Friday, November 7, 2008

Striped Bass Given a Pass by Commissioner LaPointe

Striped bass anglers present at the recent Maine Department of Marine Resources meeting complained about the poor striped bass fishing in Maine during 2008. Guides, charter captains and individual fishermen gave testimony describing how poor their fishing season was. Several guides said they had a 40 to 60 percent drop in business and fishing day catches were down in numbers and size of fish. Instead of catching 40 to 100 fish per day, many reported average catches of less than 10 per day. Commissioner George Lapointe listened along with his staff. The message of the Maine Department of Marine Resources was that the striped bass populations along the Atlantic Coast was scientifically sound and not in trouble or headed for another crash. The Department then went to a meeting with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and didn't present a case representing the desires of the fishing public of Maine. It appears that the Commissioner has no intention of fighting for Maine Striped Bass fishermen. But he certainly will like the income that will result from a new saltwater fishing license. Maybe our saltwater fishing permit money would better represent Maine saltwater fishermen by participating in the Federal Government's fishing registry program instead of having a state fishing license program. Something to think about. I have previously been in support of a state saltwater fishing license, but if the Maine Department of Marine Resources isn't going to advocate vigorously for recreational fishing on our coast, I might have different thoughts. Actions always speak louder than words.

Also discussed at the public meeting where the issues of near/inshore, large boat pogie fishing this past summer and gill netting issues on the New Meadows River. According the the Department, both issues are being looked into.

So, what has been done? Not much.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Northeast Coast Striped Bass Fishery Under Review

As the fishing season for striped bass comes to a close, there are many questions being asked about the health of the biomass of the fish. At coffee shops, on the internet, conversations with traveling anglers and at tackle shop; the issue is the poor striped bass season that is just ending. Was there to much bait? Was there to little bait? Was the water to cold? Did the stripers mostly migrate to Nova Scotia? Is the biomass of striped bass in steep decline indicating another collapse which could endanger the future of the fish and fishing for them? The questions go on and on. The bottom line is: striped bass anglers are concerned. Maine's Department of Marne Resources will host a meeting to address the issue. See the details below:

Maine Department of Marine Resources

Striped Bass Stakeholders Meeting

Tuesday, October 14th, 6 to 8 pm

DMR's Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat's

large conference room (rm 106) located at 6 Beech Street Hallowell.

The intent of this meeting is to hear from Maine anglers and those interested in the management of striped bass prior to the next Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting. DMR staff will present a stock status and catch statistics reports for Maine.


Welcome and Introductions (Commissioner Lapointe)
Stock Status Update (Mike Brown, DMR Staff Scientist and Rep to ASMFC Tec Committee)
Catch Statistics (Bruce Joule, DMR Recreational Fishing Coordinator)
Open Forum (Pat Keliher, Director of Sea Run Fisheries, Terry Stockwell, Director of External Affairs, Commissioner George Lapointe)


DMR's Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat is located behind DMR's Headquarters on Beech Street in Hallowell.

From Hallowell's Water Street (or main street) proceed to Winthrop Street

Go up Winthrop Street almost to top of hill and turn right on to Beech Street (go to second brick building on your right, park out back but enter through rear door on the loading dock)

Please pass this meeting notice along to others who you know may be interested in attending.

Patrick Keliher
Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat
Maine Department of Marine Resources
Regular Mail
172 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
UPS/Fed Express
6 Beech Street
Hallowell, Maine 04347
(207) 287-9972
(207) 287-9975

Hope many of you can attend. This is a most important beginning of a dialogue on the future of striped bass fishing. Millions of dollars are at stake. We need to insure that schoolie striped bass like the one pictured above are numerous and available in numerous year classes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Martha's Vineyard Tournament Begins on Cape Cod

Just as the false albacore and bonito fishing began to pick up on Cape Cod, the weather turned sour and the Martha's Vineyard Bluefish Tournament began on Sunday, September,14,2008. Bait just began to enter Vineyard Sound, Nantucket Sound and Buzzards Bay to help attract the Little Tunny and Bones to the area. Light tackle sports are running all over the historical fishing grounds looking for busting fish with flocks of birds marking the action. That practice in my experience this fall has been a big mistake. I have been hooking False Albacore and Bonito every day by sitting on one spot all day, taking my lickings on a few fish rather than looking for the home run of large schools with crazy anglers chasing and spooking the schools. It's tough to stick it out and stay in one spot, but it is paying dividends for me. Maybe others are finding more fish to hook up with, but I'm always happy with hooking Fat Alberts and Bones any day, one at a time. Striped bass fishing has been non-existent for me on flies, not even small schoolies coming to my flies. Bluefish are reported thick on Buzzards Bay, but that's only a rumor I heard, so take it for what it's worth. Every day brings a new set of factors with migrating fish and weather patterns. Then we have the remains of Ike heading our way for early to mid week. Keep your fingers crossed for better fishing.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

False Albacore and Blue fin Tuna Due to Hit Cape Cod

Striped bass and blue fish action here on Cape Cod has been pretty slow so far. There are a few Albies on the south side of Cape Cod and Bonito are still hanging about the day prior to Hanna. What is interesting is that bait is almost nonexistant. Again, it will be interesting to see what Hanna has done to improve the bait. Cape Cod Bay will calm down sometime today and blue fin tuna hunts will be back on the table.The fall migration runs will be on big time as the ocean begins to calm down. We have to hope that Hurricane Ike doesn't come up the North Atlantic. That could really destroy the fall season.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Maine Fall Striper Run Starts Early

The past few days striped bass fishing has improved dramatically! Feeding stripers on the surface chasing brit herring has been sporadic but here. A beautiful sight after such a long, slow summer season.I saw one "monster" striper boated by a troller in the middle of the day. The big fish looked to be around 35 to 40 pounds. Now that's a change of pace. Good sized slot fish have become responsive to poppers. That means the fall games are about to begin. The commercial poggie boats are still around, using their nets very close to shore. The commercial bait boats are seining while the smaller bait chasers are using gill nets. SBFT, young tuna fish are in close along Casco Bay waters but not real active. A few small tuna and a handful of giants have been boated in our Maine waters. It appears that the giant tuna fishing has improved after one year of banning the use of mid-water trawlers during the summer months.The fall bite may be better than we have experienced during the summer months. Cross your fingers for improved fishing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Maine Tuna and Striped Bass Fishing Update

Maine's striped bass fishing has been "testy" at best most of the summer. Everyone is wondering what the problem might be as bait has been plentiful all summer and fish haven't been on it. Well, that has all changed! A flush of fresh striped bass finally came into Casco Bay and are hungry. They are bright, full of lice and fat. So let the August games begin.

One August game has already begun. Small (football) tuna have arrived in central Maine waters as have larger ones. This wonderful game of hunt to catch will continue into late October with action picking up every day. Weather permitting, I will be out there as often as possible. If you are looking for late September and early October tuna dates to fish, give me a call or send an email.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Maine Striped Bass Migration Stalled

Mid-Coast Maine striped bass fishing has been slow. Casco Bay and the famed Kennebec River are blessed with prolific bait supplies such as mackerel, pogies, herring and numerous crustations just waiting to be attacked by large striped bass. The big migration of massive schools of stripers hasn't appeared yet, but will soon. My experience on Cape Cod during May and early June indicated a late migration of ten days to two weeks. With that in mind, stripers should arrive any day now. Reliable reports are filtering in indicating bluefin tuna are off Maine's coast. I haven't personally been out to look yet, but it is encouraging to hear tuna are again in close, available to small boats. Football tuna have become a regular pursuit for several years now. Let's hope it coninues.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Maine 2008 Striped Bass Regulations Set

The State of Maine striped bass regulations for 2008 allows anglers to keep one fish per day. That one fish may be in a slot from 20 to 26 inches or it may be one fish over 40 inches.

Maine’s striped bass regulations cover all Maine coastal waters up to the head of tide in all rivers. In addition, there are special regulations in effect from December 1 through June 30 in the Kennebec, Sheepscot and Androscoggin Rivers and all related tributaries.

The Pine Tree state's striped bass season is open year round with special regulations set for the famed Kennebec River system where a no keep, no bait and only one hooked lures are allowed from May 1 to July first. For full details and boundries of the special regulation go to:

A special reminder is necessary for anglers to remember that it is illegal to fish for striped bass in federal waters - usually desigated as the "EEZ"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Maine Striped Bass Fishing Begins Soon

Maine's striped bass season is still a couple of months away. My guiding calendar for the 2008 season is now open. Please call or email me for full information on guided trips along Maine's rugged coast. More information my be found at this address: