Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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 visitwww.maine.gov/saltwater
or call 207-633-9505.
Cod, pollock and haddock catches have been decent on Jeffrey's and Tantas. Lesser numbers of hake, cusk and redfish can generally round out the day's catch. Anglers targeting groundfish have had the best luck using 14- or 16-ounce cod jigs coupled with a teaser fly. An angler specifically after haddock should fish bait (clams, shrimp) and make sure your rig is right near the gravel or sand bottom. Also, be careful not to overload your hook with bait since haddock have a relatively small mouth and more is not better. Sea surface temperatures, as reported from the weather buoy on Jeffrey's, are running in the low 60s. The tuna bite has trailed off inside, however, anglers are still hooking up outside. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tuna, shark, 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 www. nmfspermits.com. A few blue sharks and porbeagles have been reported on the Kettle, Sagadahoc and Tantas. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length.
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 2012 saltwater regulations, please call 633-9505 or check online at www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html.
ZONE 1: Striped bass fishing is transitioning into the summertime mode. Best fishing generally is early morning and evening off the beaches (OOB-Goosefare Brook, Higgins, Biddeford Pool, Graveyard) with an incoming tide. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances as some beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bait (live macs or clams) is the way to go. River fishing (Saco, 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 Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, Kastmasters and the 7-inch black Bomber (night).
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 Gag's Mambo Minnow (black at night) and the Rebel Jumpin' Minnow (for topwater 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 good. Back Cove, the Maine State Pier and the entire Cape shore are just a couple of examples where anglers have been catching the macs.
ZONE 3: Stripers in this zone have been reported as far as the Weskeg. 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 the 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. Meanwhile, mackerel can be found off the mouth of the Kennebec, Southport and around many of the islands.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org