Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine

Middle Bank aka Stellwagen Bank. -This separates Massachusetts Bay from the open water of the Gulf of Maine and extends from near Cape Ann nearly to Cape Cod

The center of this ground bears S by E E from Thacher Island and N by W W from Highland Light, Cape Cod. The Southern Part of the Bank is distant 5 1/2 miles from Race Point Cape Cod, and its northwest prong reaches to within 12 or 15 miles of Eastern Point Cape Cod. The Shoaler portion, with depths from 9 1/2 to 19 fathoms, is 17 1/2 miles long in a N by W and S by E direction and has a width of 4 miles. This part is sandy but the eastern slope, in depths of from 25 to 55 fathoms, consists of coarse sand gravel and pebbles.

On this gravelly slope cod and haddock have been taken plentifully over a long term of years, the cod in the fall and spring and the haddock in the winter months. On the southern end of the bank and between this and Race point cod about in fall and winter. The whole bank is also a mackerel ground when the fish are in these waters, the best in the season averaging to befrom July 15 through September.

This bank is now mainly an Italian boat ground and is used by small craft from Boston and Gloucester, Gill-netting here is especially extensive in November and December, mostly for pollock.

Netters operate about 22 miles SSE. from Eastern Point in 22 to 25 fathoms on a hard bottom. Good pollock catches are made in 25 to 40 fathoms on the eastern and southeastern slopes in the latter part of November and early December. Haddock are here from November 1 to March 1 and from April 20 to May 15. Cod are present all the year, the largest school occurring during August, September and October. It is acusk ground from November to March in the deeper water. What seems a somewhat unusual occurrence in these later years was the appearance of a considerable school of halibut on the northern slope of Stellwagen during the last half of April 1926, several small craft getting from 2,000 to 3,000 pounds in their daily fares.