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.

 

OFFSHORE

There are still plenty of Atlantic bluefin tuna, with many of them not far offshore. These fish inside are feeding on spiked mackerel and small herring, so use long, light leaders with small swivels and hooks. Twelve tuna were entered in last week’s Sturdivant Island Tuna Tournament. First place (684 pounds) and second place (482 pounds) went to the Pacifier fishing team, while the Hooker crew took third place (4371/2 pounds). The NMFS has closed the northern area angling category fishery for large medium and trophy bluefin for the remainder of 2010. To get the 2010 bluefin size and bag limits and seasons, go to https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/News.asp#news247. The backside of Tanta’s, Trinidad and Jeffrey’s are a few spots where sharking has been hot. Numerous blue sharks along with a few threshers and makos have been reported. If possible, rig a bluefish fillet (makos love them) with a squid skirt. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tuna, shark and swordfish must have an Atlantic HMS permit. Contact the NMFS at 978-281-9260 or visit their website at http://nmfspermits.com. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 41/2 feet in length; basking and great white sharks are federally protected species. Sea surface temperatures at the Jeffrey’s and Portland weather buoys are in the high and low 60s, respectively. Pollock, cod and haddock fishing has been better than expected for this time of year.

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: We are in the dog days of August. The islands, beaches (Hills, Old Orchard, Scarborough, Biddeford Pool) and lower rivers (Saco, Piscataqua, Mousam) are still holding striped bass, but the key is to fish during early morning/night hours. Generally these fish are going to lie low during these hot, sunny days. Anglers fishing the lower rivers have had the best luck using pink or red surgical tubes, small poppers or bucktail jigs. For those after the big ones, clams and mackerel are the baits getting it done. If you prefer to toss top-water artificials, try the Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, Mambo Minnows or Creek Chubs, and the Rebel Wind Cheater and the Rapalla Husky Jerk have been working for those trolling diving plugs. Fly-fishing has been best during the predawn tide. Bunker and mackerel pattern Deceivers and Clousers have been popular patterns. Bluefish in the 6-10-pound range are around, but where they’ll be is hard to predict. Throw bright-colored poppers into the middle of a busting school. Bird action is one way to locate these fish. Mackerel are scarce because of the blues. Anglers have had limited success around Bluff, Three Tree and Stratton when they have used chum. Friday through Sunday are the dates for the 12th annual MDA & Agency 1 Sport Fishing Tournament based out of the Spring Point Marina in South Portland.

 

ZONE 2: With the continuation of this hot weather, striper activity out around the ledges, the Cape shore and islands is better than inside. There are stripers around but they have been finicky. Anglers should fish early or late for the best results. Crank fishermen working the Storm Chug Bug, Yo-Zuri Jumping Minnows and Creek Chubs as well as 6-9-inch Slug-Gos have been catching stripers. Try fishing black Mambo minnows at night for some serious action. Fly enthusiasts tossing 1/0 and 2/0 olive/white, blue/white Deceivers off the ledges report modest results. Bait fishermen have been doing well with live macs and sandworms. Mackerel catches have been good in Hussey Sound and Whitehead Pass.

 

ZONE 3: Stripers are around, and fishermen are reporting the best catches up inside and off the beaches around the Kennebec. Anglers should look for and fish areas of moving water. Bloodworms bounced along the bottom in Sag Bay or off the beaches will get fish, as will eels, clams and live or chunk macs. Those fishing the rivers should fish deep and during the early morning or just at sunset. If you choose to work artificials, try Creek Chub poppers, flecked Slug-Gos or 4-inch White Grubs. Fly fishermen report Clousers and Deceivers with dark backs and white bottoms as getting the job done. Bluefish are roaming about the mouth of the Kennebec. Mackerel can be had up inside and close to shore (east side of Newagen). Boat fishermen have been doing well using chum to hold the fish once they get on them. Saturday and Sunday are the dates for the sixth annual Boothbay Region Fish and Game Association Saltwater Tournament, out of the Boothbay Lobster Wharf in Boothbay Harbor.

 

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 him at 633-9505 or e-mail: [email protected]