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

Congratulations to Keith Jordan and the crew of the “Bailey and Bella” for their first-place 857-pound bluefin tuna. Also, kudos to James Martin and the crew of “Beeracuda” for their first-place 380-pound thresher shark, both caught during last week’s Casco Bay Classic Tourney. Bluefin tuna and shark (makos, blues, threshers) fishing remains very good. 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. If you are not sure of what species you have hooked, then “If you don’t know, let it go.” 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 hmspermits.noaa.gov. Groundfishermen continue to report decent catches of haddock, pollock, hake, cusk and cod (cod must be released) using either bait or jigs with a teaser fly. Changes have been made in the cod and haddock regulations for 2015. Anglers cannot retain any Atlantic cod and the minimum size for haddock has been reduced to 17 inches with a three fish per angler per day bag limit. Please note that after Sept. 1 it is again illegal to keep haddock. The minimum size for halibut in federal waters is 41 inches and the taking of halibut in Maine waters (inside three miles) is closed from July 1 to April 30.

Sea-surface temperatures, as reported from Jeffrey’s Ledge, have quickly risen to the 70-degree mark.

COASTAL

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

New statewide striped bass regulations: An angler may fish all year for striped bass but may only keep one per day that measures over 28 inches in length. If you have any questions or would like copies of the saltwater regulations, call 633-9505 or check the web at maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html.

Also, if you are fishing for striped bass or bluefish using bait, you must use a nonoffset 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 eight inches long and have a single hook protruding from the end portion of the tubing where bait may be attached.

ZONE 1: Stripers, schoolies to trophies, are there for the taking. The key is to be flexible and to remember that what is a hot spot today may not produce any fish tomorrow. Pine Point, the Bathhouse end of Biddeford Pool, Goosefare Brook (coming tide) and Old Orchard have been giving up fish. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances before fishing as some area beaches may restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. until Labor Day. Chunked macs, worms and clams are the baits to use. Anglers can also find action in the lower portion of the rivers and the estuaries especially when using surgical tubes tipped with a sandworm. If you are casting (from shore or boat) use Al Gag’s Whip-it Eels, Storm Wildeye Swim Shad or the Bill Hurly’s 71/2-inch Cape Cod Sand Eels. Fly fishermen report better catches of late (fish the coming tide) using mackerel pattern, red/white and red/yellow Clousers and the pure black Deceiver (night). Mackerel are readily available in their usual spots.

ZONE 2: Anglers can still find stripers around the ledges, flats, islands and the lower portions of the rivers. Fishing has been decent for those willing to put in the time and effort. The mouths of the rivers (Presumpscot, Royal, Harraseeket, New Meadows, etc.) are best fished on a dropping tide while fishing along the ledges is often more productive during a coming tide. Clams and sea worms are the baits that have been producing fish. For the crank fisherman, artificials that are working include the Daiwa SP and DS Minnows, Yo-Zuri Pin’s Magnet, Hydro Pencil, Hydro Popper and the Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow. Blue or olive 1/0 and 2/0 Deceivers (day) and red or black Deceivers (night) have been doing the trick for those tossing a fly. Water temperatures at the Maine State Pier are in the low 60s.

ZONE 3: Striped bass fishing remains status quo throughout most of this zone. Fish can be found in most of their customary spots, but like everything else, you’ve got to make the time investment to reap the reward. With this recent stretch of hot weather, anglers should fish deep where the water is cooler. See Zones 1 and 2 for baits, artificials, flies and fishing tips. Boat anglers who are willing to move around until they find the fish have reported the best catch of macs. Shore anglers have found fishing hit or miss as these fish meander about. Chum (cat food) generally helps to hold the fish once you find them. With the Eastport Breakwater out of commission, the mackerel crowd “downeast” is finding it hard to find a place to fish. Remember that if you are fishing on the Kennebec, upstream of the power line in Augusta, you must have a current freshwater fishing license.

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 email:

[email protected]