August 14, 2015
MDIFW Fishing Report
Region A – Sebago Lakes Region
Anglers seeking brown trout are having success, you just need to fish a little deeper, somewhere between 20-30 feet seems to be ideal depth this time of year. Hancock Pond and Little Sebago are popular spots for brown trout, but don’t be afraid to try some other ponds.
Trolling live shiners is productive, but you need to troll very slow, less than a mile an hour. If you are using a DB smelt or Rapala, you can speed up a little, but keep your speed in the 2-3 mile per hour range.
Of course, if you are looking for some fast fishing action, now is one of the best times to be fishing for white perch. It’s also a great way to introduce someone to fishing, and can be fun for the whole family.
“There is some spectacular white perch fishing in area lakes such as Long Lake in Naples, Highland Lake in Bridgton, and Keoka Lake in Wateford,” says IFW fisheries biologist Frances Brautigam. “What’s fun about white perch fishing is that they move to the surface in the evening, they fight hard and they are not that finicky.”
Look for dimples or fins on the surface of the water just before and after sunset. Cast out a spinner, a Swedish pimple or even a bit of worm and your likely to have good luck.
Out on Sebago, anglers that are out there fishing early and late are doing fairly well for salmon. Anglers are catching quite a few wild 11-15 inch salmon, a result of good salmon spawning production in the Crooked River. Anglers fishing close to the surface are likely to catch the smaller ones, and those trolling deeper in the 20-35 foot range are being rewarded with some three to four pound salmon.
Region B – Central and Midcoast Area
Bass fishing in local rivers is always productive this time of year, and the Sebasticook has been producing for area anglers. Anglers should try sections of the river in the Burnham area, with a chance at some decent size bass.
“On the upper Kennebec in the Solon area, there are plenty of salmon and few larger brown trout,” says IFW fisheries biologist Wes Ashe. “Anglers are catching a mix of small and larger salmon, but some of the brown trout landed are upwards of 20 inches.”
With the shorter days and cooler night time temperatures, Ashe said that water temperatures are dropping and fish are feeding more actively. Try some of the deep runs off some of the gravel bars for your best chance at a trout or salmon.
Brown trout lovers might want to know that there are some large browns being caught in Long Pond in Belgrade according to Ashe. While browns aren’t stocked in Long, they are dropping down from Great Pond.
While a number of 3-6 pounders have been landed, even more impressive are the 8-10 pound brown trout that have been caught this summer. Succesful anglers head out early in the morning, and have been trolling leadcore line with some sort of live bait or a Mooselook wobbler.
Region C -- Downeast
Downeast, it’s a great time for bass and white perch fishing.
“Perch fishing has been really good. There’s been a lot of people out perch fishing, finding the deeper holes and getting some nice fish,” said IFW fisheries biologist Greg Burr.
Bass anglers are also having quite a bit of success, particularly in the early and later parts of the day.
“Bass fishing has been pretty good, particularly for those who love to fly fish for bass this time of year,” said Burr. “Anglers who like to fish with live bait are also finding success in the drop -off areas.”
Togue and salmon anglers are still getting some fish, but you have to go deep, with the most success found in the 35-50 foot range. Anglers are getting fish with live bait trolled really slow (less than a mile an hour) and others are having success with copper mooselooks, or flies attached to dodger.
Region D – Rangeley Lakes
“It’s typical summertime fishing up here in the Rangeley region,” says IFW fisheries biologist Dave Howatt. “You need to fish either early or late in the day.”
Howatt had spent the earlier part of the day up at Saddleback Pond, getting a sample of brook trout.
“We went up there to survey the trout population, and we found a good variation in age classes,” said Howatt, noting that they got trout anywhere from one to four years of age.
With river temps still in the summer range, river and stream fishing has slowed, but it won’t be long till it picks up.
“One big rain will trigger the spawning urge, and the fishing will pick up,” said Howatt, who said with the rain earlier this week, “rivers went from extremely low to just normal August lows.”
Howatt did add that there is some really good white perch fishing in Chesterville on Norcross and Sand Pond. If you are looking to have a white perch fry, you may want to try one of these ponds.
Region E – Moosehead Region
Moosehead Lake is still producing some big brookies, even in the summer heat, with some large trout including one that topped the scales at 6.6 pounds.
“Right now, for brook trout, landlocked salmon and togue, you want to fish in the 45-65 foot range,” said IFW fisheries biologist Tim Obrey
Those depths are based on summer netting that is done to monitor togue growth and condition.
“We are very pleased with the results we got. Last fall and winter we saw a slight decline in salmon and togue weights, but the fish are looking better this summer,” said Obrey.
This fall, Moosehead area fish biologists will be operating two fish weirs on tributaries to Moosehead to gather baseline data on wild brook trout spawning. The weirs will be set in late August and will be checked during September and early October.
Using radio tags implanted in the fish, biologists will monitor movements throughout the drainage giving biologists a better idea on how many fish and how much of these drainages trout use during their spawning season.
Money for the weirs comes in part from the Natural Resource Education Center at Moosehead who purchased additional weir parts this summer. The money from their fisheries enhancement/internship fund originates from the Moosehead Lake Togue Derby and other donations.
Region F – Penobscot Region
“Most people you are seeing out this time of year are white perch fishing,” said IFW fisheries biologist Nels Kramer.
“Some anglers are still fishing the salmon lakes, but you have to be more patient this time of year,” said Kramer. Looking for a good salmon lake for this time of year? Try East Grand, Matagammon, West Lake, or Pleasant Lake in Island Falls.
If you’re looking for a pond to trout fish, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than some of the walk-in ponds in Baxter State Park, which don’t receive a lot of fishing pressure, but hold some fantastic populations of wild brook trout.
“Anglers may want to try either the upper or lower South Branch Ponds in the northern part of the park. These are fairly large, crystal clear and cold ponds with a campground on the north end,” said Kramer. “We were in there surveying the trout and we got good numbers of trout in the 5-17” range.”
If you want to do some bass fishing, fishing on the Penobscot is still quite good, with flow levels excellent for fishing.
Region G – Aroostook Region
In the Aroostook region, IFW fisheries biologist Derrick Cote says they have been getting questions about black spots on some trout
“We have received numerous inquiries in recent weeks about "blackspots" present on the skin of brook trout. These blackspots are the intermediate stage of a parasitic worm known as a trematode. The adult form of the worms are found in the intestine of fish-eating birds such as the loon, kingfisher, duck, gull, cormorant, with the heron being the most common.”
“After reproduction, eggs are subsequently released into the water with the droppings of the host bird. The eggs soon hatch into a larval form and seek out an intermediate host snail. Further development requires the larvae to burrow into the internal tissues of a specific species of snail within a short period of time or else the larvae soon perish.”
“Within the snail, the larvae undergo two more stages of development within a month or two. Under the influence of warming water and light, the cercariae, as they are now called, break out of the snail and begin to seek a suitable fish, the second intermediate host. “
“As with the snail, if contact with an appropriate fish is not soon made, the cercariae will die. Upon contact with a fish, the parasite bores through the scales and skin and occasionally the muscle whereupon it is surrounded with a thin wall. The fish in turn lays down a black pigment around the encysted parasite thereby producing the "blackspot" visible to the angler.”
“The final stage of the life cycle occurs when a bird, the final host, eats a fish infested with blackspot. Digestive juices within the bird's stomach frees the encysted parasite from the fish's skin whereupon it migrates to the bird's intestine and develops into a sexually mature worm, completing the life cycle. “
“We are not aware of a situation in the wild where blackspot has been lethal or harmful to adult fish. Nor is it necessary to refrain from eating a fish infested with blackspot. Cooking the fish will destroy the parasite and the parasite is not known to survive in humans. So, although the presence of blackspot may detract from a trout's appearance, it is of no consequence to its edibility.