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.
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.
June is arguably the best month for saltwater enthusiasts. With the influx of warmer weather, raising water temperatures, and schools of migrating baitfish being followed by schools of predators, an angler has ample opportunity at numerous species over the course of four weeks. The three top species that the inshore angler can expect to catch are the Sea-Run Brown Trout, the American Shad, and the Striped Bass.
Both the Sea-Runs, and the Shad are usually caught by accident by anglers hoping to score an early Striped Bass, but when word gets out that Shad have moved into the rivers watch out. These acrobatic game fish have a cult like following. The American Shad, also known as â€˜The Poor Manâ€™s Tarponâ€ï¿½ range in size from 2-6 lbs and can be found in tidal rivers and marshes with a moderate current. Shad darts, spoons, and small flies will be an anglerâ€™s best bet. Target pockets of calm eddyâ€™s that are adjacent to a rip current, the shad will ambush their prey as it gets kicked out of the turbulent water. Light line and a light drag are extremely important as well. The paper thin mouths of these fish do not hold up to heavy drag, so make sure to play them, and take your time. As I said early, shad darts, spoons, and flies will consistently produce, color preference changes from day to day, so it is in the best interest of anglers to have a wide variety of colors and size darts, and spoons on hand each time you go out.
As the month moves on, the Striped Bass fishing will only get better. With each passing day, more and more migrating bass will take up residence in Maine waters; these fish will be hungry and ready to feed. The Primary prey for the Striped Bass will be, alewives, herring, sand eels, sea worms, small crabs and lobsters, and clams. Anglers are the advantage right now, lure selection is not as important as it will be later in the season. Perennial favorites include, soft plastics like the Slug-go, Ron-Z, and Wildeye Shad. The singe hook on these lures allow for solid hook ups, and quick releases allowing the angler to get back in the game faster. Small swimming lures like the SP Minnow, and Yo-Zuri Mag Minnow are great alewife and herring imitators. Be sure to crush the barbs on both treble hooks, by doing so you allow yourself an easier release that will cause less damage to the fish and yourself should you get stuck. The act of crushing the barb will not affect the catch ratio either just maintain a tight line. Top water plugs like a spooks or â€œwalk the dogâ€ï¿½ lures will draw aggressive strikes, pencil poppers mimic the frenzied action of a struggling alewives or river herring as well. Top spots to catch a June Striped Bass include the Mousam, Saco, Scarborough, Presumpscot, and Kennebec Rivers. Any tidal marshes will hold Stripers as well. As we get later into the month, the bass will begin to move out to the beachfronts, and surrounding islands.
Good luck this season, make sure to introduce someone new to the sport, and if you have any questions contact your local tackle shops or hire a guide to show you the ropes! See you out there!
Diamond Pass Outfitters
Captain Lou Tirado