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:
Even though fishing appeared to slow down a bit this month, last weekend’s weather enticed quite a few anglers.
“Ice fishermen were out in droves last weekend,” said DIF&W fisheries biologist Greg Burr. “Usually it slows down, but the weather was good and the travel conditions were excellent.”
According to Burr, anglers are still getting some salmon and togue on West Grand, but the fishing for bass and perch is really starting to come on.
“Big bass are starting to get active this time of year, and people are catching some really nice fish,” said Burr, who added that the recent storm may hamper travel conditions a bit, but there is still 22-28 inches of ice.
Many anglers who target salmon and trout early in the season focus on warmwater fish this time of year.
“It’s a great time to be out, it’s beautiful and warm. One group I know fishes hard for salmon and trout, but when March comes around, they shift to bass and are very successful,” said Burr.
While many anglers will drill holes and set up a number of traps, some anglers are more mobile, out with just a jig rod and searching for open holes. These anglers are having quite a bit of success.
“Bring you auger extension,” said DIF&W regional fisheries biologist Tim Obrey in the Moosehead Region.
The recent storm dumped more than 20 inches of snow in the region, and Obrey noted that the snow reaches the top of the windows in his office.
Anglers have been busy on Moosehead, and Obrey said it has been a fairly typical winter with good catches of togue, a few salmon and good catches of trout early on in the season.
Obrey has visited Sebec Lake the last two weekends, surveying anglers. The fishing was very good to start the season but has since slowed. He said he saw mostly lake trout and a few salmon. The largest lake trout was seven pounds, and there were a bunch in the four-pound range.
While Obrey hasn’t been on Chesuncook for two weeks, it still offers some good salmon fishing.
Obrey did mention that if anyone still had ice shacks on area lakes, it would be prudent to jack them up and put them on blocks, as the recent snow and likely slush might freeze them in deep if they don’t.
If you want to fish the Penobscot region, Schoodic Lake is the place to be.
“I talked with one angler yesterday. He and a friend were on Schoodic and caught 24 togue. Three of them went out the following day and caught 36 togue. Most were in that 18-24 inch range along with a few larger ones,” said DIF&W fisheries biologist Nels Kramer.
Kramer added that anglers also are having success handlining smelts on Schoodic as well.
“You can set a few traps and jig some smelts while you wait for flags,” suggested Kramer.
Access onto Schoodic is very good with ample parking at the DIF&W boat ramp in Lakeview, and another ramp in Brownville. Kramer believes travel on the lake will be good since the winds blew hard during the storm, and much of the snow that fell on the lake drifted into the woods.