Tuesday, December 10, 2013
FEDERAL: It is unlawful to fish for, take or possess striped bass in federal waters, greater than three miles from shore.
STATEWIDE: 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 fish per day that measures 40 inches or greater in total length. If you have questions or would like copies of the saltwater regulations, call 633-9505 or check the website at: http://www.maine.gov/ dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html.
NEW FOR 2013: If you are fishing for striped bass or bluefish using bait, you must use a non-offset 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 8 inches long and have a single hook protruding from the end portion of the tubing where bait may be attached.
Porbeagles and blue sharks have been sighted and hooked up, including a 450-pound porbeagle landed on the backside of Tanta's. 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. Atlantic bluefin tuna are spread out all over. Live bait on the ball as well as trolling squid rigs are getting fish. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tuna, sharks, swordfish and billfish must have an Atlantic HMS Angling Permit. For more information about permits and the regs, call the NOAA Fisheries at (888) 872-8862 or visit the website at http://hmspermits.noaa.gov. Groundfishing continues to be good. Platt's, Jeffrey's and Tanta's continue to produce lots of pollock along with cod and haddock in decent numbers. The minimum size for halibut is 41 inches and all retained fish must immediately be tagged with a landings tag. Recreational tags can be obtained by calling 624-6550. More squid are showing both inshore and offshore. Hint: Have two buckets, throw the squid in the first water-filled bucket and kick it. This will cause the squid to discharge its ink. You can then toss the squid into the next bucket with clean water. Offshore sea surface temperatures are running plus or minus 70 degrees.
• If you are a recreational saltwater angler, Maine law may require you to register with the Maine Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry. Visit www.maine.gov/saltwater or call 633-9505.
ZONE 1: Anglers targeting stripers should concentrate their efforts out on the beaches and rock piles. There are still bass in the lower portions of the rivers but with the warmer temps, many fish have moved out. Biddeford Pool (bathhouse end and rocks), Old Orchard, Higgins and Richmond Island continue to hold fish. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances prior to fishing as some area beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Clams, macs (live, chunk or butterflied) and herring are all catching fish, particularly after sunset and before sunrise. Bill Hurley 9-inch Rattails, Gag's Grabber Poppers and black Slug-Go's at night are a few of the artificials that are producing. For those who choose to fish the rivers, troll surgical tubes (bubblegum) coupled with a sandworm. Fishermen who want to wet a fly should throw the Sandy Striper Seducer or larger mackerel/ pogie patterns. As far as the tide goes, depending on your location, mid- to high followed by a few hours of the going tide are the best times. To find the fish, look for bird activity. Mackerel are scattered but anglers fishing around Pine Point, Wood, Stratton and 3 Tree Ledge are getting into the fish. Use chum to get on the fish. A few flounder have been picked up and still only rumors about bluefish.
ZONE 2: The 75th annual Bailey Island Tuna and Small Fish Tournament, based out of Cook's Lobster House -- Bailey Island, starts Monday and runs through Saturday. The ledges, islands and the outer Cape shoreline are the places to go if you want to catch stripers. There are still a few fish in the lower portions of the rivers, but generally as water temperatures warm, the fishing cools. Fish these areas after dark or during the predawn hours. Baits that are working include clams, sandworms and mackerel. Gag's Mambo Minnows and Schoolie Poppers, Rapala X-Raps and Yo-Zuri Mag Poppers are some of the artificials that have been fish getters. Anglers tossing flies have been getting into stripers using 1/0 and 2/0 white or black Clousers and the Hollow Fleye. If fishing at night try using black flies as they silhouette well against the night. Macs can be found by the boat fishermen.
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