Beverly is one of the beautiful cities on the North Shore, bordered by the cities of Wenham, Machester-by-the-Sea, Danvers, and Salem. It is most often referred to as The Garden City because of the pretty public parks that locals have easy access to all over the city. What makes it even more unique is that it seems to be divided in two: the western part is largely an urban area, while the eastern portion of the city feels more rural. Along with nearby Marblehead, it stakes its claim as the historical birthplace of the US Navy.
The area on which Beverly and Salem now stand was once known as Naumkeag, a part of what was then the territory of the Agawam tribe. And then from 1626 to 1628, two separate waves of English colonizers went and settled in the area, causing a disagreement that was resolved when the earlier colonizers petitioned for a land grant on the other side of the town. They called this area the Bass River side, and later, this would become what we now know as the city of Beverly.
These days, Beverly is largely suburban, with many families and young professionals attracted to its diverse natural landscapes, fantastic residential facilities, its above-average public educational system, and its up-and-coming cultural scene. It’s a thriving resort town as well, with its fantastic coastline and beaches drawing in locals from Boston and all over Massachusetts year in and year out. And like many North Shore cities, Beverly is a great destination for anglers looking to fish the productive waters along the Massachusetts Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Fishing in the city of Beverly means you don’t have to head too far out into the waters to enjoy some sport. There are many fantastic piers and bridges all over the city that will give you access to fantastic fishing. One such popular spot is the Beverly Fishing Pier, which is right near the Beverly-Salem Bridge that crosses the Danvers River. Known primarily for its squid, many anglers love it for the diversity of the fish they catch in the area. Some of the most popular species that can be caught here include the most sought-after Atlantic mackerel, flounder, cod, striped bass, and bluefish. Some anglers even report catching black seabass and trophy striped bass when night fishing. Another great spot to fish right nearby is on the base of the bridge itself.
The beaches of Beverly are yet another spot well worth pursuing. West Beach, easily accessible via Route 127, is a local favorite. While it is primarily a swimming destination for the residents of Beverly Farms, it has a large rock formation, easily seen during half-tide, that attracts plenty of baitfish and striped bass. Come low tide, the beach becomes a great destination for shore anglers who can easily walk over to the boulders where they can reach deeper waters. However, since the beach parking lot is privately owned, locals advise against fishing here during the months of June, July, and August as the area gets crowded and the parking lot regulations are strictly enforced. That’s not a bad thing, though, because stripers get busy here during October. West Beach is prime fly fishing territory out on Cape Ann, so it’s a great spot to practice your techniques and enjoy some bass action.
Another beach you should try casting a line in is Dane Street Beach. It has a sandy shore with pretty shallow waters and some oyster beds off the beach. Because there seems to be a lack of great bottom structure here, it may seem unremarkable to you, but look out of the stone jetties where you can catch some striped bass or bluefish. The waters get deeper at the southern part of the beach as it is closer to the mouth of the Danvers River.
Beverly is known for its great public parks, some of which offer fantastic fishing opportunities. One such park is Obear Park. This family-friendly scenic park is well-beloved for its natural landscaping and sports facilities. It’s a great spot to bird-watch as well. There are mudflats in the park that are easy to access during low tide, but when the tides come in, anglers will have a lot of fun fishing with their light tackle gear, especially when striped bass come between the months of June and September. Other parks worth noting as good fishing spots include Lynch Park and Independence Park.
If you’re keen to head out further into the waters, Beverly offers great offshore access to some of the reefs on Cape Ann. Stellwagen Bank is a great offshore reef to start with. Come here for the Atlantic mackerel during the spring and fall runs. The mackerel tend to stay on the bank after their initial arrival, so you can have plenty of success catching them by drift fishing with a chum line to keep them closer to your boat. Around June, Stellwagen Bank is the first stop of bluefish. While it may be hard to determine where they are exactly, you will find better success targeting them while trolling in waters about 25 to 40 feet in depth. The waters on the top of Stellwagen Bank tend to be warmer compared to the rest of the Massachusetts Bay, so you can expect bluefish to stay here for a while after their initial arrival.
Even further out is Jeffreys Ledge which runs on the northeast of Cape Ann. The waters on Jeffreys Ledge can go as deep as 300 to 400 feet on the edges. It has a particularly inviting underwater structure for cod, haddock, and pollock.