striperstalker2

bluefish blitz??

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  I  was wondering if anyone has encountered an actual bluefish blitz in Maine this year??? The old fashioned all out topwater blitz. My mackerel was chopped in half while swimming  the other day but that was it for me.

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The annual bluefish thread begins…..I’m right there with you on the bluefish blitzes that were a regular occurrence.  Do they still occur? I’m sure those on here that fish regularly have seen them, but they are few and far between compared to the 80’s.  A rogue blue more common and probably what   left half your mackerel.  The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council report on Bluefish stock biomass provides some data on where the species is, where it has been and maybe, where it is headed.  Here is 2021 update…

 

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I think as a general rule, you need to hear about bluefish blitzes in Boston Harbor and Plum Island Ma before you're gonna see them in Maine.

 

Back in the day when they blitzed regular in Maine, they pretty much lived off Boston and plum Island all summer.

 

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1 hour ago, mikez2 said:

 

I think as a general rule, you need to hear about bluefish blitzes in Boston Harbor and Plum Island Ma before you're gonna see them in Maine.

 

This makes sense.  The large biomass during the early 80’s had them spread far and wide.  I never quite understood why the numbers dropped so quickly after that. I remember the Russian pogie boats that were common back then.  Used to see them all the time working on lobster boat out of Bailey Island.  One can assume overfishing of bait sources like pogies is connected and perhaps overfishing of bluefish in general.  But then again, the pogie biomass has made a comeback and still not seeing the bluefish population catch up.  Maybe it will.  Regardless, both the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Bluefish Management Board recently recommended approval of the Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment.  (June 14, 2021).  According to this council, they conclude that the bluefish stock has been overfished, so that is why they are taking action.  

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21 mins ago, steelcity said:

This makes sense.  The large biomass during the early 80’s had them spread far and wide.  I never quite understood why the numbers dropped so quickly after that. I remember the Russian pogie boats that were common back then.  Used to see them all the time working on lobster boat out of Bailey Island.  One can assume overfishing of bait sources like pogies is connected and perhaps overfishing of bluefish in general.  But then again, the pogie biomass has made a comeback and still not seeing the bluefish population catch up.  Maybe it will.  Regardless, both the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Bluefish Management Board recently recommended approval of the Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment.  (June 14, 2021).  According to this council, they conclude that the bluefish stock has been overfished, so that is why they are taking action.  

We fished that area every summer in the late 80s, early 90s. That was when pogies were so thick, they had die-offs in coves and harbors every summer. Usually trapped there by blues.

We always blamed the factory ship. The timing certainly fit. They hoovered up the pogies and the blues stopped coming within a couple years. 

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I heard that there was a bluefish blitz that occurred at the mouth of a major river in No Ma on Saturday. They are out there and moving around I'm sure. 30 miles south of there I found pogies being harrassed hard but could not confirm blues under them, just that they were not the regular pogie spookiness that is often seen. 

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22 hours ago, steelcity said:

This makes sense.  The large biomass during the early 80’s had them spread far and wide.  I never quite understood why the numbers dropped so quickly after that. I remember the Russian pogie boats that were common back then.  Used to see them all the time working on lobster boat out of Bailey Island.  One can assume overfishing of bait sources like pogies is connected and perhaps overfishing of bluefish in general.  But then again, the pogie biomass has made a comeback and still not seeing the bluefish population catch up.  Maybe it will.  Regardless, both the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Bluefish Management Board recently recommended approval of the Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment.  (June 14, 2021).  According to this council, they conclude that the bluefish stock has been overfished, so that is why they are taking action.  

Bait may be part of the issue but people taking garbage bags full of them year after year has had a huge impact.  The reduction to only 3 fish per day was a badly needed change for the states that see them regularly.  That being said we have had more Blues in RI this year then i can remember in a long time...... keeper sized striper from shore is a whole different story

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8 mins ago, Kooky said:

Bait may be part of the issue but people taking garbage bags full of them year after year has had a huge impact.  The reduction to only 3 fish per day was a badly needed change for the states that see them regularly.  That being said we have had more Blues in RI this year then i can remember in a long time...... keeper sized striper from shore is a whole different story

Big picture; you're correct. That's probably why we've had the big schools of pogies returning to northern Ma, NH and Maine but no big schools of blues.

 

At the time we're referring to, early 90s, the factory ship was a Big Deal in Casco Bay area. Damn that thing was giant! You could see it on the horizon from any beach or rock pile in the area.

It was local fishermen did the harvesting and they had no trouble coming close inshore to grab every last pogie.

After a good run of some of the best surf fishing in the northeast, it was like a switch was flipped. The pogies and blues were just gone. Seemed like overnight. 

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Not to overstate the obvious, but unless we have the huge schools of pogies that came back to Maine 40-50 years ago, you won't see the bluefish blitzes that we saw back then.  In the late 70's I remember fishing just north of Seguin in a school of thrashing blues that stretched as far as I could see.  We fished until our arms were too tired to hold our rods, and then just sat on the gunnels, exhausted.  You could hear the bluefish slapping the side of the boat with their tails.  I guess there really wasn't much "sport" to it, but those were the days!   

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So I did a quick Google. Not gonna bother with links, it's a pdf. I don't know how.

 

Basically, the pogie population had been on an upswing during the 70s and came to Maine waters in numbers to support several rendering plants in New England. When odor regs closed them, there were plants in Canada that rendered Maine bunker in the 80s.

The deal with Russia was in 1993 and it was 3 factory ships, not one. No wonder we could always see it.

They stayed greater than 3 miles out but Maine fishermen brought them the bunker from everywhere. 

The bunker population shrunk again and left Maine immediately after. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Maine 2010 to 2012 had a few decent bluefish blitzes by shore that I was able to find. None for me after that. They weren’t on big pogies. Those same years I remember catching juvenile bluefish in the harbors. Last few years had some good pogie schools in my area but no blues. Now this year no pogies at all. Having a boat would help, mid August and September, focus on the mouths of inlets for bait getting flushed. 

Edited by Sea Of Atlas

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the pogies were everywhere last year in large pods/bait balls, but no bluefish, just minke whales crashing them.  unfortunately, i couldn't catch a minke!

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