June 22, 2018
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Cooler nights mean hotter fishing across the state

Brian Feulner | BDN
Brian Feulner | BDN
An angler tries his luck on the West Branch of the Penobscot River near Abol Bridge recently.
By Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Special to the BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fisheries biologists are preparing fishing reports that may help anglers in the weeks ahead. Here’s the report that the DIF&W released on Friday.

Down East region

The nights and days are getting cooler Down East, and according to DIF&W fisheries biologist Greg Burr, “Surface water temps have dropped about ten degrees in the last week.”

Burr says that trout, and particularly salmon, are moving out of the depths, and throughout lakes and ponds. Anglers should have luck fishing on or just below the surface with brightly colored streamers and lures. This time of year, salmon can be found from the surface down to 10 feet.

Burr suggests trying any of the following waters: West Grand Lake in Grand Lake Stream, Nash Lake in Calais, Cathance Lake in Cooper, Mopang Lake in Devereaux Township, Alligator Lake in Township 34, Tunk Lake in Township 10, Schoodic Lake in Cherryfield, Beech Hill Pond in Otis, Green Lake in Ellsworth, Phillips Lake in Dedham, Branch Lake in Ellsworth, Donnell Pond in Franklin and Long Pond on Mount Desert Island.

“It’s a great time of the year for salmon fishing. A lot of times, you have the place all to yourself, surrounded by fall colors, cool air and no bugs,” says Burr.

Moosehead region

If you are looking to fish some of Maine’s big rivers, now is the time in the Moosehead region.

“The rivers are all in their prime right now,” says biologist Tim Obrey. “The recent rains have brought flows up and the fish are moving in. Temps continue to cool off, and this is the time to be out if you want to catch trout and salmon.”

Anglers are getting good numbers of fish on the Roach River. Most salmon are in the 16- to 18-inch range, but there are a few up to 20 inches. Most trout you catch are in the 14- to 16-inch range, with a few larger ones as well.

Flows continue to remain good for fishing as they just bumped up the flows on the East Outlet which should bring in more fish, and it should be the same on the Moose River below Brassua Lake.

Penobscot region

Up in the Katahdin area, trout fishing is heating up.

“Mitchell Pond has a very healthy trout population. It’s somewhat underutilized and has great access,” says fisheries biologist Kevin Dunham. Mitchell Pond is right off Huber Road in Township 7 Range 9, and getting your canoe from the road to the water is just 100 feet or so.

“We trapnet that pond every five years, and when we did it this summer, the trout showed really good growth rates,” added Dunham, “The trout looked phenomenal.”

Bass fisherman ought to check out Chemo Pond in Bradley where they have been catching some sizeable largemouth. Dunham received a picture of one largemouth that tipped the scales at 6.5 pounds. There’s a town landing at the public beach on the Eddington side of the pond for access.

Dunham also has received scattered reports of the fishing picking up in Cold Stream Pond as the salmon bite is starting to turn on.

Aroostook region

Up north, “It’s a great time to go fishing,” says biologist Frank Frost, “it’s been tremendous on some of our smaller ponds.”

“It’s going to be a good couple of weeks,” adds Frost, who says the recent cold weather has the fish spread out and actively feeding. “Overcast days with a low wind are the ideal days.”

While Frost didn’t mention any particular ponds, if you are looking for some excellent trout fishing, scan the law book for ponds with high length limits and low bag limits.

Rivers are still a little high in the region, so anglers are waiting for flows to settle down. Anglers trolling the shore on area lakes and ponds are having good luck.

“Square, Cross and Eagle are all good salmon lakes, and activity is starting to pick up,” says Frost. “Any of those are good places to go these last two weeks of the season. Anglers are getting fish right near shore in water 8-10 feet deep.”

Rangeley Lakes region

“Water is cooling down in the northern part of the region, and as these lakes destratify, fish start moving from the deeper depths to a variety of depths, and the action starts to pick up,” says biologist Bobby Van Riper. Van Riper suggests trying waters in The Forks and the Chain of Ponds area.

Aerial angler counts by the Maine Warden Service show that even though the fish may be more active, angler activity has yet to pick up in the region. Van Riper thinks that will change shortly up north.

Trout and salmon are starting to stage as they get ready to spawn. A big rainstorm and some cooler temperatures will get them moving into area rivers and streams.

Even though it is artificial lures only in brooks and streams, Van Riper says anglers can have some of the best fishing of the year in these waters. While not mentioning any brooks or streams by name, he suggests taking a look at a map and finding your own. His suggestion? The farther north you go, the better off you will be.

Sebago Lakes region

The Sebago Lakes region has a busy week with the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Divisional being held at Sebago Lake. Friday is the final day, with a live weigh-in scheduled for 2:15 at Point Sebago. This weekend also marks the Sebago Lions Club Togue Derby, with the weigh-in at Jordan’s Store in the town of Sebago.

Even if you are not fishing in either of these events, Sebago Lake is a fantastic fall fishing destination.

“Most of the salmon and togue on Sebago are quite fat,” says biologist Francis Brautigam, “They are feasting on juvenile baitfish.”

Salmon fishing has been mostly good, but has turned off at times with the weather systems that have passed through. Anglers are catching salmon measuring in the low 20s, but location seems to be the key as they are following baitfish and starting to stage for spawning. Togue catches have been inconsistent. Find the bait and you will find the togue.

Brautigam is gearing up for a brown trout project that will start in October. Biologists will be placing radio telemetry tags in a number of brown trout that will be released in the river below the Skelton Dam between Dayton and Hollis. Biologists will be monitoring the trout’s movements and habits in order to gain a better understanding of behavior and mortality.

Central Maine region

“Area ponds are still pretty warm, so there is not a lot of pond fishing for trout, but if you head north to the upper Kennebec, there’s some pretty decent trout and salmon fishing there,” says biologist Jason Seiders. “The water is starting to cool down with the cool nights and the fish are feeding.”

If trout and salmon are not your passion, or if you just need to stay a little closer to home, “The bass fishing in the lower Kennebec has been fantastic, and the Sebasticook has been really, really good,” according to Seiders.

Juvenile alewives are beginning their seaward migration, and bass are feasting on these fish. Seiders recommends anything that resembles a small alewife such as a Rapala, Yozuri or Rebel stick bait. Twitch the lure on or just below the surface, making it look like an injured minnow.


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