OFFSHORE: Cod, pollock and haddock catches have been decent on Jeffrey’s and Tanta’s. Lesser numbers of white hake, cusk and redfish can generally round out the day’s catch. Anglers targeting groundfish have had the best luck using 14 or 16 ounce cod jigs coupled with a teaser fly. An angler specifically after haddock should fish bait (clams, shrimp) and make sure your rig is right near the gravel or sand bottom. Also, be careful not to overload your hook with bait since haddock have a relatively small mouth and more is not better.  Sea surface temperatures, as reported from weather buoy on Jeffrey’s, are running around the mid 60s. Decent numbers of Atlantic bluefin tuna can be found settled in on most all inshore and offshore humps. Live bait fished on the ball has provided the most hook-ups. As of June 12th 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 nmfspermits.com.

A few blue sharks and small makos have been reported. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length. Note that all vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish, and billfish must have an Atlantic HMS Angling Permit from the NMFS. There is a change in the halibut regulation for 2010. The minimum size is now 41 inches and all retained fish must immediately be tagged with a landings tag. Recreational tags can be obtained by Ann Tarr at 624-6550.

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

Statewide STRIPED BASS regulations: An angler may fish all year for striped bass, but may only keep one per day that measures between 20 and 26 inches total length or one striped bass 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 please call 633-9505 or check the web at: www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html

ZONE 1:  Striped bass fishing is transitioning into the summertime mode. Best fishing generally is early morning/evening off the beaches (OOB-Goosefare Brook, Higgins, Biddeford Pool).  Beach fishermen should check local ordinances as some beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bait (live or chunk macs, clams, eels, herring) is the way to go.  River fishing (Saco, Scarborough, etc.) continues to be decent for anglers trolling bubblegum, red or black surgical tubes coupled with a sandworm.  For those who want to toss a fly try chartreuse, blue/white or olive/white Clousers and Deceivers. Ferry Beach and the mouth of the Mousam, when fished on the last two hours of an outgoing tide have produced for the fly guys.  Anglers fishing artificials have had success casting white rubber fish (Sassy Shad, Slug-Gos, etc.) on busting fish as well as working Yo- Zuri Crystal minnows and the 9 inch Hurley rattail. Mackerel, tinkers to horse, can still be found.  For better catches try using Sabiki rigs with the gold hooks. There are reports of a few bluefish here and there.

ZONE 2:  Stripers are out there and can be taken in the rivers and out around the islands and ledges. Generally the best catching has been at night or early morning. Sandworms and live mackerel are some of the baits that have been effective. Spin fishermen working the mackerel or herring Gag’s Mambo Minnows (black at night) and Jumping Minnows (for top water action) have been hooking up the bass. Anglers using fly gear report success with 2/0 Grocery flies in patterns that match the natural bait. Mackerel catches throughout the Bay are good. Back Cove, the Maine State Pier and the entire Cape Shore are just a couple of examples where anglers have been catching the macs.

ZONE 3: Statewide striped bass regulations now apply to the Kennebec watershed. There’s no lack of bait or stripers in the estuaries, rivers and along the beaches. Find the bigger bait and you will find the bigger bass. Expect typical summertime patterns in this zone. Flats fishing in the rivers has been good on the incoming tide on cloudy or foggy days. Remember that if you are fishing on the Kennebec, upstream of the power line in Augusta, you must have a current freshwater fishing license. A sampling of the artificials that have been doing the trick include white Bucktail jigs (fished near bottom on the ledges and humps of the rivers) and the curly shad or eel Bass Assassins. Eels, clams and worms are the baits of choice. Mackerel can be found off the mouth of the Kennebec, Southport and around many of the islands

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.