If you are a recreational saltwater angler, Maine law may require you to register with the Maine Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry. To learn more or to register visit www.maine.gov/saltwater or call 633-9505.

OFFSHORE

Anglers targeting groundfish can expect catches of primarily pollock, haddock and cod along with a few cusk, redfish and hake mixed in. Sixteen ounce jigs with a teaser fly just above the jig work well for cod and pollock while bait (shrimp, clams) works best for haddock. New for 2014, the minimum size for cod is 21 inches, 9 fish per person daily bag limit. Also new for 2014, 3 fish per day per angler daily bag limit and a minimum size of 21 inches for haddock. The minimum size for halibut in federal waters is 41 inches and the taking of halibut in Maine territorial waters (inside 3 miles) is closed from July 1 to April 30. There are plenty of blue sharks and lesser numbers of threshers and porbeagles available for the offshore fisherman. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length while basking and white sharks are federally protected species. The Atlantic bluefin tuna bite has been good outside and should be moving inside anytime now. Six tuna were entered in last week’s 76th Annual Bailey Island Tuna and Small Fish Tournament. Congratulations to Joe Geaumont and the crew of the “Off-the Hook” with their first-place fish weighing in at 813.3 pounds. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish must have an Atlantic HMS Angling Permit. For more information about permits and the regs contact the NOAA Fisheries at (888) 872-8862 or visit their website at http://hmspermits.noaa.gov. Sea-surface temperatures, as reported from Jeffrey’s Ledge, are in the low to mid 60’s while closer to shore at the Portland weather buoy, the temps are running about 60 degrees.

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 2014 saltwater regulations please call 633-9505 or check the web at: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html

Remember: If you are fishing for striped bass or bluefish using bait, you must use a non-offset circle hook. There is an exception: Rubber or latex tube lures may be used without a circle hook as long as they are a minimum of 8 inches long and have a single hook protruding from the end portion of the tubing where bait may be attached.

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 during low light hours. Anglers fishing the rivers on an outgoing tide with bait (worms, clams, herring) or surgical tubes coupled with a worm have been doing well. The beaches and ledges continue to be productive. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances prior to fishing as some area beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Those working artificials have had luck with any of the rubber baits (Slug-go, Fin-S, etc.) as well as top water lures. Fly guys tossing flies that mimic the natural bait (sand eel, crab patterns) are catching fish. Mackerel catching has been spotty but the typical haunts around the mouth of Saco Bay (Wood, Stratton, Bluff Islands) have been seeing fish. There are plenty of harbor pollock about. Still no recent reports of bluefish.

ZONE 2: Striper fishing has been good out around the islands, the Cape shoreline and the ledges as well as off the mouths of the Presumpscot, Harraseeket and Royal. For best results, fish areas of moving water. Fly guys throwing big Groceries are not complaining. Baits that are getting it done include sandworms, clams and mackerel. Spin fishermen using 5–7 inch lures like the Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow, Hydro-Popper, Gag’s Mambo Minnow and the Rapala X-Raps have been doing well. Some anglers targeting macs have had to work. If you are not having luck with conventional Christmas tree rigs try hand-tied mackerel rigs coupled with a 4-5 ounce Hopkins or Crocodile Spoon.

ZONE 3: Stripers (reports of fish east of Boothbay all the way to the Penobscot for the first time in several years) and mackerel are what anglers can expect to catch. Bait (bloodworms, macs and eels) reins king for those targeting bass. Striper guys should fish early and deep. See Zones 1 and 2 for artificials and flies. Mackerel can be caught in all their traditional spots.

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 email

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