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dwskok.com

Boston Harbor Shore Guiding

    For good reason, many people assume that fishing within the shadow of a major metropolitan area would only provide an urban experience.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Granted, the screech of passing planes from Logan International Airport and the hazy silhouette of the Boston skyline are common backdrops, but rarely is the city the focus of a fishing excursion in the northern stretches of Boston Harbor.

    The town where I reside, Winthrop, Massachusetts, is a peninsula that makes the northern perimeter of Boston Harbor.  You would be hard pressed to find an area with a greater selection of fishing and wading structures.  Between Winthrop and the town immediately to its north, Revere, there are innumerous sand and mud flats, mussel beds, rips, stone and mussel bars, drop-offs, and rock gardens from which striped bass and the occasional bluefish and mackerel may be caught.  The area also hosts a tidal river and numerous tidal creeks that are favorite spawning habitats for various food forms and productive feeding grounds for the striped bass.

    The versatility of the area is compounded by the fact that it is a peninsula.  Regardless of wind direction, a lee shore is almost always available and the crystalline, cold water of the Gulf of Maine rush into the harbor on incoming tides, relieving the harbor shoreline of any disturbed sediment that may have risen during stiff west or southwesterly breezes.  Boston enjoys a lengthy season which starts in mid-May and finally gives way to winter's chill in early-November.  Every season is a new adventure as to when the best wade fishing will occur, but my favorite months are June, July and August when resident stripers prowl shallow mussel beds and deeper water current lines in search of baitfish and other food forms.  Late-May has been a great time to throw a line the past few years as Maine-bound fish stop along our coast to grab some fuel on their passage to their northern extremes.  Fall fishing can be spectacular with violent blitzes in knee-deep water, but shorebound anglers are at the mercy of baitfish populations and unpredictable striper migration routes.  Three of the past five years have had exceptional shallow water fall blitzes on the right days. 

    Guided wading trips are almost always scheduled around low tides that occur in the late afternoon or evening hours unless I have found something else extraordinary during other portions of the day.  The lower stages of the tide afford wading anglers the opportunity to fish areas that are beneath ten feet of water at high tide.  The evening tides are often productive due to the failing light and are safer for anglers who are not familiar with the terrain.  The tides in and around Boston Harbor range from nine to twelve feet (depending on the phase of the moon) which are three to four times the height of the tides along the southern coast of Massachusetts or Rhode Island.  This translates into two to three feet of rising water per hour during the middle, peak stages of the tide!  Wading anglers must be vigilant when wading new water and should also take note of bottom contours before venturing out on a rising tide.

    On occasion, with groups of 2 people or less, we will use my 16' Great Canadian canoe as transportation to reach mussel beds or islands that cannot be waded to.  The canoe is used strictly for transportation and we will wade once we reach our destination.

 

When: mid-May to early November
Where: Winthrop-By-The-Sea and Revere, Massachusetts (15 minutes / 5 miles from downtown Boston)
Fee: $250 for a 4-hr. wading trip for up to 2 anglers ($50 additional for 3rd angler)
Tackle: 8 - 10 weight fly rods or 6' - 7' spinning rod for 12 lb. test line
Clothing / Wading Gear: polarized sunglasses, waders (preferably breathable as we'll be covering some ground), a stripping basket, a hat, sunscreen, extra clothing (fleece pants and a sweater or pullover) and a raincoat
Terminal Fly Tackle intermediate sinking fly line (a floating line is acceptable at times or even preferred in certain situations), 7' - 8' tapered leaders to 16 lb. tippet, 2/0 Lefty's Deceivers (4" - 7" long), Snake Flies and Gartside Gurglers (all white, white & chartreuse, black or purple for fishing after dark - or just about any other color combo)
Terminal Spin Tackle 12 to 15 lb. test line, white or chartreuse bucktail jigs (3/8 - 3/4 oz.), Zara Spooks or Jumpin' Minnows, Slug-Go or Fin-S Fish soft plastic jerkbaits (4" - 7"), Bomber, RedFin or Rebel swimming plugs (5" - 7" in a variety of colors)

 

I can provide all the necessary tackle (fly and spinning rods and reels, lures, waders) if need be.  Just let me know ahead of time.  I always provide a cooler of cold beverages as well as the appropriate leaders and flies.