August 21, 2014
Congratulations to Keith Jordan and the crew of the "Bailey and Bella" with their first-place 795-pound bluefin tuna as well as to Todd Jackson and the crew of "Fired-Up" with their first-place 450-pound thresher shark (potential state record) at last week's Casco Bay Classic tourney. Both tuna and shark fishing remains steady. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers a...nd blues) is 4.5 feet in length . Groundfishermen (cod, haddock, pollock, hake, cusk, etc.) are catching fish though trophy size are hard to come by.
Stripers, schoolies to trophies, are there for the taking. The key is to be flexible and to remember that what is a hot spot today may not produce any fish tomorrow. Pine Point, the Bathhouse end of Biddeford Pool, Goosefare Brook (coming tide) and Old Orchard have been giving up fish. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances before fishing as some area beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Chunked macs, worms and clams are the baits to use. Anglers can also find action in the lower portion of the rivers and the estuaries. If you are casting (from shore or boat) use Al Gag's Whip-it Eels. Fly fishermen report better catches of late (fish the coming tide) using mackerel pattern, red/white and red/yellow Clousers and the pure black Deceiver (night). Mackerel are readily available in their usual spots along with harbor pollock.
ZONE 2: Anglers can still find stripers around the ledges, flats, islands and the lower portions of the rivers. Fishing has been decent for those willing to put in the time and effort. The mouths of the rivers (Presumpscot, Royal, Harraseeket, New Meadows, etc.) are best fished on a dropping tide while fishing along the ledges is often more productive during a coming tide. Clams and sea worms are the baits that have been producing fish. For the crank fisherman, artificials that are working include the Daiwa SP and DS Minnows, Yo-Zuri Pin's Magnet, Hydro Pencil, Hydro Popper and the Rebel Jumpin' Minnow. Blue or olive 1/0 and 2/0 Deceivers (day) and red or black Deceivers (night) have been doing the trick for those tossing a fly.
This Week Is the Casco Bay Classic with entrees for Shark/Tuna and Much More Lobster Bake also Scheduled for August 16th at 4pm tickets are at the tent and all proceeds go to the MDA and Portland Firefighters Children's Burn Foundation
The 17th annual Sturdivant Island tuna tournament, based out of Spring Point marina in South Portland, starts Thursday and runs until Saturday. This is a highly competitive, no-nonsense event that draws the region's best.
Congratulations to Hookr1 Phil Chase for Winning the 2014 Tournament with a
|Second Place||KELLY ANN||430.6-lb|
|Fourth Place||KELLY ANN||355.5-lb|
|Fifth Place||WINANN JEa||
On that note, the Atlantic bluefin tuna bite has been getting better with fish taken off the backside of Platt's, the Kettle, Sagadahoc and the Mud Hole. Sharking has been good for those targeting blue sharks and there also have been some reports of decent makos and threshers taken. The minimum size for keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length, and basking and white sharks are federally protected. Vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish must have an Atlantic HMS angling permit. For more information about permits and regulations contact the NOAA fisheries at 888-872-8862 or visit their website at http://hmspermits.noaa.gov/. Groundfishing remains steady on Tanta's, Jeffrey's and the Trinidad. Anglers can expect to catch mostly pollock, haddock and cod. New for 2014, the minimum size for cod is 21 inches, nine fish per person daily bag limit. Also new for 2014, three fish per day per angler daily bag limit and a minimum size of 21 inches for haddock. The minimum size for halibut in federal waters is 41 inches and the taking of halibut in Maine territorial waters (inside three miles) is closed from July 1 to April 30. Sea surface temperatures, as reported from Jeffrey's Ledge and the Portland weather buoy, are running in the mid to upper 60′s.
Federal striped bass regulations: It is unlawful to fish for, take or possess striped bass in federal waters (waters greater than three 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 or one striped bass per day that measures 40 inches or greater. If you have questions or would like copies of the saltwater regulations, call 633-9505 or check the web at: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html.
Remember: 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 eight inches long and have a single hook protruding from the end portion of the tubing where bait may be attached.
ZONE 1: Stripers of all size, are around in fishable numbers but the key is to fish predawn, night or low light. Generally these fish are going to lay low during warm/hot sunny days. Some spots that have been productive include the Camp Ellis jetty (both sides), the Wells jetty, Pine Point, Goosefare Brook, Old Orchard Beach, and lower portions of the Saco, Piscataqua and Mousam rivers. Beach fishermen should check local ordinances prior to fishing; some area beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mackerel, worms and clams are preferred baits. Anglers fishing the lower rivers on an outgoing tide have had the best luck using pink or red surgical tubes with a sandworm. Rubber baits (Storm Wild Eye, Shanka's, RonZ) have been getting fish for the crank fisherman while those throwing flies that resemble natural bait (sand eel, crab patterns) are also catching fish. Mackerel catching remains spotty but anglers should try traditional spots (Richmond, Wood, Stratton, Bluff Islands, etc.). Harbor pollock are abundant. We are into August and no recent reports of bluefish but keep that wire leader handy.
Attached is a photo from a recent trip. The groundfishing remains very good and the haddock size is getting better with each trip. Limits on haddock and cod on most trips with many pollock and cusk to add on top of that. Those shrimp are keeping the lines tight with loads of fish. Those haddock and cod rigs you carry out fish other methods by far at this point in the season!!! Get your right balls together (lead ones Ken) and staying on the fish is simple no matter how much current there is. And, you get far less gear hanging up and staying on bottom. Shark fishing is really picking up and we are seeing tuna on every trip to the fishing grounds. The upcoming tournaments should see lots of nice fish being brought in to the dock.
Catch you later,
Maine Ocean adventures
The bass fishing is still very consistent. Unlike most summers at this time, the fish are still holding strong in the river. There is a plethora of bait (sand eels, mackerel, and river herring). First light and an outgoing tide have been the most productive so far. Bird activity has been a clear indicator of feeding fish, look for pods of gulls as they are picking up the river herring that the bass are driving to the surface. Top water poppers, soft plastics in the 6-9" range, like the Ron-Z's, and swimming plugs like SP Minnows, will all match the profile of the bait the bass are keyed in on.
Between the jetties has also been productive, rigged slug-Go's, magic swimmers, and flies have been working quite well. Trolling a tube and worm has been extremely consistent too. When the tide turns head for the ledges and beach fronts. Live mackerel or eels have been the ticket. Mackerel can be caught with regularity as well since we have not seen a consistent bluefish bite yet. Shore bound anglers are still catching them on the ocean side of the jetty, and guys in the boats are getting them just outside of the river mouth, and by the broken spindle next to Wood Island.
Shark season is heating up and off to a better start than I have seen in years. Warm water temperatures offshore are producing multiple hook up days. Many blue sharks are coming boat side after being enticed by either a live mackerel or rigged bait. Along with the blue sharks there has also been a few good Mako landed, and I was fortunate enough have to some first timers out and land a 400 lb. Thresher. Even though we had a late start to the season, we have been lucky to have the fish stay in their routine later this summer. Good luck to everyone and keep fishing!
Capt. Lou Tirado
Diamond Pass Outfitters
Anglers are seeing and marking lots of bait, which is a very good sign. Pollock with lesser amounts of cod and haddock continue to dominate the catch in the groundfishermen's cooler. New for 2014, the minimum size for cod is 21 inches, nine fish per person daily bag limit. Also new for 2014, three fish per day per angler daily bag limit and a minimum size of 21 inches for haddock. There have been reports of some Atlantic bluefin tuna taken by rod and reel, just in time for the upcoming Bailey Island Tourney. A few sharks have also been reported, including threshers and blues. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4 1/2 feet in length. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish must have an Atlantic HMS Angling Permit. For more information about permits and the regs, contact the NOAA Fisheries at (888) 872-8862 or visit http://hmspermits.noaa.gov. The Portland weather buoy, located 12 nautical miles southeast of Portland, continues to report sea surface temperatures in the high 50s (brrrr). Last year at this time the temps were around 70.
Federal striped bass regulations: It is unlawful to fish for, take or possess striped bass in federal waters (waters greater than three 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 total length or one striped bass per day that measures 40 inches or greater in total length. If you have any questions or would like copies of the 2014 saltwater regulations, call 633-9505 or check http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html.
Remember: 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.
ZONE 1: Anglers targeting stripers should concentrate their effort out on the beaches and rock piles. There are still some bass in the lower portions of the rivers and throughout the Scarborough marsh but many of the fish have moved out. Get out early or late since the heat and sun may turn the catching off during the day. 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 are the bait of choice off the beaches while worms and macs are working in the rivers and estuaries. Trolling surgical tubes (wine red, bubblegum) with a worm continue to produce fish in the lower portions of the rivers. Kastmasters, Ronz, the mackerel pattern Striper Maine-iac and the pearl pattern Savage are just a few of the artificial baits that have been catching fish. Sand eel pattern flies are working 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. Use chum (cat food) to stay on the fish once you start hooking up.
ZONE 2: The 76th Annual Bailey Island Tuna and Small Fish Tournament, based out of Cook's Lobster House on Bailey Island, runs Monday through Saturday. This is a great fun-filled family event for both anglers and spectators. The ledges, islands and the outer Cape shoreline are the places to go for stripers. Baits that are working include worms and chunk or live 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 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 had with some effort.
ZONE 3: The striped bass pick has been good to very good in some of the rivers and slightly better around the rocky ledges and off the beaches. As the rivers continue to warm, try working the deep spots early or late using bait. Fishing the rivers has also become very tide specific. Anglers targeting stripers need to read the water; looking for moving water and rips off any points. Natural channels, where the flats drain as the tide falls and bird action are also good indicators. Worms, eels and macs have been catching fish. A few of the artificials that have been working are the Rebel Windcheater, Creek Chubs and Gag's Poppers. Fly enthusiasts fishing pollock or mackerel pattern flies and black Clousers (at night) report some action. Remember that if you are fishing on the Kennebec, upstream of the power line in Augusta, you must have a current freshwater license. Mackerel can be found all the way Downeast. The Southport Bridge, the Boothbay Fish Pier and the Rockland Breakwater are just a couple of spots where anglers have shore access to catch these fish.
I can't thank you enough on giving me your expert advice on where to fish. Yesterday I went to Camp Ellis and fished in the parking lot using the rig and worms I bought. And its a good thing I bought the tape measure. I was lucky enough to catch not one, but three small stripers with the outgoing tide. The largest one was about 18"ï¿½. They, even though they were small, they are quite the fighters, and I had a lot of fun.
I think I am going to go back today and finish up the worms that I have, and tomorrow we'll be headed down to Seabrook for a few days, so I'll be sure to use the tips you gave me and I have no doubt I have similar success. It's funny, I only used four worms for three fish, and the extra one was because the bail on the reel closed and flung the worm off. LOL The weather is supposed to be warmer today, so I'm expecting a great day. If I get anything worth keeping, I'll surely send a photo along.
From Captain Lou Tirado Diamond Pass Outfitters
Finally,Spring is here! The rain has stopped, and the sun is shining. If you are like me, you have spent your winter cleaning, repairing, and updating gear. Or maybe you have been building plugs, tying flies, wrapping rods, making leaders, and changing hooks. Well I have good news for you. We donâ€™t have to go to anymore tackle shows or fishing expos just to get our fix. We can go fishing! May is an exciting month for us in Maine. We have the option to go jig ground fish one day and then go catch smallmouth bass or sea run trout the very next.
Ground fishing in the early spring is a fantastic time to get out on the ledges and fill your coolers. Not only are the fish more accessible on the inside ledges, but the bait they target is also frequenting the same areas. If you were on the ball and were able to get the boat ready early this spring take advantage of this early season fishery.
Anglers who choose to fish bait will in most cases see higher catch limits, and often bigger fish. Cut clam strips, herring fillets, and squid strips will really do a number on the cod, haddock, and Pollock. A typical set up for the bait fisherman consists of a bank sinker on the bottom, and either one or two hooks rigged above it via dropper loops. I prefer to use 40 lb. fluorocarbon when making my set ups. It has a low visibility in the water, but still gives me something to hang on to while bringing a fish over the side of the boat without cutting into my hand.
Anglers will find success with the standard diamond jigs, Norwegian style jigs, butterfly jigs when they are paired with paired with buck tail teasers, or soft plastic style lures. Jig weight should vary depending on the depth, and the current that you are fishing each day. I prefer to use jigs in the 10-18 oz. range. Anglers who opt for the artificial lures will stand a good chance of doubling up, and of staying away from the pesky, gear destroying dogfish.
In the early season, I fish the inside ledges primarily. Spots like West Cod Ledge, Boomerang, Pollock Nubble, Trinidad, and Tantas are all very good spots that produce good numbers.
Thank you Ron Powers writer from On -The Water for providing this report....
Dylan of Dagâ€™s in Auburn told me of a recent trip where ice was still measured in feet as opposed to inches. Common sense has to be applied to shoreline entry, but once out there safe ice is the norm throughout Maine and the â€œtee-shirt fishingâ€ï¿½ is the best of the season. Now is the antidote for all those skunkings in February, and odds are you will have the ice all to yourself because locals are just plain sick of it. Remember, Greater Boston had safe ice less than 2 weeks ago, so if you still need a frozen fix than you can still get it in Maine. Dylan offered Worthley Pond as a worthy option.
If youâ€™d rather cast, then how about the Nittisset or Cobbosseecontee River brown trout fisheries? These places are prime right now for brown trout. This is no secret and youâ€™ll have company, especially from fly-fishermen. If you get the right drift and the correct beadhead nymph pattern, you could score a brown trout of over 20 inches long!
Swift waters will make it quite difficult to find some sea run browns, you Amy have to give it some time for the waters to settle a bit... Local streams are still high but it will not hurt to throw a worm in the swift clear current.. Time to stock up on some shad spoons and shad darts for the upcoming weeks. They do sell out quickly and the Saco river has a tendency to take three or four jigs from you. If you are not losing a couple of shad darts and bouncing off the bottom, you are not doing it properly!!
Here is also a blast from the past calls we are getting from from seasoned fisherman;
Hereâ€™s a hot one â€“ Mousam River sea-run brown trout. And the key is crayfish or something that looks like one! Ken from Saco Bay is getting besieged with requests for crayfishâ€”hardly an inventoried item in early April in Maine. Somehow, someone discovered that estuarial brown trout love those little buggers. I bet it is because they remind salters of grass shrimp. Maybe you can find a shop which still has some frozen gill or two intended for smelt