Fishing Cape Porpoise, Maine

Bluefish can be thick off Cape Porpoise, but the action varies considerably from year to year. Photo by ##http://newenglandboating.com/author/tom## Tom Richardson##

Anglers in the Cape Porpoise/Kennebunkport area usually don’t have to look very far to find some obliging fish. If you want to put the kids on some fast, easy action, try fishing clams or seaworms on the bottom around the river-entrance jetties for small striped bass and winter flounder. Two other light-tackle species—mackerel and harbor pollock—are available through the summer at Fishing Rock, just about a mile offshore.

Striped bass are the major inshore attraction, although the action can run hot and cold depending on the availability of bait. Generally, the bass arrive in June and depart in September. Schoolies show first, with bigger fish to 40 pounds arriving in mid-June. A productive method for taking large stripers is trolling tube lures inside the nearby Kennebunk River. Good fishing can be had from the jetties to the bridge, but use extreme caution when fishing near the latter structure on incoming tides.

Jeffreys and Tantas Ledge also produce excellent action with sharks, namely blues, makos and porbeagles.

Other good spots include the rocks and islands around Cape Porpoise and nearby Stage Island Harbor. To the north, Timber Island in Goosefare Bay is a good place to throw plugs and large flies for bass, particularly at first light.

Plug casters and fly fishermen can try the mouth of the Little River (around Timber Point) and the Batson River. The shoals in front of the Little River are also excellent for trolling, live-baiting and fly-fishing. South of Kennebunkport, Mothers Beach sometimes produces big stripers in the surf, as does Great Hill and the mouth of the Mousam River.

Catching monster bluefish used to be a sure thing off Cape Porpoise and Kennebunkport through the summer, but the choppers have been scarce in recent years. If they do show, the Cape Porpoise Bell is a good spot to find them. When the fish are on top, big poppers and metal lures should take them easily. Otherwise, troll a Rapala CD-14, Bomber Long-A or Storm plug around the area to locate a concentration of fish.

If you want to venture further offshore in search of bottom fish, Jeffreys Ledge has seen improved fishing for cod, haddock and other groundfish in the last few years. Decent bottom fishing can be had starting at the north end of Jeffreys, some 21 miles off Cape Porpoise. Jeffreys Fingers is a bit closer, and also yields good catches of groundfish.

If it’s bigger game you seek, Kennebunkport’s offshore waters are home to bluefin tuna and sharks beginning in mid-June and running through September. Trolling the edges and high spots of Jeffreys is the method of choice when the tuna first arrive, with live-baiting at anchor taking over around the first of July. If the fish are busting on top (and weigh less than 100 pounds), you can even try throwing poppers and jigs to them on heavy spinning gear.

Jeffreys and Tantas Ledges also produce excellent action with sharks, namely blues, makos and porbeagles. Blues arrive around the third week in July; makos in mid-August. Porbeagles, a deep-water shark, can be taken over prominent bottom structure beginning in mid-May.

Bait & Tackle:

  • For bait and tackle needs, as well as detailed, up-to-the-minute information on what’s biting in the area, and where, visit Saco Bay Tackle (207-284-4453).

Charters:

  • Capt. Steve Bretell (207-283-4129)
  • Capt. Adam Littell (207-985-7304)
  • Sportfishing Charters Inc. (207-985-7304)
  • Tidewater Charters (207-229-0201)

License Requirements

Anglers over the age of 16 who wish to fish in Maine’s marine waters out to 3 miles from shore, including the waters surrounding its offshore islands, must register annually with the state. There is a $1 to $2 service fee to register. The permit expires on December 31.

Exemptions:

The following individuals do not need to register:

  • Persons under the age of 16.
  • Persons fishing aboard a charter or partyboat.
  • Persons renting a smelt shack from an individual who holds a commercial operator’s permit.
  • Persons with a disability.
  • Disabled veterans.
  • Persons holding a saltwater recreational fishing license from another state.
  • Maine residents who purchased a freshwater fishing license and who checked a box indicating that they intend to fish in saltwater.
  • Maine residents fishing on July 4, Memorial Day weekend, or Labor Day weekend.

To register online, go to:

(MOSES) Maine Online Sportsman Electronic System

Seasons, Catch & Size Limits

For information on Maine’s saltwater fishing regulations, by species, go to: Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Bluefish can be thick off Cape Porpoise, but the action varies considerably from year to year. Photo by ##http://newenglandboating.com/author/tom## Tom Richardson##

Anglers in the Cape Porpoise/Kennebunkport area usually don’t have to look very far to find some obliging fish. If you want to put the kids on some fast, easy action, try fishing clams or seaworms on the bottom around the river-entrance jetties for small striped bass and winter flounder. Two other light-tackle species—mackerel and harbor pollock—are available through the summer at Fishing Rock, just about a mile offshore.

Striped bass are the major inshore attraction, although the action can run hot and cold depending on the availability of bait. Generally, the bass arrive in June and depart in September. Schoolies show first, with bigger fish to 40 pounds arriving in mid-June. A productive method for taking large stripers is trolling tube lures inside the nearby Kennebunk River. Good fishing can be had from the jetties to the bridge, but use extreme caution when fishing near the latter structure on incoming tides.

Jeffreys and Tantas Ledge also produce excellent action with sharks, namely blues, makos and porbeagles.

Other good spots include the rocks and islands around Cape Porpoise and nearby Stage Island Harbor. To the north, Timber Island in Goosefare Bay is a good place to throw plugs and large flies for bass, particularly at first light.

Plug casters and fly fishermen can try the mouth of the Little River (around Timber Point) and the Batson River. The shoals in front of the Little River are also excellent for trolling, live-baiting and fly-fishing. South of Kennebunkport, Mothers Beach sometimes produces big stripers in the surf, as does Great Hill and the mouth of the Mousam River.

Catching monster bluefish used to be a sure thing off Cape Porpoise and Kennebunkport through the summer, but the choppers have been scarce in recent years. If they do show, the Cape Porpoise Bell is a good spot to find them. When the fish are on top, big poppers and metal lures should take them easily. Otherwise, troll a Rapala CD-14, Bomber Long-A or Storm plug around the area to locate a concentration of fish.

If you want to venture further offshore in search of bottom fish, Jeffreys Ledge has seen improved fishing for cod, haddock and other groundfish in the last few years. Decent bottom fishing can be had starting at the north end of Jeffreys, some 21 miles off Cape Porpoise. Jeffreys Fingers is a bit closer, and also yields good catches of groundfish.

If it’s bigger game you seek, Kennebunkport’s offshore waters are home to bluefin tuna and sharks beginning in mid-June and running through September. Trolling the edges and high spots of Jeffreys is the method of choice when the tuna first arrive, with live-baiting at anchor taking over around the first of July. If the fish are busting on top (and weigh less than 100 pounds), you can even try throwing poppers and jigs to them on heavy spinning gear.

Jeffreys and Tantas Ledges also produce excellent action with sharks, namely blues, makos and porbeagles. Blues arrive around the third week in July; makos in mid-August. Porbeagles, a deep-water shark, can be taken over prominent bottom structure beginning in mid-May.

Bait & Tackle:

  • For bait and tackle needs, as well as detailed, up-to-the-minute information on what’s biting in the area, and where, visit Saco Bay Tackle (207-284-4453).

Charters:

  • Capt. Steve Bretell (207-283-4129)
  • Capt. Adam Littell (207-985-7304)
  • Sportfishing Charters Inc. (207-985-7304)
  • Tidewater Charters (207-229-0201)

License Requirements

Anglers over the age of 16 who wish to fish in Maine’s marine waters out to 3 miles from shore, including the waters surrounding its offshore islands, must register annually with the state. There is a $1 to $2 service fee to register. The permit expires on December 31.

Exemptions:

The following individuals do not need to register:

  • Persons under the age of 16.
  • Persons fishing aboard a charter or partyboat.
  • Persons renting a smelt shack from an individual who holds a commercial operator’s permit.
  • Persons with a disability.
  • Disabled veterans.
  • Persons holding a saltwater recreational fishing license from another state.
  • Maine residents who purchased a freshwater fishing license and who checked a box indicating that they intend to fish in saltwater.
  • Maine residents fishing on July 4, Memorial Day weekend, or Labor Day weekend.

To register online, go to:

(MOSES) Maine Online Sportsman Electronic System

Seasons, Catch & Size Limits

For information on Maine’s saltwater fishing regulations, by species, go to: Maine Department of Marine Resources.