ICE FISHING REPORTS FROM IFW
DEC 27TH 2013December 26, 2013
IFW Ice Fishing Preview For December 26, 2013
For Immediate Release -- December 26, 2013
IFW Ice Fishing Preview For December 26, 2013 Compiled By Mark Latti with IFW Fisheries Biologists
Welcome to the 2014 ice fishing season. We will be providing these reports to you every two weeks through winter into the beginning of March.
If you haven't purchased your license yet, 2104 ...licenses are available online at http://www.mefishwildlife.com/. Also, the 2104 fishing lawbook is also available where you buy your licenses or at your favorite sporting goods store.
Anglers should also be aware of a new law that bans the use of lead sinkers that are shorter than 2.5" in length OR if they weigh less than an ounce.
As always, please consult the law book before fishing your favorite water, and stay safe while out on the ice.
Region A - Sebago Lakes Region
The cold weather has many anglers taking advantage of the early season opportunities for brook trout. There is a variety of lakes and ponds in Southern and coastal Maine that allow the use of live bait and the harvest of trout prior to January 1.
"We are encouraging people to fish waters that are labeled "D" in the rule book. These are managed for early winter opportunities for brook trout," says IFW fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam.
With so many options, Brautigam says you may want to prioritize.
"When I think about ice fishing over the course of the winter, I tend to think of what types of fish are available as the season progresses," says Brautigam. "Brook trout get caught early, so these "D" season waters are a great place to kick of the season." Try the Otter Ponds in Standish, Worthley Pond in Poland, Halls Pond in Paris, Moose Pond in Acton and Simms Pond in Newfield.
"Species like lake trout provide season -long fishing, so there's no need to rush to get out for togue. Most togue lakes freeze up later anyway."
"After brook trout, I'd target splake and salmon. Waters that have either splake or salmon you want to fish early. Rainbows are slow biters, and fishing tends to be more consistent throughout the season," says Brautigam.
Brautigam also noted the department is testing several new strains of brown trout in region waters; checking to see if they may provide more action for anglers. The department will be survey anglers on these waters to determine if these different strains of brown trout provide better fishing.
York county ice anglers who want to introduce their children to fishing would be well served to try out the pond at the York County Fish and Game Club in Lyman. This a youth fishing/complimentary license pond, and provides excellent opportunities for young anglers.
Region B - Central and Midcoast Area
Ice anglers are active in Region B, taking advantage of the cold weather and recently stocked ponds.
This past year, Region B biologists reviewed their stocking data, and are reallocating fish to smaller waters where they expect anglers to have more success.
"Anglers are doing well at McGrath Pond in Oakland," mentioned IFW fisheries biologist Jason Seiders. "We stocked it heavily with brook trout, and people have been fishing."
Anglers also may want to head over to Jamies Pond in Manchester, as this season, it is now open to ice fishing.
"That's another pond we stocked with ice fishing in mind. There's three age classes of brook trout in Jamies Pond," said Seiders. The season on Jamies opens on January 1, expect to find trout from the fingerling size up to four pounds.
Anglers will also want to try Dutton Pond in Knox, and Sanborn Pond in Brooks. Those two ponds were also stocked with multiple ages of brook trout, and also some retired brown trout broodstock. Seiders said that some of the brown trout weigh up to ten pounds.
Young anglers will also want to mark February 1 on their calendars to head over to Wiley Pond in Boothbay. The department worked with the Boothbay Region Fish and Game Association to reopen the pond to ice fishing and it will be open to youth anglers/complimentary licenses with a two line limit, and no use of live fish for bait. The pond was heavily stocked this fall, and should provide fast action for young anglers.
Region C -- Downeast
This season, Downeast, anglers will have opportunities they haven't seen in years.
"We just started stocking rainbow trout in Jones Pond in Gouldsboro," said IFW fisheries biologist Greg Burr. "This is the first stocking of rainbows in this area since 1979. People are very excited."
Jones Pond is open now, but it is artificial lures only, and catch and release for all trout. Starting January 1, anglers will be able to keep rainbows.
"People who are familiar with fishing through the ice for rainbows say that the best way to fish for them is with worms. A lot of times they don't respond well to shiners," said Burr.
Parents who want to take their kids fishing this holiday break, should head over to the youth waters at Foxhole Pond in Deblois and to the Penobscot County Conservation Association in Brewer. At Foxhole, there are three different ages of stocked trout, including some very large brood stock. Burr mentioned that there is a local taxidermist that has done many mounts over the years for kids who were lucky enough to catch one of these large fish. If you are looking to catch a large brood stock salmon, try these lakes: Pleasant River in Beddington; Mopang Lake in Township 29; Lower Springy Pond in Otis; Brewer Lake in Orrington; and Hopkins Pond in Mariaville. Many of these ponds also have stocked trout as well.
Landlocked salmon anglers will want to check out Cathance Lake in Cooper, Branch Lake in Ellsworth, Gardner's Lake in East Machias, Long Pond on MDI, Beech Hill Pond in Otis, Donnell Pond in Franklin and Tunk Lake in Township 10 SD.
If you are looking for togue, head to Green Lake in Ellsworth which regularly produces togue over 10 pounds, Branch Lake in Ellsworth where Burr encourages the harvest of togue and there is no size or bag limit on togue under 23 inches, Tunk Lake, West Musquash in Tallmedge, Pocumcus Lake, Phillips lake in Dedham and Beech Hill Pond.
Brook trout will be found at Lakewood Pond in Bar Harbor, Round Pond in Someville, Eagle lake in Bar Harbor, Montegail Pond in T 19, Indian Lake in Whiting, Keely Lake in Marshfield and Schoodic Lake in Cherryfield.
Lovejoy Pond in Township 35 just opened this season to ice fishing, and the trout stocked there this fall are in the 12-16 inch range.
Anglers looking for a little adventure and the road less travelled out to head to three different ponds in Township 10 near Tunk Lake.
"For the people who make the effort to hike into these ponds, it will be well worth the effort," said Burr.
Region D - Rangeley Lakes
In Region D, there are several options for early season ice fishing.
"Anglers ought to try Crowell Pond in Chesterville, right off Route 41," says IFW Fisheries Biologist Bobby Van Riper. "We stocked a thousand brook trout there."
Anglers who are looking for waters to ice fish prior to January 1 should look for waters marked A in the northern counties section of the law book.
Popular early season ponds also include Norcross Pond in Chesterville and Roxbury Pond in Roxbury; others include Parker Pond and Sand Pond in Chesterville.
However, most of the ice fishing ponds in this region open up January 1. One of the more popular destinations early season is the Chain of Ponds north of Eustis on Route 27. The department stocked 1,400 brook trout there this fall. Anglers should remember that this is a flowing water, and the ice can get thin in the narrows and around points.
If you are looking fish some of the bigger waters in the region, check out Webb Lake in Weld, Wilsons Lake in Wilton, Embden Pond in Embden and Wesserunsett in Madison. Smaller waters you may want to check out include Clearwater in Industry, Ironbound in Solon and Wilson's Lake in Wilton. Another favorite in this region is Spring Lake, just north of Flagstaff Lake in T3 R5.
Region E - Moosehead Region Compiled by IFW Fisheries Biologist Tim Obrey
Can we declare the end of global warming? Probably not, but we can find some reason to be thankful for the cold wintery weather that enveloped the North Woods in November and December. As the snow birds fled south to warmer clines, old man winter brought the rest of us hardy souls an early ice-in. We have already seen a "flurry" of ice fishing activity on our smaller ponds like Fitzgerald Pond and Prong Pond, both of which are stocked with 12-14 inch brook trout in late fall to provide some early ice fishing action.
To the south of us, Brann's Mill Pond and Harlow Pond should be fishing well as we approach the traditional start of the ice fishing season. Drummond Pond in Abbot is open to kids only and is also stocked just before the ice forms in the fall. We'd like to thank those individuals that have generously plowed out the parking area at Drummond Pond and Fitzgerald Pond. I'm sure the anglers appreciate it as well.
Of course one of the hottest early season favorites is Big Wood Pond in Jackman. The pond is stocked with splake and brook trout (including some adults) and even an occasional salmon is caught. Access is very easy, with plenty of parking in this friendly town and snowmobile trails onto the lake. This is a terrific place to take the family to catch a limit in January.
We've been riding the wave of big brook trout on Moosehead Lake for the past several years. It is unclear how long it will last, but we've seen and heard of many trophy trout from Maine's largest lake recently. The best trout fishing is early in the season and anglers should be tight to shore amongst the rocks. Don't forget the 7th Annual Moosehead Lake Togue Derby will be January 24th to 26th this year. It is a great opportunity to win some prizes while helping us control the lake trout population in the lake.
As always, check the ice before venturing out in unfamiliar territory. No fish is worth a surprise dip in the lake this time of year.
Region F - Penobscot Region
Like most of the state, ice fishing came early to Region F.
"A lot of years we are wondering if we will have good ice on January 1, but Cold Stream Pond iced up over a week ago, weeks ahead of normal," said IFW fisheries biologist Nels Kramer who added that a lot of area waters were buttoned up.
Two popular destinations for ice fishing include Seboeis Lake in T4 R9 and Endless lake inT3 R9. There's good access to Endless by snowmobile. Another option is Schoodic Lake in Brownville. Wintertime offers some very good landlocked and brook trout fishing on the lake. IFW staff will be conducting creel census surveys on Schoodic, Seboeis and Endless this season.
If you want to head a little further north and east, Matagamon Lake, East Grand and Pemadumcook Lake all offer good ice fishing opportunities for trout, salmon and togue.
Perhaps more importantly, due to the cold weather, it looks as though this season, anglers will have a variety of lakes and ponds they can choose from for ice fishing.
"There seems to be a good base for snowmobiling," says Kramer, "I'm looking forward to a January 1 opening where many lakes and ponds are frozen and you can travel by snowmobile all over the area."
Region G - Aroostook Region
It may be early in the ice fishing season, but anglers are taking advantage of fishing opportunities at Scopan Lake and Mud Pond in Linneus. Both were stocked heavily with brook trout earlier this season, and anglers are out enjoying the early season ice conditions.
Other ponds for those looking to get out early include Arnold Brook Lake in Presque Isle, and Hodgdon Pond in Hodgdon. Arnold Brook has excellent brook trout fishing and a two trap limit, and Hodgdon Pond is stocked with brown trout.
"We have seen a lot of people out on our early waters and they are catching fish," said IFW fisheries biologist Frank Frost.
Many in the area, however, look forward to January 1 and the traditional opening of ice fishing season.
"Our ice conditions are pretty good, we have five to nine inches of ice on a lot of our lakes," said Frost.
Already there is up to a half a foot of ice on portions of Long Pond and Square Pond. That's good news for anglers, since the past several years, both of those ponds have had somewhat sketchy ice conditions on opening day.
In southern Aroostook, Nickerson Lake in New Limerick has both browns and brookies, and Drews Lake in Linneus offers both browns and splake. Anglers may also want to test Spaulding Lake in Oakfield for brook trout.
Thursday September 12, 2013
Running out of time....back to school. This will be my last report of the season.
Area anglers are in the midst of the best and final weeks of the fishing season. Striped bass have moved inshore along beachfronts and into rivers as they gorge for their quickly approaching swim south to Chesapeake Bay, and points south along the Virginia coast and the Carolinas. This past weekend's conditions were a challenge. Fish had moved up into the Saco River after having hunkered down on area beaches the last few weeks. Wind conditions were particularly difficult on my Sunday afternoon trip with sharp easterly winds pounding the river entrance. After a soaking ride to the calm confines of the southern shore of Wood Island my sports were able to load up our live well with dozens of huge mackerel. A salty ride back into the river proved to be the golden ticket! Up inside we fished a number of rock piles with a brisk outgoing tide and connected with a dozen or so healthy striped bass up to 35 inches, all caught on tiny chunks of the fresh mackerel. A two ounce bank sinker and 1/0 circle hook were all that was needed. My Quebec customers harvested two firm bass for dinner that night. Oddly, my charters have harvested fewer that two dozen bass all season. Numbers have been strong. Typical fish have been beyond the 20" to 26" slot and the few 40+ inch fish we have boated have been released. Not a bad problem for sure!/
Fish "inside" for the next few weeks is my strong recommendation. Areas like "the narrows" up in the Saco, Ferry Beach in Scarborough, and harbors like the Kennebunk River confines and York Harbor will all hold fish. Bass should become more aggressive as the season wanes and those fishing artificials will gain advantage as hungry bass stage for their exodus south. I am a big fan of the Deadly Dick casting spoons and this fall fishery is a perfect time to give these a try. Expect some bluefish to be in the mix as well. Chopper schools were present in Saco Bay over the last two weeks, though their numbers have been less than impressive.
Cod, haddock, and pollock fishing is improving as waters cool into the lower 60's. Stay with cod jig and fly combos until mid-October when dogfish and blue sharks begin their southern migration.
Tuna fishing has shown improvement in recent weeks, but numbers continue to remain below expectations. Late September and October have traditionally been the most productive time of the tuna season. Perhaps the most patient of any angler, Maine tuna fishermen will continue to ply our coastal waters well into November. Check out the photos page on the Saco Bay Tackle site for cool shots of recent giant bluefin tuna harvested (www.sacobaytackle.com) in our Maine waters.
Much was written this summer about sharks off of our coast. Waters offshore of Saco Bay are frequented by these amazing predators. I have included a photo of a porbeagle shark recently harvested in our southern Maine waters. Shark fishing will continue into mid-October off of southern Maine. Shark fishing is one of coastal Maine's most reliable fisheries and one of the few ways for Maine anglers to battle 100 pound plus gamefish.
Southern Maine coastal fishing is at its peak and will continue to be so in the coming weeks. With fading daylight most fishermen with weekday jobs are now limited to weekend excursions. This report concludes inaugual writing season. Time is short and my teaching position requires my full attention. Best wishes for a satisfying winter and hope to hear from you in the spring when we resume this column. All are encouraged to email your outdoor sporting photos to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to publish your photos when our fishing reports resume in the spring.
Captain Marco Lamothe
Quick report from John Harmon!! Bluefish are out there! From Richmond Island to Wood Island... Get out there!!
August 29th Report From Bruce Joule.
Offshore sea surface temps are running in the mid-60s. Groundfishing continues to be good, with pollock, cod, haddock and cusk making up the majority of the anglers' catch. Sharking has been decent especially for blue sharks. Recent catches include a few threshers, makos and lots of blue sharks. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 41⁄2 in length while basking and great white sharks are federally protected species. Tuna fishermen are struggling to boat fish. It is not just here but also to the south of us. During the most recent tourney out of Gloucester, Mass., not one of the 44 boats entered landed a fish. Ouch!
Striper fishing has been steady and will continue to improve into the fall. Shore anglers fishing the beaches (north of the Pier at Old Orchard at night, Bathhouse end of Biddeford Pool, Fortune Rocks) and the Mousam (in the evening) tell of good catches, as have boat anglers. The baits of choice are clams, eels and live or chunk macs. For those fishing artificials, try any of the Striper Maine-iac plugs, the Daiwa SP and DS Minnows, Lunker City 6-inch Arkansas Shiners or any of the rubber baits. For anglers who would prefer to toss a fly, the Camo crab pattern, the Crabbit and the 2/0 Black Bunny Eel (night) have been producing. Bluefish, though scarce, are out there.
Richmond Island and the Saco area are just a couple of spots where fishermen have hooked up. Orange Ranger lures, Rapala deep diving lures and Kastmasters are the way to go if using artificials for the larger ones while Mustad Piscata rigs have worked well for the snappers. Mackerel are spotty but anglers using chum have been able to bring some to the boat around the islands (Bluff, Wood, Stratton) and ledges outside of the Saco.
The Cape shoreline, the Royal and the Presumpscot are some of the locales where striper fishing has been good. Stripers are around and are moving so where you catch fish today you may not tomorrow. Spinners have been doing well working Rapala X-Raps, Yo-Zuri Mag Minnows, Mag Poppers and the Atom Striper Swiper. Fly guys are catching fish tossing Snake flies along with crab and mackerel pattern Clousers. Sandworms, mackerel and clams are the baits that have been getting it done. There are plenty of harbor pollock available.
• If you are a recreational saltwater angler, Maine law may require you to register with the Maine Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry. To learn more or register, visit http://www.maine.gov/saltwateror call 633-9505.
Saco Bay Tackle, anglers, and other Tackle Shops Help Bruce Joule provide as much accurate info to help you have a successful day.
Big striped bass have become the norm over the past week with fishermen throughout the Saco Bay region logging impressive catches. A forty-five inch cow striper caught on Trina-Lynn Charters was one of many stories being shared by local fishermen. A friend of mine at the Saco Yacht Club shared a story of four forty inch+ cow stripers that his friend had recently caught on a single four hour charter trip out of Kennebunkport. This is not easy fishing. Most large bass are being targeted and caught on nighttime tides, and live mackerel, the preferred bait, have become quite scarce. Patience and really lively larger baits are the key to successfully hooking and landing these mid-summer giants.
Offshore, groundfishing is holding steady with strong numbers of cod, pollock, and haddock in the mix. Boats fishing Jeffrey's Ledge are reporting more encounters with aggressive sharks. A common occurrence on the offshore grounds is to have a cod or pollock swiped by a scavenging blue shark, a species that commonly reaches 10 feet or more in length and can way hundreds of pounds. Fighting a "blue dog" as they are frequently referred to, can be an amazing experience.
I shared that bluefish were on to be on the way last week and they have arrived. The Kennebunk area saw schools marauding about late last week. Cape Porpoise Harbor was the scene over the weekend. Expect more of the same for Saco Bay and Casco Bay waters in the next week or two. One indication of the arrival of bluefish is the difficulty in finding and catching mackerel for bait. We surely have been challenged to find mackerel on recent trips.
My recommended lure for the week is an old favorite with multiple uses: the Crippled Herring. This jigging spoon in the 2 or 3 oz. size is equally suited for casting to busting school bluefin tuna, bluefish, or striped bass, and also makes an excellent inshore cod/pollock jig. This dense lure also makes an excellent end weight when jigging for mackerel. For this application I strongly recommend removing the hook to reduce bottom snags.
I have included a few striped bass photos that were recently shared with me by Capt. Keith Hall, a talented inshore guide who fishes out of the Pine Point and Casco Bay area. Check on the Photo Page ....Get out and fish!
Capt. Marco Lamothe with the Saco Bay Tackle Fishing Report for Sunday, August 4, 2013
I was reading the weekly report and I would like to provide some additional info for you. The bluefish are definitely here as we caught some off the beaches in Kennebunk on July 26th while trying for stripers. They were on the small size and they were full of squid! We also saw a lot of mackerel schooled up on the surface off of the spindles. The spinning rod rigs that we got at Saco Bay Tackle have worked extremely well for the kids at KBIA. On an earlier trip this week we had a great day of fishing offshore at Jeffries catching lots of groundfish and we got in an area that had whale feeding heavily on the surface (a great show) and mixed in with them were several tuna cruising right behind the whale. We also hooked, caught and released a nice Blue Shark that surprised us (the guests) as we were groundfishing. The offshore fishing continues to be GREAT.
Maine Ocean Adventures
Saco Bay Tackle Fishing Report submitted by Capt. Marco Lamothe of Keeper
Each week of the season is like a new chapter in a fishing book. This past
week saw an unexpected influx of school striped bass into river mouths on
incoming tides. Small bass in the 15"-25" size range could be seen in harbor
mouths such as Cape Porpoise, the Saco River, and Pine Point. These aggressive
schooling fish were herding small herring and sand eels schools and busting them
on the surface, on some days from morning right though afternoon, and into the
sunset hours. Best baits for these stripers are Daiwa SP (suspending) Minnows in
smaller sizes and Deadly Dick casting spoons. Though many show on the surface
via their herring gull entourages, most of these fish are significantly below
the surface boils.
Larger bass continue to feed on nighttime tides with many fish in the 40+
inch category being caught by those in the know. Capt. Jim Bollinger of Rip'n
Lips charters guided one of his sports this past week to an impressive 44" cow
that was caught on a daytime tide. Best spots to check out include the rocky
areas on the southern end of Fortune's Rock Beach, the ledges by Granite Point,
a very lightly fished area, and the rocky areas off of Higgin's Beach in
Scarborough and south of Cape Porpoise Harbor. Many of these productive
locations can be accessed by shore-bound anglers. Bring your bug spray
if fishing into the evening!
Many fishermen and beachgoers have made comments or asked questions about
the large fish that are frequently seen jumping and landing in dramatic fashion
in locations such as the mouths of the Saco River or Pine Point Harbor or out
along area beaches. These large fish that vault themselves into the air and land
on their sides are one of two species of sturgeon: the Atlantic sturgeon and the
short-nosed sturgeon. The smaller, the short-nosed, is on the endangered species
list according to the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the larger, the
Atlantic, is listed as threatened by the NMFS. If either is hooked and landed,
fishermen are instructed to keep the sturgeon in the water and safely and
quickly remove the hook or cut the line if the hook cannot be removed quickly.
These pre-historic looking fish are quite a site to see up close, whether in the
midst of an acrobatic leap or really up close as they are being released.
A friend complained about the quality of the fishing this past week and I
asked him if he had been fishing. He responded, "no". Another fishing friend who
was nearby chimed in on his recent fishing success, sharing details about recent
striped bass catches. My suggestion: Get out and fish.
Captain Marco Lamothe with the Saco Bay Tackle Fishing Report for Sunday,
July 28, 2013
A little Help From Bruce Joule This Week...
July 20th 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 http://www.maine.gov/saltwateror 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.
Keeper Charters Fishing Report for week of July 8, 2013
Foggy weather to start our week led to another nice weekend and fishermen are on the prowl throughout the Saco Bay region. Finding bait usually means finding larger predatory fish and our bay is loaded with lots of forage for the striped bass to gorge on. Mackerel and smaller pollock have been plentiful in recent weeks and area fishermen are using these lively baits to pursue large bass along area beaches. Charter captains and novices alike have found large stripers in shallows that include Parson's Beach in Kennebunk, the Saco River jetties, rocky ledges at Black Point in Scarborough, and along beaches and ledges stretching from Scarborough Beach State Park north to Higgin's Beach.
For those preferring artificials, try twitching an 8" single or double hooked Sluggo, or go traditional and cast a wood popper. Those with experience absolutely hammer big bass consistently with these large plugs. They provide excellent range and are reallly efficient at hooking and holding aggressive bass. The Striper Maniac brand is a good example of a locally made wood lure that will produce nice stripers.
Offshore, with slightly more stable weather, area bottom fishermen have found plenty of haddock and cod, and the pollock numbers and size have been quite impressive. On a recent charter trip my boat landed dozens of cod and haddock, but the biggest surprise were the doubles we experienced with ten to twenty pound pollock. We fished a 12 oz. jig with a cod fly teaser 15" above the jig. The teaser was baited with a medium sized shrimp. On nearly every drop we hooked fish within seconds of reaching bottom in 180' of water.
Best wishes for your fishing week. Until next week, tight lines!
Capt. Marco Lamothe with the Saco Bay Tackle Fishing Report
Keeper Charters Fishing Report for Monday, July 1, 2013
Summer fishing continues to impress along the southern Maine coast. Strong reports of striped bass action have been the highlight so far. Big bass moved onto beachfronts over the last couple of weeks and local fishermen are finding steady action. Traditional naturals like sea worms, clams, and chunk mackerel are producing at Ferry and Higgin's Beaches in Scarborough, Bay View and Ferry Beaches in Saco, and the bath house area at Biddeford Pool. Incoming evening tides are generally best during the warmer weeks of summer. fishermen with most success often fish one rod with bait and have a second rod ready with an artificial to cast for rising fish.
Recent conditions may keep tourist traffic at lower levels, but bass often feed all day during these low-light daytime conditions.
Deadly Dick spoons, Hurley Eels and other weighted lures that imitate larger sand eels will often brings aggressive strikes from busting fish.
Mackerel have been stacked up on oceanside of the Saco and Kennebunkport jetties for the last two weeks. Smalller pollock are also in the mix. Limit of six pollock is in place for inshore fishermen. These tender white bodied fish make excellent table fare.
Busy time for this fisherman with the close of my school teaching year, the lure of great fishing, lobster traps to tend, and graduations to attend almost every weekend. Much of this week's report comes from the local guys who are out there on the fishing grounds while I finish my teaching year.
Offshore, Bill Frasier of Conway, N.H. called this afternoon to share info from his two recent trips out to Jefferey's Ledge. Today the theme was more fat cod with three cod limits out of three on his boat in addition to a half dozen slammer pollock, with just a few haddock up to 25" and lots of cusk. Today was the first trip that Bill mentioned the arrival of dogfish, the occasional scourge of groundfishermen, tuna fishermen, and even large shark fishermen. His crew boated about a half dozen dogfish today. Not an overwhleming amount, but the first we have talked of this spring. As I talked to Bill on my ride home from Berwick, he shared a story of calm seas and occasional sunny skies. This was to my surprise! I reported I was in the midst of another rain shower, and I think most of us have had enough of that weather condition. Reports for the weekend and early next week show a glimmer of hope for drier weather.
The Saco River is coffee brown as I write this report. Fishing for upper slot bass has slowed a bit by the Saco Island falls, perhaps due to water conditions, but also due to the fading herring run. Expect these larger bass to move out to the beaches as June fades into July. The nice thing I find about this early season "upriver" action is its accessibility to the local intown fisherpeople. Later season hogs are generally found along the beaches near neighborhoods more likely to house tourists, or only accessible to boat fishermen.
Mackerel for these larger stripers have been abundant as of late. Filling a livewell with a dozen or two 8"-10" macks can take just a few minutes, and placing one three or four feet below a balloon or free-lining one near rocky outcroppings or near the mouths of rivers like Goosefare Brook in Saco/Old Orchard will nearly always yield an aggressive strike. Catch your mackerel on a Sabiki type rig and do your best not to touch them. Inexpensive dehookers will ensure a minimal amount of stress and keep your baits lively in your well for hours. Never add extra air to your mackerel tank. Extra oxygen is great for freshwater shiners, herring, and many other species, but the extra bubbles spell d-e-a-t-h for the once lively mackerel. Remember the new in-line circle hook requirements as you rig-up for these monster striped bass.
June is a great time to intercept small to medium sized striped bass as they cruise in schools along area beaches and river mouths. Small poppers like Atom Plugs, Rebels, and Yo-Zuris can provide great entertainment on evening tides this month.
Don't forget to celebrate Fathers' Day this Sunday and what better way to honor your dad is there than inviting him to go fishing?Tight Lines,
Whatâ€™s going on gents, sure has been a long off season. Iâ€™ve yet to see much in the way of striper reports so figured Iâ€™d fill ya in after my first beach trip of the season last night. I fished the last hour of incoming and 2 hours of outgoing with a buddy of mine, weather conditions were near perfect, medium surf with small pockets of seaweed in the water but not too bad. We picked up 8 fish in 3 hours ranging in size from mid teen to 26â€ï¿½ and 2 larger ones that were both just under 30â€ï¿½. Good to see fish on the beaches this early in the season, hoping for another great year.
Tight lines ~ Will in OOB
Offshore action is surely heating up in the Gulf of Maine. Haddock and cod catches on Jeffrey's have been steady with mostly smaller to medium cod being reported. Numbers are excellent with many small boat fishermen report limits of cod. Haddock were surprisingly plentiful on our trip Sunday (May 19). Many were in the 23-25" slot. Methods that are working include 12 or 16 oz. cod jig and fly combinations as well as traditional high low cod/haddock rigs with bait. Clams and shrimp have been steady producers with higher numbers of haddock coming on bait. Most of the fish we recently sampled were stuffed with a wide variety of forage including some with krill, a few with herring, and many with crabs as well.
Drift socks are a real bonus when jigging these depths (160-300 feet). The sock steadies the boat and slows the drift considerably. On our last trip we used the sock almost all day. The slower drift allows fishermen to keep their lure or boat in the fish zone in the bottom three to five feet of the water column. Small boat fishermen can reduce their required weights and hug bottom most effectively by dropping a drift sock overboard. A quality drift sock will last many seasons and is well worth the investment.
Inshore fishing is heating up with many school sized striped bass pushing up the Kennebunk, Saco, and other southern Maine rivers. Small is usually the key in the early season, with the exception of a well presented live herring, the overall preferred bait of stripers during the spring herring runs. Suggested artificials include small Yo-Zuri swimmers, smaller Rapala X-Raps and for fly fishermen weighted flies such as Clousers.
Lots of herring and larger shad are pushing up our rivers throughout the region with these striper runs, so finding fresh live baits shouldn't be a problem for coastal bass anglers.
The next few weeks should promise to be a particularly good time to target stripers on a fly. Boat fishermen have no advantage over shore bound fly fishers this time of year with many local fly fishermen catching dozens of aggressive early stripers on a single tide at local hotspots such as the inside of the Hill's Beach jetty on the Saco, the Cataract Falls dam area below Rapid Ray's in Saco, Parson's Beach in Kennebunk, and Higgin's Beach in Scarborough.
Mackerel are positioning themselves outside our harbors with little inshore action reported (yet). That should change shortly as water temps. rise. Yesterday at Jeffrey's Ledge our boat recorded 49.5 degrees. Fifty is generally regarded as the magic number for striped bass action to heat up as well as for mackerel to move into near shore waters.
In closing this report I want to talk about the change that went into effect this past January regarding circle hooks in Maine waters. The new law requires bait fishermen to use an in-line circle hook. The only exception is for people trolling surgical tubes. Traditional J-hooks are fine when constructing or choosing your tubes. Circle hooks are not required on artificial lures.
The big difference fishermen will find is that hook setting is not necessary and will actually reduce your success. Fishermen who fish for bluefin tuna have been using circle hooks and other similar styles for years. They work! How could Tyler Mclaughlin set a hook with his 130 the way Kevin VanDamm sets a Texas rig into a five pound largemouth? Steady pressure is the key for hooking up with a circle. The only difference I have found is that hook removal can be just a bit more challenging. The hook slides into the tough tissue at the corner of the bass's mouth and frequently a quick twist with a good set of fishing pliers (see Kenny at the shop for a good selection) is required. Of the dozens of fish I caught on a recent groundfishing trip, not a single fish was gut hooked and I fished clams and shrimp almost exclusively on a homemade high/low rig made with circle hooks. I am sold and I think that with a bit of adjustment most will grow to appreciate their fish catching ability.
Here is a link to a four minute video I viewed on YouTube that I think will help explain how to fish circle hooks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycDGekeltK8Tight Lines,
July 6 2012
If you are a recreational saltwater angler, Maine law may require you to register with the Maine Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry. To learn more or to register, visit www.maine.gov/saltwater or call 207-633-9505.
Atlantic bluefin tuna are being taken on some of the inshore and offshore humps (Platt's, the Kettle, Tantas). Anglers sitting on the ball using fluorocarbon leaders with live mackerel or herring are catching fish as well as those trolling squid rigs. A few blue sharks (around Tanta's) and makos (one boat had two, catch and release, during a tuna trip) have been reported. Ed Bilsky, Out on Tantas today and caught an 8.5 foot blue shark. Tons of mackerel from Boomerang down to Tantas. The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length.
Note that all vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish must have an Atlantic HMS Angling Permit from the NMFS. For more information, contact the NMFS at (978) 281-9260 or visit their website at http://http:nmfspermits.com.
Cod and haddock catches have been very good on Jeffrey's (haddock on the Fingers) and Platt's. For those targeting cod, try using 16- or 21-ounce Norwegian cod jigs coupled with a red teaser or the Shimano Butterfly rig. An angler specifically after haddock should fish bait (clams, shrimp) right near the gravel or sand bottom. The weather buoy on Jeffrey's shows sea surface temperatures in the mid 60s while the low 60s are reported from the Portland buoy.
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 2012 saltwater regulations, please call 633-9505 or check online at www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/rechomepage.html.
ZONE 1: It's summertime fishing conditions for stripers. Get out early or late. Shore anglers have been hooking up plenty of bass off the beaches (Hills, Higgins, Goosefare Brook, Biddeford Pool, ocean side of the Camp Ellis jetty). Beach fishermen should check local ordinances as some beaches restrict fishing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bait (clams, 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. Pods of fat fish ripping around. Mike Loncoaki in Yarmouth was landing a few with macks..see photo page of his Fat 41” and sent back to fight another day. Anglers trolling surgical tubes (wine red, bubblegum) coupled with a bloodworm are catching fish. Calcutta rubber shad, 2-4 ounce Kastmasters and the Lonely Angler (along the rocks) have been getting it done for those fishing artificials. Fly guys throwing Surf Candy flies and chartreuse or blue/white Clousers and Deceivers have been having success. Wood Island and Three Tree Ledge are just a couple of spots where fishermen have been catching tinker to horse-sized mackerel. For better luck use chum (cat food) coupled with Sabiki rigs. A few reports of bluefish off of Prout's Neck and many others of guys getting cut off so make sure and have your wire leaders with you.
ZONE 2: 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. The rivers are still producing but as the water temperatures rise, the fishing activity slows. These areas have been most productive when fished at pre-dawn/night or under low light conditions. Anglers working artificials have been getting into the fish using Rapala X-Raps, mackerel or herring Gag's Mambo Minnows, Gag's Schoolie poppers and any of the rubber baits. Flies that have been effective include any of the 2/0 and 4/0 grocery patterns (river mouths), Clousers (on the flats) and the Jake's Advantage. Baits of choice are mackerel and pollock. Mackerel catches throughout the Bay are good. Use chum to stay on the fish once you start hooking up.
ZONE 3: Stripers and mackerel can be caught from various locations throughout this zone. Anglers report catching stripers from a wide range of spots, including right inside Boothbay Harbor as well as from Sagadahoc Bay, Back River (Kennebec River) and the Sasanoa, Weskeag and St. George Rivers. The key now is to get out early as fishing really falls off after the sun tops the trees. Bait (live macs around the rock piles, worms on the flats and eels from the beaches) has been king. Try and match your artificials and flies to the natural bait. Mackerel can be found from here all the way Down East. The Boothbay Harbor Freezer Pier and the Southport Bridge are a couple of free public shore site where anglers can get a shot at these guys. Remember that if you are fishing on the Kennebec upstream of the power line in Augusta, you must have a current freshwater fishing license.
This report is mostly written by Bruce Joule From DMR.. Bruce will be adding his report to our page weekly and try to give as much info as possible.. Aything you would like to add send it to us(Photo,or report to email@example.com )
Small adjustments: We all have a favorite hot spot on the lake we fish. Going fishing on cold front may find you saying man we catch them here all the time, but today we can’t even buy a bite. The adjustment may include moving out a little further from the structure. Often times your hot spot may include a specific piece of structure (rock pile, flat, grass bed ect.) the fish often during a cold front will move away from the structure and suspend in deeper water adjacent to your best spots. With that in mind fish the deepest water adjacent to your hot spot and expect the unexpected.
Slowing Down is the result, of absolutely no success with the covering water approach. Sometimes no fish in a lake will chase a bait. Then your fishing becomes a slow methodical approach. You can accomplish that with some hard baits like suspending jerkbaits such as a Rapala husky jerk or a Rapala slashbait (XRAP) such as the XR10, but most success will come on soft plastics such as tubes and jigs.
John Blais, RMG