AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are preparing reports that may help anglers in the weeks ahead. Here’s the most recent report:
Down East, the big news was the West Grand Lake opening on Feb. 1.
“West Grand opened over a week ago, and there is some fantastic fishing there. There are lots of really nice, healthy salmon in the 18- to 20-inch range, togue mainly in the 18- to 22-inch range and some beautiful whitefish up to 18 inches,” said fisheries biologist Greg Burr.
Anglers are catching togue throughout the lake, even close to shore. Burr noted that both the salmon and the togue are pushing smelt to the shore, giving anglers some great opportunities in shallow water.
Ice conditions are very good throughout the region, with 18-20 inches of ice in most places on West Grand and 16-20 inches on other lakes. Travel is fine, with about five inches to a foot of snow.
Fishing has been good, not great, up in the Moosehead Lake region, according to fisheries biologist Tim Obrey.
“The week after the Moosehead Derby, one angler caught a 15-pound togue out of Moosehead, and there have been a number of big trout caught in Moosehead that are four pounds,” said Obrey.
If you are looking for some faster action, Obrey suggests traveling to Chesuncook Lake.
“Chesuncook has been very good for catch rates, there are plenty of salmon there and not much fishing pressure,” said Obrey.
“You can cut a hole and the salmon start jumping out,” Obrey said. “You just need to be sure you put your pack basket next to the hole so you don’t have to pick them up.”
DIF&W crews have been surveying anglers on Chesuncook and there are a lot of salmon caught in the 14- to 15-inch range, with a few in the 18-20 range. Obrey said where you fished was not vitally important, as anglers are catching salmon all over the lake.
“I talked to a group of four or five guys at noontime and they already had caught a dozen fish,” said Obrey. “Traveling is fine getting there, and the lake has good travel conditions too.”
Obrey says to head up the lake about a half a mile from the forestry building to get away a bit and you should have plenty of luck.
Submitted by Nels Kramer, DIF&W fisheries biologist
It has been very quiet in the eastern part of the region, but we are finally getting some good reports from East Grand and Deering, in particular that togue fishing is picking up at Grand, with a number of togue in the 5- to 10-pound category. Also, there are some handsome salmon being reported at Grand as well as numerous brook trout at both East Grand and Deering.
While in the course of our travels checking ice anglers this winter, most of those that we contact have a good understanding of the fishing regulations for the body of water that they’re fishing. However, we do encounter some anglers that never look at the fishing law book before venturing out on the ice, and that could be too late. Please, if you don’t have a 2014 law book, stop by your local town office, regional fisheries office, department store or hardware store and get one to keep in your pack basket. Every time you plan to go fishing somewhere new, take the time to look in the book, and if questions arise, please call one of the numbers on page 2 for more information.
If you are looking to ice fish for brook trout, DIF&W fisheries biologist Frank Frost suggests Umcolcus Lake in T7R5, just north of Knowles Corner.
“It has been fast fishing for brook trout there in the 8- to 12-inch range,” says Frost. “The lake is right off Route 11 and it is an easy sled ride.”
Another popular spot in Region G, Madawaska Lake, opened Feb. 15.
“That pond has taken off, it is our second-most heavily fished water, Frost said.
Frost says the reason it is so popular is that it is very accessible and the fishing has been very good. The department has been stocking the pond with fish later in the fall, and the ice fishing has been very good.