While the waters may be chilly off the coast of Portland, Maine, the fishing is far from it. Fishing charters prowl these water for anything from tuna to sharks. Learn what other kinds of fish frequent the coast of Portland, where the best spots are to catch them, as well as the best time of year to plan your trip.
The waters may be a little chilly off the coast of Portland, Maine, but they're loaded with fishing hot spots. From schools of speedy tuna to solitary thrashing sharks, these rock-infused waters offer some of the most exciting, uncrowded fishing on the East Coast.
Laced with coves and back bays, the sheltered waters of Portland, Maine, provide a great setting for inshore fishing. Then, just a few miles out from the rocky coast, Portland fishing charters roam the open ocean for larger game fish.
Undoubtedly, whether you venture out into the Atlantic or prowl Casco Bay, you'll be surrounded by trademark New England scenery--rocky beaches, towering bluffs, illuminating lighthouses, etc.--as well as some of the best fishing in the region.
Striped Bass: After spawning during the spring, these Atlantic coastline natives migrate north to New England waters. Striped bass, commonly called stripers, have a silvery body marked with longitudinal dark stripes. While they average around 3 ft. long, they can grow as large as 6 ft. and 125 lbs.
Bluefin Tuna: Every year, after spawning in the Gulf of Mexico, Bluefin tuna flock to the coast of Maine to replenish their fat reserves. The increasingly popular Bluefin tuna have a dark blue color on top and a gray bottom with a gold coruscation covering the body. They can be distinguished from other family members by the relatively short pectoral fins.
Bluefish: The bluefish is a popular game fish known for putting up a good fight--and they taste pretty good too. They're moderately portioned with a broad, forked tail. Coloration is a grayish blue-green dorsally, fading to white on the lower sides and belly. They can range in size from seven-inch "snappers" to around twenty pounds and even as much as forty pounds.
Mackerel: Known for their meat and their fighting ability, mackerel are a popular recreational and commercial fish. However, the meat can spoil quickly, so it must refrigerated or eaten within a day of capture. They feature a slim, cylindrical shape with numerous finlets on the dorsal and ventral sides.
Shark: The offshore waters of Maine hold several species of sharks. Of these species, blue sharks are the most common, but threshers, porbeagles, and mako sharks are all targeted by fishing charters in Portland. Blue sharks average around 7-12 ft. in length and can weigh over 100 lbs. Of course, the mako, known for its acrobatics, is one of the most fun sharks to catch.
Bottom Fish: The rocky bottoms that line the coast of Maine provide ideal habitats for bottom fish. Popular catches in the Portland area include cod, haddock, pollock, monkfish and other bottom feeders.
With waters that rarely rise about 67 degrees, most of the fishing in Portland, Maine, is done during the summer months. However, many fish can be found well into the fall and some even all year round. For example, the popular striped bass are one of these fish that can be caught year round, but they're most abundant from May through October, with July being the peak of striper season.
Bluefin tuna, on the other hand, migrate north after spawning in the Gulf of Mexico. So, while you won't find many during the winter, come mid-July you'll be reeling in Bluefin tuna until the end of October. Similarly, bluefish and sharks are seasonal fish, peaking in the mid-summer months.
For the most part, bottom fish--cod, haddock, pollock, monkfish, etc.--can be caught year round. Of course, if you're planning a specific fishing trip to Portland, Maine, you can always seek advice from local fishing guides.
The waters surrounding Portland offer a diverse selection of fishing grounds. From small rocky coves to vast bays and the open ocean, each fishing spot is a little different than the other.
Unlike many striper fishing spots, most of the striped bass fishing in Portland is done in shallow, clear waters along the flats and coves of Casco Bay. Casco Bay, which is riddled with offshore islands and rock piles, is known for producing some of the largest fish.
Bluefin tuna can often be found relatively close to the coast, often 5 to 10 miles. Sharks on the other hand, can be caught anywhere from 10 to 40 miles from the shoreline, depending on the season and the species being targeted.
The rigid New England coastline, filled with small islands, offers some of the best inshore fishing in the world. However, for those feeling more adventures the offshore fishing ranks up there among the best as well. As always, though, if you're planning a fishing charter in Portland, simply speak with the experts. Let them know your experience and what you plan to catch. Without a doubt, they'll be able to put you in a location to meet your needs.