AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are preparing reports that may help fishers in the weeks ahead. Here’s the most recent report:
Sebago Lakes region
“Overall, it’s been pretty good. We are not seeing really high catches, but we are seeing good numbers of fish,” said Francis Brautigam, Maine DIF&W fisheries biologist, who said that due to the weather, numbers of anglers may be down, but the fishing isn’t.
“The fishing has been very consistent, people are catching fish,” said Brautigam. “Since we aren’t seeing the really large catches, that tells me that the fishing will hold up longer.”
Ice conditions over the past week have gotten a little worse. The big bay on Sebago had set up with ice, but the warm weather, rain and wind broke it up and it is now wide open once again. Smaller ponds have also seen ice erode near shore, as well as wherever there is current.
Overall, Brautigam noted that he isn’t seeing as many anglers as he usually does on ponds that the department surveys, but he feels that with the early season cold spell, anglers had plenty of ponds to choose from, which spread anglers out.
Even though the big bay has reopened on Sebago, anglers are still fishing at the Station on Sebago. Brautigam said he has heard reports of some parties catching upwards of 40 lake trout.
“There have been some very good catches by those who know where and how to fish Sebago,” said Brautigam.
Central and midcoast
In central Maine and the midcoast area, the fishing has been very good, but the ice is another story.
“Ice conditions are getting treacherous and anglers should use common sense. Edges are bad, old holes are widening — people need to use caution,” said DIF&W biologist Jason Seiders, who added things could get better quickly with this weekend’s cold weather.
“As far as fishing, we are seeing a great number of salmon and brook trout on Lake St. George. There’s a good number of 17- to 18-inch fish,” Seiders said.
On Maranacook, anglers are hooking up with good numbers of salmon, with most averaging about 18 inches and a few more than 20. Smelt fishermen are even getting good catches of their favorite quarry.
Trout anglers are having excellent success in Arrowsic.
“On Sewall, we’ve seen good numbers of anglers and all kinds of trout. It’s been great fishing. Opening day, cars were lined up. Even this weekend, there were nine cars. We had four cars even on a Tuesday,” said Seiders.
He added that anglers also have had very good success on Dutton Pond in Knox, where the department stocked three different ages of brook trout, and also some trophy brook trout and browns.
“People were out fishing at midnight on opening day,” he said.
In Region D, anglers are out on Porter Lake in New Vineyard, Clearwater Lake in Industry and Wilson Lake.
“Anglers are catching a good number of brook trout and salmon in these lakes. Several have been good size,” said DIF&W fisheries biologist Dave Howatt.
On Webb Lake in Weld, anglers are out on the ice targeting brown trout and brook trout.
“Anglers are catching a lot of brook trout on Webb,” said Howatt. “They are not catching huge numbers of browns, but the ones they are getting are decent size.”
If anglers are looking for a new destination to ice fish, they ought to try Haley Pond in Rangeley.
“We haven’t seen a lot of use on Haley Pond, but anglers ought to check it out. We stocked 600 brook trout there this fall, and there’s still quite a few there,” said Howatt, who added not only are there a lot of brook trout in the 13- to 15-inch range, there is very good access as well.