Stripers showing signs of biting

Posted June 10, 2009, at 9:19 p.m.

On Tuesday evening I spent a few hours in a canoe on the Kennebec River with Andy Goode of the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

The target: Shad.

On Saturday, I’ll tell you more about our outing, and some things you may not have realized about the species.

For now, let me pass along a piece of important news gleaned from our trip in downtown Waterville: The stripers are coming.

Both Goode and another angler I spoke with on the riverbank told me that anglers had begun catching striped bass just below the former Hathaway Shirt factory.

One fisherman landed a striper that was 30 inches or more long, and the angler I spoke with had hooked and battled a large striper before losing it on Monday night.

A weekend check of the Penobscot River in Brewer showed no signs of striper activity.

No fishermen flocked to the city park on the riverbank, and a quick query at nearby Van Raymond Outfitters — the quick-stop option for striper anglers looking to buy blood worms as bait — revealed more proof that a big run of fish can’t be upon us yet: No worms were available.

Still, there’s no doubt that stripers are on their way … if we’re luckier than we were in 2008.

Last year’s striper run was a disappointment to many — no fish were even registered during a multi-week tournament staged in conjunction with the first Penobscot River Revival, you may recall — and few of the anglers I spoke with saw many (if any) stripers.

One fisherman pal of mine spent countless hours on the water and burned more gasoline than you can imagine in his quest for striper nirvana. He fished from Frankfort to Searsport and all the way upstream to Bangor, day after day after day.

He watched the tide charts. He trolled and fly-fished and may even have tried some live bait.

The good news: He got very familiar with his new boat.

The bad news: He only caught a couple of fish all summer.

Here’s hoping that this year’s Penobscot run is large enough to keep saltwater anglers busy (and to keep my fishing pal from scuttling his boat and focusing on trout and salmon).

River revival scheduled

Speaking of the Penobscot River Revival, organizers are busy planning this year’s second annual edition.

The festival will be held on the Bangor waterfront from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on July 18, and will feature plenty of food and entertainment, along with educational exhibits.

Other popular features: An art show and sale, and live music featuring the Eric Green Band and Stiff Whisker and the Driftwood Kids.

No striper tourney is planned this year, however.

No big deal, as far as I’m concerned; Last year’s event was a lot of fun, and I had a great time browsing the booths and chatting with people interested in celebrating the progress that has been made on the river, and eagerly looking forward to the progress yet to be made.

If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor or an exhibitor, e-mail Gayle Zydlewski at cbwc@covebrook.org.

In addition, more information about the festival is available at http://2ndannualpenobscotriverrevival.blogspot.com/

Don’t worry about doe permits

Several times during the past couple weeks I’ve had deer hunters approach and ask me what I know about the annual any-deer permit lottery.

More specifically, they’ve asked this: When’s the deadline on doe permits?

Though you’ve heard nothing about the state’s permit lottery yet, don’t fret.

A notice on the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Web site informs interested hunters that more information will be available after July 1.

Deborah Turcotte, DIF&W spokeswoman, said the department’s advisory council, which votes on any-deer permit proposals through the departmental rule-making process, will meet again later this month in the final step of a three-step process.

“Any-deer permits will be up for discussion on June 24,” Turcotte said.

Over the past three years, the actual deadline for application to the any-deer lottery has been during the first week of August.

In 2008 the state instituted a two-deadline system, with paper applications due two weeks earlier.

According to the DIF&W Web site, that won’t be the case this year: All applicants will be expected to apply via the Internet, and any-deer applications will not be sent to hunters.

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