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 email@example.com 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.
Captain Marco Lamothe-Fishing Report for Sunday, Sept. 3, 2013
Inconsistent weather has been the theme over the past week. Fishing has
remained steady on many fronts.
Fishing Report for Tuesday, August 21, 2013 by Capt. Marco Lamothe-Keeper
Inshore striped bass has been steady all summer overall with good numbers
and nice average size. That trend continues. Many of my customers, especially
those from inland areas, have an interest in harvesting one or two stripers for
the grill. This summer most of my clients most have caught plenty of nice bass,
but nearly all have exceeded the 20 to 26 inch slot. Typical stripers have run
30 to 35 inches and that trend has continued throughout through August. Many
area fishermen have shared that striped bass have become more finicky as the
season wanes. This past week my fishing charters moved from live mackerel to
chunk mackerel and that definitely improved our results. Try tossing a few 1/2"
thick steaks of mackerel before fishing your hooked bait. I like to fish the
hooked chunk weightless on a 1/0 to 4/0 circle hook.
Groundfishermen I spoke with over the past week all shared stories of
nuisance blue sharks that had dismembered a fat cod or engulfed a haddock or
redfish, often resulting in an expected long shark battle on under-sized
equipment. Fun at first, but regretful one or more hours into the battle.
Bluefish have been a bust thus far in Saco Bay, though that could change at
any moment. Keep your eyes open and keep a Ranger or Yo-Zuri popper handy to
cast if opportunities present themselves. Apologies go out to all who heightened
their expectations based on my earlier bluefish reports; especially Steve and
Gordie at the SYC.
The bluefin tuna bite was slow this past week and has been up to this point
. September should bring a change as offshore fish move in to feed in the Saco Bay region.
The highlight of my charter season was an unusual site my crew observed on
Saturday of last week. Shortly after loading our livewell with energetic
mackerel we made my way from Stratton Island off of Scarborough to the Ferry
Beach State Park area off of Saco. While en route we intercepted a school of
harbor porpoises that numbered in the hundreds. Mixed in the melee were dozens
of aggressive harbor seals. My Vermont clients marveled at the bounty of Saco
Bay while I tried to figure out what they were chasing. We never "marked" any
large fish on the fishfinder and I did not observe any baitfish on the surface.
Gulls occasionally swooped down to grab a morsel. My best guess was either
juvenile herring or squid, a frequent nighttime visitor to our locale. Fun site
Lots of fishing left. Don't put your rods away yet.
Get out and fish!
Lots to report this week from inshore and offshore fishing
Biggest change has been a slow down on the bottom fishing grounds over the
past two weeks. Jeffrey's Ledge, West Cod Ledge, and Tanta's Ledge have all been
challenging local bottom dredgers targeting cod, pollock, and haddock. Action
should remain similar until fall weather brings cooler water temperatures. Water
temps. on the offshore grounds have hovered around the 70 degree (F.) mark since
Shark fishing is at is peak with steady catches being reported from
locations like Boomerang, the east side of Tanta's and more southern deep water
areas like Platt's and Old Scantum. Unlike many other types of fishing, boats
that fish alongside each other often increase their chances. This also provides
a security blanket for those new to fishing waters ten to twenty-five miles from
Striped bass continue to appear in abundance throughout the coastal region.
Wary late season bass can sometimes appear to have lock-jaw. Often even a lively
mackerel will be refused by cruising beachside linesides. Try anchoring up or
positioning yourself on a shoreline frequented by bass. Begin by slicing a fresh
mackerel into five or so chunks and toss all but one out towards the intended
angling location. Take the last piece (I prefer the shoulder area just behind
the head chunk) and bury your circle hook into the chunk and cast it out among
the first chunks. Every ten or so minutes afterwards add another fresh chunk or
two to the buffet. I generally fish this chunk with a 30# mono leader attached
to a 1/0 to 4/0 circle hook, depending on the size of the mackerel you are
pitching. With circle hooks there is no need to set the hook. When the line
becomes taut, simply reel in your catch. If bluefish show, add a short wire
leader to the same rig.
Now for the bluefish report, or actually lack of report. Bluefish have been
quite sparse thus far. Capt. John Leahey shared two weeks back he had fished a
small blitz of blues in front of the Old Orchard Pier. This is the only
confirmed report I have received for Saco Bay. Recent tournaments have had
winning fish in the three to seven pound range. This can change in a moment, but
perhaps this is one of our occasional no or few bluefish seasons.
For those targeting mackerel and pollock, fish known rocky areas like the
east side of the Wood Island Lighthouse, ledges in front of Black Point, and the
ledges in front of Fortune's Rocks. My favorite live bait continues to be
smaller mackerel and this season we have been blessed with an abundance.
Lure recommendation for the week is actually a line recommendation. Huge
changes have occurred in recent years with choices for line, particularly in
salt water. Monofilament is very practical for most applications. Mono is the
"clear plastic-type" line we have all used at times in our fishing careers. For
bottom fishing such as jigging for cod, monofilament line is difficult to use.
The line has a large diameter and stretches almost like a bungee cord. Hits are
difficult to detect and a drifting boat often causes even a twenty ounce jig to
lift as the mono is swept by the current.
Power-Pro micro-braid line and many other similar micro-braided lines solve
the deficiencies of mono. They have virtually zero stretch so even when an eight
inch herring hits your bait you feel the tiny fish struggling on the end of your
line 200 feet down! These lines also cut through the currents due to their tiny
profile allowing fishermen to use much less weight. Tuna fishermen often spool
their reels with a variety of braided lines as well. Because they are fishing
closer range (often near surface) they run the risk of tearing hooks through the
flesh of the tuna. Most who use these braids in shallower water splice in a
monofilament "top-shot" to the end of their braid and connect the mono direct to
their lure or live bait hook. With braid being as much as five times less in
diameter fishermen are also able to load much more line onto their reels.
Important when fighting bluefin tuna that often run for 500 yards or more on
their initial strike.
Summer is surely winding down, but not the fishing opportunities. Late
August and September promise to be the best fishing period of the coastal Maine
Get out and fish!
Capt. Marco Lamothe with the Saco Bay Tackle Fishing Report August 8th 2013 Striped bass and bluefish are both present in good numbers throughout the
Saco Bay region. Mackerel have also made a return with close to earlier season
numbers. Early in the week I was able to find good numbers of small, medium, and
really large mackerel off of area ledges using Mustad sabiki style rigs with a 3
oz. bottom weight. Soaking a frozen chum block really helps hold macks near your
boat after your first few fish are landed. Tiny 5 to 6 inch "spike" mackerel are
also present and make really nice pitching baits for school stripers along area
haunts such as Ferry Beach in Scarborough or the rocky shoals in front of
Juvenile herring are also on the minds of the stripers and blues in the bay
and up in river mouths throughout coastal Maine. These 3-4 inch fish make great
forage for area gamefish and are easily imitated with a small Sluggo, Yo-Zuri
Crystal Minnow, or a Deadly Dick casting spoon. Early morning or late evening on
an incoming tide are great times to target stripers up in the mouth of the Saco,
Kennebunk, or Mousam rivers feeding on these delectable treats. Diving herring
gulls, one of the smaller gull species in the area, often hover over these
schools of bait being corralled by the hungry bass.
Bluefin tuna have become a more frequent catch over the last few weeks.
Area boat crews are working hard to harvest these monster members of the
mackerel family. Area captains have lamented a bit recently over lower prices
being paid for their bluefin catches. Live mackerel, as big as you can find
them, and lots of quality gear, and a whole load of patience are needed to be
successful in this fishery.
All four species of shark; porbeagle, blue, mako, and thresher, are being
targeted and caught throughout southern Maine's offshore waters. Yes, they are
all man-eaters, and no, they do not frequent area beaches. Find 400+ feet of
water and you increase your likelihood for hooking into one of these Gulf of
Cod, haddock, and pollock fishing continues to hold steady and strong. The
only challenge is the heavy numbers of dogfish that continue to target natural
baits dropped into the depths by bottom dredging fishermen. Cod jigs and
artificial teasers are recommended until early in the fall when dogfish numbers
tend to decrease.
Lure for the week is the Bomber six inch deep diver in silver or mackerel
color. These diving lures will reach depths of 15 feet on a steady troll, costs
much less than other competing brands, and bluefish really love their action.
Bluefish in Saco Bay often suspend at depths of 20 to 30 feet and this lure is
visible to blues in that depth range. Connect the lure to your main line via a
quality coastloack swivel with a 30 to 50 lb. mono shock leader and there is no
need for a steel leader.
Now for a bit on leaders. It is my belief that steel leaders are OK for
bluefish angling, but definitely reduce the number of strikes you are likely to
receive and these highly visible leaders virtually eliminate the possibility for
a striped bass strike. Try using a 30-36" clear mono leader in 30, 40 or 50#
test if you know bluefish are present. The leader can be easily grabbed when
The weather the early part of this week has been spectacular, and similar
conditions are broadcast for this weekend, into next week. Whether you are
tending a pole from a sand spike on an area beach while your children swim or
fishing from a boat on a nighttime tide, the next few weeks promise to be the
best of the season.
Get out and fish!
Capt. Marco Lamothe
Fishing Report for Sunday, August, 3013 by Capt. Marco Lamothe
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
From Ron Littlefield, Saturday, July 27, 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
Fishing Report for July 26
Offshore fishing has been red hot lately, with mostly cod and large Pollack, including one caught that was well over 20lbs! Using jigs with fly teasers has been the trick for us, although clams for bait have been producing well also. However, there do seem to be more cusk caught while using bait. We've been having a heck of a time finding any keeper haddock, but have... been catching a ton of shorts!
The tuna bite has not been all that great lately, with only a few being taken in the last week with a lot of effort. There doesn't seem to be a big body of fish here yet, but it's looking like August will be the time to fish the inshore ledges. We also haven't seen many signs of tuna on trips to Jefferies.
Shark season is definitely here! On sunny days you will find a lot of blue shark on the surface, and fishing with chum will get you anywhere from 5-7 good sized sharks in a trip. Teazer Charters recently caught and released a 300lb porbeagle that took a live mackerel.
Stripers in Portland harbor seem to have clammed up, with bright sun and calm waters seeming to be the culprits. Best to try low light conditions, fog, rain, sunrise, and sunset for the best stripers.
There are some rumors of blues being around, but we haven't seen any yet. They should be arriving in numbers any day now though, just look for bird activity and have a bright colored surface popper ready. The recent scarcity of mackerel indicate that the blues can't be far off!
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.
Keeper Charters Fishing Report for Thursday, June 13, 2013
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?
Captain Marco Lamothe
Keeper Charters Fishing Report for Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Weekend heat and clear skies were a welcome bonus for coastal fishermen this past weekend. Steady reports continued to roll in from the groundfishing fleet. Slammer pollock along with consistent action from haddock have been the norm the past few weeks. Cod numbers are strong with lots of fish in the 20-25" slot being reported. Best action on haddock continues on bait, including squid, clams, and native shrimp, if you can find them. This shrimp shortage is a follow up to the very short commercial shrimp season Maine saw this past winter.
Inshore striped bass angling continues to improve with fish being caught along area beaches, up in coastal marshes, and up in thelarger rivers like the Saco. Over the weekend I saw fishermen sucessfully fishing surgical tubes in between the Saco River mouth jetties, with most fish in the lower legal slot. Up river, near Twin Island, live bait fishermen were successful with small mackerel fished live. Surgical tubes, and swimming lures were also producing. Most of the mid-river fish were on the small side, short of the 20" slot. Sunday morning saw a flurry of activity below the dams on the incoming tide. Numerous fish in the 30-36" range were caught and released by fishermen on anchor fishing live herring. Shad of gargantuan size are also continuing to strike in this tailwater fishery. Many of the shad I have caught or observed being caught are over 20" and are quite a surprise when hooked on a light rod while jigging herring.
Mackerel are at their seasonal peak and this should continue for the next few weeks. Fish east of the Saco Bay islands for best action. Depths of 30'-60' have been providing steady action. Water temps. have risen to the mid-50's out in Saco Bay and river temps. were already in the lower 60's on Sunday.
Expect more striped bass in the coming weeks, with an increase in average size as well, as more migrating bass find their way into our local waters. Mid-day is producing and this should begin to fade a bit as summer conditions approach. June is one of my favorite times to fish with no need to fish early or late and generally lighter boat traffic.
Get Out and Fish!
Captain Marco Lamothe
Keeper Charters Fishing Report for Monday, May 27, 2013
Weather has finally swayed in favor of coastal fishermen after a windy and very wet stretch. Saco Bay waters were all churned up today as my friends and I fished for mackerel. Earlier in the week, despite rough seas, I was able to gather a bunch of tinkers. Today with a good crew and coolers ready to fill, we barely collected a couple of dozen. The fish finder was loaded with marks, but the macks were a bit finicky. Waters in the bay were 52 F., up a few degrees from last weekend. Fifty is generally considered to be the magic number, so fishing should heat up in the coming week, especially with the arrival of warmer, more stable weather. Few reports from offshore groundfishing boats due to recent heavy seas. Conditions should prove to be more favorable for the coming week with air temps predicted to climb near 80 by Thursday and Friday.
Inshore locations are holding herring, shad, and striped bass. Evening tides should find plenty of fish and plenty of fishermen up in coastal river locations such as the Scarborough Marsh, Saco River, and Kennnebunk River. Small poppers as well as small swimming plugs should bring aggressive strikes for those willing to stay into the low light of dusk. Sea worms fished on bottom as well as trolled surgical tubes with sea worm trailers are always worth a try.
This is a unique time of year for bait gathering as well. A well placed Sabiki can yield dozens of herring or mackerel. Now is the time of year to fill the bait freezer for mid-summer striped bass and bluefish chunking, grinding for shark fishing, or simply to stuff bait bags if you have lobster traps. Take the time to set out a quart of frozen chum when jigging mackerel. The chum attracts the mackerel to your boat, but the best effect it provides is holding schools once you reel in your first rig full. I try to keep a few of these chum containers in my freezer for use throughout the season. See Kenny for chum quarts and pick up a few lobster bait bags to drop them in. Hang one from your gunwale mid-ship.
Final suggestion to all: Go fishing!
Captain Marco Lamothe
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
Fishing Report for Monday, May 20, 2013-Keeper Charters
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:
Captain Marco Lamothe
Keeper Charters Fishing Report for Sunday, May 12, 2013
Herring have moved into Maine coastal rivers and fishermen have followed. Sporadic action being reported below the Cataract Falls Dam on the east channel of the Saco River just below the Main St. bridge. Shad are also in the mix for this unique "niche" fishery.
Best tactics include a Sabiki style rig with small hooks such as the Sabiki Piscator with size 8 hooks or smaller. From a boat it is best to make a moderate length cast with a 2 oz. or 3oz. bell weight at the bottom. Just as the rig is touching bottom begin slowly bouncing it back to the boat. Both shad and herring with strike the rig. The limits on herring are 25 and for shad two.
Most people use these silvery fish for bait, quickly placing the live herring onto a larger circle hook and pitching it into the current. Striped bass love both the alewife and blueback herring varieties (the two species which frequent Maine rivers in spring). From shore fish a similar rig with a swimming plug trailer such as a swimming Yo-Zuri or a one oz. Crippled Herring will help lengthen your casts. The bell weights tend to hang up on bottom when fished from shore. Fishermen who find these long rigs too cumbersome to manage are encouraged to cut the the four or six hook rigs in half or even into thirds.
I personally harvest these alewives and blueback herring for use later in the season. They make good bait for my lobster traps that my clients love to watch being pulled, and I also use the herring chunks for fishing stripers and bluefish later in the summer when mackerel can be scarce.
Offshore action is really off to a fast start this spring. Gulf of Maine humps such as Jeffrey's Ledge and Tanta's Ledge are already producing with some of the best early season reports we have heard in quite a few seasons. A friend of mine has fished Jeffrey's twice in the last two weeks with limits of cod being caught in 90 minutes or less both trips. He also reported incredible numbers of "slammer" pollock on both trips. A few legal haddock were caught as well. All the harvested fish were stuffed with 6-8" herring.
Regulations for cod this year remain the same. Length is 19" with a limit of nine fish. Haddock have no bag limit with a length limit of 21"; two inches longer than last year.
Clams and shrimp produced on a bottom finder rig (Sea Wolfe Cod or Haddock Rig) as did Sea Wolfe Cod Jigs with an Amazing Worm Teaser.
Weather conditions have been pretty sweet as of late, so we strongly recommend scheduling an early season adventure out to one of the local ledges. Tanta's has traditionally been its best in late May and June, so don't overlook this hump. For boats coming out of Portland, Scarborough, or Saco ground fishermen can save a 14 mile trip (one way) by giving Tanta's a look on the way down to Jeffrey's. You might be surprised by the numbers and quality of fish.....especially fat cod and slammer pollock. Need some GPS numbers or some ideas on gear needed? Stop in the shop and we'll point you in the right direction.
Captain Marco Lamothe
April 29, 2013
OK it's time for the spring fishing report for Sebago Lake
The smelts have started up the Songo River on their annual spawning run. Salmon and Lake Trout are stacked up off the mouth of the Songo river waiting for an easy meal. Your best bet right now is trolling live smelts just before sunrise on the drop offs in the shallow water on the flats by the sandbar. But when the sun starts to rise m...ove out to the deeper water and fish the humps. We have boated 58 fish so far this year with 30 of them being Salmon. We are trolling at 1.4 mph and getting the smelts to show good wobbling action.....a slow roll is great if you can get it to do it. We are using fly rods with sinking level line and 40-60 10lb mono leaders and #10 sliding bait rigs. We are letting the full fly line out. We have experimented with some hardware and found the #42 DB Smelt is also taking fish as is the old standby Mooselook wobblers. (copper) We have also had great success trolling shiners and small suckers for Togue (Lake Trout). Find some 50ft humps on your fishfinder and run 7 colors of lead core and hang on! My best advise to you is.... you can't catch fish if your lines ain't wet!! Get out there and have some fun.....and bring a kid fishing. If you have questions or just want to talk fishing, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Tight lines my friends!! Capt Scott
Feb 5th 2013 I have been out most weekends and hitting a few places with some success.
Little Ossipee Lake in Waterboro has received some healthy stockings of rainbows in the last couple years and is starting to pay off. I heard of a 5+lber coming thru the ice this season. I have seen a big brown and some good bows... in the couple times I fished it. Also I have seen a few really good salmon. Smelts still seem to be the ticket there. Norway lake has been red hot for flags! My group alone had over 40 in seven hours. Got some nice rainbows, wh. perch and smallies. Trickey has been slow but has given up a couple nice salmon. I fished the station at Sebago last weekend and not even a flag or bite jigging. I heard they were doing better out by Indian Island jigging if you could get out on the ice. Pleasant pond up around Litchfield has been fast action for crappie. I saw a lot of shacks on Long Lake in Naples the past couple of weekends but don't know how they are doing. The Range ponds in Poland have been ok giving up a few brookies and browns on Upper.
Remember......a bad day fishing......wait there is no such thing!! Make a kids day take them fishing!! See you all soon!
Capt Scott http://www.snugharborguideservice.com/ Freshwater Fishing Report for January 4, 2013
Submitted by Jack FowlerHappy New Year everyone! We have some good ice on our local ponds and the action has already been great. Good reports are coming in from all over the southern part of the state on both lakes and ponds. Weâ€™re early into ice fishing season so lets pause to review a little. I know all of you take a good inventory of your ice fishing gear and weâ€™re all anxious to get out there but letâ€™s be sure we give ourselves the best odds of landing a trophy fish. Thereâ€™s nothing worse than losing a great fish because weâ€™re using some old beat-up gear that we should have replaced years ago. The shop carries Heritage Traps which are very well made and very dependable. There are also skimmers, seats, baskets and pretty much anything else you might need to upgrade or replace. If you donâ€™t have a powered ice auger you can even rent one for the weekend. A powered auger makes it so much easier to move your traps if the action is slow where you are. As I get older Iâ€™m a little more cautious than in my younger days so ice thickness is always a concern for me. Iâ€™m happy to say that Iâ€™ve never gone in for a swim and I donâ€™t plan to. Eager fisherman should always be careful on the first venture out. Thereâ€™s plenty of fishing time ahead and those fish arenâ€™t going anywhere so please be careful. The shop has boot cleats in stock too and no one wants to take a header on the ice racing toward a flag. Local ponds here in York County have been producing plenty of hungry bass and perch the last week or two. I also met up with two lucky fisherman who limited out on some gorgeous brookies over the weekend. Iâ€™m a big fan of small ponds as these are often overlooked by many anglers. Some of my best days have been spent fishing on one of these smaller bodies of water. For those two guys that was never truer this past weekend. The shop has a great supply of healthy shiners available 24 hours a day and thereâ€™s no need to wait another week. So check your gear, replace anything thatâ€™s in bad shape, get a few dozen shiners and head out this weekend. Ice fishing is great with a few buddies or as a family affair. And of course thereâ€™s nothing tastier than trout cooked right there out on the ice. See ya on the water!
|Jan 4th 2013Well ice fishing has seem to come quick this year as we are getting reports of some great ice fishing on Barker Pond , Kennebunk Pond ,Long Pond , Buganut Pond and Deer Pond . Shiners are still the best bait for the best catch . Lots of trout , bass , and pike alredy being caught . We are still offering our 24 hour shiner tank for your ice fishing bait needs . This is a cash only honor system that only works with your honesty when it comes to taking the bait you pay for. We are also offering our Propane Ice Auger rental this year. Its a great way to try ice fishing for the first time without that the huge investment of a auger. Call store for details . Weekend rentals start as low as $75.00 !! Looks like some smelt camps will be open after this week, but you can call the camps to get some info on the link below:Be safe have fun and stay warm . http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational/smeltcamps/
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).
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 saltwater regulations please call 633-9505 or check our resource page ...ZONE 1: 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. If you are fishing the lower rivers, troll either purple, pink or motor oil colored tubes coupled with a sandworm on the outgoing tide. The baits of choice are clams and macs. For those fishing artificials try any of the Striper Maine-iac plugs, Lunker City 6-inch Arkansas Shiners, Megabait Bucktail jigs 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, from 8 inches up to 16 pounds, are out there. Richmond Island and the Saco area are just a couple of spots where fishermen have been hooking up. Orange Ranger lures, Rapala deep diving lures and Kastmasters are the way to go if using artificials for the big ones, while Mustad Piscata rigs have worked well for the snappers. Be forewarned that hese fish are actively moving and you may be on them for a few casts and then they are gone. 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 River.
ZONE 2: The Cape shoreline, Mackworth, 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.
ZONE 3: There are stripers around. Find the bait and you will find the stripers, as these fish will be actively feeding before their trip south in a few weeks. Action on the rivers, including the Damariscotta, St. George and the Kennebec watershed (off the beaches) has been good but sometimes anglers will be marking fish and just can't get them to take a hook as there is a lot of bait in the water. See zones 1 and 2 for baits, artificials, flies and fishing tips. Mackerel catches have been hit or miss along the east side of Southport, the Cuckolds and Lower Mark Island. Once on a school, toss some chum over to help hold the fish. Bluefish, snappers to 10-plus pounds, are around.
ZONE 1: Striper fishing remains good with fish available around the islands, rock piles, beaches and lower rivers. Ferry Beach (Scarborough), Pine Point, the Spurwink, the Graveyard and Richmond Island are spots where catches have been good. Anglers fishing the early morning or late evening, both sides of the tide, have had the best results. Spinners have been catching bass with Slugo-Gos (white-day, black-night), Fin-S lures, Bombers and wooden plugs such as the Striper Mainiac along with the R.M. Smith line. If you are working the lower rivers, try fishing the outgoing tide with orange or blood red surgical tubes (fish these deep and don't forget the sandworm). Clams and chunked mackerel are the baits of choice. Bluefish are available with some fish in the 6-10-pound range being taken around the mouth of the Saco and Pine Point. Good numbers of snappers (12 inches and up) have been reported around York. Anglers targeting blues should try the Shimano Waxwing (provides an irregular kick), Yo-Zuri Hydro series or the orange Roberts Ranger, and don't forget your wire leaders. Pogies have been reported toward the New Hampshire line. Mackerel are scarce.
ZONE 2: Striper fishing is what can be expected for this time of year. Most all the ledges, the Cape and Falmouth shore as well as many of the islands (Mackworth by boat) are giving up fish. The bait boys continue to have success with clams and squid. Three- to 6-inch poppers such as the Rapala X-Rap, Rebel Jumpin Minnow, Gag's Schoolie Popper, the Yo-Zuri Live Bait Minnow (this one will not break on the rocks) as well as the traditional Bucktail are artificials that are working. Harbor pollock are abundant Bluefish are here. Water temperatures at the Maine State Pier are in mid-60s.
Capt.Peter Morse Teaser Charters came in with some recent news that Bluefish have been here and can be caught from Kenn to Harpswell. Going after almost anything topwater.. Orange Poppers, Roberts Lures, Line Stretchers, and Blue and White Poppers. Stripers have slowed down due to the warmer water. Even the low light, fog, Dawn and Dusk Methods are slow but be patient...Chunking Mackerel averages about one fish every couple hours..
Cod at Tantas but you also have to be patient..the man with the experience will prevail jigging this week!! Sharks are still slammin off deep water east of Tantas Ledge to Trinidad with a surface temp of 70 degrees try to put out a slick for a couple of hours then the Sharks should be around all day.... Biting on your Mackerel and Chum....
Rob Evon Had a few successful trips landing a 43" and a 48" off of Pine Point... His days are just starting says Ron!!
Busy week off the beaches of Saco Bay! Blues are in and thick, but unfortunately bass and mackerel seem to have performed a brief disappearing act. Throughout the week blues good be found gorging on 5" river herring throughout beachfront areas of Saco Bay. Most successful trip of the week was not typical with very few visual signs yet hordes of fish suspended below and actively feeding. Two evenings before the fishing was great with a classic bluefish blitz: busting blues, aggressive surface strikes, and birds diving everywhere. Thursday morning was totally different, yet the fish were thick. Flat seas, no birds to be seen, and still our poppers were of huge interest. Don't assume there are no blues in the area if surface activity isn't evident. They may be feeding deep away from the interest zone of gulls and terns. Recommended lure of the week was a bright orange Ranger casting plug that spent more time in the mouths of hungry bluefish than it did skittering the surface of the calm bay. Take the time to change out your hooks when targeting bluefish. Single hooks catch more fish and they are definitely safer to remove. All you need is a tail hook when fishing for blues....remove the belly hook(s) as well. Bluefish hit over 90% of the time from the the tail end. When changing out the hooks spend a few pennies extra and replace with a solid stainless split ring, if one isn't already present, and a quality stainless J-style hook. The plug then becomes a nice handle to grab when swinging a blue into the boat......allows for a safe release and if keeping a fish your boat is not bloodied by a gaff wound. Expect to see more striped bass mixing in with the bluefish schools in the coming weeks. This has been the pattern in years past. Be sure to scroll down a bit on this report page to view Capt. Cal Robinson's 50" striper caught in the southern reaches of our productive bay. The possibilities are amazing when fishing our unique piece of coastal Maine. Capt. Marc Lamothe Keeper Charters 207-286-5565 http://www.keeper-charters.com/
The Atlantic bluefin tuna bite has been steady with a good mix of sizes being taken. Tuna fishermen overnighting on the fishing grounds report lots of squid attracted by their lights. Also, anglers have reported gray triggerfish (inshore also) and banded rudderfish. Angling permit holders may take one tuna 27 inches or greater up to 73 inches per day. All vessels fishing recreationally for Atlantic tunas, sharks and swordfish must have an Atlantic HMS angling permit. For more information, call the NMFS at (978) 281-9260 or visit its website at http://nmfspermits.com/. The backside of Tanta's, Trinidad and Jeffreys are a few spots where sharking has been hot. Numerous blue sharks along with a few threshers and porbeagles have been caught. If possible, rig a bluefish fillet (makos especially love them) with a squid skirt. 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 species. Sea surface temperatures are in the high 60s to low 70s. Pollock, cod and haddock fishing has been better than what can be expected for this time of year. Generally, dogfish have only been a nuisance at the change of tide.
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 length. If you have any 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.
ZONE 1: We are in the dog days of August and the bluefish are here. Fish, ranging from 8 inches up to 14-plus pounds can be found from Wells Harbor to Saco Bay and Richmond Island. Orange poppers (with a wire leader) or orange surgical tubes have been catching these toothy guys. Bird action is one way to locate these fish. Mackerel are scarce due to the blues. Stripers are around (Wells jetty, Pine Point, Goosefare Brook, lower portions of the Saco, Piscataqua and Mousam) in fishable numbers but the key is to fish at predawn or at night. Generally these fish are going to lay low during these hot sunny days. Anglers fishing the lower rivers have had the best luck using pink or red surgical tubes, small poppers or bucktail jigs. For those after the big ones, clams and chunk mackerel are the baits that have been getting it done. If you prefer to toss top waters, try the Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, Mambo Minnows or Creek Chubs, while the Rebel Wind Cheater and the Rapalla Husky Jerk have been working for those trolling diving plugs. Fly-fishing has been best during the predawn tide. Bunker and mackerel pattern Deceivers and Clousers have been popular patterns to throw.
ZONE 2: With the continuation of this warm/hot weather, striper activity out around the ledges, the Cape shore and islands is better than inside. There are stripers around but they have been finicky due to the abundance of bait. Anglers should fish early or late for the best results. Crank fishermen working top waters such as the Storm Chug Bug, Yo-Zuri Jumping Minnows, as well as 6--9 inch Slug-Gos have been catching stripers. Try fishing black Mambo Minnows at night for serious action. Bait fishermen have done well with chunk macs and sandworms. Bluefish have arrived.
ZONE 1: Striped bass can be found in most of their typical August haunts. The best catches have been reported during the early morning (predawn) or late day/evening. Regardless if you are fishing the beaches, ledges or lower rivers, there are enough fish around to have a good day. Kennebunk (low tide), Higgins, Pine Point (low tide), Old Orchard Beach and the lower portions of the rivers (Saco, Mousam, Spurwink) are some of the spots where anglers have been hooking up. Jeniki Tubes (fluorescent orange or red) or surgical tubes (orange, red or black) with sandworms are the fish getters in the lower portions of the rivers. Bait (clams, chunk macs) is the choice for anglers fishing the beaches and ledges. Calcutta rubber shad, 5 and 6 Shimano Wax Wings and Al Gag's lures are a few of the artificials crank fishermen have been catching stripers with. If you get into a school of stripers, toss an Acme Kastmaster into the middle and let it sink down for a shot at the big ones. Fly fishermen throwing 2/0 sand eel and silverside patterns have been getting fish, particularly when fishing the presunrise tide. There are bluefish (2 -- 10 pounds) wandering about off Kennebunk, Pine Point and the islands outside the Saco. However, they are here one minute and gone the next. When targeting these fish try working a Rapala X-Rap Magnum Diver or the 7-inch mackerel Yo-Zuri Hydro Magnum Deep Diver. Mackerel can be had but they may not come easy. Richmond, Wood and Three Tree Ledge are a few spots where anglers have been successful. Rumors of pogies abound.
ZONE 2: Striper fishing has been good out around the islands (Peaks, Long), the Cape shoreline and the ledges (off Fort Williams) as well as off the mouths of the Presumpscot, Harraseeket and Royal. For best results, fish areas of moving water and avoid the sun, i.e. get out early or late. Fly guys throwing 2/0 Groceries are not complaining. Baits that are getting it done include sandworms, clams and mackerel. Spinners fishing 5 -- 7 inch lures like the Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow, Hydro-Popper (on the flats) Gag's Mambo Minnow, and the Rapala X-Raps have been doing well. Some anglers targeting macs have had to work. Hussey Sound, East End Beach and the Falmouth shore have been productive.
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 )
Notice the similarities between our last 2 tag recaptures! They were tagged 20 days apart (9/2/08 vs. 9/20/08) only 1.15 mi (1.85km) away from each other on Stellwagen and were estimated to be about the same size (57 vs 56 inches). They were recaptured 10 days apart, were the same size at recapture (80 inches) and were only 309 miles (498 km) away from each other. Interesting stuff!!! This is some really cool information! It also shows a growth rate on average of 6 inches per year... New Tag A Tiny tag recapture! Thanks to the Billfish Foundation for the report, to Kevin Twombly for putting the tag out, and to the Spanish Longliner who reported the recapture!
Ever wonder if you can catch fish on the coldest open water days…You know the ones that are preceded by the three nicest days of spring for which you were busy completing spring projects around the house….Always hearing people say- “man should of came out yesterday when it was sunny and sixty!” Well as a guide you have no choice on if you are going out or not. When a client is willing to get in the boat you go and with it- you are put to the test. Over the years, I have developed some techniques that will land fish no matter what the conditions. They include small adjustments, covering water, slowing down and using the right baits for the conditions.
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.
Other adjustments on the lake may include throwing all known spots for the warmest water in the lake. Often time those are going to be the protected coves from the wind in the spring and those conditions to the “sunny side” of the lake and the south facing areas and you may be looking water temperature that are 2-3 degrees warmer than the main lake. Those small differences make your small adjustments all worth the effort of scouting for the warmest water on the lake. At all cost always avoid wind-swept banks in the spring that condition will often bring the coldest water temperature and the most lethargic bass in the water body.
Covering Water in the morning, this technique helps define the best fishing locations of the day. We go from spot to spot throwing fast moving baits that create reaction strikes for the fish that are present. This way we eliminate water for the slower presentations and increase our catch rates which keep everyone going throughout the day. We may find through our search baits that the fish are suspended in over 30 feet of water and ten feet. From there we develop a strategy for the most effective lure to catch those fish under the conditions.
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