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June 2013 MAINE COASTAL NEWS Page 7.


WEBHANNET RIVER BOAT YARD - MORE THAN A BOAT YARD WELLS – For those that travel Route 1 up


and down the coast of Maine sometimes the true jewels of the coast are missed, unless you really do some exploring. Coming through the centre of Wells and just passed the fi re station heading north is a road on your right that will take you down to the Wells Town Dock. There are a couple of restaurants, but most importantly this is the location of Webhannet River Boat Yard, run by Scott Worthing and Brandy McCurry, which is a lot more than a boat yard. As the days of spring fl y by, the yard


is busy. During the winter boats have been brought in and readied for the water. The shrink wrap is coming off and work is being done on the ones still needing their annual maintenance. They have about 125 boats stored in the yard for the winter. They also go out and pick up boats that have been stored in the yards of their owners. To do this, they use their 20-ton Brownell hydraulic trailer. Scott loves to build boats, but the business dic- tates service. This involves: hauling boats, prepping them for winter, shrink wrapping, storing and spring commissioning. The boat yard is not the only business


on site. They have a tackle store as well as kayak and canoe rentals. This year they are also going to offer paddle boards for the fi rst time.


Brandy explained, “I am getting the tackle shop ready right now. This is the sea- sonal tourist part of our business. We service a lot of people who come from New Hamp- shire, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Connecticut to their summer cottages or motels. They spend the week, or whatever they have, and come here and go fi shing. There are also a lot of charter captains that fi sh out of Wells Harbor and we give them referrals. Some of our customers come in


looking for someone to take them out fi sh- ing. I am going to say that there are over 12, with some running a little more often than others. There are a few that make their living that way and then there are a few guys that just defray the cost of their boat. They all fi sh hard and we have a really good working relationship with them and it is really fun.” The tackle shop has whatever a fi sher- man is going to need. They have rods, reels, an incredible supply of lures and bait. Now depending what you are fi shing for they have live eels, sea worms, mackerel and clams for frozen cut bait. Anything you need to catch striped bass or blue fi sh they sell it here. There had been a bait shop here, but it was small and only sold bait. When Scott purchased the boat yard he looked for someone to run it, but they did not work out. Scott and Brandy could make a living with just the boatyard, but they make a more well-rounded income, with the addition of the bait shop and kayak rentals.


One thing you have to stay abreast of is the state and federal law changes. Over the last couple of years the state had been pushing the circle hook and this year it is a law. Brandy added, “This is a hook that is circled and it turns back in on itself and it’s not offset, it’s in line. When a striper bites, sometimes they take the whole hook right down to the belly. A J-hook can hit them any- where inside all the way up. A circle hook, probably about 90 percent of the time, will lip hook a fi sh. When you go to release them, because a lot of the stripers you catch are not legal limit, they release much easier because the circle hook almost always catches in the mouth.


“There is going to be some regulations on cod and haddock and I am not sure that that has been decided,” continued Brandy.


“I don’t know the information yet, but they have talked about limiting your catch. The regulations for the striper and the circle hook is only for bait. If you are using a lure you can still use your regular J hook, you just can’t have more than two hooks to a lure.” Last year a nice little hole was dredged at the end of the jetty and the striped bass got there and loved it. Brandy said, “Every morning, like clockwork, just before sun up you could catch all of the fi sh you wanted out there. We had a real good striper season. The bluefi sh were also everywhere.” They also developed a great activity for kids at a cost of just $1.95 and guaranteed to keep them busy for hours. It involves a bait bag, a hotdog and some fi sh. The kids go down to the town dock and catch crabs. They are catching something every time they drop the bag in. It is a good way to introduce kids to fi shing. Brandy added, “I have got kids go from crabbing to fi shing for stripers and blue fi sh. I have got a photograph of an eight-year-old up there on the wall with a 40 pound striped bass. He caught it on his fi rst cast with a chunk of mackerel all by himself.”


Brandy McCurry of Webhannet River BY.


Scott calls Brandy a fl atlander. She added, “It is kind of funny. I did not spend a lot of time at the ocean. When I was a kid we spent a lot of time in the woods. I love the


Continued on Page 23.


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