Casting for answers to saltwater questions

Posted July 29, 2009, at 11:59 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:27 p.m.

With the Maine Lobster Festival revving up and summer weather (apparently) here for a few days, I figure it’s as fine a time as any to head to the coast and celebrate our seemingly lost season.

The Maine coast is a wonderful place to be, after all. At least, it was the last time I checked (before it rained for all of June and most of July).

And in honor of our coastal heritage (and the arrival of the sun … have I mentioned that yet?) today’s theme is saltwater.

As sometimes happens, I’ve got more questions than answers today. That’s partly due to the fact that I’ve spent too much time away on vacation lately, and people have been e-mailing me queries that I haven’t had time to answer.

It’s also partly due to the fact that I’m a born-and-bred inland guy (despite the fact that a tidal river runs past my hometown). Woods, I’ve tromped. Streams, I’ve explored. Lakes, I love. Mud, I get stuck in.

When it comes to saltwater, however, I often find myself looking for help.

And that’s where you come in.

Mackerel biting?

While I was away on vacation I received an e-mail from a reader who’s looking for a bit of help.

His question, which I’ll pose to you in hopes of getting a response I can pass along: Where can a guy go to catch a mess of mackerel in the midcoast area?

I haven’t spent much time fishing saltwater, and any advice I could give would fall into the “wild guess” category. For instance: I remember talking with some guys down in Searsport last year, and they seemed to think they were going to catch some mackerel off the pier when the tide changed. In my “wild-guess” book, then, it would make perfect sense to head to Searsport.

In actuality, of course, it might be better to head elsewhere. I’m hoping you can let me (and our curious reader) know where “elsewhere” is.

If you’ve got a suggestion for our mackerel-hungry angler, I hope you’ll pass it along.

While we’re at it …

I don’t want to go to the well too often, but there’s another way readers can help me gather some needed information.

There’s been considerable Internet chatter about this summer’s striped bass season, which (in some places) seems to be a mirror image of last year’s.

That, as you probably know, isn’t good.

In a future column I’ll be talking to an expert or two about stripers, and will share what they have to say.

And if you’re a striper angler, I’d love to hear what you’ve been seeing in your fishing trips. Is the situation as bad as some are saying? How does the season stack up with those you’ve seen in the past? What tactics (if any) are working?

An important disclaimer here, to minimize the number of disgruntled guides who call me and tell me I’m putting them out of business by suggesting the fishing’s not so good (yes, I do get such calls): I am not, in any way, shape or form, suggesting that it’s not worth heading out in the bay and trying to catch stripers. Fishing is fishing, whether you’re catching or not. Go fishing. Hire a guide. Please. Heck, hire two.

If the fishing’s been good for you, by all means, let me know. You don’t even have to tell me where you’ve been having luck.

BDN readers have always been eager to share their opinions and observations, and I’m counting on that generosity to continue in this case.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Shark tournament scheduled

Each year, fishing derbies and tournaments targeting various species are held around the state.

If you’re looking to check out a tourney featuring bigger (and toothier) fish than you’re used to, you may want to head to Saco on Aug. 28-29 for the DownEast Maine Shark Tournament.

The event, which is hosted by the Saco Bay Tackle Company, raises money for the United Way and helps researchers gather data on the sharks that are caught.

According to a Saco Bay Tackle Co. press release, last year’s winners took home nearly $5,500 in cash and two rod-and-reel setups that were worth more than $1,000 apiece.

In addition, an angler who breaks the size record for a blue, porbeagle or thresher shark will earn a $10,000 prize.

Last year, three teams came within five pounds of breaking the record for blue sharks, according to organizers.

For more information, contact Peter Mourmouras at 284-4453 or sacobaytackle@maine.rr.com.

jholyoke@bangordailynews.net

990-8214

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