September 12, 2014

IFW Fishing Report For September 12, 2014

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2014

Region A – Sebago Lakes Region In southern Maine, there is no shortage of late season fishing opportunities. It used to be if you wanted to fish late in the season, you would fish the tidewater areas of the Mousam and the Ogunquit, but now anglers have a variety of choices.

“We have made a concerted effort to identify and target fall fishing waters,” said IFW Fisheries Biologist Francis Brautigam, “for over three years, we have been stocking the Upper Mousam below the outlet of Mousam Lake, the Lower Royal below the dams in Yarmouth, and expanded opportunities on the Presumpscot for the entire year, not just the upper area. And all these rivers have very good access.”

Many of these waters receive stocked trout not in only in the spring, but a fall stocking as well. Waters that see a higher number of anglers are stocked periodically through the fall right into December.

“With the Mousam, Royal, and Presumpscot, we pretty much have covered the region,” said Brautigam.

Biologists have been busy working with dam owners on the Presumpscot to improve access and fishing. Through the dam relicensing procedure, there are now minimum river flows and improved parking and access.

“At Mallison and Dundee, there are now footbridges that get you to the bypass channel which you couldn’t get to before,” said Brautigam.

If you want to fish area lakes and ponds, you may want to wait until early October. The department is now stocking larger fish in the fall, which seem to survive better in lakes with bass and pickerel.

Anglers who like to fish for landlocked salmon ought to look for areas with current. On Thompson Lake, the set of culverts near the heath is always a popular option. Shore angles may want to try Crystal Lake for rainbows off the town beach.

Whenever fishing, anglers are reminded to check their law book for regulations. Come October 1, many of these stocked waters are restricted to artificial lures only, and all trout and salmon must be released at once.

Region B – Central and Midcoast Area

Anglers who want to spend a productive day fishing ought to try a canoe trip down the Sebasticook River.

“The Sebasticook has been superb. Anglers are catching multiple bass in excess of 20 inches,” said IFW fisheries biologist Jason Seiders, who added the Burnham section has been excellent. “Surface lures work well, as well as anything that imitates a juvenile alewife.”

Further north on the Kennebec River, catches continue to be outstanding. Anglers are having a lot of success in the Bingham section, particularly bouncing nymphs off the bottom throughout the day.

A little lower on the Kennebec, there’s still browns to be caught in the Shawmut area, and the stocking truck will be delivering more brown trout to the Shawmut reach soon, once water temps cool.

Region C -- Downeast

Anglers are still boating a good number of togue and salmon in the region, as the water is still stratified with a defined thermocline in many of the region’s lakes.

“There’s still some very good fishing to be had,” says IFW fisheries biologist Greg Burr. “It’s a beautiful time of year to be out on the water. Temperatures are getting cooler and there’s not as much boating activity.”

Along with salmon and togue, some anglers are still catching a good number of white perch. Anglers can find them in deeper water, schooled up. With surface water temps still in the low 70s, bass anglers are still recording good numbers of catches.

Of course if it’s fall salmon fishing you are thinking, most anglers think of Grand Lake Stream. As the water temps begin to cool down, salmon start moving into the river, setting the stage for some fantastic fly fishing.

“October can be fantastic in this region, I highly recommend getting out and fishing this time of year,” said Burr.

Region D – Rangeley Lakes

There is a myriad of fall fishing opportunities in the Rangeley region, particularly if you enjoy fishing in rivers. The Kennebago, Magalloway, and the Rapid are all very well known for their fall trout and salmon fishing.

“The cold mornings are cooling down the rivers, and fish are starting to move around, thinking about spawning,” said IFW Fisheries Biologist Dave Howatt. “It’s a great time to be on these rivers.”

And if you don’t feel like wading, don’t forget about the lakes and ponds.

“Lake fishing often gets overlooked this time of year, but lakes and ponds can be very good. Fish are starting to stage in front of the rivers, and you can find quite a few in the deeper pockets close to the rivers,” said Howatt, who added this time of year, you are likely to only see a few boats instead of the dozens you might encounter early in the year.

While many waters will shut down on October 1, there still are waters open to fishing such as Beal, Little Jim and Quimby Ponds, all which have good access. Remember to check your law book before venturing out, as many regulations change after October 1.

Region E – Moosehead Region

In the Moosehead Lake Region, it’s prime time for fishing.

“They just dropped the flow at the East Outlet this week after a week of high flows, so that should draw plenty of salmon into the river,” said IFW fisheries biologist Tim Obrey. “This is one of our best river fisheries in the spring and fall, and now is a good time to try it.”

On the other side of the lake, the gates on the Roach River are open and it is flowing at 200 cfs, which is normal for this time of year, with another bump in flows expected September 15. How big a bump depends on how much water is in First Roach. Look for brook trout to head into the river first, followed by a charge of salmon. Next week should be fantastic.

If you are looking for a bit of an adventure, head out to the West Branch of the Penobscot below Seboomook. Currently, flows are running around 750 cfs which is a good flow to fish the area know as the “Foxhole.” Chesuncook salmon travel to this section of the river in September.

“It is a unique fishing experience. Many anglers will canoe down the river several miles and stay in the maintained campsites,” said Obrey. “There’s nothing like waking up on the fog covered Penobscot River and slipping your canoe out into a salmon pool before breakfast. If you enjoy fly-fishing for salmon, you need to make this trip.”

Region F – Penobscot Region

If you are looking for a place to go brook trout fishing, now is a great time to be in the Penobscot/Katahdin region.

“Most of our better brook trout waters are in Baxter Park. A lot of those are wild populations like Sourdnahunk, Katahdin, Daicy and Lower Fowler,” said IFW fisheries biologist Nels Kramer. “Most of the ponds are fly fishing only, no live fish as bait, and the season ends on September 30. There are some significant large fish in these ponds.”

If you are looking for some late season fishing, try Abol, Billfish, Celia, Draper or Rocky Pond (T2R9). Outside the park, you should try Island Pond, Wapiti, Davis and Lunksoos which have an extended fall season.

If you’d rather fish the rivers, the East Branch of the Penobscot offers some great opportunities in the fall. There are wild brook trout and landlocks. The Mattawamkeag also offers some excellent fishing this time of year.

Of course, there really is no bad time for fish for smallmouth bass in the Penobscot, and late season, Lower Togue Pond in T2R9 offers excellent opportunities for splake. As always, check your lawbook before heading out on the water.

Region G – Aroostook Region

Cold weather has already hit much of the Aroostook region, with frost covering some fields earlier this week.

“Right now, the rivers and streams are at pretty low flows,” said IFW fisheries biologist Frank Frost. “As the fall rains start, fishing should pick up.”

This time of year, the uppper and lower sections of the Aroostook are productive, and the Fish River downstream of Eagle Lake is a popular spot for salmon. The rehabilitated portion of the Meduxnekeag River, where river habitat was improved, should also provide anglers with some great opportunities.

There are also several areas where the department stocks trout, check the law book for waters with extended fall fishing seasons into October and November, and those areas are likely stocked with trout in the fall. Waters to try should include Arnold Brook Lake in Presque Isle, Drews Lake in New Limerick, and Nickerson Lake outside of Houlton.

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