July 20 2016 Lots of good news to report on the local saltwater scene. Inshore for starters! Striped bass are abundant and cooperative in the usual summertime locations. There is an abundance of smaller schoolie bass up to the 20" range. Fish have caught consistently as far upriver on the Saco as Marston's Marina......unusual considering river temps. are in the mid to high 70's. These are aggressive stripers and they can be seen busting tiny herring on the surface in the early morning and evening. Anchor up or shut your motor down and quietly drift to target these river bass. Smaller Rapalas or Yo-Zuri Pinfish have produced recently. The inner harbor in Scarborough has also been hot on recent incoming tides for similar school-sized bass.
Mackerel are plentiful throughout Saco Bay. Ocean Tackle sabiki rigs have been producing consistently. If you find mackerel are hard to find or appear finicky, trying downsizing your flies. Simply cut some of the flash off the flies. Late season mackerel sometimes turn wise to our rigs.
Cod fishing returns in two weeks with a one fish per person limit. Groudfishermen have been excited about the numbers they have releasing. One N.H. fisherman I spoke with today said his boat released over 100 twenty-five + inch fish this morning. Sea Wolf Jigs and a codfly teaser (blue) were the most productive for their three man crew. They also boated almost a hundred pollock, up to 25 lbs.
Weather systems are finally calming the winds and warm forecasts translate into a nice looking fishing period for the coming week.
Capt. Marco Lamothe for Keeper Charters with the Saco Bay Tackle fishing report for July 20, 2016
July 8th 201607/08/2016 fishing report
Inshore: This has been one of the Best years for Stripers that I can remember. They seem to be Everywhere in all slot sizes.. Surf fishing has been unreal.
Chunk Mackerel, Worms and clams casted out and letting it set has been reliable for patient fisherman. Plugs and deadly Dicks working in the early AM.
Keep trying to catch Mackerel as well. They seem to be smaller in sizes but perfect size for Striper fishing. Frozen chum works with a chum net. Hang it out there and jig 15-20 feet below your boat for some success.
Offshore we have been catching Lots of groundfish on Platts Ledge and Jefferies but the last week we have been doing just as well on any of the 200 foot humps just offshore inside of 12 miles. Many Pollock on jigs and market sized haddock on cut clams. Just like the Ol' days where the fish use to be. I am very pleased with the comeback of the fishery. Tuna has been slow last week and do not seem to be where they are traditionally. Bait seems to be hard to find, However, find your bait... and that would be a good place to sit for a while or troll around the ledges. I will say that our most recent tuna trips we have had multiple hookups with very large porbeagle sharks. Plenty of the toothy critters out there. So a shark trip after a week of this hot sun would not be a bad idea. Hope this info helps you out.
Captain Pete Morse
July 6th 2016
Inshore fishing has proved steady over the past week, with an increase in numbers of striped bass and a decrease in average size. There are loads of smaller schoolies in the 15-20" range aggressively feeding both inside and outside the Saco River. Most fish are located within site of the Camp Ellis Pier, inside Wood Island and Monument Island, and out along Ferry Beach, Bayview Beach, and over to Kinney Shores. Small (Yo-Zuri Pinfish!) minnow imitations, Deadly Dicks, and other thin and flashy sand eel imitations all have produced this week. One fisherman shared he has simply been fishing sea worms on the bottom and catching two to three dozen daily on sandy bottomed areas adjacent to the Saco River Narrows. Sometimes the simplest plan works best.
Offshore report is as positive as I have written in a number of years. Cod are truly on the rebound. Remember that no fish can be retained until August 1st, and starting on the first the number is one per person that can be kept. I am a passionate catch and release advocate, BUT.....cod is my favorite fish to eat. I am hopeful for a quick rebound on these tasty deep water denizens.
I have been pleased to see the results of recent rules changes. The last two seasons we were averaging perhaps five to ten keeper cod per trip. This past week my boat, with three anglers, released approximately 150 legal sized cod! We fished cod jigs (Sea Wolfe brand) in the 12 to 16 oz. size with a blue cod fly teaser. Many were doubles and the largest fish was just over thirty inches.
Pollock were plentiful, and we were surprised to find very few dogfish and zero cusk? Not sure what is going on with cusk numbers. We caught over fifty healthy slammer sized pollock with one that measured 38" and a number that were nearly the same size.
Finally, we boated a number of smaller legal sized haddock. After switching from a jig/teaser combo, I found my shrimp were being ignored. A quick switch to Gulp! Shrimp proved the ticket. Numerous doubles showed a strong interest in this artificial/natural offering. The Gulp! were a leftover from a Bahamas trip in April.
Weather looks to be excellent for the start of next week. Get out and fish!
Capt. Marco Lamothe Keeper Charters 207-286-5565
Fishing Report for June 29, 2016:
Saco Bay and surrounding waters have moved into summer mode over the last few days. Water temps. are near 60 degrees F. for area beaches and river water temps. have risen to near 70. Time for most of the striped bass to move out of the river, though some schoolies in the 14-18" range continue to maraude about the surface on incoming and outgoing tides near the Narrows area of the Saco. Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows and a variety of small poppers have been taking fish. Overcast conditions have provided opportunities for bonus daytime surface action. Tube and worm fishermen continue to connect on these school sized bass as well.
Larger fish have moved out onto the beachfronts and should remain there as long as water temps. continue to rise. Areas such as the ledges alongside Wood Island, rocky humps in front of Fortune's Rocks, and the rocky section (The Graveyard) between Scarborough Beach State Park and Higgin's Beach have all produced sizable bass recently. What to use? Live mackerel are consistent producers, as are live eels, and mackerel chunks. Whether shore fishing or boat fishing, save a few mackerel to use as chum if fishing chunks. Frozen or fresh dead macks work well. Keep them chilled until you use them and they'll hold up fine.
Capt. Marco Lamothe
June 27th ,2016The Striped Bass fishing continues to improve as we move through June. The fish remain keyed in on larger baits, most specifically the Alewives and Herring that are still in the rivers. The size range of the fish that are around right now range from some fairly large 40" fish to quite a few micros in the 8-12" range. Anglers will find success through a variety of tactics, if you choose to target these fish with artificial lures and flies, low light will be key. Being there before sunrise and staying after sunset have produced the best catches for us so far this year. Top producing lures have been anything that will mimic the size and action of the alewives and herring in the river. I have been having customers throw Hogy Pro Tails, Ron-Z's, 7" Daiwa SP minnows, Gibbs Pencil Poppers, RM Smith Surface Swimmers, and Sebile Magic Swimmers . Color choice has been yellow, yellow over white, herring patterns, olive, and white with pink. Top flies have been baitfish imitations that sport a larger profile. As the sun rises the fish have been headed to deeper water and are not as receptive to artificial lures and flies. When this happens switch over to live bait. Live mackerel, or alewives have been doing a number on the bass which tells me they are still hungry, but they are light sensitive. If you plan to fish mackerel in the river be sure to have plenty of live bait as they do not tolerate the warmer, brackish water. We are also seeing a good amount of fish out front on the islands and beaches as well. The Graveyard and Ocean Park have been producing consistent numbers of fish and good sized fish as well. June 25th 2016Ok, I'm going to try and do this before I fall asleep. The RT and crew got underway at 0715 with hardly a breath of wind in the river. Today's adventure took us to platts bank a short 40 mile ride offshore. The wind blew lightly from the south with seas just a swell of 1-2 feet, it was a nice ride. We've never fished this area so it was hunt and peck. First drift got us into some very nice cod that found their way back to the bottom as well as a number of short haddock. We tried a few other spots and started hitting the haddock in decent number. The cull was about 2 short to every 1 keeper haddock. A nice cusk of 8lbs. Found its way into the cooler. There was quite the whale show but no sharks or tuna seemed to be in the area. So the final numbers for the day are:
20 keeper haddock
42 just short haddock
17 keeper cod (if we could keep them)
20 short cod
1 dog fish
And a handful of pollock
This was the best day we've ever had for keeper haddock and had our arms not given out I'm sure we would have caught a double limit (30). The numbers and size of the cod were seeing is encouraging for the future. So, until next week, tight lines.
Cody GillisJune 10 2016Lots of good stuff to report this week. We have had customers coming in and even I have been catching Stripers one hour before and after tides in the Saco River. I hope this trend continues. Some fisherman reporting that WHITE is the popular color this week. Crystal Minnows, SP Minnows, and the Lonely angler Secret Zipster. Poppers!! Don't forget poppers if the birds are working the water,,, and try one 3/4 oz jig head to mimic the sand eel. Last week the color was Green or yellow. White colored bottom Lures typically have been most popular since the Alewives and sand eels have been coming to town. Reports from the beaches and inlets from Kittery to Yarmouth have had Stripers hitting Mostly on surgical tubes, fishing worms on the bottom. Eels are working but you may be losing that eel to a small schoolie instead of the larger ones that are starting to come in. We had made a few pre rigged slug-gos/ ron-z and savage rubber baits along the sandy bottom. Mackerel can be caught in Portland off the pier. Try the Jetties at Camp Ellis and Kennebunkport with a sabiki rig or just one diamond jig. Alewives are still in the rivers but are running in deep water. Shad are being hauled up the fish ladder dam in Saco and have still been plentiful. Remember only two shad per day if you choose to keep this game fish. If you see anyone taking more than they should we always encourage to call operation Game Thief(1800-ALERT US). Also DMR Rule 55.99, It is unlawful to fish upstream of the Biddeford Saco Footbridge (towards the Dam) you can also call Marine Patrolman Adam Madore at 207485-0376 Ground fishing has been successful for fisherman who have been out. Platts and Jefferies are great places to fill your haddock limit as long as you can get through the cod..Wait until August 1st for them. Thank you again for all of you that support Saco BAy Tackle. It takes a lot of work to try to keep up with the big stores. I hope to continue to give you the best possible service and advice throughout the season. Please call us if you need anything. Even if you do not see it , we can get it for you Tight Lines, Peter Mourmouras Saco Bay Tackle Offshore Fishing Report 6/3
A week ago there was an abundant population of haddock offshore, however many were just too short. In order to find the schools of larger haddock, boats had to continually move from spot to spot. The fishing has improved for this week; most of the haddock being caught are keepers. The magic depth for keeper haddock has been around the 250 mark, with smaller fish in the shallower water. Clams produced the most fish on teasers with a few hitting the jig itself. Many 8-10 lb cod have been caught mixed in with the haddock even as fishermen attempt to avoid them due to a closed season. Many whales and tuna have been spotted on the Northern end of Jefferies Ledge. 60-70 inch tuna have been seen in this area breaking the surface to feed on mackerel. A large population of stripers and mackerel have also moved inshore to the beaches and rivers.
Our fishing report has been provided by Captain Pete Morse of Teazer Charters. Pete is a license charter Captain and seasoned guide who specializes in inshore and offshore sport fishing trips. He is located in South Portland and does either 1/2 or full day charters. For more information or to book a trip Call Pete at (207)-939-2713
May/June Fishing Report
Now that we have had some nice consistent weather it appears as though the fishing has really taken off. The Striped Bass have shown up in great numbers, the Shad fishing is red hot, and the Haddock bite is second to none right now. If you haven't been out, you are missing out.
Striped Bass can be found in almost all of our rivers and marshes at the moment as well as in the back bays that hold a muddy bottom. Many of these fish are small, in the 10-16" range with a few larger fish mixed in. What these fish lack in size they make up in aggressiveness. After their long push north, they are ready to eat. Small Ron-Z's, Slug-Go's, and Buck tail jigs have been my go-to, as well as paddle tail swimmers, and small Jumpin' Minnows. Single barbless hooks are the way to go right now, as these fish tend to get all of the hooks in the mouths, gills, and other parts of their bodies if fishing with a multiple hook lure. If you are a fly fisherman, now is the time to shine, and if you want to learn to fly fish for Striped Bass I recommend doing so now. A set up in the 7-9 wt. range with an intermediate or shooting head line will get you where you want to be. Small clousers, deceivers, and sand eel patterns will produce dozens of fish per day for you right now. Do not worry about color too much right now, just stick to the basics, white, chartreuse, pink, and olive. If you are in the river, try to fish an outgoing tide as bait will be flushed out and disoriented from the strong currents. Fish the incoming in the back bays, and flats, as the fish will be following the water in searching for worms, and any other bait fish tat can live in the skinny water. Sand worms, and clams are the natural bait of choice right now. Just remember to use your circle hooks.
Shad fishing has remained hot around the dam in Saco, anglers using shad darts and spoons as well as small marabou flies have done very well on the fish. This year it appears that the best fishing has been around the top of the tide. Try to keep your offering low and close to the bottom as this is where they will be holding. A light drag is essential as well due to their very soft papery mouths.
The ground fish bite has been fantastic as of late, with Haddock being the king. Many boats are limiting out on their haddock, and catching many legal size cod as well. We are even seeing good numbers of large Cusk. Jigs fished with a teaser above them, either a soft plastic Hogy, or Tsunami squid, or Ron-Z are creating many double hook ups. Hi-Low rigs with a bank sinker and bait are also taking quite a few fish. So far this year, my best colors for teasers have been, White, Pink, and Chartreuse, and my bait of choice has been strips of clam. Jeffrey's Ledge has been the hot spot for me so far, but I am also getting good reports from Platts, and Tantas as well.
It has been an exciting start to the season and I anticipate it only getting better. We have yet to see a push of good size fish in any numbers, but from the reports I am getting from Cape Cod, and the Merrimack, we should be seeing them any day now.
Captain Lou Tirado
Diamond Pass Outfitters
May 13th 2016Good News!! Stripers were being caught in the Saco River Yesterday. Thad Tibbetts was one of the first to send us a pic catching Schoolie Stripers. since then, this morning along the Sandy Bottom in Saco, Fisherman were lined up along the shore line.. The past week Fisherman were at the Dam in The Saco River catching Shad with 1/4 oz shad darts...Along the Scarborough. Marsh and inlets in Wells we heard guys and girls fishing with rubber shad and White Bucktail jigs.. Worms are also being fished in the Spurwink but it was a slow start for one of our customers. We are getting a supply of Milky Ribbon Worms in 6 oz containers.. It has taken our friend Andy to come up with a way to dig and preserve these worms so you can fish them on a trolling tube or put a bundle on a hook and fish the sandy bottoms. We had some customers go out and test their boats on a maiden voyage to Jefferies for ground fishing. Rick Crosby reported plenty of market size haddock and was disappointed to release plenty of legal size cod. (not a legal catch till August 1st). Still haddock, red fish and a couple of cusk filled the cooler to make it a successful fishing trip. Clams and shrimp was the favorite bait. Fresh water look for Smallmouth and Largemouth bass being shallow not quite on their beds. this weekend will be a good time to explore your favorite spots.
April Fishing Report 2016
Welcome back! The fishing season has returned two weeks early thanks to the Maine IF&W and Maine DMR. With the early arrival of spring this year, anglers would be wise to take the time to target some new species before the Striper Migration takes over our world. Early season Pike fishing will offer the saltwater aficionado a crash course into the sweet water game. Sea Run Brown trout are always a treat and with the warmer than usual temps it will make chasing them that more comfortable on the open marshes. Lastly, with the change in the ground fish regulations anglers are now able to target Haddock starting April 1st.
Early season Pike fishing can be one of the most exciting fisheries we have in this state. As the ice leaves, the Pike will move into the shallows and prepare to spawn. As this happens, they become quite aggressive, and willing to hit a myriad of offerings. Top water, walk the dog type lures induce explosive strikes, large soft plastics that are rigged weedless will allow you to get the bait into the shallow water that the fish live in. Large Slug-goâ€™s or Hogyâ€™s that are 5â€ï¿½ and larger will be your best bet. Spoons and jerk baits will round out the arsenal for anglers. At this time of year, the fishing is highly visual, you will be able to spot the Pike laying up in the shallows where it is warmest, look for fallen logs, or other structure that will give them an ambush site. Pike can be found in many areas, some of the more notable are Sabbatus Pond, Sebago Lake, the Belgrades, and the Androscoggin River.
Sea Run Brown trout are always a viable option for the angler who just has to get out into the marsh and fish the salt. Many of out marshes are stocked with these fish that range anywhere from 12â€ï¿½ to 30â€ï¿½ small spoons, and minnow style jerk baits are staples in the fishery. Soft plastics rigged on lead heads will also entice these fish as they work well to stir up the mud on the bottom. Small flies will also work well, Clousers, Deceivers, and shrimp patterns fished on an intermediate line will be most effective, you could also try scud patterns. Historically, I have had the best fishing in the Ogunquit area, and down around the Mousam. One nice thing about chasing the Sea Runs is the possibility of catching a hold over Striped Bass. Remember to work the tides and fish the seams.
With the new proposed regulations in ground fish and the early spring trends April could be prove one of the best months on record for the angler wishing to get offshore and target Haddock. The new law states that anglers can now retain 15 fish at 17â€ï¿½. Anglers will be able to retain Haddock year round with a short closure from March 1st to April 14th. Diamond jigs or any other style with a teaser above it will take more than itâ€™s fair share of fish. Some of my favorite teasers are he classic bucktails, and the Tsunami Squid in 3â€ï¿½. I also like the Hogy Sand eels, and the small Ron-Z in either Pink, Pearl, or Green. As always, make sure to have a supply of live bait with you. Clams, squid, and Sand worms will be the ticket. Hit the usually ledges but but prepared to move around until you find the school.
April is shaping up to be an exciting month, and it is just the beginning! Have a great season everyone, stay tuned for more reports and how-toâ€™s. Donâ€™t forget to attend the show, on April 2nd, at the Clambake Restaurant.
July 16th 2015
Atlantic cod and the minimum size for haddock has been reduced to 17 inches with a bag limit of three fish per angler per day.
Pollock, haddock, redfish and hake are the mainstays for those targeting groundfish. Bait (shrimp, clams) and jigs coupled with a teaser are getting fish.
A few sharks, mostly blues and porbeagles, have been reported. If you are not sure what species you have hooked, then release - "If you don't know, let it go." The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length. Great whites and basking sharks are federally protected.
Atlantic bluefin tuna are here and a couple have been landed by rod and reel. This early, try trolling squid rigs or daisy chains of mackerel instead of setting up on the ball and chunking. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tuna, sharks, swordfish, and billfish must have an Atlantic HMS Angling Permit.
Readings from the Jeffrey's Ledge weather buoy show sea surface temperatures in the low 60s.
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).
New 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 in length.
Also, 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.
If you want stripers, get out early or late since the heat and sun may slow fishing activity during the day. Schoolies can be found in the lower portions of most rivers, while "keepers" are out on the beaches and rocky structures.
Shore anglers have done well at Old Orchard, Higgins and Pine Point (both the beach and the pier). Other active sites are the bathhouse end of Biddeford Pool and the beach next to the Camp Ellis jetty. The key to beach fishing now is to be willing to move to find the fish and not wait for them to come to you. Beach fishermen should also check local ordinances, as some beaches restrict fishing from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Reasonable catches, even during the day, have been reported from boats fishing the lower portions of the rivers with black, bubblegum or wine-red surgical tubes paired with a sandworm. Bait, especially worms, is producing the most fish. The 2½-ounce Savage rubber baits, 6-inch Al Gag Whip-it-Eel, Gag's Grabbers 5-inch poppers and Wood Striper Maine-iac are catching fish for anglers working artificials.
Fly fishers tossing sand eel and crab patterns continue to be into the fish. Mackerel catching has been spotty, maybe due to bluefish. Use chum to stay on the fish once you start hooking up. Flounder catches have been reported out and around the Piscataquis. There are still a few shad to be had below the Saco Dam and the Scarborough Marsh.
The transition into the summer striper fishing mode is occurring. Schoolies on up are scattered throughout the islands, coves, rocky ledges and along the Cape Elizabeth shore.
Fish areas where there is moving water or along the backside of surf as that will be where the bait has been kicked up.
Make sure your Boat has all the safety gear
before you head out.. it is a long way back to the dock if you are missing a
flare or life jacket!!
There is lots of bait (sand eels, alewives,
etc.) and therefore plenty of happy stripers throughout this zone. Shore
anglers have been catching bass off the beaches (Higgins, Pine Point, Biddeford
Pool, ocean side of the Camp
Ellis jetty) and the
rivers. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances as some beaches restrict
fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bait (clams, worms, live or chunk macs) is
producing the most fish. River fishing (Saco, Scarborough,
etc.) has been very good when fished during the incoming tide and the first
hour of the outgoing. Anglers trolling weighted surgical tubes (wine red or
bubblegum) , slow and deep coupled with a sandworm are catching fish. The Daiwa
fast sinking S P Minnows and the 1 ounce Lonely Angler Ghost Zipster are just a
couple of artificial lures that have been getting it done. Fly guys throwing
crab and sand eel patterns are catching fish. Over the past week mackerel have
become very abundant with some showing up with bite marks (bluefish). If you
are targeting blues try the orange 3-ounce Ranger lure and don't forget the
wire leader. Shad (the poor man's tarpon) are still being caught below the Saco
: Fishing around the mouths of the rivers
(Presumpscot, Harraseeket, Royal, etc.) the islands (Cushing, Cow, Little
Chebeague) as well as the Cape shoreline are
areas that have been productive for striper fishermen. Bait is everywhere and
so are the stripers. Anglers working artificials have been getting into the
fish using Rapala X-Raps, mackerel or herring, Gag's Mambo Minnows poppers as
well as any of the rubber baits. Flies that have been effective include any of
the 2/0 and 4/0 grocery patterns (river mouths) and Clousers (on the flats).
Baits of choice are mackerel and worms. Mackerel catches throughout the Bay are
moderate. Use chum to stay on the fish once you start hooking up.
Major changes have been made in the
groundfish regulations for 2015. Anglers can't retain any Atlantic cod and the
minimum size for haddock has been reduced to 17 inches with a
three-fish-per-angler-per-day bag limit. Anglers targeting groundfish can expect
a mix of pollock, haddock, hake, redfish and cusk. Both jigs, coupled with a
teaser, and bait are working well. An angler specifically after haddock should
fish bait (clams, shrimp) right near a 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. It is not uncommon for anglers to easily reach their
haddock bag limit. Readings
from the Jeffrey's Ledge weather buoy show sea surface temperatures in the upper
Atlantic bluefin tuna, footballs and the
big boys, are around but I have not heard of any taken by rod and reel. A few
porbeagles have been hooked up over the past week. The minimum size for all
keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length.
All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish, and
billfish must have an Atlantic HMS Angling Permit.