Regional Reports-East

Plum Island

Massachusetts's Plum Island, a barrier island near Newburyport, offers fast action for big bluefish and stripers inshore and surfside. The Merrimack and Parker Rivers, and many smaller feeder streams, provide ample forage that attracts and holds the gamefish. Big, bright spoons, topwater plugs and clams on fish-finder rigs usually turn the trick here. Access is via a single bridge on the north end of the island. In August the best angling is off the six miles of oceanfront beach, most of which is governed by the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. By mid-August, the beach here is generally open to vehicles (permit required). The Sandy Point State Reservation covers 70 acres on the southern end of the island. While the National Wildlife Refuge is officially open only during daylight hours, anglers may fish on the beach at night after purchasing a night permit. Entrance fees are required for both preserves. Contacts: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge (261 Northern Blvd., Plum Island, Newburyport, MA 01950-4315; 978-465-5753); Surfland Bait and Tackle (28 Plum Island Blvd., Newbury, MA 01950; 978-462-4202).