For Reservations Call The Maine Saltwater Fishing Hotline 207-691-0745

For Reservations Call The Maine Saltwater Fishing Hotline 207-691-0745
For Reservations, Availability or Live Reports Please Call or Text Message The Maine Saltwater Fishing Hotline 207-691-0745

Maine Saltwater Fishing Reports Blog

Welcome to the Fish Blog & saltwater fishing reports page of Super Fly Charters & Capt. George Harris. We're looking forward to providing you with the most up to date coastwide inshore saltwater fishing reports on the Maine coast as well as offshore Bluefin Tuna fishing reports as the Maine Striper & "football" Bluefin Tuna Fishing season goes forward into 2014!!! You wont find any generic"cut & paste" reports or info here...Just pure fishing!!!

Super Fly Charters provides friendly, professional guided fly & light tackle fishing trips.
We operate our fishing charters in the Mid-Coast region of Maine, from Casco Bay to Penobscot Bay. This area features an astonishing 1000 miles of jagged, pristine coastline. We focus our efforts on the broad reach of the lower Kennebec river estuary & the outer boundaries of Casco Bay...with its countless thousands of acres of untouched saltwater flats, gnarly tides that rip over rocky structure and an intricate maze of backcountry channels, It's a fly & light tackle fishermans nirvana. On any given day we can be found fishing coastal tide marshes, shallow flats, sandy beaches and islands or ledges located offshore. Wherever the fish are!!! Whether it's on the fly...pitching plugs or live lining frisky live baits we've got you covered check out our website for all of our trip offerings...and stay tuned for some new trips options for 2014

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Super Fly Charters: Midcoast Maine's premier fly & light tackle guide service, fishing for Striped Bass, Bluefish & "football" Bluefin Tuna, ~ I.G.F.A Certified Captain ~ USCG 100 Ton Master ~ Board of Directors Maine Assoc of Charter Capt.'s ~ Registered Maine Tidewater Guide ~ For reservations call 207-691-0745 ~

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Maine Striper Fishing: Department of Marine Resources NOTICE OF RULEMAKING Chapter 42.03 Striped Bass –

Here we go again...Looks like there is more smoke on the horizon as the natives are becoming restless and the wagons are circling....This time it's trouble brewing on the lower Kennebec watershed...There is a lot of finger pointing and accusations directed at a certain Boothbay Harbor charter captain and his associates who are allegedly using their influence to help structure Maine fishing rules for their own personal benefit...That remains to be seen!!!
All of that contentious nonsense aside, I have read the DMR notice and have seen the proposed boundary line changes..It's my interpretation that if these rule changes pass....the special Kennebec regs would still cover the main stem of the Kennebec river and all of the fertile nursery areas of Merrymeeting bay and it's tributaries...most of the Sheepscot river would revert to the general state rules that governed it prior to 1990 as would the outer beaches and ledges between Cape Newagen and Small Pt. It also sounds like the special catch and release season rules would remain in place. The big difference is that in a further attempt to reduce the release mortality of native Kennebec Striped Bass, circle hooks are now mandated for bait fishing as opposed to J-hooks which were the standard when these special conservation rules were implemented 20 years ago...Part of the argument now is whether or not using bait on c-hooks now levels the playing field of release mortality vs. artificial baits fished on a j-hook...clearly using natural bait will be more effective 100% of the time...no one can argue that fact...It's the release mortality that comes into question....In various case studies, it has been shown that the use of a "inline circle hook" rather than a "J" hook, resulted in a significant reduction in deep hooking. It can therefore be inferred that requiring the use of "circle hooks" with natural baits in a catch and release program would result in a much higher increase in fish survival...these same studies indicate that deep hooking was reduced by as much as 81% over the course of the study by using non-offset circle hooks vs j hooks...Will a Striped Bass that's hooked in the corner of the mouth with a circle hook be just as likely to survive after being released as a fish thats hooked in the same place with a fly or artificial bait???...My own experience leads me to say yes...Thats where things get complicated for me...I'm all for conservation and fully support the way the current special Kennebec rules are structured...however times have changed and so have some of the other rules concerning the types of hooks we can now use...if the mandated use of circle hooks is proven to level the playing field then I can understand how making some amendments to the current rules has some merit...Either way i'm going to support or oppose these rule changes based on science and not emotion...regardless of what happens i'd like to see the special Kennebec catch & release season stay in place...also many folks would like to see the 20"-26" slot limit be replaced with the old 36" limit for keeper fish...I'd support that if the science backed it up...but thats a battle for another day
Obviously there are lots of varying opinions regarding this issue...my thoughts are that if a guide or an angler chooses not to fish bait for their own philosophical reasons and they practice what they preach, I think thats cool and I fully respect that because those guys are keeping it real!!!...It's the guys that preach one thing and practice the other that lose credibility in my eyes...Yeah...I have a problem with that!!! It's easy for everyone to be all self righteous and to get caught up in the drama and I find it a more than a little funny that some of the same Kennebec guides that are in an uproar over these proposed rule changes are the same guys that are causing traffic jams at the Kennebec Angler and at Sheldons bait dock on July 1st, buying all the bait that they can carry and are stacking fish up on the docks like cordwood??? If the new rules pass these same guides will most likely be the first ones, in May or June, to have their sports drifting live eels or bloodworms??? Anyone else find that to be ironic?...It's often said that every cloud has a sliver lining...well in this case it seems like the pocket of every hypocrite guide has a green lining$$$
I hate to say this but there are a lot of big ego players that fish the kennebec watershed and all of them think that they have the answer as to what the right way and what the wrong way is to manage this fishery...Unlike some of these close minded, card carrying, doom & gloom zealots out there whom apparently think of themselves as expert fisheries biologists, I don't have that qualification so I've chosen to keep an open mind about exploring these rule amendments and not pass a quick judgement until I've been fully educated about them by folks who are more qualified...
Yes the motives for establishing these new rules are starting to smell a little more fishy to me as time passes and additional info becomes available...I'm sure that it'll all come out at the public hearing when Recreational Fishing Alliance Rep.- Capt. Barry Gibson gives his testimony...more than likely if these proposed rule changes turn out to be bogus they will hopefully be crushed quickly...How this is handled by the Maine DMR will be a good barometer of how the new administration is going handle future important recreational fishing issues...most of us are not optimistic!!!

If you have strong feelings one way or the other about these proposed rule changes, please submit your written comments or better yet voice them at the upcoming public hearing!!! Read Details Below

Department of Marine Resources: NOTICE OF RULEMAKING
Chapter 42.03 Striped Bass
(Kennebec River and Sheepscot river areas)
The proposed rulemaking would remove the marine bait prohibition and replace it with the requirement to use circle hooks while using marine bait when fishing in the Kennebec River closed area during the established May 1 to June 30th season. The closed area is also proposed to change from upstream and inside the line drawn from Cape Small to Cape Newagen to a line upstream and inside from Fort Popham, Phippsburg to Kennebec Point to Indian Point, Georgetown, and upstream from a line in the area called Robinhood between Lowe Point, Phippsburg to Newdick Point, Westport and downstream of the Route 144 Westport Island Bridge therefore removing the Sheepscot River from the Kennebec rules and placing it under the statewide regulations.

This request was made by the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) - Barry Bibson of Boothbay Harbor who is the rep. for RFA in Maine.
PUBLIC HEARING: April 4, 2011, 6pm, Bath City Hall, 1st Floor Auditorium, 55 Front Street, Bath
DEADLINE FOR WRITTEN COMMENTS: April 14, 2011
CONTACT PERSONS: Bruce Joule (207-633-9505) or Pat Keliher (207-287-9973)
For more information: Online the web link for a copy of the proposed rules is: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/rulemaking/
Or, to obtain a hardcopy by US mail write: Dept. of Marine Resources, attn: L. Churchill, PO Box 8, West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575-0008 TEL: 207-633-9584, or
EMAIL: laurice.churchill@maine.gov, FAX: (207) 633-9579 or TTY: (207) 633-9500
To receive future rulemaking notices by email please use contact info above.

3 comments:

Capt. George Harris (aka superfly) said...

Additionaly...every angler, whether its a guide or a regular recreational fisherman...when they go fishing out on the kennebec in May, June or any other month, they are going out there to hammer on as many fish as they possibly can....it doesn't make one bit of difference if they're fly anglers or light tackle fishermen...the goal is to hook up as many fish as they can during their time on the water....how much do you think these anglers are thinking about native spawning stripers when they're wailing away on blitzing stripers...especially a few years ago when these blitzes lasted for hrs on end....I'll go out on a limb and say that not many folks think about that during those slayfests...they release their fish and go onto the next one without even a second thought...Ask one of these self righteous guides or anglers how many times they left the fish biting and returned to the dock early just because they were concerned for the well being of the fish...ask them how they would explain that to their clients who plunked down hundreds of dollars just so they could have the epic trip described on all the websites...No...I guarantee what you'll hear from most of these guides is how they hammered the snot out of them today...
gimme a break!!!

Capt. George Harris (aka superfly) said...

Striped Bass Mortality Release Study conducted by Maryland DNR Part 1:
When Maryland’s spring trophy season was limited to late April and May, chumming was not widely practiced. The large striped bass that were targeted were not densely schooled up at that time of year and were not very susceptible to that tactic. The expansion of the season through June and into early July in 1996, along with a decrease in the size limit starting June 1, resulted in an increase in chumming which targeted smaller schooling fish. The increased popularity of this fishing technique was followed by complaints of dead and floating striped bass near the fishing areas and concerns from stakeholders about the effect of these deaths on the stock. Examinations of dead fish indicated terminal tackle left in many fish and physical trauma compatible with hook damage.
Nearly 1,300 striped bass were used in catch-and-release mortality experiments conducted during 1996-2000. We conducted catch-and-release mortality experiments with striped bass were caught by chumming because it easily provided both deep- and shallow-hooked fish. One study was conducted during October 1996 and one was conducted in June 1997. Each month, from June through October 1999 and June through September 2000, two 2-day trials were conducted. Charter boats were hired to catch fish for these studies. Conventional j-style bait hook and circle hooks were used. Hook size, tackle strength and fishing location were kept consistent for each season. Cut menhaden and soft clams were used for bait. The location of the hook wound was identified when each fish was landed. Fisheries Service biologists removed the hook if the fish was shallow hooked, but left the hook in place in deep hooked fish by cutting the line. Each fish was marked to identify hook location (shallow or deep) by hole punching the tail fin. They were transported to open water net pens in DNR hatchery vessels. The most optimal conditions for survival (lowest temperature and highest oxygen) found at each site were duplicated in the tank. Their survival and water quality was monitored in the net pens for 72-96 hours.
The striped bass were checked daily for mortality. Temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity were monitored in the pens each day. Dead fish were measured and hook location (hole punch position) was recorded. All dead fish, marked as deep hooked, were dissected to determine the nature and extent of the internal damage that caused death. All surviving fish were measured, had hook location recorded and were released.
The use of circle hooks to reduce deep hooking rates was briefly evaluated during the spring 1997 study. Striped bass were caught for the mortality study using standard J-style off-set hooks. When sufficient numbers were caught each day to meet statistical constraints for the study, non-offset circle hooks were used to catch and release fish. Deep hooking was reduced more than 75% by the same anglers fishing the same day using non-offset circle hooks.
Deep hooking was reduced 81% over the course of the 1999 study by using non-offset circle hooks and 67% over the course of the 2000 study. This magnitude of deep hooking reduction has been documented in several other Fisheries Service studies (84% in summer 1996; 75% in spring 1997).
Studies done here in Maryland have determined the deep hooking mortality rate of striped bass caught with conventional J-style bait hooks to be about 50% regardless of temperature, salinity or whether or not the hook is removed (57.7% in 1995; 41.0% in 1996, 56.3% in 1997, 53.1% in 1999 and 58.3% in 2000).

Capt. George Harris (aka superfly) said...

Striped Bass Mortality Release Study conducted by Maryland DNR Part 2:
Mortality (in order of influence) was higher for deeply hooked fish, fish caught at higher air temperatures (higher in June-July, lower during August-October), and larger fish. Bigger fish were more likely to be deep-hooked. Odds of dying were more than 15-times higher if a striped bass was deeply hooked and standard, j-shaped bait hooks had a 4-times greater chance of deep-hooking than non-offset circle hooks. Fish subjected to abrupt increases in air temperature when removed from water prior to release (typically in June and July) were more likely to experience fatal disruption of their normal physiology.