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ANGELICA POINT, MATTAPOISETT, MA

From May right on through the fall run, New England surf anglers can have a hot time targeting striped bass and bluefish here.
By Dave Anderson
I spent the summer of 2003 working for a contractor who did most of his work in the coastal town of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Because I am a surfcaster, I was obviously just as sensitive to potential striper hikes as I was to the weight of three bundles of shingles being brought up the 40-foot ladder - did I mention it was summer?

Anyway, one of the spots that stood out the most in my rooftop shoreline scans was Angelica Point in Mattapoisett. The northern shores of central Buzzards Bay are not nearly as inviting as those that ring the Elizabeth Islands so as you can imagine, a long rocky point that protrudes further out than anything else around it might be a magnet for all species of inshore gamefish, and perhaps most importantly, striped bass.

I remember the day well when my old boss left me alone on the job out on the end of Point Connet. I was slapping up about six courses of cedar shingles under a wide porch window—the problem was that Angelica was seducing me from just over my left shoulder. Pound a nail, look back to the inviting stones of the point, pound a nail, take a two-hour lunch at 9:30 a.m. I left my hammer and tool-belt laying on the grass and walked down Crescent Beach Road, past the dead end and out onto the trail that leads through the dunes and out toward the rocky protrusion. With my polarized shades revealing the shallow bottom, my enthusiasm began to wane as the whole eastern side of the point seemed to be featureless and shallow. I pressed on and right about the time I transitioned from sand to stone, I saw a dramatic change in the water color. It dipped down into a blue, bouldery hole that appeared to surround the whole point.

The top of the point is extremely shallow and I was able to rockhop out to some boulders well off the shore without getting my feet wet. From there, I could see that both sides of the point offered a lot of promise. But for some reason, I didn’t make it out to fish the point until the second half of September that year. As I always do, I made my first trip during the day. I chose a cloudy and windy fall day and once on the rocks, I was surrounded by the type of gray, choppy waters where you just know you’re going to catch fish. And catch I did, several decent bass from 25 inches to maybe 17 pounds and a few tanker blues that would go about ten pounds; all of these on Super Strike Poppers and wooden Pencil Poppers.

I also discovered another pocket of bass water that I had overlooked on my first scouting mission. On the southwest corner of the boulder shore, there is a swath of deeper water that holds good numbers of bass when the wind is blowing out of the south or southwest. This area, I found out later, is best in late May and early June. But the point itself shines in both the Spring and Fall. It’s a migration stop for any bass that are traveling to or from the Canal on the northern Buzzards Bay shore.

Strangely, I have never iced a really big bass here. I’ve topped out at about 20 pounds even throwing eels at night. But the other side of that story is that I don’t fish it all that often. My findings have shown this spot to fish best on the higher half of the tide cycle, three hours up and three hours down. Topwater plugs and surface swimmers like a Danny are the best producers here and first light seems to hold a definitive edge. But on those gray days of fall, action can be found almost anytime. Waders, drytop and Korkers will certainly suffice, but if you have a wetsuit, it will afford you a better shot at landing a big fish if you are lucky enough to hook one. Good luck and I hope you find Angelica Point as intriguing as I did.

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