Fishing Jeffreys Ledge
Cod, wolffish, cusk, pollock, haddock and the mixed bag on Jeffreys Ledge all respond to the same rigs. Clams are a good choice of bait on several counts: They offer good scent release; they work even when fished in schools of natural bait, usually herring and sand eels; and they're durable, especially important when checking the bait means retrieving 200 feet or more of line. Clams are usually good for three or four hits, so fishing time is maximized. We fished 20 to 24 ounces of weight, usually a diamond or Norwegian jig, on the end of a 50-pound leader, with a dropper and a 6/0 hook baited with clams a couple of feet up the line. The weight is critical, especially when fish are hugging the bottom.
Rods: Conventional or spinning bottomfishing rods with enough sensitivity to detect hits in 200 feet of water and enough backbone to raise fish - and 2 pounds of lead - to the surface.
Reels: Conventional reels preferred. Large capacities not required unless you get hit by bluefin tuna, which also move across the Ledge seasonally. Then all bets are off.
Lines: 50-pound mono and 50- to 100-pound mono leaders.
What: Cod, pollock, haddock, cusk and other groundfish.
When: May through October.
Where: Jeffreys Ledge, Gulf of Maine.
Who: A range of charter boats and partyboats cover the southern Gulf of Maine. Departures from Boston and Gloucester have the option of fishing Stellwagen Bank as well. Here are some of the pros who can take you to the fish.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Capt. Doug Anderson
Sushi Hunter Sportfishing Charters
Capt. Mike Cleary
Capt. Chuck DiStefano
Capt. Kevin Twombly
Capt. Joshua Kardos