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Tuna Fishing Season in Maine: A Comprehensive Guide

Tuna Fishing Season in Maine: A Comprehensive Guide


Maine, with its picturesque coastline and rich marine biodiversity, is a haven for anglers. Among the various species that attract fishing enthusiasts, tuna, particularly the Atlantic bluefin tuna, holds a special place. This article delves into the tuna fishing season in Maine, providing a detailed overview of the best times to fish, the techniques used, and the regulations in place. Additionally, we will explore the benefits of using EVA foam fish rulers, a crucial tool for any serious angler.

Understanding the Tuna Species in Maine

Maine’s waters are home to several tuna species, including the Atlantic bluefin, bigeye, albacore, skipjack, and little tunny. Each species has its unique characteristics and preferred seasons:

  • Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus): Known for their size and strength, bluefin tuna are a prized catch. They are surface-dwelling, cold-tolerant, and can grow over six feet long.
  • Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus obesus): These tuna are less common but are known for their deep-water habitat and high-fat content, making them a favorite for sushi.
  • Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga): Occasionally found in Maine, albacore are smaller and known for their long pectoral fins.
  • Skipjack Tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis): Recognizable by their dark stripes, skipjack are rare in Maine but can be found off Cape Cod.
  • Little Tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus): Similar to skipjack, little tunny are less migratory and found closer to shore.

Best Time for Tuna Fishing in Maine

The tuna fishing season in Maine varies by species and environmental conditions. However, the prime season for bluefin tuna, the most sought-after species, typically runs from June to September. During these months, the waters of the Gulf of Maine are teeming with baitfish like herring, mackerel, and squid, attracting large numbers of bluefin tuna.

Monthly Breakdown

  • June: The start of the bluefin tuna season. As the waters warm, tuna begin to migrate into the Gulf of Maine.
  • July: Peak season for bluefin tuna. The abundance of baitfish makes this month ideal for fishing.
  • August: Another peak month, with high chances of catching large bluefin tuna.
  • September: The season starts to wind down, but there are still good opportunities for late-season catches.

Fishing Techniques

Successful tuna fishing requires a combination of skill, knowledge, and the right equipment. Here are some popular techniques used by anglers in Maine:

  • Trolling: This involves dragging lures or bait behind a moving boat. Common lures include cedar plugs and diving lures.
  • Chunking: This method uses chunks of bait to attract tuna. Anglers drift chunks of bait in the water, creating a chum line that draws tuna to the boat.
  • Jigging: Using vertical jigs, anglers mimic the movement of baitfish to entice tuna. This technique is effective in deeper waters.
  • Fly Lining: This involves using live bait without any weight, allowing it to swim naturally. It’s particularly effective for bluefin tuna.

Regulations and Permits

Fishing for tuna in Maine is regulated to ensure sustainable practices and the conservation of tuna populations. Key regulations include:

  • Permits: All vessels fishing for Atlantic tunas must have an Atlantic HMS Angling permit. This applies to both recreational and commercial fishing.
  • Catch Limits: There are specific retention limits for bluefin tuna. For example, commercial vessels have restricted fishing days where retention limits are set to zero.
  • Size Limits: There are minimum size requirements for keeping tuna, ensuring that younger, smaller fish are released.

Health Benefits and Risks of Tuna

Tuna is not only a prized catch for its sport but also for its nutritional value. Bluefin tuna, in particular, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and selenium. However, due to their long lifespan and position in the food chain, bluefin tuna can accumulate high levels of mercury. It’s recommended that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children limit their consumption of tuna to avoid potential health risks.

The Role of EVA Foam Fish Rulers

Accurate measurement of fish is crucial for adhering to regulations and ensuring sustainable fishing practices. EVA foam fish rulers are an essential tool for anglers, offering several benefits:

  • Durability: Made from closed-cell EVA foam, these rulers are waterproof, durable, and easy to clean.
  • Adhesive Backing: They come with a marine-grade 3M adhesive backing, making them easy to install on boats.
  • Clear Measurements: The rulers feature clear, easy-to-read numbers, ensuring accurate measurements.
  • Non-Skid Surface: The textured surface provides traction, preventing fish from slipping during measurement.

Recommend our products:Durable EVA Foam Fish Ruler for Boats – Waterproof & Easy to Read – 40 Inches


Tuna fishing in Maine offers an exhilarating experience for anglers, with the promise of catching one of the ocean’s most formidable predators. Understanding the best times to fish, the techniques to use, and the regulations in place is essential for a successful and sustainable fishing trip. Additionally, incorporating tools like EVA foam fish rulers can enhance the fishing experience, ensuring accurate measurements and compliance with regulations. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, the waters of Maine provide ample opportunities for an unforgettable tuna fishing adventure.

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