Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Large Striped Bass and Football Blue Fin Tuna Promise to Reward Fall Anglers in Maine - All Reports Are Positive
“Striped bass over 30 inches are always a reward of the quest.”
As August approached my fishing waters, catching striped bass in the high 20 inch to low 30 inch range continued good. Tough fishing, but a handful of good sized, fly caught fish every day. Water temperatures continued to be cool despite all the hot weather this summer, so the fish stayed active enough to make for some positive trips. All this makes for a good outlook during September and early October striped bass fishing along Maine’s coast.
The other exciting news in late July was the arrival of big numbers of blue fin tuna from Kittery to Boothbay Harbor waters. Tuna have been on all the traditional waters as well as within one to two miles of land in many locations.
The tuna rules changed mid summer. All recreational tuna anglers are restricted to catching one fish per day per permit from 27 to 60 inches. No longer during 2010 can a recreational tuna angler keep the one “Giant” per season as previously allowed nor fish from 60 to 72 inches.
Bluefish on the other hand seem to be missing east of Portland and good south of Portland again this year. They might arrive late, but don’t expect many big rush.
When the striped bass fishing gets challenging, many folks quit, leaving fish alone for those willing to meet the challenge. I love the situation. It allows me to figure out where, when and how to catch some good fish without worrying about several boats being on my spots the next day. I have been fishing some very unusual locations and employing innovative techniques.
Without revealing all my secrets, I will say a few things to keep in mind for another season. One – never leave fish to find fish. We have all heard that one before and broken that rule in the past without to much penalty. But under current striped bass fishing conditions, if you find fish they may be the only ones for miles around. Stay on the location for at least a full tide. Be patient and the fish will teach you what to do. And, go back to that location day after day until it dries up. Treat the location kindly and it will reward you with several weeks of consistent fishing when stripers are in short supply.
A good example of the reward for patience is a recent story of the few days I have to fish by myself.
I was determined to catch a striper on a popper – my favorite style of fishing. I work a skinny water location that should hold fish. Conditions were perfect – calm seas and a dropping tide. I spotted a few “V” wakes that didn’t produce. I waited – waited – waited – for two hours. Nothing!
What looked like one fishing feeding its way off the flat began heading my way. I waited, watched and finally made a cast about 30 feet in front of the wake. Pop – wait – pop – wait – pop – wait. A violent surface strike happens, my line comes tight and line begins screaming off the reel and backing appears quickly. This is a good fish! After a champions struggle, the 30 inch striper was ready to be taken and released. The fish was very fat, healthy and ready to rest for another day. Me to.
That one fish was worth the entire morning. I was satisfied as I hadn’t fished myself for weeks. That’s what being patient will reward you with, a good fish to satisfy the quest.