Striper Fishing in Maine – are you ready?

It’s late Spring and I’m getting all my gear ready to keep in the car for those days when I can get a few hours on the Southern Maine beaches.  I’ve been fishing for striped bass a few years and love it.

We all have our different set ups but here is what I have ready (bearing in mind, I’m still learning):  


  • Waders (though not necessary for beach casting)
  • Rod(s)
    • LL Beans 9ft/8 weight 2 piece
    • Greys Platinum XD Saltwater 9 ft/8 weight 2 piece
      I know others prefer a 9/9 but the above is what I’m currently using til I get more experienced.
  • Reel and Line: 
    • saltwater reel should be able to hold enough backing to allow a striper to run – around 150/200 yards of 30 pound line.
    • A spare spool with intermediate line can be quite handy. I was fortunate to have The Tackle Shop in Portland set up my reel/spool for me last year.
  • Fly Line
    • There are 3 types of line –Floating, Intermediate and Sinking Line. I currently have sinking line on my set up for casting from the shore (maybe a floating or intermediate weight line from a boat). For example, you might use an intermediate or sinking line for wading and shore fishing and a floating line for fishing top water. I have spare spools that have different lines that I can change up when needed.
  • Leader – 30 pound test monofilament/fluorocarbon then maybe,  a 2/3ft length of 20 pound test monofilament material. The tippet – 2 ft section of 15 pound monofilament/fluorocarbon.  Or a bought tapered leader is my best friend.
  • Flies: I have a very simple fly box with crab patters, sand eels, Clousers (see pic)  Most tied by my brother Mark.  My fly box is a waterproof Airflo box
Fly box - crab patterns, shrimp pattern, Clousers
Terrible picture of my fly box complete with crab patterns, shrimp pattern, Clousers
Flies for stripers
Layer 2 of my fly box for stripers. A mix of options.
  • Finally,  you may, or may not, want a stripping basket to keep your line from being washed about in the waves.  I don’t have one as yet but it’s on my shopping list.


There are many places to go striper fishing – look out for estuaries and flats. I’m based in Portland, Maine so for me – Ferry Beach, Scarborough, Biddeford and down to Ogunquit is about as far as I go. I’ve seen people on rock edges at Two Lights – I prefer the safe zone of the beaches (right now).

Handing striped bass – Catch and release to preserve striped bass for the future

  • Land quickly – don’t play to exhaustion
  • Try not to handle too much
  • Hold horizontally supporting the body weight – avoid touching eyes and gills.   Grip the lower jaw and support the abdomen.
  • Release gently holding horizontally
  • Revive fish – hold headfirst into the current., letting go when it is ready.

(will upload video soon)


Check the tides in Portland and surrounding areas of Maine – Monthly Tide Chart for Southern Maine

As I say, I still consider myself a beginner so experiment and if you have recommendations, leave them in the comments below

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2 thoughts on “Striper Fishing in Maine – are you ready?

  1. How do I sign up for June 18 event?
    I’m coming
    Lynn Kay

    1. If you could mark on the Facebook event that you are going, otherwise just turn up.

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