Massachusetts Striper Fishing: Lynn Harbor and the Saugus River

The estuarine Saugus River extends from the inner shores of Nahant Beach — 45 minutes out of Boston — to the marshes and marsh fisheries inland close to routes 1 and 128 and the historic Saugus Iron Works. The area, which includes Revere’s and Lynn’s Rumney Marshes, presents to kayak fishing entthusiasts and reliable inshore striped bass kayak fishing area that includes both deepwater areas and tidal-trench marshes.

You can shore fish, flyfish, and small-boat fish the area. The fishery’s expansive flats and shallows flats extend from Revere’s Point of Pines to Nahant Beach in Lynn.

The Saugus River separates the Rumney Marshes from Rever Broad Sound. The area is one of critical environmental concern, laced by an intricate maze of canals and saltwater embayment.

The river and associated bay and marshes fill with stripers during the spring migration. You’ll also find good bottom fishing here on black-back flounder. At the head of the Saugus River stands a derelict herring ladder slated for repair, a reminder of the area’s former value as a fish breeding region.

Choices for shore fishermen, waders, kayak fishing and tin-skiffers are varied and numerous. Carp feed upriver; from time to time the lucky angler will find sea trout left over from era when the state department of fisheries and wildlife stocked the river yearly.

This is a classic turnaround Massachusetts striped bass fishing area that provides the urban angler with good foot, ramp, and pier access to the striper waters close to shore.

Striper fisherman looking for productive Massachusetts striper fishing close to metro Boston will do well to explore the river’s marshes and tidal flats. The Saugus River is worth fishing for a day or two from a small boat.

Because this is a tidal river, fishing the river’s upper marshes and mud flats necessitates consulting a local tide table. The river’s inland portion, west of Polish Beach, drains to mud at low tide. Change techniques and presentations from shallow to deep and back again as the water level changes.

Good places to try include the stockade-fence behind Walmart, off route 1a. The fencing extends about a mile from the mouth of the river to the EDIC wharf on Lynn Harbor.

Another productive area are the eddylines that swirl off Point of Pines, near the south end of the Edwards Bridge.

On the river proper, try the edges of the mudbanks along the Lynn dog kennels, and as far upriver as tge MWRA water main at Spud’s, where shore fisherman and flycasters cast from shore.

Another worthwhile area (and fished best from a kayak, given the shallow depths) are the flats behind the Nahant Causeway, east of the Lynn Harbor approach channel. The channel is well marked by a series of day beacons.

The slow-moving Saugus River, whose mouth empties into Broad Sound, is protected from heavy weather by the barrier beaches at Lynn and Nahant and the Nahant Causeway. The bridge which crosses the river rests on large moorings; the eddies around the moorings are often productive on stripers holding on either side of the moorings on an outgoing tide.

Water temperatures on a recent day when I fished there in April were about a month-and-a half warmer than Lynn Bay and Nahant Beach. The sandy bottom and rocky channel edges, with cover and tidal movement, providedgood fishing on schoolie stripers on tube-and-worm and shads and jigheads.

To access the area, follow Route 1a out of Boston or south out of Lynn. Access is from the municipal dock just upriver of the Edwards Bridge. Alternatively, try the weedy and overgrown but public lamp just beneath the northern end of the Edwards Bridge, a sharp right-hand turn from the parking lot for Building 19 and the Massachusetts Merchandise Mart.

To read more about kayak fishing and sea kayaking, see the content-rich blogs NorthAmerican Kayak Fishing and Sea Kayaking Dot Net.

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