Summer weather brings the heat….

 Up close with these brutal fish
Up close with these brutal fish

Well I have been slacking on reports this year… finding time between being on the water, family and my 2 kids and other summer time obligations have left me tired and ragged BUT excited. The past 2 weeks of summer weather have turned the tides on fishing in Maine, NH and Northern edge of MA. It’s no secret the Bluefin Tuna bite has been off the charts scattered from day to day. Everywhere from Southern Maine down to Gloucester the bite has nothing short of amazing. Massive schools of herring moved into lower Jeffries and points west. In the early morning hours when the herring are in the upper water column the surface feeds have been legendary.

Be aware there is now plenty of competition fighting for these tuna… not only will you have to fight the birds to even get at the fish, many whales in the area are something to be very aware of, large whales and lots of them are cruising very close to the surface going from school to school of herring. Add in a fleet of boats over the last week and things get a bit hectic out there… as usual many complaints have been aired about boats running and gunning on top of the fish. When tuna “fever” strikes it’s a problem that never will go away and it’s well worth taking a ride a mile or so outside the fleet and you can be rewarded with fish all to yourselves. The fish are all big (surprise!!) from 120lb and up, although friends landed a 50″ fish last week. We are also seeing many more 60-80lb fish off Portland right now but they are scattered schools and heard to get shots at.

We will see this week what, if anything the huge seas of Hurricane Bill did to the fishing… I for one am hoping it may have pushed bait even closer to shore as there have been reports of fish in as close as Thatchers and Halibut Point off Gloucester and others off Richmond Island in Maine.

Good luck out there this week and remember to REPORT all your tuna catches to NMFS we need these numbers to reflect how good the tuna fishing has been in NE.

-Capt. John Ford

Maine Striped Bass reports

Capt. Eric Wallace reports seeing many large bass in the shallow waters surrounding Portland. The fish are tough to feed and the best fishing is happening for the first few hours of daylight.

Capt. Russel Troy up on the Kennebec River reports more fish in the river than they saw in July, lots of upper slot sized fish to about 32″ seems to be the rule. Fish are feeding sporadically on different stages of the tide and the slacks and changes seem to be the hot times before it shuts down. Most of the fish are being taken on live macs over the deeper humps.

Other reports are decent fishing on the southern shoreline along the rocks…higgins beach has produced some nice fish this past week and Ferry beach had surface feeds of small bass at the mouth of the river in the early morning and evening tides. Biddeford Pool and Fortune rocks gave up several bass in the 38″-42″ size class before the big swells of this weekend.

I have witnessed the influx of small sand eel schools from Portland to Old Orchard beach that just arrived, fish have been feeding in the these schools sporadically. September is almost here and it could be the best fishing of the year so get out there and scout !!

Posted in Lead Article, Northern New England

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