom out of the haze ?at ramming speed?.)

Now for the (real) news?

Paul DeFrancisco, from Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury told me two good
stories: On the 10th, he was out on his boat and landed more than 30
stripers, most of them keepers, to 42 inches. Paul was fishing near the
mouth of the river and was only fishing for two hours! Paul then said that
a friend of his was out on a charter and had just landed a 39-inch bass
when he saw swimming behind his bass ?the biggest striper he had ever
seen?. Paul added that bluefish were around ten miles to the south (near
Cape Ann, I?d guess).

Kay Moulton at Surfland had weighed in a few good fish last week. Joe
Zompetti landed a 21-pound striped bass, while Allen Bazed pulled in a 26
pounder ? both were caught on chunk herring. Kay said that lots of small
bass were around and that boats were having trouble getting them to hit.
Kay knew of two small bluefish being caught off of the beach.

Richard from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury reported good striper
fishing for those drifting outside the mouth of the river; he said that
clams were working well. Richard also said that Joppa Flats provided good
striper fishing at night, for those using eels. ?Plenty of blues at
Breaking Rocks?, Richard said, ?and you can pickup tinker mackerel or
pollock at the same time?.

Chris Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island said that his half-day
trips were ?in between? mackerel and bluefish, with both species being
caught. He is still running trips from striped bass Monday, Tuesday, and
Thursday afternoons ? plenty of action and a few keepers. Offshore, Chris
said, they were making long runs to either Jeffrey?s Ledge or Tillies Ledge
and being rewarded with improving cod and haddock fishing ? a 40 pound
codfish came over the rails last week. Chris said that the large pollock
were just starting and that the dogfish were ?thinning out. Please give
Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about last Sunday?s offshore trip:
?Lately it has been the same old story, leave a bunch of fish that weren't
biting and try to find some that were. Well, however boring it was today,
we just soaked em out. We had a slow pick on the fish for most of the day,
and than with about an hour left in the trip they really started to turn
on. We got in a little late, but what?s new.? You may call 1-888-234-3531
for Yellow Bird reservations.

A last comment: I grilled haddock filets on a cedar plank last week. It?s
worth a try. The cedar plank provides a great taste and prevents the
haddock from breaking up on the grille.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected].
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2004, 01:44 AM
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Default Big blue bonanza beginning?

Big blue bonanza beginning?

Rene Vigneault of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said that big
bluefish were all over the place last week. Rene said that they were being
trolled on umbrella rigs, as well as being caught on cut herring on Joppa
Flats. In addition, Rene told me that he weighed in three stripers over
thirty pounds last week ? these were caught on chunks of herring in the
river mouth. Rene said that the flounder fishing was diminishing (witness
my sad report of last week).

Kay Moulton at Surfland said that the fish were still around, but that you
had to work for them. A lucky angler in a canoe weighed in a 21-pound bass
last week and she only weighed in one other fish over ten pounds. Kay said
that there were bluefish on Joppa Flats and at the mouth of the river.

Chris Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island said that his half-day
trips were really into the bluefish and that the mackerel were virtually
gone ?for now?. Offshore, Chris said, they had dogfish trouble at the end
of last week, but they were still picking up pool fish ?in the twenties?
and some large pollock in the fifteen-pound range. Please give Chris or
George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about last Friday?s offshore trip:
?We only made a few moves today, and all of them were very successful. The
catch was a mix of haddock and cod, with most of the cod being well over
the size limit. I am not sure if everyone limited out on cod, but we were
close. Hopefully we can put a couple of back to back good trips together,
something we haven't been able to do in the last couple of weeks.? You may
call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.

As you may know, Kitchen Etc. is going out of business. We stopped at one
store last week and got a large bottle of white truffle oil. We
(fearlessly) rubbed a haddock fillet with a few drops and then grilled the
haddock ? we thought it was great! I see a future in truffles.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2004, 11:02 AM
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Default Two ?young Turks? and four zucchini

Two ?young Turks? and four zucchini

Bob Kelleher and I went out for a few hours of striper fishing last Monday.
The conditions were perfect and we were well armed with a flat of herring.
Bob headed out to the area just north of ?The Needle? and we started to
fish.

I caught a 27-inch bass and Bob lost a hefty one, fishing an hour or so of
the incoming tide. The tide then changed and we were ready for the real
action on the outgoing. Sunset was at 8:11. At 8:11 sharp, two ?young
Turks? from the Harbor Patrol asked Bob to put on his anchor light. Bob did
this, but it was partially obscured by the life raft (on top of the boat?s
roof). The Harbor Patrol insisted that Bob take down the life raft, so
that the light could be seen completely. Bob decided that our night of
fishing was over and we were pulling up the anchor to go home when, fifteen
minutes later, the Harbor Patrol returned and threatened Bob with a
?citation?. An exchange of pleasantries then ensued. We took the life raft
down and went home (early).

I?m still very upset about a two things: Bob had been justified in hauling
the anchor and returning home with the life raft on top of the roof. With
the running lights on, there was no need to show the anchor light while we
were in motion ? the second calling of the Harbor Patrol mafia was not
justified legally or otherwise. Secondly, if Newburyport has budget
problems and is laying off policemen, how can we justify the expense of
these forays into our sport fishing fleet? All the boats were all anchored
away from the channel, out of ?harms way?, and having a good time. There
was still plenty of light in the sky. Surely we could spend our money more
wisely.

Bob gave me four zucchini from his garden; that was my catch for the night.

Now, the fishing news?

Kay Moulton at Surfland said that the striper fishing was much slower. One
angler, fishing seaworms on the beach at Plum Island Lot 1 had a number of
small striped bass and one 14-pound bluefish! Kay said that plenty of
bluefish were near the mouth of the river and some small bass off of Joppa
Flats. Oh, yes ? little Hunter Courier landed a 9-pound bass.

Richard, from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, said that fishing
was ?a little slow?. Richard said that the dogfish nuisance factor was
?horrible?, and that the striper fishing had slowed to a crawl.

Rene Vigneault of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury reported big bluefish
from Seabrook to Ipswich Bay ? hitting trolled Rapalas and umbrella rigs.
Rene thought that some bass were still around the mouth of the river for
boats using chunks of herring, chunks of mackerel, or clams. ?Try the
Salisbury side?, Richard said.

George Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island said that his half-day
trips for striped bass were less productive but that the bluefish were
around ?in big numbers? for his half-day bluefishing trips. George said
that the blues were running 10-12 pounds. Offshore wise, George said that
the dogfish had ?let up a bit?, and that the fishing was very good. They
had a 48-pound codfish pool winner last week, as well as haddock over 13
pounds. The big pollock are starting, providing a good mix. Please give
Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about last Thursday?s offshore trip:
?Pretty good trip today, we managed a nice pick on the fish all day, with
the last hour and a half very good. Most of the catch was haddock and big
pollock with a few cod and cusk. We didn't catch one dog.? You may call
1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]. I?d love to hear from you
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-02-2004, 10:14 PM
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Default John Alstons weekly Report

Kay Moulton at Surfland said that the stripers were around, but that you
had to work for them. The only fish worthy of a weighing in on the Surfland
scales was a 23-pound striper, caught off the jetty by an angler using
chunks of herring. Otherwise, Kay reported, there are bluefish outside the
mouth of the river and some nice fish to be had by boaters fishing inside.

Richard, from Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, said that Paul Hogg
had had a couple of good bluefish charters and that school stripers were
mixed in with the bluefish ? blues running 8 to 12 pounds. Richard saw a
few decent bass, to 35 inches, come in from Deer Island. Richard reported
many schoolies at the mouth of the river.

Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury told me that the
blues ?are in? and that the striper fishing was ?inconsistent?. Paul had
just injured his back ? we wish him well.

Chris Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island is still doing his
half-day trips for striped bass and still picking up a number of keepers to
go with the schoolies. In addition, his other half-day boats are going out
for bluefish and getting quite a few, with some dogfish thrown in. Offshore
on the full-day boats, the dogfish are ?day to day? and the big pollock are
starting to show up in larger numbers. There is now a good mix of pollock,
cod, and haddock, with last week?s largest pool fish being a 30-pound cod.
Please give Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your
reservations.

More dogfish stories: Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about last
Saturday?s offshore trip: ?Like I said earlier, you are going to have to
work at fishing with dogs and tide, and boy did we work at it today. It was
non-stop action from the moment we dropped the hook today. We had a steady
pick of fish and dogs all day. Most keepers were haddock and large pollock
with a few cod and cusk..? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird
reservations.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-10-2004, 08:34 PM
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Default August potpourri

August potpourri

It?s definitely ?mixed bag time? for local fisherpersons. You can catch
anything from skate to ?football? bluefin tuna? read on.

I went out briefly last Monday night on Bob Kelleher?s boat. Donn Kelly
(aka Mr. Dee) went with us and was high-hook with two school stripers. I
managed to pickup one schoolie and a skate while having a bluefish chomp
through my leader near the boat. We fished (chunk herring) between the
jetties and had all the action on the incoming tide to high tide. The
outgoing tide, drifting north from the Needle, produced virtually no hits.
We were not harassed by the Harbor Patrol this time, although Bob had the
anchor light in full view.

Kay Moulton at Surfland told me that there were school-sized bluefish on
the beach very early last Monday morning, the blues hitting top-water
plugs. Kay also mentioned that there were some keeper bass still being
caught on chunk herring - fishing Joppa Flats at night.

Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury reported that some
large bass were back in the river. A friend, Peter Murray, was drifting in
the mouth of the river last Sunday and picked up twelve keepers in three
drifts. Paul said that there were bluefish from the mouth of the river out
to Halibut Point, along with sporadic appearances of ?football? tuna (50-80
pounds).

Paul Hogg,, of Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, said that there
were tuna near Halibut Point and blues ?all over the place?, with large
ones being 5-6 miles out and available to those using chum to bring them
up.

George Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island is still running his
half-day trips for striped bass with good results (Monday, Tuesday, and
Thursday afternoons). At other times, he is running half-day bluefish
trips, and enjoying ?great bluefishing? with blues coming in 8-10 pounds.
Offshore, George said that the dogfish were not too bad and there was a
good mixed bag of cod, haddock, and large pollock. Interesting note: some
of his patrons refused pressured him to not go for pollock, considering
them to be less desirable to eat. In my opinion, this is a mistake? pollock
are delicious and, this time of year, provide exciting action. Please give
Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote last Sunday: ?Hey guys, the last
couple of days have been pretty good fishing trips. We have been fishing
Tillies and doing pretty well on the haddock, today especially. We also got
into some nice codfish, with a couple in the 30's and a half dozen close to
20. The weather has been great and we haven't caught a dog in two days,
keep your fingers crossed.? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird
reservations.

Interested in some Cape Ann stories? The ?Cod Squad? (www.thecodsquad.com)
wrote this: ?Week of August 2 - August 8. We just got out over the weekend
this week. We heard reports of small bluefin tuna in the area so we
figured we'd give it a try. Brad and I went on Saturday. It was choppy in
the morning, which makes it a pain to see them. We did see some bunches
close to Thatcher's Island and trolled pretty close to them, but no takers.
These were small fish - 20 to 40 lbs. We then worked our way offshore, as
we had heard that these fish were all up and down Jeffries. We went all
the way up to Pigeon Hill and didn't see any more tuna. We did a little
groundfishing, and wound up with 3 cod, 2 haddock, and 2 big (~12-15 lbs)
pollock. One of the codfish that Brad got was pretty big - 36 lbs.!! That
made the trip. On Sunday, Brad, Dave, and I got out early to try for the
tuna again. It was choppier than expected, and it was difficult to see
them in the morning. We saw probably 10-12 bunches, trolled near them as
best we could, and we had one hit - the fish was on for about 3-5 seconds
before it came off. Talking with a guy back at the dock, we had our drag
too loose, or too tight, or the moon was in its third phase, or Brad wasn't
concentrating enough because he was still thinking about the codfish from
Saturday...whatever...we lost the fish. Hopefully these fish will hang
around and we'll get some more shots.? Thank you, Cod Squad!

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected].
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-18-2004, 03:07 AM
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Default Run silent, run deep

Run silent, run deep

Want to try for some really large stripers? Head out 2-3 miles, towards
Speckled Apron, and fish in 80 ? 100 feet of water. Use whole herring or
tinker mackerel, lowering the bait to a depth of 20 ? 30 feet. Use plenty
of chum. Stripers are being caught this way, to 50 inches, according to
Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury. Paul said that the
river fishing for stripers was ?slow?.

Kay Moulton at Surfland weighed in some large bass, however. A 25 lb. Bass
was caught on clams at the jetty and a 21 lb. bass was caught on worms at
the sand bar. Kay said that there were plenty of blues in the 8 lb. range
at the mouth of the river ?hitting anything? on the surface. Oh, yes, the
Plum Island Refuge is finally open. Mr. And Mrs. Plover have had their
children and it?s time to fish!

Richard, at Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, told me that big bass
were still around. He weighed in a 38 inch bass caught off the beach near
the jetty and a 35 inch bass, caught off a boat fishing the mouth of the
river and using tinker mackerel. Richard said that you have a shot at
football-sized bluefin tuna if you head out to the Half-way Hump (ten miles
out) and work your way towards Halibut Point. You?ll need to cast into the
schools of tuna using ?Jigfish? lures with a single hook, Richard said.

Chris Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island is still going for
blues and for stripers on his half-day trips. Blues are running 6-10 lbs.
with an occasional larger one. Striper fishing has produced a keeper or
too, but there are always bluefish to spice up the action. The summer run
of large pollock never quite materialized (as it did last year), but there
are plenty of cod and haddock around ? last week?s pool fish (caught by
John) was a 50 lb. codfish. Please give Chris or George Charos a call at
1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote last Thursday: ?Pretty good bite
today, most of the catch was the bigger size pollock. We did try to get
some haddock in the deeper water, but they were not as active as they have
been in the past couple of days. We ended up with about 25-30 of them and
about a dozen cod.? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird
reservations.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]. I?d love to hear from you
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-24-2004, 03:58 PM
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Default Lobster anyone?

Lobster anyone?

[email protected]

Fishing for fishing news

While awaiting the fall migration of striped bass, the news is as spotty as
the fishing.

Kay Moulton at Surfland said that one of the boats came in last Friday
after fishing Joppa Flats with chunk herring ? they had five keepers to 19
lbs. Kay also told me that a number of large bluefish came in on Sunday.
Kay?s assessment: ?Fishing is OK?.

Richard, at Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, said that the stripers
were showing up again. One of his customers pulled in a 42? striper
drifting a frozen tinker mackerel on the Plum Island side of the inlet.
Richard also told me that ?tons of bluefish? were out there and some
?football-sized? bluefin tuna. Paul Hogg has been busy with charters on his
boat ?Hogg Tide?; he has been trolling along the Plum Island beach in 50
feet of water using fluorescent orange Rapalas and slamming the bluefish.
Paul also took one of his charters out to Pigeon Hill for a good catch of
15-18 lb. codfish.

Paul DeFranciso of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said that there were
bluefish from the MR buoy to down along the Plum Island beach and that
striper fish was a little slow.

Chris Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island reported ?pretty good?
fishing overall. Still going for blues and for stripers on his half-day
trips, they have had as many as three keeper bass on a trip and a number of
bluefish. The offshore trips to Jeffrey?s Ledge have been producing some
large pollock and quite a few haddock, with most of the pool fish being
25-30 lb. pollock.. Please give Chris or George Charos a call at
1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird went out in last Saturday?s storm. He
wrote: ?The weather wasn't the greatest today, but the crew hung in and
caught some nice fish. I have to hand it to the guys and girls we had on
board today, they were a tough bunch. The wind was blowing for most of the
day, and the rain never did stop, but the crew stayed at the rail and
toughed it out. We got a lot of big pollock and about 50-60 haddock for the
trip, which under the conditions wasn't bad? You may call 1-888-234-3531
for Yellow Bird reservations.

Bob Kelleher went out last Sunday morning to pull in his lobster pots; we
wound up with ten keeper lobsters. A fellow lobsterman pulled up alongside
and showed us the ?grand cahuna? of lobsters ? he said that the lobster
exceeded the maximum size limit and asked if we cared to take it off his
hands. Regrettably, the size limit which affected him was the size limit
which affected us and we declined his generous offer. The beast had to be
ten pounds. Oh, well!

Next week: John?s lobster bisque recipe (if it works). Stay tuned!

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected].
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-30-2004, 08:41 PM
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Default ?Give a man a fish, and he has food for a day. Teach him how

?Give a man a fish, and he has food for a day. Teach him how to fish, and
you can get rid of him for the entire weekend!?

Kay Moulton at Surfland said that fishing was ?not bad?. A Connecticut
resident, 7 year old Jack Germaine, hauled in a 26 pound striped bass while
fishing a tube and worm in the Parker River. Kay also weighed in a 20 pound
bass, caught in the surf with worms. Kay said that the beaches were
generally slow, but that there were reports of plenty of stripers on Joppa
Flats at night.

Richard, at Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, said that there were
bluefish for those trolling off the beach near the end of Plum Island.
Richard said that the football tuna were still around and that casting
Braid lures was the best fishing method. Richard thought that the bass
fishing was still good: schoolies reappearing and reports of some keeper
bass to 38 inches last week.

Rene Vigneault of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said ?lots of blues?
with the end of Plum Island being the hot spot for trollers. Rene mentioned
that some stripers were being caught upriver, but nothing huge. One of his
customers caught a 20-inch fluke in the river ? the first report I?d heard
this year. (It really was a fluke.)

George Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island reported ?sustained?
cod and haddock fishing offshore despite strong tides; Moe pulled in
codfish of 40 and 18 pounds on one trip. While there are a few large
pollock around, it?s not like last year. His half-day bluefish trips are
?ok? but not an everyday success story. The striper fishing, three times a
week, continues to be good with 3 keepers coming over the side last week.
Please give Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your
reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about last Friday?s Marathon Trip:
?Captain Rick declared Friday's marathon a BANNER DAY. There was plenty of
fish for everyone, both cod and haddock. If you didn't go home with more
than 20, you weren't trying.? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird
reservations.

We are declaring a personal fish crisis: Our freezer is empty for the first
time. I guess I know what to do?

Now, as promised, our recipe for lobster stew:

Lobster Stew (serves 6)
4-5 small lobsters
Small onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup light cream
4 tablespoons sherry
Paprika

Boil the lobsters until done, saving the stock. Cut the lobster meat into ?
inch chunks.
Add the some of the shells back into the stock; add the onion, celery, and
bay leaf. Boil the stock down to 6 cups. Strain and save the stock.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Slowly add the flour and smooth. Simmer for
1-2 minutes, then slowly add the lobster stock, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat, then simmer 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the
lobster meat, cream, and sherry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Sprinkle with paprika, then serve when thoroughly heated.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]. I?d love to hear from you.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-07-2004, 09:30 PM
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Default Pilot whales, ocean sunfish, and a ?back door? cold front.

Pilot whales, ocean sunfish, and a ?back door? cold front.

I went out on a charter last Sunday - John and Joan Smith, of Fenway
Painters, had invited me to join them on their annual Sundance charter. We
left the Bridge Marina at 7:00 AM and watched some boats come in,
complaining about the high seas. Tom Grady, the captain, asked John Smith
if he was sure he wanted to go out. John polled the troops and responded
affirmatively. So, with 4 ? 6 foot waves from the northeast (?back door
cold front?, I was told) we headed out to Jeffrey?s Ledge. We had a tough
day, to say the least, with Captain Tom moving all around the ledge to try
to find cod/haddock and avoid dogfish. I have to hand it to the Fenway
Painters team ? only two were seasick and they all made the best of it. We
did see 4 pilot whales and a large ocean sunfish, so the kids had some
action, albeit sightseeing and not fishing. I managed to catch 15 fish, but
only four keepers: two pollock, one cod, and one cusk.

I had spoken with Paul Piraino last Saturday. Paul said that some friends
had just been out to Jeffrey?s Ledge (?The Cove?) and had loaded up on cod.
We were at the same spot on Sunday, but what a difference a day (and a
northeaster) makes!

George Charos, from Captain?s Parties on Plum Island told me that the
codfishing had been good with last week?s pool fish being 32 pound and 26
pound codfish. George said that the half-day boats were getting bluefish
off of the Plum Island beach and, on the striped bass trips, a few bass and
a couple of keepers. George is rearranging the schedule after Labor Day, so
please give Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your
reservations.

Captain Rick of the Yellow Bird wrote about last Friday?s fishing: ?Today
the fishing was very good, with the majority of the fish being big pollock.
Yesterday had us looking at a gaggle load of fish on the sounder wondering
why the hell they weren?t biting, and so went the rest of the week.? You
may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.

Paul Hogg, of Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, said that there were
bluefish at the mouth of the river and along the beach. Paul went on to say
that some big stripers were around for those fishing live eels, even during
the day. Paul recommended night fishing with eels off of the Plum Island
beach. Paul had some tuna charters on his boat Hogg Tide, and picked up a
few trolling squid rigs fifteen miles out.

Kay Moulton at Surfland weighed in a few stripers to 21 pounds last week,
caught off the jetty and the off the beach ? worms and chunk mackerel doing
the trick.

I had a chance to go out on the spanking new Sue Roche/Margaret Mullen Key
West boat last Friday morning for two hours. We fished just off of Can 13
and had many small stripers around the boat, landing just two of them. Paul
Piraino always goes there when he has a charter wanting ?some action?.

Interested in marking that ?Great Offshore Spot? for future reference? Bob
Kelleher taught me his technique? He was triangulating the spot between a
pilot whale and two seagulls sitting on the seas. I?m sure they?ll stay put
right there until we return.

As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]
Reply With Quote
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