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:
Sebago Lakes region
It’s derby time in Region A, with the Sebago Lake Derby at the forefront. It was a wait-and-see approach with ice on the big bay in Sebago, but most of the lake had fairly good ice conditions for the derby, which was held Feb. 15-16. Of course, always check the ice before venturing out.
“The big bay is finally frozen, but the bad news is that the recent snow has kept it from getting thick enough. You go from six inches of ice to nearly nothing, so anglers need to be aware of that,” said DIF&W fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam.
“Most of the lake, including part of the big bay, has a band of ice that set up early and is providing some good areas to fish,” said Brautigam. “There is a perimeter of ice, and then not much in the middle.”
If you don’t feel like fishing Sebago, you may want to try the Ranges.
“That’s always a fun place to fish, as you can get brook trout, togue and rainbows. There’s also good bass and perch fishing, and access is good as well,” said Brautigam.
Thompson Lake has been fishing good for lake trout as well. Remember, there is a two trap limit on Thompson, so fishing pressure has been relatively light. Fish the deeper spots, from Megguier Island across, and the mouth of the Potash Cove area.
Central and midcoast
Maranacook Lake has been producing for both lake trout and white perch.
“They are catching lake trout on Maranacook that get up to eight pounds,” said DIF&W fisheries biologist Jason Seiders. “The smallest we’ve seen is about 3.5 pounds.”
While the smelt fishing may have slowed a bit on Maranacook, a lot of people are keying in on white perch instead. Seiders said that anglers will have the best luck early, but they have been catching them throughout the day.
“Most people are setting traps, but those who are having better luck are jigging,” said Seiders.
Out on Messalonskee, anglers are catching splake. “There aren’t a lot of big ones, but people are catching lots of them.”
DIF&W fisheries biologist Wes Ashe recommends targeting cusk, as cusk spawning season is approaching. There’s a short list of waters to try in Region B for cusk, including Sand Pond in Litchfield, Flying Pond in Vienna and Echo in Fayette.
In Region D, Porter Lake and Clearwater Lake are the places to be for ice fishing.
“There were a lot of folks out everywhere, I talked to 50 people on Porter and 70 on Clearwater. The cold wasn’t stopping people from fishing,” said fisheries biologist Bobby Van Riper.
On Porter Lake, anglers were catching mostly lake trout, and on Clearwater, anglers had mostly brook trout. Van Riper said it also got busier as the day got longer.
“When I first got there, there were only two trucks there. By the time I left, there were trucks everywhere,” said Van Riper.
Farther north, Van Riper said there has not been much activity on Sturtevant Pond, as it has been lightly used all winter. On Haley Pond, use has been light, but there are a lot of trout in that pond, and Van Riper expects to see use pick up as the temperature warms.
“Haley Pond will get better as it warms up. That’s a good place to go at the end of February into early March, even right after ice out,” said Van Riper.