Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine

Nantucket Shoals This stretch of bars and deeper waters between, roughly triangular in form with its apex at the north, lies along the western edge of the South Channel, extending S. and SE. from the southern end of Cape Cod and Nantucket Island. From Monomoy Point to Rogers Fishing Ground, on the eastern edge of Phelps Bank, it is SSE. 80 miles. Its width from Southeast Rips to the western edge of New South Shoal is 40 miles.

The area includes a number of "fishing spots " and shoals, among which the following are the most important: Pollock Rip Ground, Rose and Crown Shoal, Great Rip, Davis Bank, Fishing Rip, Old and New South Shoal, and Phelps Bank.

On and about all these shoals the sail fleet makes good catches, mainly con- sisting of cod but with a fair proportion of pollock, also, and in the deeper water close to them, in spring and summer, a considerable amount of haddock. An occasional large halibut is taken, and even good catches have been reported. There were noted in the daily report of the Boston Fish Bureau between May 15 and August 15, 1920, 10 trips made by the smaller vessels of the halibut fleet that landed fares of from 2,000 to 10,000 pounds of this species from this area.

Perhaps more would be taken if the halibut fishery were to be followed here as in other areas. "Rip fishing," as conducted here, is done "at a drift," moving over the shoals and, as they move off from them, sailing back to repeat the process. The fish are taken by hand-lining with "cockle" bait or by "jigging" the fish with a shiny piece of metal representing a herring or similar fish, below which are set twin hooks, the fish being struck when it is felt investigating the lure. This fishery generally is carried on during May, June, July, and August.

In the mackerel and herring seasons these grounds usually furnish good fishing for these species, the fish usually striking here from May 15 to July 15.