OFFSHORE

The Gulch, Trinidad, the backside of Tanta’s and the Shark Grounds are a few spots where anglers targeting sharks have a shot at hooking up makos, threshers and many blues. Congratulations to the crew of the Doghouse, who landed a 7-foot mako last week. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 41/2 feet long; basking and great white sharks are federally protected. There are still fair numbers of tuna busting about from Scantum Basin to east of Monhegan. Swimming baits continue to get fish, although anglers trolling dark rigs on overcast days, bright-colored ones on sunny days, have been hooking up. The NMFS has closed the northern area angling category fishery for large-medium and giant (trophy) BFT 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. Groundfishing is decent to very good depending on your location. Both bait (clam or shrimp) and jigs with a teaser are working equally well. Sea surface temperatures on Jeffrey’s and Cashes are running in the mid-60s. 

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 long or one per day that measures 40 inches or greater. 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: Even though beach fishing (York, Ferry, Goosefare Brook, Higgins, Old Orchard and the bathhouse end of Biddeford Pool) has been outstanding, don’t ignore the lower rivers and estuaries. Generally the best fishing has been around the early morning/evening tides. Pink or purple tubes coupled with a sandworm continue to catch fish in the rivers while chunking mackerel, herring, eels or clams from the beaches has done the trick. To find where the stripers are, anglers should look for bait breaking the surface and birds working the water. Spinners should try the Calcutta baits, rubber Shad, the 6-7-inch mackerel-colored or black/silver Bombers and the silver, green or blue Deadly Dick. Fly fishermen casting peanut bunker or herring-pattern Surf Candy or chartreuse/red and chartreuse/green Deceivers have been catching bass. Bluefish (6-12 pounds) have been reported out around Saco Bay, Richmond Island, Pine Point and off the beaches. Try working deep-diving lures or bright-colored poppers. Mackerel can be had but be prepared to work for them. Saco Bay has some spikes and tinkers out around the islands. Tackle-Buster of the week — Amy Robinson with a 421/2-inch striper. 

ZONE 2: There are plenty of striped bass of all sizes to be had. Fish can be found in the lower portions of the rivers (New Meadows, Royal Harraseeket, Presumpscot, etc.), the flats off Mackworth, Back Cove and along the Cape shore. Mackerel, clams and sandworms are the preferred baits. Anglers who want to fish artificials should try 4-to 6-inch Sluggos, 31/2-inch Gag’s Schoolie poppers, Yo-Zuri Mag Minnows, Rapala X-Raps and Bucktail jigs. If the action is slow, try using a teaser ahead of your lure. Remember that the speed of your retrieve can make all the difference between catching no fish and a lot of fish. Fly guys who have been tossing black Deceivers and black Snake Flies during the early-morning tide report fair catches. Two Lights, Portland Head Light and up throughout the Bay are where bluefish can be found. Schoolie Poppers and Jumping Minnows work well for top-water action. 

ZONE 3: Expect the striper fishing to really turn as these fish put on the feed bag prior to their southern migration. Anglers fishing deep on structure or on the flats in the rivers have done well. Find the bait and you will find the fish. See Zones 1 and 2 for baits, artificials, flies and fishing tips. Mackerel and blues are still hanging in there. Casting plugs like the Bombers, Rapalas and the Mambos have been working well for blues, but make sure you have your wire leaders. 

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. 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]