September 6, 2013
IFW Freshwater Fishing Report – September 6, 2013
IFW Freshwater Fishing Report – September 6, 2013
Sebago Lakes Region
Even though cooler temperatures have arrived, IFW Fisheries Biologist Francis Brautigam says that lake temps are still a bit on the warm side.
“Many area lakes still have surface temperatures that are in the low 70s,” says Brautigam, who said that early bird anglers are still having a lot of success in the wee hours on Sebago.
“There’s some pretty good salmon fishing very early in the morning on Sebago,” says Brautigam who said the peak time for fishing is between 4:00 and 8:00 a.m. Those fishing the early hours have been rewarded with salmon in the 19-21” range that are feasting on juvenile smelt and alewives.
Regional Fisheries staff, along with volunteers and financial assistance from Trout Unlimited, are preparing to reclaim Abbott’s Pond in Sumner in order to eliminate several species of illegally introduced fish including smelt, bullhead and golden shiners. Trout fishing opportunities are at a premium in southern and central Maine, and competing species has severely impacted brook trout at Abbott’s.
Despite efforts to promote trout growth including lower stocking rates and more protective regulations, the trout population has not responded, and reclamation is the next step. The pond will be restocked with brook trout in the spring of 2014. Without completion from other species, this pond should provide southern Maine trout anglers with an excellent brook trout fishery.
Central Maine Region
IFW Fisheries Biologist Jason Seiders says that white perch fishing continues to be top notch at area ponds. If you are looking to catch some larger humpback perch, try Long Pond in Belgrade, North Pond in Smithfield and Biscay Pond in Bremen. If you are looking more for quantity instead of size quality, head to China Lake or Unity Pond.
Bass anglers know that early fall is an excellent time for bass fishing, and the Kennebec River has offered some fantastic bass fishing, particularly near the Shawmut Dam. Anglers are regularly catching bass in the 16-18” range.
Biologists will be busy this fall in the Shawmut portion of the Kennebec as they are getting ready to release a number of radio-tagged brown trout this October.
The brown trout radio telemetry study is part of a multiyear study to assess the brown trout fishery in the Kennebec. Along with the telemetry, there will be public informational meetings, creel surveys and volunteer efforts to help assess and improve the brown trout fishery.
Cooler temperatures mean the trout are starting to bite, and in the Downeast region, anglers ought to seek out some of the smaller ponds.
“This time of the year, trout will start to feed near the shore and on the surface,” says IFW Fisheries Biologist Greg Burr, “People start to think about hunting, but it is the perfect time to get out and fish on some of our smaller ponds.”
Burr suggests trying the Hidden Ponds area on Public Reserve Land just off of Route 182 (also known as Black Woods Road) between Franklin and Cherryfield. Anglers can park at the Hidden Ponds trail head and hike into Tilden, Little Long, Salmon and Anderson ponds. These ponds are crystal clear and boast healthy brook trout populations with trout in the 13-15” range, and on Little Long, sometimes fish that exceed 17”.
Pack your float tube for these ponds as fishing from shore is rather limited. The hikes to these ponds can take from 25 minutes up to an hour and a half, but Burr notes that they are well worth the effort.
“The good news in the Moosehead region is that flows are up,” says IFW Fisheries Biologist Tim Obrey, who said the gates on the Roach River are now open, and flows are in the 200 cfs range.
On the West Branch of the Penobscot River below Seboomook, flows also have been increased, with water at the 800 cfs level. Flows on the East Outlet and the Moose River have also increased.
“Usually within a week of the flows increasing, the fish start to move in,” says Obrey, who says that by the second week of September, the fishing is usually pretty good.
There also have been some good reports of fishing on Moosehead Lake, with decent catches of both salmon and trout. Anglers still need to fish deep on the big lake to land these fish.
“We’ve received a lot of rain lately,” says IFW Fisheries Biologist Nels Kramer, who noted that last week’s rainfall total exceeded three inches, and the flows were fairly high on the Penobscot.
Kramer said it has been an unusual year for fishing on the Penobscot due to the removal of the Veazie Dam and repairs on the Matasseunk Dam. Water levels have been lower than usual most of the time, but are high during rain events.
“The river has been fishing a little strange,” notes Kramer, who fished the Penobscot recently, “Bass were grouped up in different areas such as bridge abutments and some of the deeper runs. We’d get into an area and get a bunch of hits, then go through an area without a fish.”
White perch are still biting, as area ponds and lakes are still on the warm side. Once lake waters cool, biologists and fish culturists will be marking hatchery fish with a fin-clip as they prepare for the fall stocking season.
Up north, it’s more of the same.
“Three inches of rain over the past weekend,” notes IFW Fisheries Jeremiah Wood, “It doesn’t want to stop.”
Wood stated that fishing in the Aroostook River was fairly good before the recent rains, but water clarity is now an issue and it is tougher fishing now.
Wood suggests fishing some of the lakes in the Fish River chain such as Long Lake, Eagle Lake, and St. Froid Lake.
“A lot of successful fisherman are hooking live smelts and fishing them deep,” says Wood. Wood suggests trying near the mouths of inlets, small brooks and other tributaries. He says generally people are catching fish in spots where you saw clusters of ice shacks last winter.
With the cooler weather late this week, Wood says anglers may want to get ready to fish the thoroughfares between these lakes, as the cooler temperatures will have the fish moving in.