"You're guaranteed to discover and interact with Maine's marine wildlife on every charter."

USCG CAPTAIN STEVE BRETTELL

 


"I loved the hands-on experience. Steve taught us about the marine wildlife and he even hauled a few lobster traps in the harbor. Our group had fun handling the live lobsters and learning about the local fishing industry. The charter was everything we expected and more."

— LISSA from MAINE


 
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American Pollack (Pollachius Virens)

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Common Names

Pollock & Boston Bluefish

Where Found

Inshore & Offshore

Similar Species

Cod & Haddock

Species Description

Pollock are olive green or black to brown above with paler sides and a silver belly. Their fairly straight lateral line is light colored. Pollock are deep, plump bodied fish that have three dorsal fins, two anal fins and a forked tail fin. They have a slightly projected lower jaw. Their chin barbel is considered minute and may be completely missing in older fish. Pollock average between 4 and 15 pounds in weight, although large ones can weigh to 35 pounds.

General Comments

Pollock are considered the most active members of the Cod family. When hooked, they make strong, powerful runs, thus making them fun to catch on light tackle. Their diet consists of small pelagic fish, comb jellies and various crustaceans. Good baits include shrimp, herring, squid, clams and marine worms. Fishing methods such as jigging, trolling and casting all work well when trying for pollock. Their meat is of good quality, but is not rated as high as that of cod or haddock. MSSAR (Maine State Saltwater Angler Records): 46 Pounds 10.9 Ounces


Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber Scombrus)

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Common Names

Mackerel & Tinker

Where Found

Inshore & Offshore

Similar Species

Chub Mackerel & Bonito

Species Description

Atlantic mackerel are iridescent blue green above with a silvery white underbelly. Twenty to thirty black bars run across the top half of their body, giving them a distinctive appearance. The efficient spindle shape of their body and their strong tall fin give this fish its ability to move swiftly through the water. Atlantic mackerel have two separate large dorsal fins and, like their relatives the tunas, they possess several dorsal and anal finlets. On average, Atlantic mackerel weigh less than one pound, but individuals of up to two pounds are not unusual.

General Comments

Atlantic mackerel are seasonal migrators that travel in dense schools. They appear in late spring in many of the state’s harbors, coves and coastal rivers where they are sought by eager anglers. An ultra­light to light spinning rod outfitted with 10 to 12 pound or less test line provides anglers with the most action. Spoons, spinners, weighted bucktails, jigs and tube lures all work well. Atlantic mackerel are not only enjoyed as table fare, but are especially prized as bait for other game fish. MSSAR (Maine State Saltwater Angler Records): 2 Pounds 7 Ounces
 


Bluefish (Pomatomus Saltatrix)

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Common Names

Blue, Chopper, & Snapper

Where Found

Inshore & Offshore

Similar Species

None

Species Description

Bluefish are a blue green shade above with silver sides and underbelly. A single dark blotch can be found at the base of each of their pectoral fins. They have large powerful jaws that are lined with a single row of small, razor ­sharp teeth. Their bodies are stout and powerful. These fish have two dorsal fins, the first being much lower and rounder than the second which, in turn, is similar in size to the anal fin. Bluefish have a large forked tall fin that pushes them swiftly through water.

General Comments

Swimming together in large schools, bluefish migrate north with warming water temperatures and generally, but not always, appear along Maine’s coast during the summer months. They frequently follow other schools of fish, such as menhaden, mackerel and butterfish, upon which they feed. The preferred rig for blue fishing is a medium duty rod and reel equipped with at least twenty pound test line, coupled with a coated steel or heavy monofilament leader. Effective artificial lures include spoons, plugs and tube lures. Baits, either alive or cut, include mackerel, menhaden, butterfish and eels. An assortment of flies are also known to work well. Anglers should take extra care when handling bluefish because their bite can cause serious injury. MSSAR (Maine State Saltwater Angler Records): 19 Pounds 10.6 Ounces
 


Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis)

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Common Names

Striper, Rockfish, & Sea Bass

Where Found

Inshore

Similar Species

White Perch

Species Description

Striped bass are dark olive green to steel blue on top, with silver colored sides and a white underbelly. Seven to eight dark stripes run longitudinally across their body giving them a distinctive appearance. Striped bass are usually three and one­/third times as long as they are deep. They have a long head, protruding lower jaw and a moderately forked tail fin. Their dorsal fins are separated, unlike the dorsal fins of white perch, which they resemble when they are young.

General Comments

Striped bass are one of Maine’s most important saltwater gamefish, being renowned for their powerful fight and excellent flavor. Inhabiting shallow bays, rocky shores, coastal rivers and the surf line of barrier beaches, they can be caught anytime during daylight hours but seem to be most active between sunset and sunrise. Stripers will hit a variety of baits, lures and flies. Mackerel, eels, marine worms, herring and menhaden are commonly used baits. Proven lures include spoons, lead­headed jigs and surface and deep diving plugs. MSSAR (Maine State Saltwater Angler Records): 67 Pounds 0 Ounces
 


 

Drawings and information provided courtesy of the Maine Department of Marine Resources Recreational Fisheries program and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.