Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By BRUCE JOULE Maine Department of Marine Resources
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.
For anglers going sharking; blue sharks, threshers and the occasional mako can be caught. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length while basking and great white sharks are federally protected species. Medium and giant bluefin tuna are still here along with a few footballs. Angling permit holders may take one tuna 27 inches or greater up to 73 inches per day. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tuna, shark and swordfish 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. Groundfishing remains very good. Anglers fishing the northern end of Jeffreys and the fingers report good catches of pollock followed by cod and haddock. Sea surface temperatures at both the Portland weather buoy and Jeffreys Ledge are around the 60-degree mark.
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 in length or one striped bass per day that measures 40 inches or greater in length. If you have any questions or would like copies of the 2012 saltwater regulations please call 633-9505 or check the web at: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html
ZONE 1: The beaches and the mouths of the rivers are the places to be with stripers breaking in locations from Cape Elizabeth to York. During this time of year, the time of day that you are fishing plays less of a role in catching fish. Also, the daytime restrictions on beach fishing have been lifted so get out and catch fish when you can. Striper fishing will continue to improve over the next few weeks before these fish head home. Higgins, Scarborough and Old Orchard beach are producing decent size stripers. Bait (mackerel, clams and sandworms) has worked best but anglers are landing fish using the 6-inch Lunker City Arkansas Shiner Slug-Go, R. M. Smith wooden lures and Gag's Grabber 3 1/2" inch poppers. Limited numbers of bluefish, mostly snappers with a few larger, are around. If targeting the larger ones try the 3-ounce orange Ranger lure. Mackerel will be here for a bit longer. When you come upon them use chum and fish Sabiki rigs.
ZONE 2: Stripers will be around a little while longer. Fish have been taken along the Cape shore to the Eastern Prom and the areas from Back Cove to Mackworth to Falmouth to the Harraseeket. Watch for bird action to locate the bait and the stripers. Sandworms and mackerel continue to produce the most fish. Artificials that have also been catching fish include Krocodile Spoons, Rapala X-Raps, Gag's Schoolie Poppers and the Yo-Zuri Mag Minnows. There are a few bluefish swimming about, mostly mixed in with the stripers.
ZONE 3: The stripers are dropping out of the rivers, from east to west and heading south after their summer visit. Fishing in the lower parts of the rivers and beaches has been OK, but remember as these fish stage up -- where they are today, they may not be there tomorrow. Anglers need to read the water and look for the bait. See zones 1 and 2 for baits, artificials, flies and fishing tips. Mackerel can be found in many of their typical locations all the way to Searsport.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.