Fishing Report

Click the links below for the most up-to-date fishing news and suggestions from Maine’s fisheries biologists.

Before you head for a day of ice fishing, ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Please enjoy the Maine outdoors safely and responsibly!

Maine's fishing regions

Maine Region ASebago Lake Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Jim Pellerin

Where to fish: Hard to believe its September and another fall fishing season is about to begin. It’s my personal favorite time of year to fish in Maine! While anglers can and do target a variety of cold and warmwater species at this time of year, for many it’s all about brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon. Brook trout develop their spectacular, almost regal, fall colors and salmon are known for their acrobatic displays. 

For southern Maine, the bypass reach of the Presumpscot River in Windham is always a good bet for stocked brookies and even a few salmon. Lake and pond fishing can also be great for brookies in the fall, most southern Maine lakes and ponds are open to year-round angling and many of our smaller, quality trout ponds have extended seasons. Check the lawbook for more details. While river fishing for salmon in the fall is limited in southern Maine, many of our lakes have areas that attract spawning salmon and can provide some fall fishing opportunities. Good luck and enjoy the cooler, less humid weather.

Fishing tip: Try something new whether it’s a new species, water, technique, or bait/lure/fly it doesn’t really matter.  Your collective experiences are sure to make you a better angler.

Reminder: Check your lawbook and be safe on the water. FLOAT, the map-based display of special fishing laws, is a great tool to see which waters have special fishing regulations: mefishwildlife.com/float

Maine Region BBelgrade Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Jason Seiders

Where to fish: Warm summer temperatures have made the trout tight-lipped throughout the region. This is a great time of year to fish for smallmouth bass, especially when doing a float trip.

I highly recommend kayak and canoe fishing on the Kennebec River. The access points are well-maintained and provide plenty of parking. Additionally, they’re usually not too busy this time of year. Here are two sections of the Kennebec that work well for a few hours of floating and bass fishing.

Shawmut (Fairfield) – Put in just below the Shawmut Dam and take out at the Fairfield Boat Launch, just a few miles downstream. This section is loaded with smallmouth, with the occasional 18-inch fish possible. This section has a long trail along the riverbank, starting at the Shawmut Dam access area. This is great for those that might want to fish from the bank or do a little wading instead of a float trip.

Waterville to Sidney – This section of the Kennebec has tons of smallmouth and will give you a great opportunity to view wildlife and other cool critters. Chances are you’ll get to see some huge sturgeon leaping out of the water which makes for a memorable fishing experience. The fishing can be really good in terms of overall numbers, and the occasional trophy is lurking. In 2021 we collected one smallmouth bass that tipped the scales at over 5-pounds!

Fishing tip: If you’re looking for bass, especially bigger fish, this is a great time of year to fish at night. Larger fish that lurk in the deeper water during the day will often move to shallow water at night. This is a great time to fish surface plugs that make some splash. Both largemouth and smallmouth can be caught this way, and it’s a lot of fun. Half the fun is just having them bust the surface!

Reminder: Please remember to clean up after yourself at both public and private access areas. Keep our access areas clean and keep our generous landowners happy. We’re fortunate to have access to so many great fishing spots and it’s a shame to lose it because someone left trash behind.

Maine Region CGrand Lake Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Greg Burr

Where to fish: September is the month when surface waters start to cool down to the point where trout and salmon return to the shallows. Because of this I recommend fishing the many small trout ponds Downeast. Here are some ponds I recommend: 

West Pike Brook Pond in Deblois, Pineo Pond in Deblois, Upper Hadlock Pond in Northeast Harbor, Halfmile Pond in Aurora, Little Pond in Franklin, Simmons Pond in Hancock and Jellison Hill Pond in Amherst.

As for landlocked salmon lakes in September here are ones that I would target:  West Grand Lake in Grand Lake Stream, Beech Hill Pond in Otis, Green Lake in Ellsworth, Cathance Lake in Cooper and Long Pond in Mount Desert.

Also, don’t forget to fish for white perch in September. These delicious panfish are still schooled up this month.  Here are some lakes to try:  Big Lake in Princeton, Grand Falls Flowage in Princeton, Second Gardner’s Lake in Marion, Abrams Pond in Eastbrook (check with your local biologists on how to get on this pond), and Third Toddy Pond in Surry.

Fishing tip: My fishing tip this month is that brook trout are attracted to bright colored lures in the fall such as fluorescent orange and chartreuse Rapalas (size number five). 

Reminder: Remember that the trout and salmon fishing will get better and better as it gets later in the month.

Maine Region DRangeley Lakes Region

From Fisheries Seasonal Technician Ashley Houle

Where to fish: Crosby Pond in the northern region of Coburn Gore is a 150-acre pond and a great spot for anglers looking to catch quality native brook trout. September is the last month to fish this pond until spring of 2023. Brook trout begin to color up in early fall before spawning season and anglers will have the opportunity to catch some of these beautiful wild trout. Access to Crosby is through a hand carry launch off Route 27. A great lure to throw in your tackle box for this pond is a brightly colored Little Cleo.

For fly anglers the Rangeley River in Rangeley is a great spot for a chance at catching a brook trout or landlocked salmon. This stretch of river is a little over a mile long connecting the outlet of Rangeley Lake with Mooselookmeguntic Lake. The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust has a system of trails that stretch along the banks of the river and provide easy access. Consider tying on a streamer. The quick movement of a streamer is likely to elicit a strike from brook trout as they become more agitated as spawning season approaches. A good streamer to consider trying is the Golden Retriever. 

Umbagaog Lake is a good option for anglers still wanting to target warm water species before fall is in full swing. Umbagog Lake is a 7,850-acre boundary water located in Magalloway Maine and New Hampshire which is surrounded by Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. This destination would make a great family trip to fish and see diverse wildlife species. This lake is shallow and rocky which provides excellent habitat for smallmouth bass. There is plenty of water to cover on this lake, if you aren’t hooking up on any bass keep on moving!

Fishing tip for river anglers: As water temperatures are starting to cool off fish are more apt to be spread out throughout the river. Maintaining a “fish before you wade” mentality might work in your favor to avoid spooking fish. Hugging the bank and spending some time on those shallow runs before pursuing deeper water might produce a few more fish than expected.

Get the most out of your fishing waders by avoiding wearing pants with metal fasteners, exposed zippers, or rough fabric under your waders. Metal and zippers can create pin hole leaks or micro tears in your waders from the friction.

Reminders: While you are out fishing it is important to leave no trace and keep our waterways clean and natural. This includes leaving rocks, flowers, plants, and trees where they are.

If you are bass fishing and using soft plastics check your bait every couple of casts to ensure it is secured on your hook. Wacky rings or bait savers are a great item to throw in your bass tackle to keep your soft plastics intact. Learn more about fishing responsibly with soft plastic lures.

Maine Region EMoosehead Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Tim Obrey

Fall Fishing Flows  - 8/24/22
The drought conditions were washed away this month in the Moosehead Lake area. We received a cool 4 inches of rain during the second week of August. That really bumped up lake elevations and produced some high flows in our streams and rivers. It’s welcome news for our trout ponds and streams. It should also help with the September flows for our river fisheries for salmon and brook trout.

We typically see the fall drawdowns on our impoundments begin after Labor Day, which is the traditional end of the summer recreational season.  We will begin our fall drawdown at Lower Wilson Pond starting on Sept 6th.  The speed at which the lake drops will depend on rainfall during the drawdown. Camp owners take note if you have boats in the water.

First Roach Pond is full, so this year we will crack a gate on September 1st to give the river anglers an extra weekend of fishing and it shouldn’t impact lake elevations too much. Anglers can expect a flow in the 200 – 250 cfs range on the Roach River in September.

Brookfield has earthwork scheduled at the Brassua Dam which will require an early drawdown at Brassua Lake. They hope to have the lake down several feet by mid-September.  That’s good news for anglers in the Moose River.  We are seeing higher flows right now and that will continue through September. This will attract brookies and salmon into the river.

At the same time, Brookfield will also have to begin the fall drawdown on Moosehead Lake.  What comes in, must go out.  The higher flows coming from the Moose River will be passed downstream via the East Outlet dam, so look for higher flows there a well.

Moose standing in my salmon pool on the West Branch!

The recent rain has given us a little more water than in past years at Seboomook Lake.  It looks like we will have a discharge of 850 cfs to start September in the West Branch below Seboomook Lake.  We typically like a flow of 750 cfs or more.  It gets tough to travel around Big Island or upstream through some of the gravel bars when the flow is lower. There were some nice fish in Chesuncook Lake this spring, so hopefully that will translate into some good Fox Hole fishing this September.

We should have a little more water in Dole Pond this fall compared to past years.  We typically take stock of the available water storage at the beginning of September and calculate how many days we can sustain a higher flow.  We adjust the start date to make sure there is ample water to provide flow in the North Branch to the end of September.

You can always check the flow page maintained by Brookfield for specific day to day flow information: https://safewaters.com/

You can get the current flow on the Roach River by calling our flow line at 207-695-4143.

Maine Region FPenobscot Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Kevin Dunham

Where to fish: The cooler night temperatures of September should bring water temperatures down considerably which bodes well for late season fishing. If it’s late season landlocked salmon you’re after, a good water to try is Duck Lake in T4 ND. This is a water we stocked annually with fall-fingerling brook trout and spring yearling salmon. During a recent sampling at Duck Lake we handled several salmon in the 14”-16” range, with a few others approaching 20”. Nicatous Lake in T40 MD is stocked with splake each spring and fall, thus making it a popular destination for those seeking to catch one of these unique coldwater game fish. If brook trout is more your liking, Upper Cold Stream Pond in Lincoln should be considered later in the month as water temperatures cool and fish become more active closer to shore. 

Fishing tip: Cooler water temperatures of September trigger many fish, especially salmonids such as trout and salmon, to increase activity and expand their range in preparation for spawning.  Not only are the decreasing water temperatures bringing fish closer to the surface, but fish readying for spawning will begin moving into shallower water as well.  For salmonids try fishing in shallower than normal water as well as closer to shore than usual during sunrise and sunset and you may just catch more fish.

Reminder: Part of your fall fishing planning should include becoming familiar with MDIFW Fishing Laws, available online at mefishwildlife.com/fishinglaws. Many waters have special regulations in the fall for extended season action; though most are catch and release only beginning in October, some do allow for late season harvest. Rivers, streams, and brooks also have special regulations beginning mid-August. It’s best to know before you go. The map-based display of special fishing laws, FLOAT, is a great tool to see which waters have special fishing laws: mefishwildlife.com/float

Maine Region GFish River Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Frank Frost

Northern Maine is experiencing a wet summer in stark contrast to the past two years of drought and oftentimes severe drought as was the case in 2020. Since snowmelt in May we have experienced periodic rainfall that has kept lakes, ponds, and rivers higher than normal.  The flowing waters of the region will benefit greatly from the increased flows this summer and should result in the rebound of brook trout populations across northern Maine. This month would be a great time to focus on your favorite brook, river, or stream or venture out to a new water.  We have 7,000 miles of flowing water in the administrative region centered around Ashland so opportunity abounds.

Here is a list and description of flowing waters you may try:

  1. Aroostook River, Caribou and Fort Fairfield:  brook trout and landlocked salmon; there are numerous access points in both towns
  2. Fish River, Eagle Lake, Wallagrass and Fort Kent:  brook trout and landlocked salmon; walk-in access to Fish River Falls off Airport Road; public boat launch at Soldier Pond, Wallagrass; numerous private access points (make sure to receive permission prior to fishing)
  3. Meduxnekeag River, Houlton and Littleton:  brook trout and brown trout; public access can be found at road crossings near bridges

Fishing tip: Begin your trip by focusing effort on confluences with tributaries then work up and downstream in search of holding pools.  Depending on weather and flow conditions, trout and salmon will either be close to the cooler inlets or more spread out when conditions are favorable.  Large, brightly colored fly patterns and lure choices oftentimes work best in September. 

Reminder: Fishing rules change on flowing waters in northern Maine on August 16; terminal gear is restricted to artificial lures only (ALO) with a daily bag limit of 1 fish on salmon and 1 fish on brook trout (check the rulebook for the specific water you want to fish).