OFFSHORE: It’s June and we already have tuna settled in, probably because of the abundance of bait. Even though not a lot of fishermen have been out yet, tuna have been taken on the ball by rod and reel. As of June 12 there have been some changes to the tuna regulations. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tuna, sharks, swordfish and billfish must have an Atlantic HMS angling permit. For more information, contact the NMFS at 978-281-9260 or visit its website at

http://nmfspermits.com

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Readings taken at the Jeffrey’s Ledge weather buoy show sea-surface temperatures in the low to mid-60s. Cod, haddock and pollock dominate the groundfish catches and have been very good on Jeffrey’s and decent on Tantas. There are some porbeagles around, so for those of you groundfishing, have a pitch bait ready before getting to your spot. Many times because of your boat’s presence, a porbeagle will show and you must be able to get that pitch bait into the water immediately or the porbeagle will lose interest and be gone.

If you have questions about the federal saltwater registry or would like copies of the 2010 saltwater regulations, call 633-9505 or check the Web at: www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html.

 

ZONE 1: Most all the rivers are still holding stripers while slot-plus and a few trophy fish can be had out on the beaches. Expect the blues to show anytime, so make sure you have a supply of steel leaders in your tackle box. Bait fishermen using herring, mackerel or clams for the big ones and sandworms for the slots are catching fish. Surgical tube rigs and the Tube’N Worm are sure fish getters in the rivers. Troll these rigs slowly and with the current for best results. Also, if you are fishing with multiple hook rigs, you can have no more than 5 hooks. Artificials that have proven successful include the Storm lures, Big Atoms, Chug Bugs and Sluggos. For the fly guys, 1/0 and 2/0 Clousers and Deceivers as well as silverside and sand eel patterns are working well.

 

ZONE 2: Bait is everywhere and so are the stripers. All the rivers and most of the islands have plenty of various-sized, robust fish. Anglers fishing Martin’s Point, Mackworth, the Cape shore, the Presumpscot, Harraseeket and Royal have not been disappointed. Fly fishermen tossing 1/0 gray or olive Deceivers, School Bus patterns and black gumdrops (nighttime) have been rewarded for their efforts. Crank fishermen using the Rapala 8 or 10 X-Raps, Mackerel Mambo Minnows, Sluggos and Bucktail jigs are catching fish, while bait guys have been happy dunking sandworms and mackerel. Mackerel are available to both shore and boat fishermen. Shore anglers have caught their fill at the Maine State Pier, Spring Point and along the Portland Head Light area; boat guys trolling throughout the harbor in areas of current have been getting into the fish.

 

ZONE 3: Most all the rivers (Androscoggin, Sheepscot, Kennebec, etc.) are holding stripers and bait. Decent catches of stripers have been reported around the Boothbay region. Special striper regs remain in effect until July 1 in the Kennebec watershed. Large herring-pattern flies in fast-moving water and small shrimp patterns in the shallows are working for anglers on the fly gear, while poppers and the small soft baits are the spinner’s choice. Note that if you are fishing on the Kennebec, upstream of the power line in Augusta, you must have a freshwater fishing license. Mackerel have moved inshore throughout much of this zone.

 

This saltwater report is compiled by Bruce Joule, Maine Department of Marine Resources, P.O. Box 8, West Boothbay Harbor 04575. If you have information to report, contact me at 633-9505 or e-mail [email protected]