For up to date Maine Striper Fishing Reports by Coastal Fly Angler Guide Servive. mainestriperfishing.blogspot.com.
Maine Striper Fishing with Capt.Eric Wallace, Specializing in Saltwater Fly and Light Tackle Fishing in Portland Maine area with a unique focus on Sight Fishing for Striped Bass on Maine's Casco Bay,and the sand flats of Scarbrough Marsh. Also Tidal Carp on the lower Kennebec Rivers,Merry Meeting bay.Spend a day on the casting deck of one of our flats skiffs, and enjoy this unique fishery of the Casco Bay and the Portland Maine Saltwater Fishing to it's fullest!!!
Some fresh fishing reports will start to trickle in over then next few days, I have spent a good amount of time scouting and have found areas where everything seemed normal and fished fine, other areas where it will be a few more tides at least. The bait moved and got held up in some interesting places, but some was already flashing around in the rivers. I will not be able to run from the Yarmouth Boat Yard for a few weeks due to my dock breaking up as the river channel changed resulting in a few sunk boats and some serious big trees that are still floating around. The team work by all the boats yards supporting YBY was awesome as the royal river basin just could not handle 8 inch of rain in such a short period. Saco area I feel will return rather quick, I was stand up paddle surfing there yeasterday evening during the incoming tide and saw fish feeding in the muddy water just out past the surf line and hand full of birds working the small rips from the heavier surf. Give it a day or two I think will start to see some positive reports from Casco bay and the Portland area.
First off I want to thank the anglers who where looking to book tides during the mid winter months, as many of you know I coach alpine skiing in the winter and this year we had some very successful racers who skied deep into the post season leaving me on the rd without wfii and bad cell coverage so again again sorry for the timely responses but I think we got it all put together in the end.
New Skiff I will be picking up a new 17 ft flats boat on my why to the FL Keys next week,the last couple of season I was running two skiffs and really just need one that sits in the middle, poling the action craft day in and day out with the heavy 115 four stoke was killing me and the little micro skiffs ride was killing you.. What I wanted and needed was the stability of the action craft at half the weight also being able to run fast with 60-70 hp helps the bottom line with the gas prices, but mostly as you guys know I like to pull straight into the current if needed to give you the shots on the sand flats also wanted it to still go skinny enough for the carp fishing or hanging a bit longer on a draining mud flat in Casco Bay.
Reports from the Keys
I will post some photos of the tarpon season as it unfolds down in the keys also will be keeping an eye on the striper fishing to south of us as the season moves along. I should return at about the perfect time for the first of the Striper season here in Maine.
Skinny water fishing in Casco Bay has remained strong all season long!!! even through the hottest weather we had fish in the shallows eating flies!!! we also boated a few large fish in the shallows on sluggos, Fishing the tide has trumped chasing the low light and has turned some bright sunny days into darn right outstanding sight fishing!!!!! with that said there are times the fish are much snappier than than others and experienced flats anglers have been able to just make them eat, while others struggle, olive colored hollow style patterns with very little flash crabs,crabs,crabs have be working for us very well for awhile now, even with a ton of fin bait around a quite boat and a well fished crab get eats!!! some small sand eel patterns and for the spin caster in the shallows soft plastics white sluggos and olive over gray seemed to be working well match it up to low light to bright light..Water temps are pretty warm for maine but compared to 76 down on the Cape Cod you understand why we contuine to see more and more fresh fish in Casco Bay area or could it be something we have not seen for years??? Penut bunker !!! yes a little early but we will take it they are spread out in a particular area in the bay and came in after a few days of hard southwest winds last week. Hope like hell more come and bring more and more fish setting us up for some great fall fishing, August should continue to fish pretty good everyone for the most part is finding fish and enjoying one of the better striper fishing season in Maine in years!! I have 2 or 3 open dates for august as of today so if you are interested in getting on the flats for stripers here in Maine either Casco Bay or the sand flats south of Portland give a call also remember the tidal carp fishing is still holding up well again tides and weather patterns are key to get them in the shallows...
I want to say congratulation to my buddy Capt Justin Rea for winning his second Del Brown Permit Tournament, for all you who have taken on the ultimate challenge of lower keys permit fishing on the flats with a fly you understand the angling and guiding level involved!!! Justin has a video out called Black Tail Devils I have copies for sale so let me know and we can get you set up..
Other cool stuff is the new book by Tosh Brown and Pete McDonald call the Blitz over two hundred pages of arguably the best photos to bring to life our passion for these fish. The blitz start here in Casco Bay and works it way to Cape lookout with essay on guides and just plane fishy people, I gave my wife a copy she thumb threw it and said WOW now I understand!!
Buy a copy leave it on the coffee table I am sure it will buy you some water time with a new understanding for your passion...
Maine Striper Fishing Report, smaller tides and very well feed fish creating a good but shorter bite on the bay over the past weekend. So looking for a change up my angler and I took the little skiff out for some sight fishing fun on Monday and Tuesday we spent a day Carp fishing in the MerryMeeting bay area and Had a blast!!! I think we will both loose sleep over the eats we got in less than a foot of water!!! on Tuesday we headed out for some sand flats south of Portland, The light was trying for us but never lit up the sand that great, but we still had plenty of shots and found some very large groups of small fish mixed in with that upper slot to mid 30 inch fish.
Bait wise, kinda the same as last week just more of it, sand eels in the Saco area and not only bringing bass but also some bigger Mackerel and I heard my first reports of Bluefish in Maine waters also a email report from Jim Berstein down at the Eldredge Fly Shop in Cape Neddic of a over 50 inch fish caught on a local charter, lets hope that big girl made it quickly back into the water. Every thing from 9 inch long hollow to 1.5 inch sand eel patterns have produced and so have the crab patterns. There is a mixed bag out there and you can choose the style of fishing you want by weather and tides there are plenty of fish both on the mud flats and fishy structure of Casco Bay and the sand flats the south for the sight anglers...
This Past week I got one of those looks like you are a little nuts when the excitement pored out over a bunch of 14 inch fish but I have not seen this number of micro bass in the past 4 year combined!!!! I would not start jumping up and down thinking the fishery is fixed!! It is not!!!! We as a collective group have a lot of work ahead and with different water temps than we had throughout the migration period during late May and June this season could be total different. The support for Catch and Release guide services is growing faster than ever in this fishery but also being prepared for a quick photo is key!!! the stress we as recreational anglers put on these fish for entertainment we have to look at ourselves closely and really stress to each other the need to be releasing these fish as quickly as possible!!!
Also I would like to apologize to anglers who have been trying to contact me or book tips
My response time has been slowed by the quality of fishing we are seeing here in Maine and I hope I got back to you all and did not miss anyone..I have one or two AM opening in July a handful of evening / Striper or Carp tides open as well..Coming up when we have a little down time, I will be doing a bio on Coastal Fly Anglers new Guide, Capt. Mike Roy.I have seen him over the years poling the flats on his own getting to really know the water and when he approached me to buy a push pole a few ago I felt he had a understanding of how to approach guiding light tackle anglers on Casco Bay so by adding Mike and working with a group of full-time guides throughout Maine's coast we offer one of the best connection for Guides Maine Striper Fishing 207-671-4330
The good stable weather of the past few days broke to the coldest high temp reordered for Portland Maine on a June 22, East- North East Winds filled the bay and pushed some floating eel grass around from this past weeks big tides, but with not quite as active of a bite as yesterday the fishing on the moving tides was not to bad at all and a few fish showed them selfs with small surface feeds. Looking forward we have other day of wind and cooler temps, then after the weekend looking pretty good for awhile 4-5 days in a row of 80 degree temps and we move into some early AM low incoming tides tons of fun on Casco Bay and later next week if we get the clean sky great tides for sight fishing the sand flats.
Bait -- we have it, south of Portland there are areas covered with sand eels both Mackerel and a range of striped bass from small schoolies to some very large targets cruising the sand flats.up in Casco Bay near the rivers are large schools of Blueback Herring that have staged in the rivers of the Presumpscot, Royal and Harraseeket, water temps along the coast are ranging from 55- 62 degrees, so the fish have not only plenty of food but also great water temps keeping them pretty happy.
Yesterday at the dock my anglers where sharing notes with another group of anglers who struggled on what we found to be a pretty active morning, we got fish at all of our stops and got treated some great surface feeds in some pretty skinny water even with a brighter sky by the time water had drained of the flats. What these guys where doing was fishing plugs and banging some larger lures around happy fish - even with the active surface feeds they these anglers where also running into, fish can be put down very quickly! remember that they really don't need to chase down something, they have plenty of food right now and stealth can be key even on the flooded deeper flats. What was working for us 4-6 inch olive and chartreuse hollow style patterns on clear intermediate lines, some longer pauses on the strip was working yesterday and kept us tight and active for about 4 hours of outgoing tide, The flats of Casco Bay will often do this, treat the fly anglers much better than the spin guys.Today was a much different story we where banging black large gurglers that moved a few fish and 5-7 inch hollows in olive and black where a useful weapon.
For the Spin guys the river systems have a totally different story and there are lots of great catch reports coming from those system throughout out the bay and state wide from the Saco to the Kennebec River,have not been fishing them much with the flats holding so many fish already so a first hand report this is not, but some honest anglers have shared some great reports and good catch photos. So if the only days you have open to fish are windy and raining go do it!!! there are lots of fish around if you can trade time this upcoming week is looking to be pretty stable and some fun tides I'm betting we are going to see and here about some very good fishing here in Maine...
6-12-2011 Maine Striper Fishing Report
This past week we got a short glimpse of the quality of fishing that is at our door steps, with a few days of light southwesterly flow a few warm humid nights the fishing on Thursday the hottest day of the year so far brought the hottest fishing I have seen in years!!!! The fish in the morning where pretty snappy and very willing to eat, the afternoon tide even in the bright hot sun provided some very good sight fishing conditions with willing fish tons of fun.. The amount of fish we saw swimming in big schools swimming near the inner island beaches was crazy, big fish swimming high in the water column,looked like groups of tarpon swimming up a backcountry channel edge during the migration... Well they did not swim to Maines water for exercise they followed the bait and it's here!!!! there is plenty of small juvenile sea herring spread out in the Casco Bay- Saco Bay Area, but the big fish are looking for the Blue Back Herring and they have found it in the Freeport to Portland area rivers in pretty good numbers and I'm sure that area spreads farther north and south just given a first hand report here.. So we have lots of fish, lots of bait and good tides, but one of the big links is missing, stable weather!!!! The past few days the temps have dropped 25 degrees and the wind is bouncing NW- NE putting a little hiccup in the fishing, we are still boating a few nice fish on each trip but working hard for each, weather wise we are looking to be a little bouncy next few days, the fish are going to want to eat again so stay after it and you will be rewarded... RELEASE UM QUICKLY!!!!!!!
Maine Striper Fishing Report June 3 2011
The past week has been interesting for me a mixed bag of fishing carp in a tidal ravine and chasing Stripers on Casco Bay,I was blessed with good casters this past week one a guide from Emerald Water Guide Service in Washington state the other a man many of you know Lefty Kreh. Lefty Showed up late morning on a hot humid day, and by early afternoon we set off fishing carp had some great shots and a few come to the fly but no eats,throughout the rest of the week he repeated, this was the first time in years he had been introduced to a new style fishing that he enjoyed so much and is looking forward to doing it again next year.
Stripers in the Portland area are changing daily we have had a few tides that have been real producers and others that just not working as well but still found fish just real light bite.
Fish size a week ago found some small fish the last few days avoiding the wind found some very large fish in areas I just did not expect. Although the water temp is not bad it is still pretty fickle once you get away from the flats or estuaries, I have been fishing some smaller 3-4 inch patterns tight to the bank in the estuaries and inshore islands when the tide is swamped out, on the sand flats, the groups of fish we are finding have been pretty schooled up and moving,have been able to move a few off the pack but there are moving and searching for bait as a group. There is some bigger fin bait moving into the rivers of Casco Bay and the lower Kennebec yesterday there where 6 or 7 ospreys working a condensed area out of the crazy wind and few scored and the bait look to be in that 5-7 inch range herring, dew point the next few mornings is a little lower than I like and I would not be afraid to fish the afternoon if you have to miss the early am fish these night time lower temp are dropping the water temp 3-4 degrees and we are still in the first week of june and that can be just enough to kill the bite. Hope for some stable weather and southwest flow to the winds, every report to the south is lot's of big fish we are already seeing a few up here and look for that to improve... Release Um Quickly!!!!!!
A hand full of boats fishing Casco Bay in the Yarmouth area had a little early season success this past weekend, weather wise if you are traveling to the region in the next week be hopefull that the patterns changes soon, just unstable crap!! Water temp, things are in good shape lots of small bait around and reports of some nicer fish being caught in the Saco Bay area and we will continue to see more and more fish daily spreading out in the area.Tide wise the afternoon highs have been fishing better for us the past few days, we have few milder night coming up with a south wind and might be worth a go for a early am session but try to beat the forecasted 15- 25 mph wind now through Tuesday night.Water temps in the Royal- Portland Falmouth shoreline are around 52-54 once you get out past Cousin Island it drops to the 48 degree range.
Give any of the small rivers a shot at incoming high tides and on the turn around, tight to the grass banks smaller flies with active materials not only have produced stripers in the 16-26 range but also a few Shad in the 19-20 inch range. Nothing gang busters yet and you will have to work to stay on the groups of fish that are around but why not get your casting arm in-shape and as we all know this time year the fishing changes daily and you can only hit it right if you are out on the water.
May 7- 2011
Maine Striper season getting closer!!!!!!I got a great fishing report last night !! a couple of Cape Cod guides went out after hearing rumors of a good bite the day before, and by the sound of it they hit it just right!!! between them 70 fish in 25-32 inch range mixed in a bunch of 3-5 pound Bluefish - water temps in the 53 degree range in Buzzard Bay and more fish should be heading that way daily. On this side of the Cape there have been a bass taken in the Boston Harbor and up to the Joppa flats area, look for that to improve daily. Here in Maine the amount of bait in the Royal River I saw yesterday while working on the Action Craft at the Yarmouth Boat Yard is any indication, Maine's waters should be pretty good shape on the food side and support some happy stripers once the fish push up this way. Im not a betting man but I will not be surprised to here about a bright Striper caught here on Maine's coast any day now..
Check out May/June Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine Cover and photo essay,Taken while we where filming Conflunace Films new movie "Connect" trailer and more info soon...
I have never really been accused of being a tree hugger, but fish hugger yes!! I have always run my guide service, witch is now closing in on 20 years as a catch and release experience, I also understand there is times when the release is heading straight to the bottom for crab bait.. and this is something I think we can improve on as anglers, choosing proper hooks, timely landing of the fish, and what good is catch and release if we are not PREPARED to take our photos QUICKLY and release the fish..So why CCA Maine now?? I have followed this group for years was on the board years ago and at one point just got frustrated in it's direction they seemed to be more concerned with it's annual banquet then fishery issues, I know longer gave them my money, time or a guide trip for fund raising. Lately I have seen a new energy there, and put simply I like what I am seeing!!! They have taken on issues and more importantly a stance that was not popular with all of there members, and I truly believe if they lost a few from those stances they deserved to get many more in return for taking the stance that would benefit the fishery at the cost of a few dollars to the users. They are also best chance of having a open line of communication with the new DMR and it's commissioner Olson, I will say this,we have our work cut out with this guy, he has NO history or by the sounds of it not much interest in recreational angling here in Maine,the madding stance he took voting with Virginia has pissed off about every saltwater angler in Maine!! I will give him that he has only been at the job for a few months, and may not have been up to speed on the Menhaden stocks but for what ever reasons, action like this need need to be explained to the angling community here in Maine and we need a group to open the door and ask them, consider joining CCA-Maine, I truly feel a growth spurt in a group heading in the right direction could be that voice we need while we don't have the voice that states with saltwater license have. Any anglers doing trips with me can deduct the 25.00 CCA- Maine membership from the guide fee to of set the cost....
Here is a Cape Cod report from Capt Bob Paccia of shoreline guides service,
Stripers are on the Move!!!!! Mid April Report 2011
Alewives (river herring) and blueback herring are moving into Buzzards Bay via the Cape Cod Canal on their way to local herring runs. You can be sure that the stripers are right on their tails. Now, it is illegal to fish with or even be in possession of river herring in Massachusetts. In years past, live-lining herring was the "way to go” for catching jumbo stripers in the canal and the banks of the canal were lined shoulder to shoulder with anglers fishing with live herring. Today, savvy saltwater fly fishermen have a definite advantage over their plug and plastic bait casters, as nothing looks and behaves like a live herring then a well tied large herring fly. We tie up a lot of alewives and blueback herrings patterns each year to "match the hatch" when the river herring are the "food of choice" for big stripers bulking-up during their spring migration through Buzzards Bay and the Cape Cod Canal. The flies that we tie are weighted and sometimes rattled in sizes from 6 to 14 inches. These flies are tied mostly with synthetic materials to prevent "water-logging" which used to be a problem when we were forced to use only natural materials such as buck-tail, feathers, etc.
Casting these large weighted flies is a learning process and each year we get on the water early in the spring showing clients how to use these large flies so that they will be prepared when the season gets into full swing.
Peek water temperature for great striper fishing in the Cape Cod Canal is when the canal water temperature reaches 55 degrees. Remember one of the old saying: "Cape Cod Canal striper fishing is at its best when the lilac leaves are the size of a mouse’s ears." Guess what? That's just about the time that the canal water temperature is right around 55 degrees. You’ve got too love the old timer's way of using nature’s calendar for predicting fishing conditions...
Keep in mind that water temperatures in the Cape Cod Canal vary throughout the day due to tide changes and current direction. Also, there’s plenty of good fishing when the water temperature is below that 55 degree mark. The best time to be on the water is whenever you can get there.
It s small change from the winter solstice meaning (sun standing still) But it's large enough for me to start thinking of the flats of the lower keys and getting my flies in order!!! while I do my permit crabs in groups I find myself throwing in a few color and size changes for the Stripers here in Maine, but last night working on some Permit/Bone-fish Shrimp patterns I turned my thought to the Tidal carp here in Maine and finally made it to bed around 2 AM filling the bath tub to watch the drop and sink rate in about 15 inch of water and how they move.
We are now a month past winter solstice and I'll have to wait to see how the fish re-act to these patterns!! But we all need to be stoked up and outside of traveling somewhere to fish maybe the best thing is some good freinds, food, drinks and the Fly Fishing Film tour -
FlyFishing In Maine is very excited to be partnering with FliesandFins.com, Coastal Fly Angler and Maine River Guides to again bring the Fly Fishing Film Tour to Maine! This event is sure to rock your fishing world, inspire you to life beyond your most amazing fishing dreams, and surely get you pumped for the 2011 season ahead that is just around the corner. The event will be held on March 4 and 5, 2010 at the Frontier Cafe theater in Brunswick, ME. The Frontier is a stunning intimate venue with great eats and awesome beer. This is the fishing event of the winter in Maine not to be missed!
Due to limited capacity (we sold out all three screenings last year), we strongly recommend ordering your tickets in advance, by either purchasing online with a credit card using the link below, or calling the theater at (207)-725-5222
All proceeds from this event will go to the FFIM Grassroots Grant fund. Past recipients of FFIM Grassroots Grants have included Trout Unlimited, Casting For Recovery, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and many more.
When: Friday, March 4th (7pm showtime) and Saturday, March 5th (4pm and 7pm showtimes)
Where: Frontier Cafe, 14 Maine St., Brunswick
Cost: $12.00 per ticket
Welcome to the Coastal Fly Anglers Striper fishing reports for Maine and Cape Cod and customer updates.First off I want to wish you and your family a happy holidays but remember when you are eating all that gingerbread and pumpkin pie there someone on the poling platform that has to push you around - all joking aside have a great holiday!
********Book A day of Striper or Tidal Carp for 2011 Before Dec 15, and Pick out or T-Shirt or Hat now on me!! And pick your tides at a later date!!! ************See Store
Some Maine Skinny Water Striper Fishing on Film coming Soon!!
BOZEMAN, MONTANA — Following on the heels of two successful movie projects in two years, Confluence Films, LLC has begun work on a third movie to be released in 2011. In creating the follow-up to 2008’s Drift and 2009’s Rise, the filmmakers at Confluence Films will once again be travelling the globe in search of unique locations, great fishing, and the stories and characters that epitomize the spirit and sport of fly fishing. While the name of the new movie project has yet to be released, the project — Confluence’s largest and most ambitious to date — will be based on the same multi-segment formula that made Drift andRise two of the top-selling fishing DVDs of all time.
Confluence Films’ new project is once again the result of a partnership between director Chris Patterson of Warren Miller Entertainment and executive producer and writer Jim Klug of Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures. Patterson has been the director and head cinematographer for Warren Miller Ski Films for the past 19 years, and — as he did with Drift and Rise — he brings extensive experience and film-industry knowledge to the project. Chris recently completed work as director of photography for the action unit on the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie, Inception...
Klug’s role with Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures and his long-time involvement in the fly fishing industry will once again result in an international line-up for the new movie that includes interesting characters, captivating locales, and a series of stories that together provide a fantastic look at the industry, the sport, and the places that fishing can take us.
One of the strongest attributes of Confluence Films’ movies is that they have effectively and successfully introduced a multi-segmented, documentary style of filmmaking to the fly fishing community. Rather than a single story or an hour-long movie featuring the same anglers chasing fish on one river for the entire length of the film, this style of filmmaking instead offers viewers a variety of segments and stories: each a profile of different anglers, species, and locations shot around the globe. The new film will continue with this variety, travelling this year to Japan, Maine, Africa, Alaska, and two yet-to-be-announced Caribbean and saltwater locations. The new movie will feature anglers Jeff Currier, Masa Katsumata, Jimmy Bartschi, Vaughn Driessel, Capt. Eric Wallace, Mac McKeever, and several others. Filming begins mid-June 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. Sponsors for the new movie include Simms Fishing Products, Costa Sunglasses, Hatch Fly Reels, and Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.
REMEMBER **While Striper Fishing Here in Maine in 2011, Most Maine Stripers Guides
Will have you covered on there Boat.....
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MAINE’S PARTICIPATION
IN THE NATIONAL SALTWATER ANGLER REGISTRY
1. Why is the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) creating a registry of saltwater recreational anglers? In 2007, the US Congress reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. In
the reauthorization, they included a requirement that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) develop a comprehensive list of everyone who fishes recreationally in marine waters. This is necessary
to improve the surveys of saltwater anglers, which generate the information used to help manage and rebuild fish stocks. Congress gave the states the option to either develop their own registry system, or have their
citizens be subject to federal registry requirements. In 2010, the Maine Legislature passed a Maine saltwater registry, thereby exempting Maine from the federal requirement. The registry is administered by the Maine
Department of Marine Resources, and goes into effect January 1, 2011.
2. What “marine waters” are included, for the purposes of requiring registration for saltwater angling? If you will be fishing anywhere within the rise and fall of the tide (up the rivers to head of tide), or from a Maine
port out to the limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone (200 miles), you must have a valid saltwater fishing registration.
3. Who needs to register? How much does it cost?
A Maine saltwater recreational fishing registration is required for individuals 16years of age and older fishing in Maine’s coastal waters. However, individuals that possess a valid Maine freshwater fishing license are not
required to register separately with the Maine Department of Marine Resources. When purchasing their Maine freshwater fishing license, individuals will be asked, “Did you fish in the tidal waters of the State of Maine last
year?” By answering this question, they will meet the basic registry requirement. Freshwater license holders
must possess their license when they are engaging in saltwater fishing, to prove compliance.There is no cost for the registration, for either residents or nonresidents. However, a $1 agent fee applies if
you register directly through ME DMR, and a $2 agent fee applies if you register online or through a DMR designated agent.
4. Who needs to purchase the Striped Bass Endorsement? How much does it cost?
You must purchase a Striped Bass Endorsement if you are:
• a Maine resident who has not purchased a valid freshwater fishing license, and you intend to fish for or catch striped bass in the coastal waters of the state, OR
• a non-resident who intends to fish for or catch striped bass in the coastal waters of the state “Fishing for or catching” striped bass includes any incidental catch or bycatch of striped bass, as well as the landing of striped bass for the purposes of a “catch and release” fishery. The Striped Bass Endorsement is $5 for Maine residents, and $15 for non-residents. Maine residents age 70 or
older can pay a one-time fee of $10, and then renew that endorsement annually free of charge.
5. Where can I register, and where can I purchase the Striped Bass Endorsement?
You can register, as well as purchase a Striped Bass Endorsement:
• online at www.maine.gov/saltwater, OR
• at an agent appointed by DMR (list available www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational), OR
• in person at the DMR licensing office in Hallowell
6. Why do you need my phone number?
The purpose of creating a Registry of saltwater recreational fishermen is so that these anglers can be accurately
surveyed by phone, to assess their level of activity. The Registry will make it much more efficient to find anglers to survey, and it will include a broader representation of anglers. Instead of asking a random sample of
coastal U.S. residents if they’ve gone fishing (which is what is currently done), the registry will allow surveyors to call upon those who have already identified themselves as saltwater fishermen. The surveys collect information about who is fishing, when they fish, and what species and how many fish they catch.
For some species of fish, the recreational catch far outpaces the commercial harvest. In addition, in many communities, recreational fishing is a major economic driver, affecting everything from the hospitality industry
to fuel sales to outfitters and small businesses. Accurately capturing the many contributions of recreational fishermen will help to ensure that these interests are properly considered in resource allocation and other policy
7. Are there any exceptions to the registration requirement?
You do not need to register in order to participate in saltwater fishing in the following situations:
• When fishing as a passenger on a party/charter or head boat operated by an individual who holds a
valid Commercial Operator’s license
• When fishing for smelt from a smelt camp rented from an individual who holds valid Commercial Operator’s licenseIn addition, you may be eligible for a waiver from the registry requirement if you can provide documentation
from a physician that you:
• Are blind
• Are a paraplegic
• Have an acquired brain injury
• Are mentally handicapped
You are also eligible for a waiver if you can provide documentation from the Veteran’s Administration that you
are a disabled veteran.
Eligibility requirements to obtain a waiver are available at: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/recreational
8. Where do the revenues from the Striped Bass Endorsement go?
A dedicated fund was established with the passage of the bill that created Maine’s saltwater registry. All
revenues from the sales of the Striped Bass Endorsement may be used only for the implementation, and administration of the registry, enforcement, and research and conservation efforts related to the saltwater recreational fishery.
9. Are there any free fishing days?
Yes. Maine residents need not register in order to fish legally on July 4th, Labor Day weekend or Memorial Day weekend.
10. Is there any reciprocity for other states?
Yes. A person that possesses a valid New Hampshire saltwater recreational fishing license may engage in recreational saltwater fishing from Maine's southern border to Cape Neddick, without registering with ME DMR
A big Thanks to you the ANGLER!!!!!!
Some big changes here at CFA first off many of you know about this ridicules addiction I have for chasing fish in skinny water, and if you are reading this email most likely you share that addiction! Well a few of you got a chance to fish from the new skiff this past season and realize the added benefits a ultra light technical poling skiff bring to our flats.
Not too many other guides in northeast have made this type of investment and I want to thank you for playing a huge part in it!!! and along the way we have had a ton of fun!! Thank you again for working so hard on this challenging fishery with me over the years, we could have spent our days doing the same old thing! but when we had the tides our time and shared ideas payed off!!, and I'm so glad we have basically opened up our own fishery on the sand flats south of Portland where we can work the angles instead drift them. Being able to pole into the current for a very extended time that was not possible on the 17 ft Action Craft- Then there is the mud flats on MerryMeeting Bay for tailing carp. lefty Kreh just booked dates for this fishery in Late may if you have not given this a shot, book early these are becoming sought after tides early May- Nov and we can combo it with striper fishing on Casco Bay
Coastal Fly Angler web store is live and a great place to pickup a last minute holiday gifts for your fly angler friends and family, we just restocked and should be in good shape for most items at this time. Also this is a new portal for pre paying for trips by credit card Amex-Visa is now excepted.There are some used fly rods for sale there as well, feel free to contact me if you have something to sell as I will be happy to post it. Also there is a dirtbag payment option, and I say that in the kindest of ways! you know who you are, the young hardcore fly angler that has expired inspection sticker on his rusty Toyota truck held together by fly fishing stickers. This is to help you pay for that tailing carp or sight fishing fix overtime, no more dropping off you bag of crushed PBR cans/returnables for payment...
New Must Have Product
The Airflo Ridge Clear core optimises the clarity for ultimate stealth.When the Ridges fill with water the clarity is incredible and this also helps effectively lubricate the fly line on each and every cast. Unlike some coating techniques, the ridges run along the lines full length and flow well through the rod guides with a minimum of noise, this indicates how little friction is being produced.The lines come in a Floating, Slow Inter with a sink rate of 0.5” and a Fast inter with a sink rate of 1.5”. The lines are 35yds long and come in our favourite Delta Taper profile for the ultimate combination of distance and presentation.
Density Colour Taper Size Core Code RRP Offer Price
Floating Clear WF5/6-8/9 Low Memory Co-Poly RP-DL-WF(+SIZE)F-CL
Slow Inter Clear WF5/6-8/9 Low Memory Co-Poly RP-DL-WF(+SIZE)SI-CL
Fast Inter Clear WF5/6-8/9 Low Memory Co-Poly RP-DL-WF(+SIZE)FI-CL
Other Projects I worked on this past summer.Check out the new issue of Grays Sporting Journal, Nov-Dec 2010, there's a fun feature story on Maine Sight fishing for Striped Bass on Casco Bay called Vision Quest by James Babb and Fly Rod and Reels Joe Healy, Dave Klausmeyer and Mac McKeever joined me as we all set out on a bright sunny and hot afternoon? I think one of the lines that sums up the day best for first timers at this challaging fishing is- (isn't a way to run numbers. For the day , we each boated one fish and lost a few others. With a dawn assaault on the bay or a big tidal river,that would be an official defeat.But for flats fishing in Maine it was a success-and possibly an addiction.)
Some upcoming events is the Fly Fishing Film Tour, we are working with FFIM and the Frontier to confirm dates, This fun and very succesful event as it raised money for some great causes last year and we are looking forward to it again in 2011...
Stayed tuned for the release dates of two of the films that feature Flats fishing here in Maine, one is called Between the Lines see the flyer below.The other is Confluence Films follow up to Drift and Rise as well Tosh Browns has a greatcoffee table style photo book coming out in 2011 featuring Stripe Bass anglers and our crazy early morning life style.
Casco Bay One Fly-- ok maybe two, this is a event I have had my eyes on for some time now, the dates with be comfirmed ASAP we are getting great support from the big fly tackle and clothing companies, working on bringing in a few special quest anglers So more soon.
Last Minute Fly Fishing Vacations & Packages!
GREAT 2010-2011 FLY FISHING VACATION SPECIALS & DISCOUNTS FROM YELLOW DOG!
For those of you looking for a quick and easy fly fishing vacation escape or a last-minute vacation package, we have a number of fantastic vacation specials and discounts - fly fishing trips for winter, and fly fishing vacation packages in the spring and summer. Below is a quick look at some of the amazing deals and discounts currently being offered. For more information, please contact Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures at (888) 777-5060. We'll be happy to talk with you about availability, dates and details.
*** SPECIALS UPDATED AS OF NOVEMBER 24, 2010 ***
CROCODILE BAY RESORT (Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica)
Take 20% off any fishing package taken at Crocodile Bay between November 1st and December 22nd! Please call Yellow Dog for a full breakdown on package rates, fishing package options, and details.
AGUA BOA AMAZON LODGE (Amazon Region, Brazil)
Book a trip for 4 people to travel between November 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010 to Agua Boa Lodge, and the 5th person comes absolutely free! A 7 night / 7 fly fishing day trip costs $5,300.00 per person based on double occupancy. If you decided to split the free spot, this brings the cost down to only $4,240.00 per person. (If you travel any other time of the year and book 5 people, the 6th comes free). Call Yellow Dog for details and availability.
CHIME LODGE (Junin / San Martin Area - Patagonia, Argentina)
Chime Lodge is offering an amazing special for November 1 - December 18, 2010 and March 19 - April 31, 2011. For the low price of $3,995.00 per person (based on double occupancy), you will stay for 7 nights and fish 6 days. The best part is that your international flight from Miami to Buenos Aires to Bariloche on Aerolineas Argentinas is INCLUDED! Also included are all meals and alcohol, flies, fishing, and lodging. This is a GREAT deal! Space is limited, so please call us quickly to secure your reservation. You also have the option to upgrade to business class for $1,200.00 per person.
We also have a great fly fishing vacation package deal that we are offering for the week of February 12-19, 2011 at Patagonia's Chime Lodge. One of the nicest fishing lodges in the entire region during one of THE PEAK WEEKS of the Argentine fly fishing season! World-class trout fly fishing on some of the best rivers in all of Patagonia. Call Yellow Dog today for details and special rates on this particular week.
COSTA DE COCOS LODGE (Chetumal Bay - Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)
Costa De Cocos Lodge in Xcalak, Mexico is again offering their 2-for-1 summer special, good on all trips taken now through November 30, 2010. Buy a single occupancy standard fishing package for one person, and the second person comes free! Based on double occupancy, the special rate for a 7 night / 6 fishing day package is only $1,985.00 per person! (Normally $2,995.00). This is a great way to save $1,000.00 on a week-long package. Contact Yellow Dog today for details.
Maine Striper Fishing Report October 5th 2010
A first light run and 36 degree air was a shock to my system!!! and you could feel the bass are starting to really feel the migratory motivation, but there a few tricks mother nature is playing here on the fish, the water temps are about 3-5 degree up from average around the bay and second is the dropout of the small Blue Back Herring that entered the river 3-4 weeks late this year. The fish that have stayed around are pretty happy they have Lot's of food but whats a little more impressive is that fresh fish are still showing into the lower kennebec stopping by there and Casco Bay for a look around, for some reason we have had a bunch of 17-20 inch bass show up over the last few weeks, is it the winds from the storms that pushed them from offshore are they dropout from the Kennebec? I did not here of many small bass up there this year either, anyhow it has been good to see and gives you hope if we team up as anglers, the fish want to overcome the shitty management of this fishery!!!
Overall I think we have some of the best fishing in front of us over the next ten days or so, some big tides are coming this weekend and the weather is forcast to be a little more stable for the long range. Temps at night are going to come up a little and that should hold the water temp with the sunny days ahead, the bait really moved on Fridays rain event and the fish we are finding are pretty snappy, On a afternoon incoming tides we where able to find some sun yesterday and feed some nice fish on the sand flats on the outer islands, hoping for the same today!!!! I have some great tide open for striper fishing that I was heisted on booking due to not knowing how well the fishing and weather was going to hold. On the carp front we have some real good shots and have come tight to a few large fish over the last few weeks, winds have slowed our efforts
but I am really looking forward to a few tides coming up for some more tidal carp, also have to let the duck hunter blast the first few days of there season away- I guided the Kennebec Pro AM and their was only two stripers caught for the total tournament but we saw 8 carp roll go figure.. Call for opening if you are looking to give this a try or to get in on some pretty good fall stripers fishing....207-671-4330
July 6, 2010 updates.
Well, if you where to judge a fishery on opportunities this is nuts how many nice fish are in Casco Bay or all Maine's striper waters right now!!!! But getting the eat has been a little bit of chasing an early start, tides and reading the fish. The later being the most difficult if you are fishing from shore or a noisy boat, simply the fish don't need to eat our flies they really don't need to waste energy chasing our flies, they have all they need and can eat when ever they want. But they are stripers and there are always a few who are a little more snappy, one thing that has been consistent for us is not to throw a the big group I know it hard to reframe from doing so but those fish are social and read off any nervous energy from the group, Read my last post on the Green merkin crab it has been our best producer for the last 2 weeks followed by a olice small sand eel pattern I tie with Finish Racoon, but we are targeting tides and sun angles for sight fishing and missed a few of the early starts exchanging them for the sand on the incoming tides,
Couple of things happening in Casco Bay that was frustrating anglers last week was the weed/grass floating everywhere, I here you it took a few places holding tons of fish out of the picture as you got very few clean retrieves well the bait stuck to those weed lines during that period of nw wind and cooler nights and we found some real active feeds on the opposite shoreline and had the place to ourselves for a few days So pay attention to the winds if it blows hard for a few days you may want to check out the next island over shore line even if doesn't have structure your looking to fish check it out it may hold fish for a few tides then go back to to there summer holding spots,
South - North
Reports from Dave Skok fishing Cape Ann are like our lots of well feed Bass using the flats to lay up, his eats are coming on small patterns as well. he also reports there are tons of fish feed a few miles off on large sand eel and the ord is the fish seemed to be moving our way,
The Kennebec guides are reporting some real good fishing and it sounds like it holding up well in the evening as well, If you are looking to fish the Kennebec flats give Peter Fallon and Call or fishing the structure and rips try Capt Gorge Harris.
And finally the tidal Carp fishing has had a few moments for us as well they like warm humid days, good timing on the tides has had us casting to tailing fish for a few hrs and 4 fish over 12 lbs to boat, Our new skiff is floating and poling well in 5 inches of water, is a dream for fishing the sand flats as well,
Casco Bay Striper Tournament
19th Annual Catch and Release Striper Tournament to be held on August 20-21st 2010. Yarmouth Baot Yard will also be hosting a Captains Dinner on Friday night before the tournament. This year YBY is proud to announce that L.L. Bean will be the corporate sponsor.
Tournament Prizes (For 2010)
• 1st Place .......... $1,000 Cash
• 2nd Place ......... $500 Cash
• 3rd Place .......... $250 Cash
• 10th Place ........ $125
• 15th Place ........ $125
• 1st Place .......... $1,000 Cash
• 2nd Place ......... $500 Cash
• 3rd Place .......... $250 Cash
• 10th Place ........ $125
• 15th Place ........ $125
Fly Fishing-Stripers Only
• 1st Place .......... $750 Cash
• 2nd Place ......... $500 Cash
• 3rd Place .......... $250 Cash
• Slam ........ $250
• CCA Member Raffle
After years of customers asking for hats with my fly logo on it, we are now selling hats t-shirts and buffs, we should be all set for online orders in the next few weeks, drop us an email if your interested.
Open AM trips for July 18,19,20,21 Evening trips call 207-671-4330
Aug AM 4-7 13,14 19-20
May 20 --2010
Quick update going into the weekend, found a few nice fish this morning in Casco Bay, some good reports to the south, wind direction and temps look good and getting better. things could bust open in the next few days!!! Did get a couple of fish near 30 today, the real story was a group of little punks that where full of it at 14-17 inches, great to see!!! Stay near the river systems!! and things turned on about 2.5 hr into the outgoing. I just had some June dates open up due to a angler who had to change his travel plan till Aug they are great tides!!!June 16-19 I also have few days in the first and second week of June For either Maine tidal Carp or striped Bass, Give a call for more info 207-671-4330
Maine Striper Fishing Reports May -16- 2010
Here we go my first Maine fishing report, Stripers are showing from Portland South and in some area's in good numbers!!!and that's the word Cape Cod North, the
water temps are not to bad even with a few chilly nights we had this past week. Looking forward with the amount of baitfish that have moved into Maine's water we should here about some big fish being caught in the bigger rivers, I've fished the sand flats near Portland a couple of times on the few sunny days we have had, and have seen some nice groups of fish moving around, they where playing follow the leader and not stoping by for any thing we casted at them, have had good luck around Plum Island and Kittery area last week. Carp flats had five shots on one day to some real large fish but really need a spike in the water temp for that to turn on!!! It's still early but off to a good start!!!!
Hope you all are well and are getting excited for another Striper season in the Northeast. Thank you to all who have booked trips and sent in deposits, I'm looking forward to fishing with you. Today I heard reports of anglers catching striped bass in the 15-32 inch range in Boston Harbor so the good news is fish are starting to make it around the Cape. The bait reports here in Maine are looking good with ospreys and seals moving in to feed on the alewives and herring working the way into Maine rivers. Stripers will follow soon!!!!
Last year I started fishing in Maine on May 18 with good success despite the muddy water from 27 days of rain June and July. In the end 2009 proved to fish better than 2008 and we may see an even better season this year. Water temps in Rhode Island are 7 degrees up from a year ago and the amount of fish that have made it to CT and RI sounds promising as in the past they often stopped in New Jersey. Fish size will continue to be on the bigger side the next few years as we wait for the low recruitment of juvenal fish in 2005-06 to be replaced. There are some signs of improvement, with a better spawn the last few years, but for a year or two we will be chasing bigger, smarter fish and I'm enjoying that challenge.
To celebrate the early season we're offering a $350 special on any trips from May 10-May 30 - that's a $75 discount - so book soon as days are going fast.
Many of you have asked about carp fishing in Maine, and have booked trips in the next few weeks. The carp came up on the grass flats for a few days then some cold nights put them back down, but by the beginning of May we will be in good shape, so anyone looking for the challenge of the tidal ravine carp let me know ASAP. Also for early season, the sand flats south of Portland have been producing the last few years. These are shorter window trips due to the tide swamping us out, but we usually get a good 4-5 hrs of fun.
It amazes me how cool of a fishery Casco Bay is when you hit the right tides, and I really can't think of prettier place to chase striped bass on the flats and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Capt Eric Wallace
I'm in the Fl Keys chasing Permit and Tarpon, I'll try to update my Maine Striper Fishing Blog once a week with some Keys fishing reports and Maine and Cape Cod Striper Reports/updates, Dates for 2010 are filling fast, so drop an email or give a call, if your looking for either Striper fishing dates or Skinny Water Carp.
GET OUT And Cast Some Rods!!!!!!!
Eldredge Bros. Fly Shop
7th Annual Flyfishing Expo
April 3, 2010 from 9:00am till 4:00pm here at the Fly Shop. This is a "RAIN OR SHINE" event.
This event is always a big hit and a very festive gathering of fly fishermen who are getting ready for the start of a new fishing season. There will be hundreds of rods to test cast, manufacturer's reps from Sage, Winston, Scott, Ross, Hatch, Tibor, Simms, Fishpond, Rio, and much more. We'll have door prizes, raffles, professional tying demos, free aquatic entomology seminars, free antique tackle appraisals, and all of the free food you can eat.
Maine Striper Fishing Reports 2010
This is from Main'e most popular Fly Fishing, web chat board,I thought many of you would like to see the responce to the dribble coming from SAM a group here in maine that has a history of not supporting programs that would help our saltwater fishery,Hey the prez of this group SAM thought it would be cool to fish in a Salmon pen for farm rasied Atlantic Salmon, and even filmed it and put on ther TV show ??? They just might be a little out of touch with the many saltwater fly anglers here in Maine.
We here at FFIM have followed the saga of the Saltwater Registry with great interest. As a grassroots group made up of fisherman, yet one with a definite slant towards conservation and resource protection, our interests were peaked for a multitude of reasons. As fisherman, we are keen to the issues that effect us and the pursuit of our passion, especially when our wallets come into play. At the same time, as folks with an eye towards attempting to do what is best for the resource, we understand the wide array of issues confronting our complex saltwater migratory fisheries. Throughout the debate we have all seen countless opinions, some better informed than others, slung about with much fervor and emotion. This issue invokes passion from all sides for sure.
The staff at FFIM wanted to get a handle on this issue as best we could. We also had a big desire to avoid getting involved with the rhetoric and innuendo that seems to have followed this ordeal. Not wanting to get drawn into a battle of opinions, suppositions and distortions, wanting to avoid infusing more emotion and speculation into the debate, we went straight to the source. We contacted the folks at the Maine Department of Marine Resources and asked them to respond to some of the information that is being presented publicly these days, and this is the response we received.
Straight facts from the experts:
These factual responses to the "22 Reasons to Oppose a Saltwater Angler's License" posted by George Smith on his website were prepared by Maine DMR, February 2010
REASONS WHY THE
"22 Reasons to Oppose a Saltwater Angler's License"
ARE SIMPLY NOT TRUE
1) Many more saltwater anglers would have to buy a Maine license than are required to register under the federal system. The feds require only those fishing outside the 3-mile limit or fishing in tidal water for anadromous (migratory) species to register. Those who only fish for nonmigratory fish, such as mackerel, don't have to register with the feds, but would have to buy the Maine license.
Fact: When addressing the question "Do I need to Register?" the federal government has stated, "Although you will not be targeting anadromous species, if you catch an anadromous fish, you need to be registered. Therefore NOAA recommends that if you will be fishing in tidal waters where you might catch an anadromous fish, then you should go ahead and register." Striped bass are present in Maine where people fish for mackerel - therefore, they will need to be federally registered. Also, Dr. James Balsinger, the Acting Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, stated in a letter:
"...the definition of "angling" and spear fishing" in the final rule includes catching, as well as attempting to catch, fish. In tidal waters where anadromous fish are present, anglers would therefore need to be registered to be certain they would not be in violation of the registration requirement because they catch an anadromous fish although they were not intending to do so. NOAA Fisheries is aware that some of our outreach materials pre-date the proposed and final rule and may not be sufficiently clear on these points. A substantial outreach effort is planned for this fall and winter to assure anglers have the necessary information regarding the registration requirements."
2) It would discourage saltwater anglers from enjoying their fishing heritage. Example: the Rockland family that goes to the breakwater twice a year with the kids to catch mackerel for supper. They won't do it if they have to pay for a license. That would be a shame
Fact: According to current federal law, if this Rockland family wants to fish in Maine state waters in 2011, they will need to be registered. Under LD 1432, children under the age of 16 are entirely exempt from the registry requirement. For residents over the age of 70, a lifetime license is available for a one-time fee of $10. If Maine fails to pass LD 1432, which provides for a $5 license for Maine residents, then they will need to pay $15-25 to the federal government for each adult. The Maine Registry is better for this family.
3) Mainers can't even possess fish taken from saltwater without buying the license! If you want to share your catch of mackerel with a neighbor, that neighbor will have to buy the license.
Fact: This is nonsense. For all licenses, including Inland Fish and Wildlife Licenses, there is a prohibition on possession of the regulated species. For example, IF&W's fishing license says:
12501. General fishing license
1. License required. Except as otherwise permitted pursuant to this Part, a person may not fish for, transport or possess fish without a valid license issued under this section.
But everyone understands that if you catch a brook trout, there is no problem if you want to give that fish to your unlicensed neighbor for their dining enjoyment. This claim is just a scare tactic that has no basis in fact - Maine Marine Patrol has confirmed that it will not be a problem to give a legally taken striped bass to a neighbor who does not have a license.
4) Anglers overwhelmingly oppose it. Over the years, SAM and The Maine Sportsman magazine have found that 75 percent or more oppose a saltwater license. Even when we indicate the money would be dedicated to enhancement of saltwater fishing, the margin doesn't change much.
Fact: SAM does not represent saltwater anglers, nor are they engaged in the conservation or management of key species such as striped bass. Members of organizations that represent only saltwater anglers do support a license. Furthermore, the reality is - there WILL be a license. The only question is, who will administer it - the state or the feds? When asked THAT question, most anglers would prefer to keep their money in-state, then send it to Washington DC.
5) This vote counts with SAM and its members who have made this a high priority issue. A large majority of Maine legislators stood with us over the last decade to defeat every saltwater license proposal. We are counting on today's legislators and will appreciate their continued support.
Fact: It's true that this proposal has come up several times over the past decade. However, the situation in 2010 is different than it has been in the past. The federal registry is now a requirement. It is free in 2010, but will cost $15-25 in 2011. SAM's members may not currently understand that this is the choice we are facing as a State, but if they did, the majority of people would prefer to pay $5 to the state than $15-25 to the federal government.
6) The anger of anglers is currently aimed at the feds for their mandatory fee-based registry. Why would legislators want to divert that anger to themselves? Rep. Leila Percy saw this anger first hand at SAM's Sportsmen's Congress on January 22 when outdoor leaders from throughout the state spoke forcefully against the license as Leila tried, unsuccessfully, to defend it.
Fact: If LD 1432 doesn't pass, Maine will end up as one of two East coast states with a $15-25 federal registry (these fees are based on NOAA's estimate, and published in the federal register). It seems like many more constituents will be angry when they realize that they will be sending much more money to the federal treasury for no benefit, when their legislators could have voted to prevent that. How will you explain why you failed to take action when your constituents ask?
7) The feds are only authorized to charge a fee to cover only the expenses of their registry. They cannot use the registry to raise money for other programs and enforcement. We don't know yet what their fee will be. The state plans to charge enough to pay the costs of the licensing system plus raise money for programs and enforcement. Which fee do you think will end up being higher?
Fact: The feds have clearly stated in the federal registry that they expect the fee will be $15-25. They have also said, the fewer states that are left in the federal system, the higher the cost will be, because the fixed costs of maintaining the system will be shared by fewer participants. The feds use the same process to charge for their Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permits. At this time, Maine and New Jersey are the only states in the continental US who have failed to establish their own license. The state license is proposed to be $5 - because NOAA's expenses are fixed, there is NO WAY the feds will be able to administer a system for less than that.
8) Maine will have the opportunity, next year or anytime after, to establish the free Maine registry proposed by Senator David Trahan and SAM and relieve Maine anglers of the federal fee.
Fact: As the State Office of Policy and Fiscal Review established last year - there is no such thing as a free registry. There are significant administrative and enforcement costs that need to come from somewhere. Why waste a year sending over $1 million to the federal government, when we could establish a $5 state license that will meet the federal requirement?
9) The Marine Patrol would have to spend a great deal of time enforcing the saltwater licensing requirement, redirecting those officers from Resource Protection to Revenue Protection, diverting them from more important tasks. They are not required, and so far have refused, to enforce the federal registry requirement. Federal officials acknowledged that they could not force Maine to enforce the federal registry requirement.
Fact: Maine Marine Patrol currently allocates resources to enforcing recreational fishing requirements - for example, striped bass regulations, and boating safety. If Maine fails to enact a license and is subject to the federal registry, Maine Marine Patrol WILL check people for compliance, and WILL issue tickets as appropriate. If Maine establishes a $5 license, a portion of the license revenues will go to provide education and adequate enforcement, which will prevent their diversion away from commercial enforcement.
10) There are no specifics on what anglers would get for their money, and we doubt it would or could be used to improve the quality of our saltwater angling experience. The federal government regulates and manages most of our targeted species, not the state.
Fact: The majority report of LD 1432 specifies that ALL the revenues from registry sales will be deposited in a dedicated account, used only for the purposes of administration of the registry, enforcement, and resource management and conservation. Funds WILL BE USED to create new fishing opportunities, by focusing on Maine's native striped bass populations, as well as the introduction of shad into Maine rivers. Licensing revenue will be used to support existing staff who represent the state of Maine in interstate fisheries management arenas, such as the Atlantic States Fisheries Management Commission - where management of such species as striped bass occurs. Doesn't Maine want to have a voice in those discussions?
11) The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has acknowledged that it intends to use the revenue from the saltwater fishing license to pay for management of alewives. Alewives are not a recreational fishery. Before they even get the money of recreational anglers, they are planning to divert it to commercial fisheries!
Fact: This statement shows how little the person who wrote these statements understands the role of this critical species and its relationship to recreational fishing. Alewives are an incredibly critical component of the ecology of freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments. It is important to understand that alewives tie our ocean, rivers and lakes together, providing vital nutrients and forage needed to make healthy watersheds. Between and within those various habitats, EVERYTHING eats alewives: striped bass, bluefish, tuna, cod, haddock, halibut, American eel, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, pickerel, pike, white and yellow perch...Restored alewife runs are what bring, and hold, striped bass up our rivers for Maine anglers to enjoy - that's why it makes perfect sense that a portion of the licensing revenue be allocated to the restoration of this keystone species.
Additionally, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife allocates staff resources, paid by license revenues, to such activities as smelt management and overseeing forest management activities because forage, feed for animals, is a critical part of the responsible management of fish and wildlife.
12) DMR is not required to utilize the existing DIF&W MOSES system to sell its licenses, raising the possibility that another costly licensing system will be established. DMR asked that the bill not include a requirement that the MOSES system be used.
Fact: DMR asked the Marine Resources Committee to amend language that stated that a person may register ONLY through an agent, or through an online licensing and registration system operated by IF&W. DMR believes that since it is a SALTWATER license, over which IF&W has no jurisdiction, that DMR should be able to sell the license too. DMR and IF&W have been working collaboratively, and have agreed that the MOSES system will be used.
13) The funds will not be protected and could be diverted to other programs and agencies or swept into the General Fund by the legislature and governor. Any license money directed to DMR will only allow the Governor and legislature to withdraw an equal amount of General Fund tax money from that department. This has happened repeatedly to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Why would things be any different for DMR?
Fact: The money from the sales of the registry will be deposited in a dedicated account, which can be used only for the purposes of administration, enforcement, and resource management and conservation. The money will be protected by the constituents who support the activities for which the money is used - just as supporters of IF&W do when that agency faces budget cuts. On the other hand, if Maine fails to pass LD 1432, then all of our citizens' money will be sent to DC - with no benefit to the state. Which of these scenarios presents the greater risk that Mainers money will be wasted?
14) The saltwater license is not required for some groups of anglers who are required to purchase inland fishing licenses, including those who fish with a guide. To be fair to all anglers, these same exemptions would have to be provided to inland anglers too. You can't justify a system in which coastal anglers pay less and enjoy more exemptions than inland anglers.
Fact: That's right - you can't justify such a system - but currently, inland anglers need to be licensed to fish in fresh water, while coastal anglers pay nothing and are completely exempted. This proposal would license coastal anglers to fish in salt water, just as inland anglers are licensed to fish in fresh water.
15) Among the inequities is this one: those who rent a smelt fishing shack from a commercial operator don't need to purchase the license, while those who fish from their own smelt shack will.
Fact: This exemption was proposed because the goal of the registry/licensing system is to collect specific information from saltwater anglers so that they can be surveyed, and it was anticipated that commercial smelt camp operators would be able to provide this information for their clients. If you are fishing from a private camp, you must register because there is no one to collect that information for you.
16) Failure to purchase the $5 license nets a minimum fine of $100! DMR may reap more money by failing to educate anglers about the license requirement and nailing them for the $100 fine!
Fact: Once again, writer of this statement is making claims without bothering to even look into the facts. DMR does not receive any of the money from violations - that goes to the Judiciary. So there is no incentive for DMR to fail to educate anglers - that is what they do all the time in commercial fisheries.
Additionally, DMR has stressed the need for angler education as the licensing process begins, just as the agency does with any change to laws and regulations.
17) Not requiring a license will encourage nonresident anglers to come to Maine to fish and spend their money (if they are registered or licensed in another state, they don't have to register with the feds to fish in Maine). If they buy a Massachusetts saltwater fishing license, they can't fish in Rhode Island, New York, or Connecticut, without buying that state's license. They could fish in Maine, for free, and without any additional registration requirement.
Fact: What will encourage anglers to come to Maine IS NOT the absence of a license fee. What will encourage anglers to come to Maine IS healthy fish populations to fish for! Without a source of revenue, Maine will not be able to do any work on its striped bass fishery, and there will be no point in fishing here - even if it IS free!
18) It will be impossible for legislators to justify to voters that they hit 200,000 of them for a new saltwater license to fund new and existing programs, while denying and diminishing aid to the desperately needy. If any of us have money to spare, it should go to those with desperate needs. That would not be recreational anglers.
Fact: The saltwater fishing license is not a new tax. You only need to purchase it if you plan to go saltwater fishing. The proposal is for a $5 state license. If LD 1432 doesn't pass, then people who want to go saltwater fishing will need to send at least $15, and likely more, to the federal government. It is not a choice between a $5 fee and providing aid to the needy. If Maine fails to enact a license, it doesn't provide more money for the needy.
19) Even if the saltwater license could produce real benefits to saltwater anglers, now is not the time to add this financial burden onto already hard-pressed Mainers.
Fact: If the Maine Legislature fails to act, then instead of $5, Mainers will be spending at least $15 and sending it to the federal government...THAT is the burden that would be placed on hard-pressed Mainers!
20) Proponents claim their "registry" is not a license. All saltwater anglers must buy it, must pay a fee, and will receive a number and a piece of paper. Sure sounds like a license.
Fact: The proponents don't care if it's called a registry or a license. Either one is fine.
21) Only the most gullible think the initial $5 fee for residents and $15 fee for nonresidents would last more than one year, especially given DMR's ambitious intent to raise $5 million or more for programs and enforcement.
Fact: Only the most gullible think a federal license will be cheaper than a state one. The state license is proposed to cost $5. There is no way that the federal registry will be cheaper than that, especially with only Maine and New Jersey paying the cost for the entire federal program. In order for the cost of a state license to increase, the Maine Legislature would have to agree, so Mainers would have the opportunity to provide their opinion. Maine will have NO SAY over changes to the federal fee.
22) The license will not increase federal Sport Fishing Funds coming to Maine, but could result in a diversion of those funds from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to DMR, creating a hole in DIF&W's budget.
Fact: Once again, if the writer of this statement had bothered to talk to the agencies to find out the situation, he would know that in order for the allocation in funds to change, DMR and IF&W would have to petition USFWS together with an agreed upon proposal to change the allocation. DMR and IF&W have discussed this, and there is no intent to initiate any such change.
© 1995-2010 FlyFishingInMaine.org
US Mail: PO Box 7925, Portland, ME 04112
In 2008 John Frazier of Saltwater Sportsman Magazine did an article called the Maine Event- Fish for stripers the unconventional way- on the flats. This Past fall, during one of the strongest cold fronts of the season, we set out with Sportfish TV to do a follow up for there TV show on Versus- Check it out.
VERSUS -MAINE EVENT – SKINNY WATER STRIPERS Date 2/13/10 and 2/19/10 airtime 12:30 and 6:30 pm
I watched the forecast for the week, and I wonder is this going to be worth it, the Host of the show Dean Travis Clarke was driving up towing a 17 ft Yellow Fin flats skiff one of the shows sponsors, so there was no way we where going to be using my flats skiff, a new skiff, temp drop of 25 degrees, wind gusting to 30 out of the northeast and some frozen Floridian boys trying to film, I thought shit, I would love to take this day off - we stuck it out and found fish in areas I have not fished in years, had one of the most incredible sun-sets and met some new friends. In the end it proved what many flats guides already knows, working hard long days in the wind, to picky bigger fish often pay-off!!!!!
Starting Jan. 1, 2010, Anglers will need to register with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) before fishing. Anglers can register for free online or by calling a toll-free phone number.
This requirement is an essential part of a national commitment to effectively manage saltwater fish populations. The registry will allow fishermen and policy makers to work together to assess the contributions and impacts of saltwater anglers on ocean ecosystems, coastal economies and fish populations. Since the requirement includes anyone who may catch an anadromous species (fish that travel between salt and fresh waters), anyone fishing in the tributaries and coastal waters, must be registered.
“According to a recent NOAA Fisheries Survey, saltwater anglers had an overall economic impact of $82 billion and generated more than half a million jobs nationwide,” said Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell. “It’s only appropriate that recreational anglers be counted and thereby have a substantial impact on the management and health of coastal fish stocks.”
This initiative, known as the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), is designed to produce accurate information that will help determine the condition of fish stocks. This data will allow anglers, fisheries managers and others to effectively and fairly set strategies for ensuring the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing in salt waters.
Anglers who do not need to register are those under 16 years old, anglers fishing on a charter boat, commercial fishermen at work, anglers holding highly migratory species permits, and anglers who hold a saltwater license from a state where they are automatically registered. Anglers fishing from a Free Fishing areas or who are otherwise exempt from buying a fishing license still need to register with NOAA.
The process is simple and free of charge. On or after January 1, go online here or call 1-888-MRIP-411 (888-674-7411
Coastal Fly Angler: will be hosting the new movie-- RISE-- this November !!! 6-7th at 7 pm .
At Frontier Cafe, Cinema & Gallery
PHONE: (207) 725-5222
14 Maine St.
Mill 3 -- Fort Andross
Brunswick, ME 04011
Any qustions call Capt.Eric Wallace 207-671-4330
In 2008, Confluence Films debuted DRIFT, a highly acclaimed documentary that captivated the flyfishing community. In 2009, riding on the success of DRIFT, director/cinematographer Chris Patterson of Warren Miller Entertainment and executive producer Jim Klug once again set out in search of new locations and the totally unique stories, characters, and species that epitomize the spirit and soul of flyfishing.
This new film is RISE – a six segment collection of individual stories shot around the world; stories that together truly reflect the attraction that flyfishing has for all of us. Shot on location in the Florida Keys, Argentina, Idaho, New Orleans, Venezuela, and Alaska. RISE is a stunning full-length film, photographed entirely on 16mm film and mastered in HD.
Featuring: Rene Harrop, Rance Rathie, Travis Smith, Capt.Bruce Chard, Ron Sorensen, Mike Lawson, Capt. Bryan Carter & more.
he 2009 Atlantic striped stock assessment update indicates that the resource remains in good condition with female spawning stock biomass (SSB) percent of the SSB target and 185 percent of the SSB threshold (see Figure 1). Estimated fishing mortality rates (F) in 2008 are equal to or less than 0.21 and below the target (0.30) and threshold (0.34) rates. The assessment provides stock status for the combination of the three primary stocks (Hudson River, Delaware River, and Chesapeake and tributaries). The striped bass stock complex is determined to be not overfished with overfishing not occurring.
State of the Striper fishery,
Although spawning stock and total biomass have remained relatively stable over the last several years, stock abundance declined from 2004 to 2007 with a small increase in 2008. The decrease in abundance is reflected in a decline in coastwide landings in 2007 and 2008. The decline is more prevalent in areas largely dependent on contributions from the Chesapeake stocks (such as Maine) than areas that are dominated by the Hudson stock (such as New York). The spawning stock has remained relatively stable due to the growth and maturation of the 2003 year class and the accumulation of spawning biomass from year classes prior to 1996. The latest results of the statistical catch-at-age model also exhibit an increasing retrospective bias where F is overestimated and abundance and biomass underestimated. Retrospective bias may be the result of error in catch estimates, natural mortality, unequal stock mixing, and changes in catchability or selectivity. Analysis of tag data also suggests an increasing natural mortality in Chesapeake Bay, likely the result of the mycobacteriosis.
Recruitment estimates have averaged 12.5 million fish since 1995 when the stock complex was declared restored. The 2006 and 2007 estimates were the lowest in recent years at 7.4 million and 5.8 million fish, respectively. The 2003 cohort remains the largest since 1982 at 22.8 million fish. Recruitment in 2008 of 13.3 million fish was slightly above the recent average.
Striped bass are one of the most sought after species by recreational anglers along the Atlantic coast. In 2008, recreational anglers landed over 2.2 million striped bass weighing 12,310 metric tons (mt) (see Figure 2). Recreational landings have ranged from a low of 336 mt in 1989 to a high of 13,814 mt in 2006. The coastwide landings in 2008 reflect a 17 percent decline from a high of 2.7 million fish in 2006. Changes in landings have varied by state, with MA, CT, and NY showing an increase in landings and the remaining states showing a 32% decrease on average. Recreational discard mortalities (assuming an 8 percent mortality of releases) in 2008 were 950,000 fish, a 64 percent decrease from a high of 2.1 million fish in 2006.
Landings from the commercial striped bass fishery have been consistently lower than the recreational catch. Commercial landings increased from 63 mt in 1987 to 2,679 mt in 1997 and have remained steady due to quota restrictions. Landings in 2008 were 3,281 mt. Gill nets are the dominant commercial gear used to target striped bass. Other commercial fishing gears include hook and line, pound nets, seines, and trawls.
Copies of the stock assessment update will be available via the Commission’s website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News. For more information, please contact Nichola Meserve, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator at (202) 289-6400 or email@example.com.
Oct 10th, 2009 | By Capt. John McMurray | Category: Conservation, Lead Article
Addendum II will comprise yet another small but real drain on striped bass
Today is 10/8… It’s 5:00PM and I’m on a train home from the Striped Bass Advisory Panel (AP) meeting. I have to mention that I’ve been awake since 3:00AM and I’m running purely on caffeine at the moment so please excuse the likely mistakes. This AP meeting was arranged so that ASMFC staff could update the Panel on the results of the 2009 updated stock assessment that was literally just released this week. But it was also so that that we could review “Draft Addendum II” to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass, which deals with unused commercial quota roll over.
Let’s begin with the former, and I’ll try to be very brief due to a lack of time, space and of course reader attention spans (no offence… I know my eyes glaze over when I read a lot of this stuff). The short version is that the stock is still not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. The population is not under imminent threat, and it is not declining to unhealthy levels. Although, it has taken a notable dip from its 2004 high, it still remains well above the thresholds for management action. Fishing mortality is believed to be well below the target, and the number of older fish (age 8+) in the population has fallen, but seems to have stabilized. I’m not so sure I believe all of this to be the case, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Right now, let’s talk about Addendum II.
The Addendum proposes to allow any unused coastal commercial quota of striped bass to be rolled over from one year to the next. To be more clear, the uncaught commercial striped bass quota from one year (the “underage”) would be added to the following year’s quota and thus be allowed to be caught then. So if New York’s commercial fisherman, for instance, caught all but 100,000 pounds of their quota this year, that 100k pounds would be added to next year’s quota.
I don’t really get it… I mean, such quotas as I understand them, are meant to act as hard ceiling that should not be exceeded, but in this case the ASMFC seems to want to use the quota as a target to be achieved. Addendum II explicitly states that “avoiding a quota overage signifies managerial success.” (“While avoiding a quota overage signifies managerial success, a quota underage represents lost opportunity to commercial harvesters.”) While it is true that a state’s failure to fill its entire quota does diminish commercial fishers’ opportunities to profit from the public striped bass resource, it is also true that it is a practical impossibility to set regulations in a manner that assures that a quota will be met but not exceeded.
Regardless, there are abundant reasons for precaution here and while the proposed commercial rollover in the grand scheme doesn’t look like it will increase mortality all that much, it will still increase mortality, and that’s not good right now. Undoubtedly, we’re beginning to see more and more warning signs with striped bass. The chorus of complaints is getting harder and harder to blow off. There are constant anecdotal reports that striped bass abundance at the northern and now southern ends of its range have decreased sharply. Anecdotal evidence from anglers, throughout the coast, suggest that striped bass are less available than in recent years, and that with the exception of a handful of very large fish that may have been spawned during the moratorium years of the 1980s, the average size of the fish caught by anglers is declining.
Then there’s Mycobacteriosis, a disease affecting striped bass, which we still don’t know a whole lot about. It could very possibly be a serious threat to the striped bass population, particularly in Chesapeake Bay, where it has its greatest impact on the older females that spawn in the largest striped bass nursery area on the coast. Recruitment in 2006 and 2007 was some of the worst in recent years, while the 2008 Maryland young of the year index, traditionally a reliable measure of future striped bass abundance, was merely 3.7% of the long term average. The winter tagging cruise that takes place off Virginia and North Carolina in January caught the fewest striped bass in its 22-year history.
Any one of those factors, taken on its own, is probably not significant. Striped bass typically experience very irregular spawning success, in which dominant, average and below-average year classes follow one another without discernable pattern. Weather can affect fishing success, whether by anglers or by research vessels, in any given year, and changes in water temperature and/or forage abundance may affect the annual distribution of striped bass. However, when viewed as a whole, particularly considering the potential impact of mycobacteriosis, there is more than adequate reason to approach any increase in the actual striped bass harvest with caution.
Unfortunately, the ASMFC has not been precautionary. It has incrementally increased harvest not by a single coordinated action, but rather by a series of measures that one Board member has likened to “death by a thousand cuts.” In a single session, the Board created fisheries in Delaware and Pennsylvania for striped bass smaller than the 28-inch coastal minimum, eliminated the quota on the Chesapeake Bay spring “trophy” fishery and permitted Maryland to extend its December season by more than two weeks. Addendum II would comprise yet another small but very real drain on striped bass abundance by authorizing a de facto increase in commercial harvest.
Add to this the fact that that allowing a commercial rollover would likely provide an incentive to under report harvest. The ability to increase next year’s quota by failing to report a fully caught quota is ample motivation for commercial fishermen to under-report their catch because selling fish under the table could actually result in a larger quota the following year. And we all well know that there’s already a big problem with such black market striped bass fisheries.
It’s worthy of noting here that that those black market fisheries are not accounted for in the assessment process. During the AP meeting discussion, the Technical Committee rep gave some pretty poor reasons why such known black market fisheries are not accounted for, even though it seems to be well known and has been repeatedly documented by arrests and convictions. They claim there is just no way they can get an accurate estimate of such fisheries, even if they gathered records from the various enforcement agencies.
It’s also worth noting here that the commercial fishing AP rep from New York complained that they hadn’t fished their quota in a few years and thus should be entitled to those fish in the following years. I made the counter point that when you figure in all the poaching that takes place in Lower New York Harbor, I’m certain it’s been filled, and then some. Judging by my anecdotal observations in my neck of the woods, I’d even go so far as to say that the illegal catch may even be more than the total legal catch. While my assertions were written off as hyperbole by the commercial rep, anyone who has spent any time in Lower New York Harbor knows that the problem is a monumental one. There has historically been a large scale poaching problem here. There just isn’t much the DEC or anyone else can do about it. Although I cannot attest to it personally, there are plenty of folks who claim such fisheries exist in other states as well. I feel it’s very unlikely there is any such thing as a commercial quota underage with striped bass in most states.
But, hey, maybe I’m wrong. We could assume all fisherman are honest and report all their landings, and there is little to no poaching. If that’s the case as some commercial reps claim, could it be possible that the failure to harvest a state’s full quota is due to a contraction of the striped bass population? Brad Burns of Stripers Forever seems to think so “If the state fails to reach its quota over the course of an entire season, it is a very good indication that there simply are not as many striped bass out there as the fishery managers estimated. Given the fishing reports that we have been receiving this is a very likely scenario.”
There could indeed be some truth to this. My fishing has been substandard the last couple of seasons and the chorus of complaints coast-wide is just too loud for it to be a coincidence. And we can’t ignore the fact that the stock has been on the decline since 2004. Yet such fluctuations are not out of the ordinary and can easily be explained away by the good year-classes leaving the population. The Technical Committee seems to think the stock will begin showing an upward trend when the newer strong year-classes come into play. Still, I can’t help but think there is something that the assessment scientists are missing. And right now, I’m just not sure what that is.
It could be the mortality coming from the relatively new winter fisheries in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. These fisheries are composed almost completely of large spawning fish and until recently were never utilized. And the current MRFSS data collection system doesn’t sample during those first months of the year (what they consider to be “Wave 1”). And of course it could be the poaching. Still, the stock size and age distribution should show the effects of this fishery. Regardless, we do indeed MRFSS sampling for those Wave I fisheries because undoubtedly that fishery is resulting in a lot of big dead bass. Unfortunately , it doesn’t appear to be forthcoming.
And speaking of MRFSS, we’re still using the same old system to determine all these striped bass numbers, and such a system has been widely discredited. Of course, it’s still the best available data, but to me it would make sense to wait until the new MIRP system is up and running before we take any more steps in increase harvest, however incremental they may be.
But getting back to Addendum II, “Given the choice between underage and overage, the public interest is better served by assuring that the striped bass resource is not overfished,” writes CCA NY’s Chairman Charles Witek, “and that the underage is “reinvested” in the spawning stock to better assure abundance in future years.” I couldn’t agree more.
Until the uncertainties relating to striped bass abundance, including both trends in recruitment and future abundance and the effects of mycobacteriosis on the overall health of the stock, are determined in the next baseline stock assessment, consideration of a rollover of uncaught commercial quota is both premature and irresponsible. As representatives of the public interest and as stewards of the public striped bass resource, the Board is obligated to take a risk-averse approach to striped bass management, and to maintain the status quo as to the rollover of unused quota. Furthermore, the ASMFC should take clear recognition of the fact that the best time to resolve a problem is before it actually occurs.
ASMFC is still taking public comment on Addendum II, but not for much longer. It will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on October 16, 2009. If you think that a commercial rollover is a bad idea like I do, let them know about it. Comments should be sent to Nichola Meserve, FMP Coordinator, 1444 ‘Eye’ Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 289-6051 (FAX) or at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Striped Bass Draft Addendum II).
Is it post heat wave or pre storm or Just better tides? I'm betting all three but would place my favorite crab pattern on the tides, if I where a betting man. What ever the reason the fish have been much more snappy the last few trips for us, after a period where our water hit 74 degrees and it just seemed that every fish would just follow, for the beach anglers or folks throwing off a lower casting deck it would seem the fish had moved out deep but, Guiding from and poling platform and having a casting platform on my flats skiff we where seeing things that drove us nuts, changing flies, fishing 12 ft 8 lb leaders to 35 inch fish- on and on- just follows then we hit on area that we found some fish that where snappy and would eat anything we threw at them much more fun for my anglers. Then came better tides and the fish have been a little easier every where fish the last few days but still a very short A.M window, and looking forward the weather will cool and with the big tides 11 plus ft the next few days we will get the water cooled a bit as well. There is tons of bait hanging near the shore line flats and the outer island sand flats have sand eels all over them, Fish early and get your fly to any swirl quickly and for you guys that have not figured it out yet??? stealth is key!!!!! you can not run you motor all over the flats in Casco Bay or any where right now, and expect to catch fish these fish are so well feed the last thing they need to do is eat our artificials, pole use a trolling motor or drift but if other anglers are up on the mud or sand flats give them tons of space and turn your !@#*ing motors off!!!!
Overall it's been a good week,the weather was not too bad and we even had some sun to do my favorite thing, (sight fish) add to the mix, the quality of fly anglers I had this week- we got some nice fish in the shallows to move on the fly, in the 11 o'clock sun, One angler has been a back country guide in the FL keys for 25 plus years and what a joy to fish an angler with his skill set from casting 15 ft leaders with crab patterns to putting a hollow fly down in front of a high and happy big bass with out spooking it- to result in an eat!! I just had a blast the last few days!!!! Today was clear again and had some nice fish with dark backs ripping over the sand flats on the outer island beaches,
The morning Incomings have had some good feeds on Juvenile Herring and the fish have been pretty friendly to our flies, Hollows, Poppers, Juvie Herring fished tandem and Pollack patters have been good for us until we move to sight fishing, where crab pattern on floating lines and long leaders have worked well with the right anglers also white flats deceivers- hollows,
People often ask what spots do you like in Casco Bay? my answer- I fish tides not spots-Casco Bay is a tide chasers dream the fish eat and layup in different spots on each tide, not as easy to learn like fishing the beach and rocks or a big river system like the kennebec, Casco Bay, has a ton of flats and mussle bars you can fish skinny water all tide if you move at the right time to the right place, The tides have been key!!!! Many anglers go back to the same spot two days later different stage of the tide and are convince the fish have left, No they have not there is tons of fish and bait all over Casco Bay the tides have been key!!!! water temp is great the stable weather has turned on the fish. They are boat,leader and fly shy, change up a little- fish 10-12 pond floroand don't get stuck in your old ways if there not working otherwise these fish will drive you crazy with follows,
Maine Fishing Reports from the Kennebec have been good and the Tuna reports near Portland are looking up as well.
The web boards have been full of negative Maine Striper Reports- I had sent an e-mail to one angler hoping for him to hit it again instead of posting a doomsday report From www.flyfishinginmaine.com here is his fourum posting.
With some renewed confidence, courtesy of Capt. Eric Wallace -- I had the best Striper outing this morning in 2+ years, easy. I must have seen a hundred fish on this one particular flat...multiple pods of 25-30 slot-sized fish, and larger. Surface activity -- lots of feeding....just plain fun. Caught fish from 22" - 30" -- largest came on a gurgler! I also lost several on gurglers that broke off, and was worried that there were blues in the mix, but I didn't land any. The biggest Striper was fresh and mean, and had me WAY into my backing on an old Battenkill reel with a loose drag. Get out there and have at it -- turns out there are fish around -- they have just been hiding from me.
We have had some weird fishing the last week or so, weather and tides are a part of it as-well there just a ton of food for them, on Monday we hit the mud flats at first light to find fish marking the surface all around they where keyed into tiny grass shrimp, once again a hollow pattern with a stinger about 25 inches of the back- a small size 4-6 white bait fish pattern and using 12 lb or lighter leaders - we also used this rig to fish the sand flats on the incoming tide in the bright sun, found it was our ticket there untill we switch to a crab pattern the fish came to the crab but we missed a few eats. Today I fished an area I have not fish with a client in over 3 weeks and it produced see pic above. I'm feeling hopfull that the weather stays somewhat humid and stable also I'm looking forward to these tides coming into the new moon.
For more info on Maine Striper fishing and reports see our blog.
From Soggy weather blitzes to sunny weather sight fishing the last two week have just been a ton of fun for us here in Maine, I started my Maine striper fishing season sight fishing sand flats in late May? this is a first for me.I have scouted these flats the last 8 years from a poling platform and this year was the first I have seen them there this early!! when some cloudy weather killed the sun we started fishing Casco Bay, witch was already having very good reports from other Capt's and fishy locals.
My first guide day on Casco Bay was June 3 and in our first hour we land over ten slot size fish, it turned off quickly after the sun pop out mid morning. The Bay has really continue to fish very well, there is a ton of big bait in the rivers, the alewife run was good ,now the Blue Back Herring have poured into the rivers as well, Mackerels are blitzing all over the place on the small atlantic herring juvies-and swarms of sand eels are drifting in as well,water temp is 57 and warming into the lower 60 's on the flats,pretty much perfect conditions and just a ton better than the last few years, Fish size is a mixed bag I had Crosby Bean of Hardy rods and reels out on Thurs, within fifty feet and 5 cast we landed a 9 inch striper and a 34 this was 15th fish over 30 landed this year on flies so far on my boat and the reports from Capt John Ford of Portland Guide Service he is seeing similar fish sizes as well, we are excited to have so many big fish around but really excited to see the little guys for the first time in a few season in any numbers. Some other reports from the area has the kennebec coming alive, Peter Fallon of Maine Stripers, reports having some good fishing when the weather was stable and is looking forward to a good season on the Kennebec as some beach angler have already caught fish off of Popham.
The Portland Area south has plenty of fish, I have a passion for Stand up Paddle surfing and not only do I use it for surfing but also for scouting and chasing tailing fish while i'm in the Keys in the winter, Well I just got off the water at Higgins beach there was tons of Micro Bait and we had bass all over under neath us. It should be a good one!!!!!!
June is Booked!!! Please call about July Aug and Sept dates.
Capt Eric Wallace
Maine - Cape Cod - FL Keys
June 1 2009 Maine Striped Bass fishing reports,
Buzzard Bay 56--Mass Bay--53---Casco Bay--53--NE Kennebec--47
Things are starting to move along in southern Maine,, area’s in Casco Bay are holding fish, but the best fishing in Maine this past week was on the Piscataqua where reports of 25-30 inch stripers surface feeding on the small juvi herring, On the sunny days I've done 4 trips on the sand flats, yes sight fishing in May in Maine ? lovin it !!! a week ago we where seeing lot's of fish on the incoming tides on the sand flats, Casco Bay had reports of a few fish caught, now the sand flats are showing fewer fish but we did get some shots at a few very large bass in the skinny on saturday, mean while anglers in Casco Bay are starting to picking up more fish, some nice fish in the Saco also the shad fishing has been hot at times!! Looking forward I'm hoping for a big push of fish in the next few days we have the bait and the water temps.
Maine Striper Fishing Reorts.Late May 2009
Stripers are Here
Many of you have asked me to drop a line when something good is happening on the water, well here it is. Yes, Cape Cod and Rhode Island are fishing well, but the real story is the Merrimack River to the estuaries near Portland, Maine! After a few scouting runs, I was willing to fish one of my repeat anglers and after what we experienced he's coming back for more the first week of June. Give me a call if you want to get out there, (207) 671-4330.
We started on an incoming tide but the fish were on the move and even with a quick cast and a good angle they just ripped past. No leans or love on the incoming. After the tide turned it got bright around 11am and we saw some pushes along the banks and in the deeper channels. I poled up-current in about 3 feet of water on a sandy bottom so my angler could cast into the deeper channels. Then we started to see fish right under us on the sand flat in the sun in Maine in May! I was in heaven! We worked on these fish about and hour or so, bringing in some nice ones. There’s something special about this after what we’ve seen the last two years----keep um coming!
The Fly Fishing Film Tour
This national festival is playing in Portland, Maine at the Asylum on Thursday, June 4, at 7pm. Hosted by Flies and Fins and sponsored by The Drake magazine, Sage Fly Rods, Patagonia, Scientific Anglers and others, The Fly Fishing Film Tour showcases some of the best cutting edge fly fishing films to date. There will be a pre- and post-show party with appetizers, beer from local brewing companies and outstanding shorts from 406 Productions, World Angling and Flies and Fins, to midnight.
Looking ahead, the Royal River Catch and Release Striper Tournament is set for Sept 12-13, 2009 with cash prizes for fly and a Captain/Angler pre-party at the Royal River Grill House. See www.royalriverstriper.com and feel free to e-mail if you’re looking for guides for the tournament.
May 7, 2009
The weather is just getting better every day here in the Lower Keys. Sunshine and lighter winds are starting to prevail which means the tarpon should start moving on the flats a little better in the coming days. Last week was tough with high winds and some cloud cover but we managed to get a few fish to the boat and jump a couple others.
Bonefishing is phenominal right now. The bonefish range from 5- to 8- pounds in our back yard on Sugarloaf Key. They are a great fighting fish and are a lot of fun if you just want to take a break from the mighty tarpon.
There are still some permit on the flats but they are smaller right now because the majority of permit are still offshore on the wrecks and rock piles spawning. There are some bigger permit around but few and far between.
I still have some available dates around July 4 weekend for tarpon, bonefish and permit. July is a perfect time to target the slam. August and September are also great months for relaxed fishing as the boating pressure diminishes greatly by then.
You can reach Captain Justin Rea at 305-744-0903 or email email@example.com
Fly Fishing Flim Tour
The Fly Fishing Film Tour,hosted by www.fliesandfins.com sponsored by The Drake magazine, Sage Fly Rods, Scientific Anglers Patagonia, among others, is touring the country this spring and early summer, showcasing some of the most cutting edge fly fishing films to date. The festival is playing in Portland, Maine at the Asylum on Thursday, June 4, at 7pm. There will also be a pre- and post-show party with appetizers, beer from local brewing companies and some outstanding shorts from 406 Productions, World Angling and Flies and Fins, 7pm to midnight.
Tickets for the festival are $15 for adults (21 and over only). For more info on the Fly Fishing Film Tour, and to see trailers of the films that will be showing, check out the website: www.flyfishingfilmtour.com or contact Eric Wallace by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone, 207-671-4330.
"The focus of this tour is to showcase the talent of these filmmakers, raise some money for various conservation groups and provide fly-fishers an evening of entertainment," says organizer Tom Bie. "It may also be the only legitimate chance for thousands of lonely fly-tyers to actually get a date."
. "Drift" -- Sweeps across the flats of Belize and the Bahamas to spey casting on Oregon's Deschutes River and exotic rivers in Kashmir, India. 10-minute and 18-minute segments.
. "Nervous Water" -- Four groups of anglers, each obsessed with the fish they love, chase brown trout, rainbows, redfish and marlin. 18 minutes.
. "Eastern Rising" -- Felt Soul Media founders Ben Knight and Travis Rummel, who did the Bristol Bay documentary "Red Gold," offer a fly-fishing excursion from Bristol Bay to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. 9 minutes.
. "Red Gold" -- A fishing segment from the"RedGold" documentary. 9 minutes.
. "Bass: The Movie" By Jamie Howard-- Pits a fly-rod angler versus aconventional angler in a bass hotspot. Who will win? 5 minutes.
. "Rivers of a Lost Coast" -- Led by fly-fishing gypsy Bill Schaadt, a cult of California coastal fly-fishermen revolutionized their sport andredefined
their lives. 5 minutes.
. "Great White North" -- An MTV-style video that uses creative camera angles to highlight steelhead and trout fishing in the Northwest and British Columbia. 10 minutes.
. "Soul Fish" -- A teaser from a recently released film by California filmmaker Mikey Weir features footage from Mongolia, Brazil, Florida Keys, Christmas Island, Louisiana and Belize. 5minutes.
. "Drum" -- Filmmakers take you inside the mind of the Holeman Brothers and their relentless quest for big redfish in the character-filled community of Hopedale, La. 9 minutes.
. "Raising the Ghost" -- Finding steelhead in a remote stretch of British Columbia is hard enough. But finding ones that will chase a dead-drifted dry fly? Nearly impossible. 5 minutes.
Fly Fishing Film Tour Summary
When: 7 p.m. June 4th., doors open a half-hour before the show. Where: Asylum, 121 Center St Portland ME Cost: $15, 21+ Length: 90 minutes plus shorts and live music Prizes: Among the many door prizes is entry in a grand prize drawing for a trip to Belize, Scott Fly Rods, Lateral-line and Patagonia gear.
Tickets/More Info: Go to www.flyfishingfilmtour.com or follow the buzz at www.fliesandfins.com
Also purchase tickets at The Tackle Shop 773-fish
Maine FlyFish— on the flats of Casco Bay.
April 14, 2009 Saltwater Sportsman
By John Frazier
Some people drive fancy cars, live in big houses and drink expensive wine to make them happy. For me, it's always been the little things that put a smile on my face. It's hard to imagine many things better than sitting on a deck on a cloudless afternoon with a cold brew in one hand and a fresh "lobstah" roll in the other — all the while musing over a morning of chasing stripers on the flats of Casco Bay.
Protruding from the water like the icebergs of the Arctic Sea, the islands of Casco Bay, Maine, are referred to by some as the Calendar Islands — a name derived from the myth that the bay enclosed 365 islands. Although the myth has long since been proven untrue, the stunning landscape dotting this body of water forms a labyrinth holding hidden treasure for anglers.
Captain Eric Wallace (www.coastalflyangler.com) has been fishing these waters for many years. Casco Bay spans 220 square miles and contains more than 14,000 acres of fishable flats. Mastering a body of water to Wallace's extent can only be achieved one way — logging as many hours on it as possible. What's more interesting is that Wallace has done so without a trolling motor and with minimal use of an outboard; instead, he has relied on two of fishing's more rudimentary tools: a push pole and a poling platform.
Some time ago, Wallace was on the water and a rod went overboard. The outfit drifted into the shallows, and Wallace followed a little too far. He got in too shallow for his boat and stuck. While waiting for the tide to turn, he watched as hundreds of striped bass — big and small — used the deeper part of the flats like a metropolitan interstate. From that point on, he knew the way he fished the waters of Maine had forever changed.
Chasing stripers as if they were bonefish, permit or redfish isn't typical, but it can be more productive than conventional methods. Be warned, though: Casco Bay is one unique piece of water. Hundreds of islands that look alike and tides that flow like flash floods on a daily basis make for a complicated and intimidating environment. However, after fishing and collaborating with the pioneer himself, I was able to extract four key ingredients to hitting pay dirt on Casco Bay.
Rivers That Run Through It
Right off the bat, anglers need to put a heavy focus on rivers like the Royal, Presumpscot, Harraseeket and Cousins. These are the perfect environments for a variety of striper forage and act as gateways to flats action on Casco Bay. Shad, blueback herring and alewives use these rivers like highways during the spawning season. These huge pushes of bait moving through the rivers are what bring the stripers to Maine in the first place. Around mid- to late June, the bait reaches the end of the road and has no choice but to scatter throughout the flats at the mouths of the rivers — and the stripers are close behind.
Once the bass reach the flats, they quickly adapt to the marine buffet awaiting them, with entrees like crabs, shrimp and — during the right moon phase — worms. With such a variety and abundance of food on the flats, the fish forget about mackerel and herring, and they'll keep that mentality all the way into September.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Whether you're fishing with fly tackle or conventional gear, spotting the fish is a must. Stripers can be bashful in skinny water and are adept at cruising along while showing little or no sign of their presence — especially over muddy bottoms. Sight-fishing on the mud isn't so much casting to fish as casting to movements, like trembling water, V-wakes, boils and small bait showers.
I learned quickly when fishing over mud that even the slightest surface disturbance shouldn't be neglected. Our first fish of the day came when Wallace saw some movement 20 yards away — I saw nothing. As he poled closer, I started to make out an ever-so-slight vibrating mass lazily scooting along. At Wallace's command, I sent a small, weightless baitfish imitation right in front of the nervous water. Two strips later came the thump! The general rule on the mud is this: If you see any type of movement, make a cast and get ready.
Later in the day we moved onto the sandy flats. If it weren't for the brisk temperature and craggy shoreline, it would have been easy to imagine we were hunting bonefish on the flats of Mexico. The water was emerald green and the bottom hard white sand. This scenario presents more of a challenge; the fish are much more wary and harder to see. Just like a permit in the tropics, their silver flanks allow them to blend into their surroundings. We had pretty good luck with smaller fish by dropping flies right on their noses. Poling along the beach we encountered some massive bass that Wallace estimated in the 35-pound range. We tried everything on those fish, but like the old saying goes, they didn't get big by being stupid.
Work The Angles
The single most critical consideration on Casco Bay is the tide — both for fishing and safety. If you aren't careful, you'll find yourself high and dry in a hurry. Tides can rise and fall from 7 to 11 feet in one phase; you want to make sure you are familiar with your charts. But safety aside, knowing what the water is doing when and where will make a difference — just like on the tropical flats. Success in this fishery is based on sight, so in the early morning, when the sun is at a low angle, spotting fish on the sand would be nearly impossible. Times like this are better spent looking for blitzes and wakes on the mud — particularly during a super low tide.
Because the water moves so fast, you've got to have a plan before you leave the dock. For example, say you are fishing an extreme low on the mud and catching fish. It won't take long for that area to flood to the point where the fish are deep enough not to disturb the surface. Casco Bay sits 800 miles east of Miami, so by 10 or 11 a.m., the sun is pretty much directly overhead. This is a good time to seek out sandy flats that are still milking a low tide. If you have good sun directly above the clear water, you will be able to spot fish even as the tide rushes in.
As any flats-fishing junkie knows, a stealthy boat is a successful boat. Striper fishing in Maine is no different, and that goes for everything from poling to presentation. The water temperature averages about 60 to 65 degrees, which is perfect to keep fish happy and active. When we encountered the big fish on the sand, Wallace instructed me to put a sock in it — I was so excited to see those big fish in only a foot of water, I was rambling like a child. Such skinny water also means you need to pay special attention to your baits. When fly-fishing, long leaders (up to 12 feet) are in order, as are unweighted flies. Spinning tackle calls for the same — light leaders with either live crabs or soft-plastic jerk baits to minimize the splashdown and increase your odds. When you make your presentation, try to lead fish as much as possible, and make your cast in front of and beyond the fish. When you think you are leading the fish too far, lead it a couple more feet. The fish are less likely to spook if the drift of your offering has a more natural appearance and time to get down to the fish's eye level.
I'll Be Back
I'll never forget the first time I ever threw a fly at a tarpon — my knees were wobbling something fierce. That was a long time ago, and I never thought I'd be able to recreate that sensation until I found myself on the deck with four 30-pound-plus stripers lazily cruising by in 2 feet of water. Just like that first tarpon, these fish didn't eat, either. But they left me with a void that I'll need to fill. And the only way to do that is to return to the shallow flats of Casco Bay, Maine.
WHAT: While stripers are the main draw, fishing for laid-up bluefish is another scenario anglers might witness on the flats of Casco Bay. Throwing poppers to these voracious feeders when they are stationary is a blast and quite different from fishing for them when they are schooling.
WHERE: Although there are several airports that are in close proximity to Casco Bay, the most convenient is Portland. Rent a car at the airport and head north to Freeport, which is a great spot for couples. Bed-and-breakfast type inns are aplenty and are well suited for anglers and shoppers alike.
Chebeague Island Inn
One of the few areas in Maine that held Striped Bass in the summers of 2007 and 2008 was Casco Bay and areas south. Like all of Maine, Casco Bay was loaded with big bait. The difference was we had some big fish to cast to as well. In 2008 you could count on two hands the number of stripers that came to the boat under 20 inches, the story was learning how to feed bigger fish that were using the warmer flats to digest after having an all-night feed on adult menhaden. A stealthy approach and longer leaders became as important as the tide and lower sun angles.
Not going to deep into flies as these are the bread and butter and some secrets must be kept by the guy on the poling platform. I spent many more hours this striper season working out some patterns that I feel changed my fishing!! As the bait anglers sent photos of their big fish we where able to respond with 35-40 inch fly-caught photos of anglers fishing the mud flats. I'm not going to kid you, it was work to find fish that would eat on a daily basis, but they were there, not too often showing themselves unless you found them first.
Note: on this past season the fishing was way off from Cape Cod to Casco Bay, it sounds like the Bass followed the warmer currents this past spring, as Nova Scotia had it's best Striped Bass fishing in more than 25 years. New England had two big snow years in a row, and this past May and early June 17 day of off shore winds, throwing our water temp off by 6 degrees on June 10, the little fish just went by or never made it past Rhode Island, and the bigger fish found the pogies and feed hard at night and the rest was up to the angler to learn how to feed them. That said there are some MAJOR things that need to happen in the management of this fishery, so please join CCA and Striper Forever show then your support,and learn more about the danger this fishery faces.
If you Live in Mass please show your support for this Bill!!!!
MPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT JAN. 14 2009 LEGISLATORS WORKING WITH STRIPERS FOREVER HAVE FILED GAME FISH LEGISLATION IN THIS SESSION OF THE MA LEGISLATURE
To our knowledge this is the first time in the history of the Commonwealth that such a Bill has been initiated. If passed, this will be a tremendous step for the conservation of stripers to the benefit of the fishing public and the recreational fishing industry that they support.
There will be more specific information regarding the Bill [content/specifics, sponsors etc] available as soon as we can get all the information put together. Look for more details shortly.
This is just a preview FYI......... WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS. Soon it will be your turn to get involved. This is happening RIGHT NOW and the filing of this Conservation Bill is groundbreaking! Now we just have to get together to see that it gets passed.
Thank you for your continuing support for a commercial free striper fishery.
The MA Stripers Forever State Committee
October: Cape Cod Sand Flats
After working hard all summer on well-fed fish in Maine, it sure was fun to have some easy fishing on Cape Cod. Getting down there at a perfect time for the sand-flats to turn on, good tides and nice weather made for a few 40-plus fish days in real skinny water. A light skiff or a sub 18 with a jack plate and a good poler is the only way to fish the sand of Pleasant Bay when tides are right for sight fishing. If you have not experienced this fishery it's a must. Feel free to give me a call anytime for more info on fishing Cape Cod 207-671-4330.
Maine Striper fishing reports May -June 2008
Large bait is moving into the rivers of Casco Bay, the Presumpscot,Royal, Cousins and New Meadows all have large bait runs of river herring and alewives. These big bait bring some big stripers, big flies and sink tips fished in the river channels over structure are the norm. If you are like many of the flats anglers I fish and would rather watch paint dry then fish a 375 gr sink tip all day. The estuaries and flats of Casco Bay come alive with smaller bait and active striper feeds, much early then most other area's on Maine's coast. With flats that are measured in miles warming the water, and moving the Bass onto them and out of the rivers in search of the Tidewater Silversides, Juvie Herring and large Grass shrimp hatch all add to the early season attractions of lower Casco Bay.
As we move deeper into June a New or full moon brings the worm hatches of Casco Bay. These hatches or worm swarms bring good size happy stripers onto the flats, and there here to eat! The right tide and sun angle this can be some of the most exciting shallow water fishing there is on the striper coast. Remember to check out my web blog for other reports and to give some feed back on the fishing your finding. www.mainestriperfishing.blogspot.com
Mid Summer (overview)
Plying the shallows on a sunny day is another game entirely. This is as close as you’ll get to bonefishing north of Biscayne Bay and a big bruiser-cruiser can be just as tough to fool as any double-digit downtown Islamorada bone. These fish are stalking the flats in search of crabs, baby flounders and sand shrimp and the ‘ole white and chartreuse Clouser Minnow approach usually doesn’t cut it. A stealthy approach, a long lead with a drab, nondescript fly “It could be a delicious crab or flounder or shrimp” pattern and the ability to read and feed the fish will result in a tight line. This isn’t a numbers game, and for my anglers this could be the pinnacle of the striper fishing experience, with every fish caught sight-casting worth ten taken on the blind.
There resaons why Saltwater Sportsman Magazine 2005-2007 has called Casco Bay the best bet for action packed striper fishing in the month of September. As the dog days of summer slide into autumn, striper fishing north of Cape Cod usually means three things: baby bunker blitzes, sight-casting the skinny or hunting for Momma with flies the size of your average Maine brook trout. Come mid-August it’s common to see large schools of stripers (and blues, and occasional bluefin tuna) pinning nervous mossy-brown balls of immature menhaden against the shoreline or up to the top offshore, wedged by a crowd of cormorants. Wildly wheeling terns and gulls add to the carnage to the point where the whole scene is so dense it’s more likely you’ll hook a bird than a bass. Small (two to four inch) wide-bodied streamers, as well as surface offerings Making September fishing in Maine one of the truly must do for the traveling saltwater fly angler
Striped Bass Fishing Maine - Cape Cod
Capt Eric Wallace