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Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine
Jeffreys Bank. This ground lies east of Cashes Bank and, despite its considerable size, is of comparatively little importance as a fishing ground. It is about 20 miles long. SW. and NE., and 10 miles wide. The northern and southern limits are 43' 30' and 43' 15' north latitude. The eastern edge is In 68' 25', the western in 68' 45'. west longitude.
The bottom is somewhat broken - mud, sand, gravel. and pebbles, with a great number of small rocky ridges, upon which good fishing is generally to be had, although these spots are quite difficult to find and accommodate but little trawl gear. There is virtually no fishing upon much of the interior parts of the bank between these spots, where the bottom is mostly of mud. Depths over the bank vary from 35 to 70 fathoms.
The Outer Fall and the Inner Fall. generally called Monhegan Fall, are the only parts of Jeffreys Bank thought to be of much importance as fishing grounds. Both these formerly furnished excellent fishing but are not now as much resorted to, although vessels from Portland and Rockland often fish here and bring in fair catches.
Cod, haddock, and cusk are time most important species in the fares from this ground, with a lesser amount of pollock and a few halibut, these latter usually being taken on the small ridges above mentioned In the main, this bank is a winter ground; good also. in the spring and early summer before the dogfish strike it. It is fished mostly by the smaller vessels-trawlers of from 15 to 70 tons
The Inner Fall lies SE. ½ S. from Monhegan Island, 21 ½ miles, west of Newfound 6 miles. and S. by W ½ W. from Matinicus Rock 17 miles. The Outer Fall lies S. ½ E. from Matinicus Rock 21 miles. These both have hard sharp bottoms, which are good cod and cusk grounds in the spring.
The gravelly bottom, both on the Inner Fall and on the Outer Fall, often holds halibut in the spring and early summer (May 1 to July 15) in depths of from 35 to 60 fathoms. The fishing ground of the Inner Fall is somewhat difficult to find, the best portions lying in a narrow strip about 6 miles long by something less than 1 mile wide along the northwestern edge of the bank.
Soundings ranging from 35 to 55 fathoms over the main body of the bank drop suddenly to 85 and even 94 on the edges. The average depth is about 45 fathoms over a rocky bottom, with good cod fishing in summer and cusk on the hard bottom of the deeper water. Haddock usually are abundant on this bank in winter.
Along the northern edge of Jeffreys Bank, between the Inner Fall and the Outer Fall, in an average depth of 40 fathoms, cod and halibut are taken in spring and summer. The extreme southern part of the bank is also a fairly good cod ground. while halibut occur in fair numbers in summer. Depths here are from 38 to 45 fathoms over rocks and gravel.
A small circular piece of ground rises about 2 miles W. of the bank, lying between it and Toothaker Ridge. This is about 2 miles across and has depths averaging 50 fathoms over a rocky bottom. This spot is a good summer cod ground.