Hake Fishing – Off the Coast of Maine


When hake fishing it is important to note that they come in a variety of forms. These include the red, white, silver and long fin, and many of these species can be found off the coast of Maine. Certain species are stocked, including the red hake, which is found most commonly in the Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine regions.


Let's dive right in and look at hake fishing.


What is Hake Fishing Like in Maine?


Though a close relative of cod and haddock, the hake bears little physical resemblance. And is not considered to be as good a table fish by anglers.


Hake fishing is fairly common off the coast of Maine, and as a result is a frequent target for many chartered trips. Though not renowned for being a particularly good fighting fish, the hake is a strong, fast swimmer that offers a modest challenge.


Silver Hake


One of the most common forms found is the silver hake. Which can be found in relative abundance off the coast of Maine. Silver hake are long, slender fish which can be identified by their grey-brown coloring on top fading to silver on its sides and belly.


Their mouths are large and lined with two rows of sharp teeth. While their bodies sport two distinct dorsal fins and an elongated anal fin.


Most hake species are similar in appearance, though there are subtle differences.


White Hake


White hake have a single chin bar bell whereas silver hake do not. And the upper jaw bone on the white hake reaches further back than it does on the red hake. These differences can be difficult to spot, particularly on juvenile fish while hake fishing.


When hake fishing the average size and weight depends on the species. Though silver hake are commonly around fourteen inches in length and weigh around three pounds.


Whereas white hake are much larger. And have been known to reach several feet in length and tip the scales at nearly forty pounds.


Baits and Rods for Hake Fishing


Hake tend to feed on small fish such as herring, mackerel and menhaden. So when hake fishing using cut or even live bait is preferred by anglers. They can also be caught using a variety of other baits or artificial lures depending on local food sources.


A medium to heavy rod coupled with a conventional reel and fifty pound test line is suitable for hake fishing. A lighter line can be used to increase the challenge, though there is always a danger of hooking a larger fish such as a cod or haddock.


On the Seabed


Hake are most commonly found on the seabed near disturbances in waters around three hundred feet deep. In summer they are known to migrate to shallower waters nearer the coast in search of food.


In terms of location, the best spots to go hake fishing are on the Georges Bank or western Gulf of Maine region, both of which are popular chartered trip destinations.


Abundance and Ease of Hake Fishing


Hake’s relative abundance and ease of catch coupled with its good quality meat ensure that it remains a target for chartered vessels up and down the coast of Maine.


While hake fishing is not as glamorous as catching cod or haddock, they do provide a modest challenge for anglers, particularly the young or inexperienced.


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