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 207-633-9505.

OFFSHORE

The National Marine Fisheries Service has not yet set the 2017 groundfish regulations so anglers are still fishing under the 2016 regulations. This means, as of today, anglers can keep 15 haddock a day that are over 17 inches but may not retain any cod. Regulations will change, just not sure when. Pollock and haddock catches have been decent on Jeffrey’s and Tantas. Lesser numbers of hake, cusk and redfish along with the occasional halibut generally round out the day’s catch. Anglers specifically after haddock should fish bait (clams) and make sure your rig is right near the gravel or sand bottom. Also, be careful not to overload your hook with bait because haddock have a relatively small mouth and more is not better. Sea surface temperatures, as reported from weather buoy on Jeffrey’s, are running in the mid to upper 50s. Closer in, at the Portland LNB, the temps are ranging in the low to mid 50s. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish 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. A few porbeagles have been reported on Jeffrey’s and Tantas. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length.

COASTAL

Federal striped bass regulations: It is unlawful to fish for, take or possess striped bass in federal waters (waters that are greater than three 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 over 28 inches total length. If you have any questions or would like copies of the 2017 saltwater regulations please call 633-9505 or check the web at: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational-fishing/index.html

ZONE 1: Striped bass fishing is transitioning into the summertime mode. Best fishing generally is early morning/evening off the beaches (OOB-Goosefare Brook, Higgins, Biddeford Pool, Ferry) with an incoming tide. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances because some beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bait (worms or clams) is the way to go. River fishing (Saco, Mousam, Scarborough, etc.) continues to be decent. For those who want to toss a fly, try sand eel or silverside patterns as well as the Sandy Striper Seducer. Ferry Beach and the mouth of the Mousam, when fished on the last two hours of an outgoing tide, have produced for the fly guys. Anglers fishing artificials have had success casting white rubber fish (Sassy Shad, Slug-Gos, etc.) on busting fish as well as working Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, Kastmasters and the 7 inch black Bomber (night). Mackerel, tinkers to horse, are spotty. For better catches, try Sabiki rigs with the gold hooks.

ZONE 2: Stripers are out there and can be taken in the rivers, and out around the islands and ledges. Generally the best catching has been at night or early morning. Sandworms and live mackerel are some of the baits that have been effective. Spin fishermen working the mackerel or herring with Gag’s Mambo Minnow (black at night) and the Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow (for top water action) have been hooking up the bass. Anglers using fly gear report success with 2/0 Grocery flies in patterns that match the natural bait. Mackerel catches throughout the Bay are hit or miss. There are plenty of pogies.

ZONE 3: Saturday (July 1) anglers may use bait and keep striped bass (that are legal) in the Kennebec watershed. Stripers in this zone are moving farther east each day. Find the bigger bait and you will find the bigger bass. Expect typical summertime patterns in this zone. Flats fishing has been good in the rivers on the incoming tide, especially on cloudy or foggy days. Remember that if you are fishing on the Kennebec upstream of the power line in Augusta, you must have a current freshwater fishing license. A sampling of the artificials that have been doing the trick include white Bucktail jigs (fished near bottom on the ledges and humps of the rivers) and the curly shad or eel Bass Assassins. Eels, clams and worms are the baits of choice. I would be interested in getting any fishing updates from anglers fishing east of Boothbay.

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

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