Of the many areas in Boston Harbor known for their good striped bass fishing, including the shores and piers of South Boston, the walking paths from UMass Boston to Neponset, and the well-known Faun Bar off Winthrop, one area often overlooked is the LongIsland bridge area, from SpectacleIsland to Moon Island and Squaw Rock.
Accessing the area is a simple matter: the dirt ramp at Neponset, by the gas tank, Malibu Beach, City Point at Pleasure Bay in South Boston. Some of these ramps are appropriate for powerboats, others for kayaks only.
That Boston Harbor provides local anglers with good fishing on striped bass and bluefish is well known. Simply walk the periphery of Castle Island in South Boston and watch the surfcasters at work off the McCorkle Fishing Pier, opposite Logan Airport, to witness the good fishing, especially in the fall.
But the region between Long Island and Spectacle Island has the added advantage of being less heavily-pressured, and with a wider variety of underwater terrain ranging from submerged tidal flats to deep trenches and holes, particularly around the southern periphery of Spectacle Island, one of the gems of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park.
Side trips (and stronger tidal currents) lie off nearby Sculpin Ledge, the well-known and recovering flounder fishery at Hough’s Neck, and the raucous, rugby-scrum style three-ring circuses of striped bass that pop up off Squaw Rock, the Squantum stack, and Big Dig-swollen Spectacle Island.
Keep in mind that schoolie striped bass near Thompson Island tend to gather in boiling pods of thick abundance high on the surface, repeatedly ranging over the flats beneath swirling flocks of birds.
One piece of gear particularly effective for Thompson is the 3″ shad-and-jighead in a blue-on-white or yellow-on-white pattern. Equip with a snap swivel and 18″ of 20-pound leader and you can readily switch between one color and another or clip on a surface popper.
Sometimes Thompson’s linesiders do turn picky and spooky. Times like those, especially early on in the fall run, when they sip at the surface, try prying larger keepers off the island’s numerous structures, the rocks, bars, and bunkers using sinking type gear like Kastmasters or heavier bucktail jigs. If stripers are there they’ll hit.
If the above tactics doesn’t work, switch to the old trolling standards, tubes-and-worms, Cape Cods-and-worms, and move out into the Quincy Channel and Sculpin Ledge areas.
Keywords for this story are striped bass fishing, Boston Harbor striped bass fishing, Spectacle Island Boston, Thompson Island Boston, Boston Harbor fishing