January 12 2022

2021 South Shore of Massachusetts Season-In-Review

3  comments

MFCC member - Robby Griffin

Growing up along the New England coast has been a blessing that has fostered my passion for saltwater fishing and appreciation for the natural environment.

Like many others, my journey began by soaking chunked bait, often unsuccessfully, from the beaches with my dad. I still remember my first ever striper caught using this very method off a sandy South Shore beach 12 years ago. Since then, we have upgraded to a 20 ft boat that has opened a world of new opportunities and adventure, including recreational lobstering.

Just like saltwater fishing, lobstering can be extremely rewarding, but takes a certain level of commitment, patience, and of course, some luck, to be successful.

In this article, I’ll give a glimpse into my 2021 fishing and lobstering season along the South Shore of Massachusetts. As any fishing enthusiast knows, no two trips, never mind seasons, are the same. 

Nevertheless, I hope I can provide some insight into the exciting possibilities the South Shore saltwater has to offer.

You can click below to jump ahead to a certain month, or simply scroll below to continue reading.


June

Warming waters and migrating striped bass can make June an exciting month to fish on the South Shore. Normally, the rivers and bays stretching from Scituate to Duxbury offer consistent fishing for schoolie striped bass. However, this past June such consistent action never fully materialized, and I struggled early in the season to get on a good striper bite.

In my opinion, the weather was the biggest factor at play here. Record rainfall followed by June heatwaves made for less than ideal conditions. This was particularly the case for my go-to fishing spots along the North and South Rivers of Scituate and Marshfield.

Multiple rain events of 1-2” inches led to significant runoff that darkened these rivers to a near “chocolate milk,” while consistently strong southwest winds limited small boat opportunities and pushed bait further offshore. I am curious as to whether these conditions pushed the majority of striped bass out of the rivers, or simply made them harder to catch in the low visibility.

Regardless, I still managed several rewarding trips with multiple schoolie striped bass. I caught most of these stripers using spooks and other top water lures during the hours just before and after sunset, a time I have found particularly productive in June. 

Unlike the striper fishing, this past June set the stage for my best season of lobstering to date. I have a recreational ten-pot license, but I generally only fish 5 traps at a time as that has provided more than enough lobsters for family and friends.

In my opinion, this early part of the season is the most important time to establish a territory to set your traps. On the first set of this season, I spread out 5 traps over a couple of miles and varying depths, looking for rocks and ledges on the sonar that act as prime lobster habitat.

After a 4 day soak, two of my traps had 2 keeper lobsters each, while the others had just one total - along with many crabs. I made the move to concentrate all 5 traps in the productive area, and it resulted in some incredible lobstering from June-August. The rest of the month featured consistent catches of some beautiful 1.25-2lb lobsters.


July

More so than any other month, July can be boom or bust on the South Shore’s saltwater scene. In my experience, the biggest deciding factor is the presence, or not, of pogies. Unfortunately it was the latter this year, and with the exception of one sole school in early July, I did not encounter any schools in the waters from Scituate to Marshfield.

This was a concerning contrast to recent summers such as in 2019, when massive schools of pogies ignited epic feeds of striped bass, bluefish, and even giant bluefin tuna just off of Humarock and Rexhame beaches.


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About the author 

Robby Griffin

Robby first joined My Fishing Cape Cod as a member in 2017. He is an avid saltwater angler and recreational lobsterman along the South Shore of Massachusetts. We're excited to have him contributing to the site!


  • Really enjoyed your post and a look into how to catch lobsters! I too fish the south shore and had some nice days off High Pines and along Browns Bank in September. Looking forward to 22.

  • Enjoyed the piece Robby.

    In the last couple years I’ve become more of a fan of catching bluefish and couldn’t agree more than gators on light tackle is a lot of fun!

    I was fortunate enough to get into some around the target ship in August casting epoxies. It inspired the old school guy I was fishing with to retire his broomstick and buy some lighter gear for our next trip in 2022!

    The thrill of the catch is complimented by the fact I have learned to improve my handling of the fish for better eating.

    Tim

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