In bays and inlets from Portland down through Cape Elizabeth and on to Scarborough, the big bass are moving in. One of my clients, HB from Delaware, hooked and landed a 38" cow at dead high. Don't discount slack tides; even though they have a reputation for being slow fishing times, if you seek rocky areas with good crashing wave action, the chances are good that lunkers are laying in wait for a stunned baitfish to bounce off the rocks and become easy prey. Chunks seem to have been the most effective this week, but livies are working as well. Unless the bottom is covered in eel grass, don't bother with a bobber, and fish your bait weightless.
Getting good reports from Captain Pete Morse about plentiful ground fish, with tons of keeper haddock still around, and shark season continues to get hotter and hotter. Six, eight, even ten fish days are getting more and more common and porbeagles seem to be in abundance this season.
We're celebrating one of the best years in recent memory, so get out there and fish!
Capt. Mike Faulkingham
Fish Portland Maine
The Evening incoming tide has been most effective chunking out Bait on the
Beach. Goosefair Brook in Ocean Park and Camp Ellis in saco are Places to
Beach fishermen should check local ordinances prior to fishing as area
beaches may restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Clams are the bait of
choice off the beaches while worms and macs are working in the lower
portions of the rivers . Trolling surgical tubes (wine red, bubblegum) with
a worm continue to produce fish in the lower portions of the rivers. Lonely
Angler Zipster, Bill Hurley, Deadly Dicks, Kastmasters and white RON-Z, are
a few of the artificial baits that have been catching fish. Sand eel pattern
flies continue to work for fly fishermen. Mackerel catching has been what
can be expected for this time of year with the best catches being reported
outside Saco Bay. Try Catching them off the Jetty. Winter Flounder have
been a pleasant Surprise in Pine Point, wells, Kennebunk, and Camp Ellis. A
few Customers have been catching them the past couple of years, but this
year they seem to be making a comeback we hope! Offshore fisherman are
still landing Groundfish at Jefferies and Tantas and everyone is coming back
with their one legal cod jigging with a 14 oz jig and a drop loop teaser
above. Putting a clam or squid on for bait
Shark Fishing has been Steady with a few Tournaments going on we are hearing
many stories and some picture to prove it. Hopefully the seas will be in
our favor to enjoy the rest of the Month. Tuna fishing has been steady with
a few hookups. 12 hours will not be effective. Fisherman putting their
time in 24-36 hours are seeing a full cycle of bait and tuna passing by
giving you a better chance to hook up. Make sure you have a mate you can
tolerate for that long! Other than that have a great time and enjoy the
best part of the Summer. We still have plenty of time, but blink your eye
and we will be into Hunting season. Hope to see you in the shop soon,
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.