How to Catch a Specific Fish
So, you know what you want to fish for, and you've found a water body where they live...here's a little extra information to help you reel one in:
A coldwater fish, salmon prefer water temperatures below 65 degrees and rely on smelt to thrive.
During the spring and fall, you might find them feeding near the surface and close to shore, and can catch them by flyfishing, casting, or trolling with lures or bait. Streamer flies and lures resembling smelt are very effective.
In the warmer summer months of June, July, and August, they generally descend to depths of 30 to 60 feet. When salmon are deep, the best method to catch them is trolling with lead core line or with a downrigger, using copper, gold, or silver lures.
Ice fishing for salmon in the winter can also be quite productive using smelts and other live minnows for bait.
Ice anglers also have luck utilizing jigs. Salmon should be fished within 15 feet below the ice.
Brook trout (also known as squaretails) prefer cold water between 50 and 65 degrees. They're opportunistic feeders, happy to eat aquatic insects or smaller fish. They thrive in clear, clean, well-oxygenated waters, and their populations are heavily influenced by their environment.
In the spring and fall, brook trout can be caught near shore or on the surface using small dry flies, streamers, copper lures, and worms.
During the summer months, you're more likely to find them in depths of 10 to 35 feet. You can catch them using a variety of methods including spin casting, fly fishing, trolling, or casting using small streamer flies, nymphs, copper lures, or worms.
Brook trout are fun to catch ice fishing as well. During winter months, you'll generally find them close to shore in water depths of 4 to 12 feet. Try using minnows, worms, or copper jigs.
Togue (Lake Trout)
Lake trout (also known throughout Maine as togue) are deep dwellers that prefer very cold water year-round.
Like salmon, they prey upon smelts, but they can also adapt to eat other available forage including aquatic insects and smaller fish. Consequently, these prolific eaters can grow quite large. In the spring and fall, lake trout can be caught closer to shore by casting or trolling using streamer flies, minnows, or lures.
In the summer, the best method of fishing for them is trolling with lead core line or downriggers using minnows or a copper, white, or silver lure. In June, July, and August you'll typically catch lake trout at depths below 45 feet.
Ice fishing for lake trout can be quite productive in water depths between 10 and 100 feet. In this case, you'll want to use minnows, or silver, white, or copper jigs.
Brown Trout & Rainbow Trout
Brown and rainbow trout prefer cool water and are found in water tempera- tures between 55 and 68 degrees — a wider range than most other coldwater fish can handle.
Opportunistic and aggressive feeders, they may be found close to bottom or suspended off the bottom depending on where food is located, and are likely to attack a flashy lure, minnows, or worms.
In the spring and fall, brown and rainbow trout can be caught close to shore casting with dry flies, streamers, and bright spinners and spoons. Another successful method in spring time is still fishing with worms or minnows.
In the summer, trolling, casting, and still fishing are all popular and effective ways to catch these species.
Successful methods used while ice fishing include using worms or minnows and jigging copper lures.
This hatchery-reared hybrid trout is a cross between a brook trout and a lake trout and can have traits of both species. Splake are easy to catch, particularly in the colder months. Because they prefer water less than 60 degrees, they tend to go deep in the summer.
Splake feed primarily on smelts, white perch, yellow perch, and minnows, rarely feeding on other coldwater gamefish.
During the spring and fall, they can be caught with light tackle near the surface, even on flies.
In the winter, splake provide an excellent fishing opportunity and can be found throughout the water column. In fact, over 90% of the total acreage of waters managed for splake is open to ice fishing.
Warmwater fish such as bass, perch, chain pickerel, and sunfish prefer warmer water and can be found throughout the water column. These fish favor areas with lots of cover such as woody debris, weed beds, and rocks.
In the spring and summer months, smallmouth bass are found in shallow rocky areas or off rocky drop offs in 5 to 15 feet of water, while their largemouth cousins prefer more vegetative shallow areas or weedy drop offs. Chain pickerel generally reside in shallow, vegetated areas close to shore.
When fishing for bass, you can use spinners, crankbaits, stickbaits, jigs, minnows, and worms. Chain pickerel are best caught using flashy lures and floating stickbaits such as torpedoes, frogs, and mouse imitations. They also can be caught readily using live minnows.
When ice fishing for these warmwater fish, use live bait such as minnows in shallow water of 5 to 20 feet.