OFFSHORE

Atlantic bluefin tuna of mixed sizes can be found on most inside ledges and humps from just outside the mouth of Perkins Cove all the way east to beyond Monhegan. Herring and mackerel, live is best, continue to get the fish. The NMFS has closed the northern area angling category fishery for large medium and giant (trophy) bluefin for the remainder of 2010. Fishing for, retaining, possessing or landing large medium and giant bluefin (measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater) north of Great Egg Inlet, N.J., is prohibited. To get the 2010 bluefin size and bag limits and seasons go to: https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/News.asp#news247. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tuna, shark and swordfish must have an Atlantic HMS angling permit. For more information contact the NMFS at 978-281-9260 or visit their website at http://nmfspermits.com.

Shark fishermen have a shot at makos, blues, porbeagles and threshers. Most recently, the Shark Grounds, Trinidad, the backside of Tanta’s and the Boomerang have been the hot spots. Anglers report numerous hook-ups, though mostly of blues. Keep in mind that the minimum size for these sharks is 41/2 feet in length, and basking and white sharks are federally protected species. Sea-surface temperatures are running in the upper 60s. Groundfish catches overall remain steady with pollock, haddock and cod being the mainstays. Try using 16-ounce jigs with a teaser fly just above.

 

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: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html.

 

ZONE 1: Time of day is very important if you want to catch stripers. Anglers, especially those fishing artificials and flies, need to be out early morning (4 a.m.) or after dusk. Limited numbers of bass can still be found in the lower portions and mouths of the rivers (Scarborough, Spurwink, Piscataqua, etc.). Anglers targeting these fish should try trolling Tube’N Worm rigs or surgical tubes coupled with a sandworm. Fishing has been hot for those working the beaches and outside ledges (Bathhouse end of Biddeford Pool, Richmond, Higgins and the Graveyard, for example) using bait. Clams, eels and mackerel work best. Slug-Gos (black/silver flake, chartreuse/blue flake), Lonely Anglers and Point Jude metal lures all have been catching their share for the crank fisherman. Fly enthusiasts have been hooking up tossing mackerel, bunker or pogy pattern Tube flies as well as black, olive and blue/white Clousers and Deceivers.

Tinkers and larger mackerel, though spotty, have been caught outside the Saco, around Wood Island, off Richmond Island and Pine Point. Use chum (cat food) to stay on the school. Bluefish have been reported around the Saco and Prouts Neck. Large brightly colored poppers work well.

 

ZONE 2: The 72nd annual Bailey Island Fishing Tournament, based out of Cook’s Lobster House, is under way and runs through Saturday. Striper fishing continues to be decent along the Cape shore, Falmouth, Mackworth and the backside of Long and Cliff Islands. You can still pick up some fish in the rivers, but for the best results fish these areas early morning or evening. For those using artificials, try black Slug-Gos, pink/blue Mambo Minnows, white/green, olive Yo-Zuri Pin’s Magnets or the red/white Gagg’s Schoolie Poppers. Anglers casting Hollow Flyes and blue/white and pink/white Clouser and Deceivers have been into the fish.

Mackerel (live or chunked) and eels are the baits of choice. Again, with all this hot sunny weather, anglers need to be out very early or late. Mackerel catches have been hot and cold. The water temperature at the Maine State Pier is about 60 degrees.

 

ZONE 3: Striped bass and mackerel are available to both shore and boat anglers. Striper fishermen live-lining mackerel, bloodworms or eels in the cuts and drops are getting fish, while clams along the beaches has been producing. Bucktails, Fin-S, Sassy Shad and Pencil Poppers are some of the artificials that have been catching stripers. Fly fishermen working Hollow Flyes and groceries in the fast water and shrimp, crab or sand eel on the flats have been seeing activity. Again, fishermen need to be out very early. Once the sun is over the trees, fish activity almost stops. For anglers fishing the flats, work areas on the coming tide after the clammers and wormers have left.

Though just about anything will catch mackerel, anglers report that hand-tied mackerel rigs or Sabiki rigs coupled with a 4-5-ounce Hopkins or Crocodile Spoon are really producing results. No reports of any bluefish.

 

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.

 

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]