Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine
West-Northwest Rips and the Flat Ground - These lie WNW from Briers Island. extending offshore about 18 miles. On the eastern end of this area, two parallel shoals, about 1 ½ miles across and having 50-fathom depths between them, rise from the 100-fathom depths of water over the muddy ground around them to reach 15 fathoms on the landward end of the rips, deepening to 35 fathoms off the western part, where the two ridges come together at about 9 miles distance from Briers Island, to carry on to the westward over the Flat Ground, which extends to a distance of about 18 miles from the island.
This Flat Ground, deepening gradually westward, averages to have 50 fathoms of water over a level, gravelly. and rocky bottom, to pitch down suddenly, as do all other slopes of this piece of ground, to the 100-fathom depth, which prevails on all sides of The Rips.
Currents are very strong here, as elsewhere in these waters, so that trawls are set only on the slack of the tides, beginning about one hour before and remaining down until about one hour after these periods.
Formerly this was a good ground for the taking of large herring. In these days The Rips furnish good cod and haddock fishing for the entire year, with hake abundant at all times on the mud about them. In fact; virtually all the ground from this point south to the Lurcher Shoal furnishes good fishing for these species.