I spent a week in Maine and wanted to fish for Striped Bass there. I’ve caught in RI, CT, MA, and NH. I needed some Maine fish under my belt. I was apprehensive in booking a charter because I didn’t know anyone who fished up there and therefore had no referrals. I initially booked with Capt. Bruce Hebert of “Wicked Tuna” fame, but he was called in early for the filming of the new 2013 season. I was then referred to Captain Paul Rioux & Stone Coast Anglers and I am glad for that!
My party booked a 4 hour trip. It left from Kennebunkport, which is a gorgeous waterfront area. The town is perfect for a weekend getaway. The restaurants and lodging are top notch. The scenery cannot be beat. The locals are very friendly and on this day, the weather was fantastic. All in all, it was a recipe for a perfect day. That is, unless we were skunked on the fishing trip!
When we reached the slip, we were greeted promptly by Paul and brought on board his vessel, a 23′ Parker center console rigged for fun! The boat is equipped with an aerated live well, Garmin fish finder, custom T-Top and a 200 HP Yamaha engine. For safety, the vessel is equipped with GPS, VHF radio and cell phone, and is in full compliance with all U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Maine fisheries rules and regulations.
The Captain, Paul J. Rioux, is an angler who has fished the East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay, to the rivers of Labrador Canada. He has earned his Master of Steam and Motor Vessels License from the U.S. Coast Guard and is also a Registered Maine Guide. He has a great personality, is very knowledgeable, and is dedicated to making sure that your trip is personalized and successful. Capt. Rioux fishes all of Maine’s coastal beaches from the Saco River to the Piscataqua River. This includes a few rocky islands and marshy inlets to the rivers.
Paul quickly went over the required safety rules, pointed out the personal floatation devices etc. and explained that we were going to get bait first and then head out to some of his favorite hot spots. We headed out of the river and quickly nailed mackerel after mackerel until his live-well was filled. Thereafter, the fun began!
All of the guys on board hooked into bass shortly after we reached our first destination. We used live mackerel and chunk. We fished on the top of the water with floats and also had a line at the bottom with chunk bait. Whether we fished top, bottom, live or chunk, all rigs caught fish. The Captain also chummed the waters where we were fishing. He is the ‘fish whisperer’. No sooner than when he finished, we took fish after fish!
I had never been very successful with live bait. Though, it didn’t take long to figure out how to fish them. What I wasn’t used to is the Maine “Slot Regulations”. The fish must be in the ‘slot’, between 20 and 26″ total length or over 40″ for a trophy fish. A person can only take and possess one fish per day. This is unlike MA rules where you can take 2 fish per person, per day and you can take any fish over 28″. In any case, we did want meat for the grill and we did take two fish home that evening.
I would recommend Stone Coast Anglers and Capt. Rioux to anyone. He knows the east coast and he knows how to put you into fish. He also specializes in saltwater fly fishing. He uses only top of the line fly fishing and light tackle equipment such as Sage, G.Loomis, St. Croix, Shimano, Scientific Angler, Penn and more. Stone Coast Anglers also provides offshore trips for Cod, Haddock, and other groundfish as well as Tuna & Shark in the Gulf of Maine. Finally, if you like, he also offers a “Gulf of Maine” family combination trip of fishing, lobstering, and sightseeing.
Be sure to tell them that the Wicked Fishah sent you!