August 1, 2014

IFW Fishing Report For August 1, 2014

For Immediate Release: August 1, 2014

Compiled By Mark Latti with IFW Fisheries Biologists

Region A – Sebago Lakes Region

Warmer temperatures can impact fish feeding activity. If you are not catching many during the day, change your tactics and go fishing at night.

“When it gets warm, night time is the only time when bass are feeding in shallow water,” says IFW fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam. “If there isn’t a lot of food such as smelts available in the deeper, colder water, fish will move inshore during the night and early morning to feed.”

Brautigam mentioned several examples, including a lake trout that was stuffed full of banded killifish and juvenile sunfish, two species known to stay close to shore.

“Normally largemouth bass will drop down to 10-15 foot depths during the day, and smallmouths are even deeper at 20-30 feet. However, once it gets dark, they will cruise the shallower depths looking for crayfish and smaller fish,” said Brautigam.

Anglers looking for trout and salmon will be happy to note that they are still catching salmon and lake trout on Sebago Lake.

One angler notified Brautigam that he caught nearly 30 landlocked salmon one morning at the north end of Sebago. Brautigam says that many anglers are catching six to 12 salmon in the early morning hours on Sebago.

“You need to get up very early. Typically the fishing slows after 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.,” said Brautigam, who added that with surface water temps in the low 70’s, anglers should play and release fish as quickly as possible as high water temperatures are stressful to these fish.

Also of note on Sebago was a 31-inch lake trout caught early this week that likely weighed in the vicinity of 12 pounds. The angler released the fish as it was in the 23-33 inch slot that must be released.

Region B – Central and Midcoast Area

If you are looking for brook trout, you may want to try a couple of ponds in central Maine.

“Anglers should try Gould Pond in Sidney or Egypt Pond in Chesterville,” said IFW fisheries biologist Jason Seiders, “The fish may be deep, but the catch rates are high.”

These ponds were stocked heavily in the spring with brook trout that averaged approximately 10” in length. The ponds are considered a “put and take” fishery, providing anglers with an opportunity to take home a couple of brook trout.

“Anglers should fish 15-20 feet deep. Small minnows or worms work best, but they are catching them trolling small lures deep as well,” said Seiders. Both ponds are relatively small with good roadside access, which makes them a good choice for fishing with a canoe.

Seiders has also been out on Maranacook Lake, monitoring the fishery. One note that may be of interest to anglers is that biologists confirmed that togue are reproducing naturally in Maranacook. The lake generally is stocked with lake trout, but with the confirmation of naturally reproducing togue, there won’t be a need to stock the pond with togue this year.

Region C -- Downeast

Downeast, now is a great time to fish for white perch.

“Right now the white perch are really schooling up and can be found in different pockets in your favorite lake. Try some live bait or jigs,” said IFW fisheries biologist Greg Burr.

Burr also noted that it is a good time of the year to target togue and salmon, as they are somewhat contained as well, right below the thermocline.

The barrier between cold water and warm water, known as the thermocline, can vary from lake to lake, but for the most part, it occurs somewhere between 25 and 30 feet in larger lakes, and sometimes it can be as deep as 35feet.

Trout anglers are having success in smaller ponds fishing the thermocline there. In small ponds, the thermocline can be a littler shallower, often between 10 and 17 feet.

“Fly casters are having success at Little Pond in Franklin, which is fly fishing only, and catch and release. It’s a neat little hike in. Anglers are letting their lines sink to below the thermocline and getting some nice trout,” said Burr.

Anglers are still catching bass, just a little deeper this time of year. Try near the edges of weedbeds where there are drop-offs, or wait until the evening and cast some surface lures into the same area.

Region D – Rangeley Lakes

“It’s been really quiet on the trout front up here in the Rangeley area,” said IFW fisheries biologist Bobby Van Riper. “Some anglers go after them with lead line and downriggers, but many anglers prefer to wait until the water cools instead of trolling.”

Where and how you fish can make a difference. Some of the more experienced anglers may take a run across a potential fishing area without even putting their lines in, scanning their sonar, marking the depth where they see fish. They then will take the same route back, with one line above the fish and the other below.

In some parts of the western mountains area, green drakes are still hatching, but that is solely in the northern part of the region. Some anglers are having luck on rivers fishing on the fringes of a deep pool with a big green drake fly.

This time of year, however, it can be challenging to catch trout.

“Summer has settled in, we are reaching our maximum temperatures for area lakes and ponds, which means that they have also reached their minimum for oxygen. Most fish are just trying to endure the summer heart and aren’t looking to feed this time of year,” said Van Riper.

Van Riper notes that it is a good time of year to fish for bass in the southern part of the region, and suggests trying Clearwater Lake, Hancock Pond, McGurdy Pond or Norcross Pond for bass.

Region E – Moosehead Region Report submitted by IFW Fisheries Biologist Tim Obrey

As July winds down the fishing gets a little tougher. Salmon and lake trout are heading to depths below the thermocline in our larger lakes. Brook trout will get picky as the water warms and the hatches taper off.

Trolling probably offers the best chance, especially in larger waters. We’ve had scattered reports from Moosehead Lake which indicate the fishing is hit or miss. Some anglers, particularly in the Rockwood area are still able to find some cooperative fish down deep.

While the fishing is slowing down, our work hasn’t. This time of year we are very busy evaluating our lake trout waters. We’ve handled a number of nice fish in the Moosehead Lake Region this summer.

We are also gearing up for the busy fall season and we plan to operate our fish weir on Wilson Stream, a tributary to Sebec Lake, this fall to evaluate the wild salmon population on one of Maine’s original salmon lakes. It will be a very interesting project as we hope to further evaluate the conditions which provide the best chance for these fish to pass over several falls on their way to reach their spawning grounds.

Region F – Penobscot Region

Looking to catch some trout? You ought to take a visit to Baxter State Park. This summer, Region F crews have been in the park doing surveys of several ponds.

“We went into Basin Pond, which we hadn’t surveyed in a while. It still has a thriving population of brook trout. It’s a couple of miles in, and it doesn’t get much fishing pressure. The water is gin clear and you can see bottom down to 30 feet,” said Nels Kramer, IFW fisheries biologist.

Over on Daicey, the surveys showed a healthy brook trout population, with nice fish over 16 inches.

Lost Pond revealed similar results, with very fat trout up to sixteen inches. Kramer noted that there still were some hex hatches occurring on Lost Pond, but felt they might be over by now.

One of the appeals to fishing in the park is that some of the ponds have canoes that you can rent for a dollar an hour. Some ponds, like Daicey, have canoes on the rack that you can use. More remote ponds have canoes that are locked. Check with the ranger station for availability at the pond you would like to fish.

“It’s a tremendous resource all throughout the park. You can’t beat a dollar an hour to rent a canoe, plus you get gorgeous scenery and some great fishing,” said Kramer.

Region G – Aroostook Region

Up north, the water has heated up, but there are still trout to be caught.

“Trout ponds are still offering hot fishing during the evening hatches, as long as anglers can find the right fly to match the hatch,” said Jeremiah Wood, IFW fisheries biologist. “Daytime fishing in these areas has been slow. In many of the ponds, trout are feeding on midge larvae and scuds near the bottom and they can be difficult to catch.”

If you are looking to fish the rivers and streams, look for places with cool tributaries or areas that are spring fed. Otherwise, the river fishing has slowed right down.

On the larger lakes and ponds in the Fish River chain of lakes, folks are having success trolling deep, but Wood says generally you need to be 30 to 50 feet down in the water column.

Of course, this time of year is prime time to fish smaller brooks and streams. “Anglers would be well served to bring a pocket thermometer on their fishing trips. Any stream in the area that is below 70 degrees should produce trout.”