Vol. 15, No. 2 - February 2010      News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine      SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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Shrimpers Go Topless
by Mike Crowe

The Maine shrimp season has been the best it has been in years. The product is good, the catch volume while varied, has been generally good for early in the season, prices have been edging up, and new markets are opening.

Port Clyde fisherman Glen Libby said, “the shrimp are a nice size and quantities have been good.” In mid January the peak of the season is still a few weeks away. At that point they will be easier to catch as they bunch up to release their eggs.

Department of Marine Resources (DMR) port samplings bear this out. The DMR takes shrimp harvest samples at 25 ports. The information, which includes amount per unit of effort, or pounds caught per hour of fishing, size of shrimp, etc., is used in the shrimp fishery assessments, and serves as a general monitoring tool.

Libby cited the use of a new sorting grate, which has cut the time spent sorting out smaller shrimp on deck. The grate sorts for size before the shrimp are in the net leaving the smaller ones alive in the water.


The northern shrimp season is shaping up to be the best in years. Fishermen and processors are both optimistic as the season nears it’s peak. With shrimp quality high, catch numbers good, and markets much better, there is hope for resurrecting a summer season. New topless trawl gear, that nearly eliminates bycatch, could effect summer season plans. Photo courtesy of Pingguo He, UNH Research

Ice-Fishing for Pickerel,
And Productive
by Tom Seymour
Chain pickerel, Esox niger, inhabit lakes, ponds and slow-moving streams throughout Maine, with the exception of far northern regions. Even ponds on some of Maine’s offshore islands hold pickerel, making them one of the most available of game fishes.

As a sporting quarry, pickerel have much in their favor. They readily strike both artificial lures and natural baits, can be teased into biting even if they are not in a feeding mood, fight well, jump occasionally and grow to a desirable size. Chain pickerel typically weigh 2 pounds or more and attain lengths of well over 20 inches. The Maine record pickerel weighed 7.02 pounds. And doubtless, larger specimens have been caught, cooked and eaten, without being weighed or measured.

These two pickerel took a pink and white Crappie Magnet. Crappie Magnets,in hand, use a tapered-metal jighead and a solid, plastic body that slides over the hook. These come in a wide variety of color patterns, so it pays to keep trying different combinations on days when fish don’t cooperate. Maine general law (this is in effect statewide, unless superceded by other, special regulations for that specific water) allows for a daily bag limit of 10 pickerel. Pickerel have no minimum length limit. Photo by Tom Seymour