Saturday, December 7, 2013
It's June and we already have tuna that have settled in, probably due to the abundance of bait. Even though not a lot of guys have been out yet, tuna have been taken (first one on June 1) on the ball and by trolling. Another positive, there have not been many reports of undersized fish. 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 regulations, contact the NMFS at 978-281-9260 or visit their website at http://nmfspermits.com. Readings from the Portland weather buoy, located 12 miles southeast of Portland, show sea surface temperatures hovering around 60 degrees. Cod, haddock and pollock dominate the groundfish catches and have been very good on Jeffrey's and decent on Tantas. There are some porbeagles around so for those of you groundfishing, have a pitch bait ready before getting to your spot. Many times, because of your boat's presence, a porbeagle will show and you must be able to get that pitch bait into the water immediately or the porbeagle will lose interest and be gone.
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.
ZONE 1: Most all the rivers (Saco, Spurwink, Scarborough) are holding a varied mix of stripers. The beaches (Parsons, Higgins, Biddeford Pool) are starting to produce and will just get better with this stretch of hot weather. Pine Point, fished from dead low on, has been especially good. Bait fishermen using herring, mackerel (live best or chunks) or clams for the big ones and sandworms for the slots and schoolies are catching fish. Surgical tube rigs and the Tube'N Worm are sure fish-getters in the rivers. Troll these rigs slowly with the current for best results. Also, if you are fishing with multiple hook rigs, you can have no more than five hooks. Artificials that have proven successful include the 5- and 7-inch Crystal Minnows, Kastmasters as well as Slug-Gos. Anglers using artificial lures for stripers and blues can not have more than two hooks on a lure. For the fly guys, 1/0 and 2/0 Clousers and Deceivers, as well as silverside and sand eel patterns are working well (Goosefare Brook). There are plenty of mackerel to be had in all their usual haunts.
ZONE 2: Bait is everywhere and so are the stripers. All the rivers and most of the inside islands have plenty of various sized, robust fish. Anglers fishing Martin's Point, Mackworth, the Cape shore, the Presumpscot, Harraseeket and Royal have not been disappointed. Fly fishermen tossing 1/0 gray or olive-colored Deceivers have been rewarded for their efforts. Crank fishermen using Mackerel Mambo Minnows, rubber baits and Bucktail jigs are catching fish, while bait guys have been happy dunking sandworms and mackerel. Mackerel are available to both the shore and boat fishermen. Shore anglers have caught their fill at the Maine State Pier, Spring Point and along the Portland Head Light area, while boat guys trolling throughout the harbor in areas of current have been getting into the fish.
ZONE 3: Many of the rivers (Androscoggin, Kennebec, etc.) are holding stripers and bait. Fair catches of stripers and shad have been reported in the Kennebec. Special striper regulations remain in effect until July 1 in the Kennebec watershed (http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/regulations.htm).
Large herring pattern flies in fast moving water and small shrimp patterns in the shallows are working for anglers on the fly gear, while poppers and the small soft baits are the spinner's choice. Note that if you are fishing on the Kennebec, upstream of the power line in Augusta, you must have a freshwater fishing license. Mackerel have moved inshore throughout much of this zone.
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@example.com