An often misconception most of the public has is that the ocean is full of giant fish and the farther out you go the better. So not the truth.  The Gulf of Maine, the part of the Atlantic ocean that runs along our New England Coast is really a complex land formation consisting of valleys, mountains, sandy beaches, rocky ledges and silt vegetation gardens all covered by various depths of water. There are fishermen and there are people who like to go fishing. The latter will be content to head out a ways and spend their day dunking bait in whatever water or they may join a group of other boats with the hope that there are fish there. Occasionally they get lucky and catch a few but if not it just was’t a good day or they weren’t biting. Fishermen want to catch fish and know where and when to increase their chances of doing this. Along with good working knowledge of their navigation, sounding machines, and tackle their chances are many times better than the average Joe.

This edition in September is dedicated to areas for fall ground fish and giant blue fin tuna.


The fall is a good time of year to stock the freezer with cod, Pollock and haddock. Pollock are spawning and the cod and haddock love to feed on the eggs if they can find them. Unfortunately the traditional fall fishing grounds are often far out on Jeffery’s so the prudent mariner should keep an eye on the marine weather forecast and be sure your vessel is capable of heavy seas. The first area that comes to mind is LITTLE PIGEON HILL located about 24.5 miles southeast of Hampton harbor. The loran numbers are 13611×25737, latitude 42`46.4“n, longitude 70`14.5“w. this should put you right up on top of the very hard bottom. Look down the edges on all sides down to around 200 feet of water for the large schools of Pollock. The bottom structure runs from the top to the s/w and this is good bottom to search for cod. The very eastern edge where it drops into extremely deep water is a very good edge for tuna fishing.

BIG PIGEON HILL lies about 1.7 miles southeast of the little hill at 13610×25724, 42`45.3“ n, 70`12.3“ w. this is another very rocky piece of bottom. The best fishing has in the Past been in the deep water, around 240-300 ` east of the high spot. Pollock, haddock and cod can be good fishing here.

THE HOUR AND FOURTY RIDGE is about 24.5 miles a little more to the south than the two hills. It can be a very productive place in the fall for large Pollock and haddock. Look on the northeast edge around 13635×25735, 42`44.6 n, 70`15.2 w in around
220-240 feet of water. The 218 foot arm on the southwest part of the ridge can be good too.

THE RIDGE, which is located just north east of the curl at 13580×25758, 42`50.9“n, 70`13.2w and 26 miles east of the Hampton river is a sometimes hot fall Pollock spot. Run the eastern edges and watch the bottom machine for the stacks of Pollock. Haddock can be found in the deeper flat bottom off the east edge.


POLLOCK ROCK is just about on Tillies bank about 31 miles south of Hampton at 13650.2×44292.9, 42`37.5“n,70`24.8“w. this is a hard piece and the large Pollock and cod can be found all around it in the late summer to early fall months. Large blue hake can be here as well.

MAGIC ROCK is 35 miles east by north just inside the first finger of Jefferies at 13435.2×25808.8, 43`05.3“n, 70`04.4“w. good late summer and fall cod and Pollock. Look around the western edge and at the end of the finger as well. Don’t be afraid to fish deep on the finger 250-300 feet.


Traditionally in mid to late July the silver hake start showing up on the inside grounds bringing the tuna with them. There are hundreds of spots within 15 miles from shore to choose from. Keep in mind that if your favorite is occupied when to get there don’t be afraid to toss the anchor off the bottom. Yes the fish like to hang around bottom structure, but they come and go and you may get lucky if you’re parked in their path. Out front here north and south of the spot can be as good as being there. Fish live silver and mud hake, don’t count the length of your leader in your bait sets, and if the tide is slack don’t be scared to take off your sinkers.


NORTHEAST, 14.5 miles at 13654×25870, 42`55.6“n, 70`29.0 is an old favorite, and just another quarter mile east the 175 hump at 13649×25863, 42`55.3“n, 70`28.0“w is a good bet.

222 is at the north east tip of Scantum 18 miles from the harbor. 13825×25854, 42`55.9“n, 70`25.0“w. fish the eastern edge.


13 miles at 13677×25863, 42`55.3“n, 70`30.5“w. try and get to the south east edge in 220 feet of water.


9 miles from the beach at 13710×25890, 42`53.0“n, 70`35.5“w, either edge is good.


7.4 miles at 13740×25893, 42`50.7“n, 70`38.2“w hang off the east edge.


Only 5 or 6 miles from shore anywhere just over the edge in 200 feet of water from 13745×25930, 42`53.5“n, 70`41.5“w all the way south to just off Rockport.

These “spots” are all approximant distances and general locations. There are no “magic” numbers, you will have to do some work at looking around and deciding where to set up, but they will put you in areas that have rich histories of producing fish.

Next month is October and thoughts will be focused on the hunting season,  next spring look here for the hot spring fishing spots in the Gulf Of Maine.

Tight lines,

Capt. Don


a young Green Heron fishing


Good luck captain, where ever you are.