Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine
New Ledge (aka Platt's Bank). This bears E. by N. ½ N. from Thacher Island, from which the shoal portion of the ledge is distant 53 miles. From Portland Lightship it is 30 miles SSE. to the center of the ground. The bank is about 12 miles long, NE. and SW.. and about 8 miles wide. The western shoal, which is of small extent and rocky and which has a considerable amount of dead shells upon it, is situated near the center, its depth being 29 fathoms.
From this shoal to the Southwest Peak is about 11 miles SW. by S. Another shoal lies E. 3 miles, having about 30 fathoms over sand and gravel, which is a good fall ground for haddock.
East-northeast from the western shoal 3 miles brings us to a rocky ridge, with spots of hard mud and pebbles between, in 65-fathom depth, which is a fine winter cusk ground, these fish remaining here until April. Over much of the bank the depths range from 30 to 35 fathoms with a bottom of rocks and gravel. From the edge of the shoaler area the bottom slopes gradually to 50 or 60 fathoms, beyond which it drops suddenly to 80 or 90 fathoms over a muddy bottom.
This was considered one of the very best fishing grounds for cod and haddock in the Gulf of Maine, but the haddock catch here has fallen off recently. Hake also are very abundant during the summer months and often during October on the muddy bottom near the edge. Inside 100 fathoms, on a "punkin" bottom of rocks and gravel, near the mud, haddock are found from December to March. Cod, pollock, and cusk occur from May to October, the former on the rocky and gravelly portions, the latter on the deep soundings, with the Northeast Peak the best summer ground.
This is also an especially good fall and winter ground for haddock. Halibut are often found in 35 fathoms (small fish) from September through November; also In spring and early summer. This ground is fished by vessels from Cape Cod, Mass., to Cutler, Me., mainly by trawling, some hand-lining, but no gill netting of importance as yet.