OFFSHORE: There have been bluefin tuna sightings, hookups and landings on Tanta’s, Jeffrey’s, the Kettle, Sagadahoc, Platt’s, Monhegan and even within a few miles of Wood and Richmond. Most fish have been taken on the ball using fluorocarbon leaders with live mackerel or herring, although a few have been trolled up on large squid rigs and Green Machine daisy chains. As of June 12, the NMFS changed the regulations for those fishing with an angling or a charter/headboat permit. For more information, contact the NMFS at 978-281-9260 or visit their website at http://nmfspermits.com. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tuna, shark and swordfish must have an Atlantic HMS angling permit from the NMFS (see above contacts). It was a relatively slow shark week, but remember that the minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length, and basking and great white sharks are federally protected species. Sea-surface temperatures reported from the Jeffrey’s and Cashes weather buoys are almost 70 degrees – wow! Groundfishing remains consistent. Anglers fishing the midrange humps have had the best success in the deep water during the early morning. Diamond or Norwegian jigs (16 and 20 oz.) coupled with a teaser (mojo or fly) have been working well for cod, and bait (shrimp or clams) has been more effective for haddock.

COASTAL: Federal striped bass regulations: It is unlawful to fish for, take or possess striped bass in federal waters (waters farther than 3 miles from shore).

Statewide striped bass regulations: An angler may fish all year for striped bass, but may keep only one per day that measures between 20 and 26 inches total length or one per day that measures 40 inches or greater in total length. If you have any questions or would like copies of the 2010 saltwater regulations, call 633-9505 or check the web at: http://outdoors.mainetoday.com/fishing/bruce/

ZONE 1: If you want stripers, get out and fish the early or evening tides because the heat and sun slow fishing activity during the day. Fish can be found in the lower portions of most rivers, out from the beaches and rocky structures. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances before fishing since some area beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Shore anglers have done well at Old Orchard, Higgins, Pine Point (both the beach and the pier), the Bathhouse end of Biddeford Pool and the beach next to the Camp Ellis jetty. Reasonable catches, even during the day, have been reported from boaters fishing the lower portions of the rivers with either the pink or wine-red surgical tubes coupled with a sandworm. Eels, clams, herring, macs and sandworms are the baits of choice. Successful artificials include Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows and Pins Minnows (black/silver) and rubber fish (Fin-S, Sluggo’s, etc.). Fly guys are hooking up by matching their patterns to the bait (bunker pattern Deceivers, chartreuse Clousers). Again, a few bluefish have been reported but no blitzes. Mackerel catches have been slim, although some fish have been taken outside of Wood Island with chum.

ZONE 2: Stripers, with the occasional bluefish mixed in, are scattered throughout the islands (Long, Cushing), coves (East End Beach, Mackworth), rocky ledges and along the Cape Elizabeth shoreline. Bass have also been taken in the lower ends and mouths of many rivers (Presumpscot, Royal, Harraseeket, etc.) Anglers working the rivers have been more productive during the early morning, at night or during low light conditions and have done best during a falling tide as the stripers are forced downriver. Those fishing outside have not found these conditions to be quite as critical. Fish areas where there is moving water or along the backside of any surf as that will be where the bait has been kicked up by the surf. Clams and mackerel (live or chunked) are the baits working well. Artificials that are producing include 31/2-inch mackerel or blue/white Gags Schoolie Poppers, white Sluggos, Mambo Minnows and Crippled Herring. If you have a hit and lose it, just let the lure sit there a second or two before continuing the retrieve. Often the fish will come back and strike again. For anglers throwing flies, try 2/0 Groceries or blue/pink Clousers (black on cloudy days or night). Mackerel catches have been decent in the outer bay, including Hussey and Whitehead Pass. Harbor pollock can be found tight to shore.

ZONE 3: Stripers of mixed sizes can be found in most all the rivers, beaches and rocky ledges all the way to the Penobscot. If you are fishing the rivers try working the deep ledges with live bait. When bait fishing, try using inline circle hooks since they greatly reduce the chances of gut-hooking the fish. Flats fishing has been especially productive when working the falling tide, but make sure you are not fishing in the shadow of your boat. Mackerel, preferably live-lined, have been producing stripers around rocky structure, and bloodworms and eels continue to be the baits of choice off the beaches and on the flats. All-sized mackerel can be found throughout most of this zone (Rockland Breakwater, Southport Bridge, etc.).

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 please contact me at 633-9505 or e-mail: [email protected]
If you are planning to saltwater fish this season make sure you sign up with the National Saltwater Angler Registry. It’s free in 2010 and only takes a couple of minutes. You can go online at www.countmyfish.noaa.gov or call 1-888-674-7411.