July 10, 2015

IFW Fishing Report For July 10, 2015

For current stocking information that is updated daily, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/reports/stocking/currentseason/currentstockingreport.pdf .

Region A – Sebago Lakes Region

Where to fish? That’s always a good question.

“With the start to the summer fishing season and interest in family fishing, we receive a growing number of inquiries on where to fish,” says IFW fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam who noted that many anglers like to fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass this time of year.

“Some of the best bass waters we have in the region are fortunate to have state boat launches to support a fun day fishing from a boat,” says Brautigam. If you are looking for a new place to try, take a look at these waters:

• Square Pond in Shapleigh and Acton offers the chance to catch some large bass. The boat launch is located of the West Shore Road.

• Mousam Lake in Shapleigh and Acton has both smallmouth and largemouth bass, but it is noted for its quality smallmouth fishery. Access is off Route 11/109.

• Sokokis Lake in Limerick is predominantly a largemouth bass fishery with some smallmouths. If you want to catch a lot of bass, this is a good choice. Access is located off Route 11.

• Little Sebago Lake in Windham has a good mix of sizes for both smallmouth and largemouth. Anglers may be surprised to catch the occasional rainbow trout as well. Access is off of roads connected to Route 302.

• Pennesseewassee Lake in Norway has good populations of largemouth and smallmouth, with smallmouth being more common. Anglers may also catch rainbow trout here while targeting bass. You can access Pennesseewassee directly off Route 118.

Region A also has some fantastic river fishing for bass. A trip on the Androscoggin offers not only a chance to catch bass, rainbows, browns and brookies, but some great mountain scenery and wildlife. One of the more popular stretches is from Gilead to West Bethel. As the water warms up, you are less likely to catch trout, but the smallmouth bass fishing picks up on the lower stretch of this reach where the water slows a bit. For convenience, there are several shuttle services and canoe/kayak rental in the area that offer pickup abnd drop-off services.

Region B – Central and Midcoast Area

Looking for a new spot try? IFW fisheries biologist Jason Seiders was just at Bowler Pond in Palermo, and was impressed with what he saw.

“We surveyed the pond a couple of weeks ago. The primary fishery is brook trout, and the fishery looks exceptional with several age classes of brook trout. The biggest trout we saw was around 18 inches and nearly three pounds,” said Seiders.

And if the brook trout aren’t biting, there’s other fish as well.

“In addition, there’s a white perch population. They’re a little sparse, but they are huge. They’re two-plus pound perch. It’s also a good place for bass fishing with lots of smallmouth,” said Seiders.

Bowler is an artificial lures only pond, and is small in size, making it “very canoeable” says Seiders.

Another pond you may want to try is Round Pond in Livermore. This pond is regularly stocked with brown trout and brookies.

“We recently surveyed it, and saw good growth on both species. If you go there, you want to fish deep, around 20 feet or so. There are good numbers of brookies there,” said Seiders, who also noted there is a chance of catching a northern pike, which seem to have made their way up to round pond from the Androscoggin.

The Kennebec is also fishing well. Try the Madison stretch from the lowest dam to the confluence with the Sandy River.

“Every angler I talked to while I was there was smiling. They are experiencing great catch rates for brown trout, and even catching some rainbows that are dropping down,” said Seiders.

Region C -- Downeast

Downeast, the weather and the waters are warming up, so now is the time to change your methods if you are fishing for trout and salmon.

“It’s a transitional time, it’s time to switch over from spring fishing tactics to summer tactics. If you’re fishing trout ponds, you’ll want to go deeper using nymphs on a sinking line. If you’re fishing for bass that are feeding on dragonflies, look for drop offs and deeper areas with lily pads,” says IFW fisheries biologist Greg Burr. On area streams, you’ll want to look for deeper pools or smaller, colder tributaries.

Anglers fishing lakes are having success using leadcore and downriggers, but some are still catching a few salmon near the surface.

More people are also out fishing as summer progresses. The fisheries division conducts aerial surveys with the Warden Service and the numbers show that use is increasing as the summer continues. These surveys provide valuable data on how much a pond is fished, and they provide important information when it comes to stocking rates and regulations.

Region D – Rangeley Lakes

In the Rangeley area, the trout fishing is slowing down as water warms and the thermoclines are setting up.

“This time of year, you either need to know where to go, or have specialized equipment,” says IFW Fisheries Biologist Bobby Van Riper. “Anglers who are successful have one of these or both.”

Trout and salmon are cruising just below the thermocline, and successful anglers are trolling just above the thermocline. Thermocline depths vary depending on the body of water, but some of today’s depth finders will pick up those layers of colder and warmer water.

If you are fly fishing, there still are some green drakes emerging in area waters, and Van Riper says the area generally gets two pulses of this hex hatch, one now, and then another pulse later in July. Dawn or dusk is the best time to hit the waters for the hex hatch.

“There’s still plenty of fish and they’ll bite, but they are hunkering down in the cooler area, looking for easy meals,” said Van Riper. “If they’re feeding, they’re expending energy, so fish are a little more cautious about feeding and they don’t want to get out of their comfort zone.”

“If you’re not familiar with the area, you may want to hire a guide,” says Van Riper.

One interesting catch recently was a brown trout in Mooselookmeguntic Lake. The wild trout catch was confirmed by IFW biologists.

“We had heard of people catching them, but never have been able to confirm one. This definitely was a brown, 100% documentation” said Van Riper. “It’s a unique situation and we may not see another until 20 years from now.”

Van Riper says there are some small pockets of wild, self-sustaining brown trout populations in the area, descendants of stocked fish from decades ago. Van Riper believes that it dropped down from Kennebago, into Cupsuptic, then into Mooselook.

Region E – Moosehead Region

While the water may be warming on Moosehead, it’s still not hot by any means, as the surface temperature on the lake earlier this week is still in the 60s.

“Water temps are certainly cooler than normal,” says IFW fisheries biologist Tim Obrey.

Anglers are catching some nice togue on Moosehead. One boat recently landed three togue, with one lake trout at 29 inches, and another was 30. Other boats have landed togue in the night.

Fly fisherman will be happy to know that hexes are still coming off area ponds a bit. With the cooler weather, flying ant hatches have just started as well. Your best bet for these are smaller ponds in the evenings.

“Not a lot of news to report on the East Outlet and the West Branch, but the flows are good, and typically this is a great time with the caddis and stoneflies,” said Obrey.

Fishing on smaller streams seems be a little bit above average for this time of year, but Obrey says to get out now, because once it gets hot and dry, things will tail off.

Region F – Penobscot Region

Over the past week, IFW fisheries biologists have been in Baxter State Park, surveying many of the trout waters there.

“We were netting on a variety of ponds, and the fishing was excellent,” said IFW fisheries biologist Nels Kramer. “Ponds like Daicey, Draper, Foss and Knowlton Pond, and Kidney Pond are all fishing well,” says Kramer.

Kramer noted that there is a good mix of different sized fish on these ponds. Most ponds have trout in the 6-14” range, but a couple of them have trout in the 18-20” range.

“The fishing is good and getting better,” says Kramer who noted that the green drake hatch is just beginning up in the park.

Area lake fishing for bass is very good, with excellent reports coming in from Spednik and East Grand, and “bass fishing on the Penobscot is as good as it gets,” said Kramer.

There are some fabulous stretches of the Penobscot if you are looking for some excellent bass fishing. Try the stretch from Passadumkeag to Green bush. Or Lincoln to Howland. Or Wynn to Lincoln. Water levels are good on the river, and fishing couldn’t be better.

Region G – Aroostook Region

If you’re fishing trout ponds up in the county, look for ones with spring holes or cool tributaries. Fish are seeking out these cooler spots as temps begin to climb.

Brook and stream fishing is picking up. Water flows have been going down and temperatures have been consistent, right around 60 degrees, making for some very good fishing.

If you are looking for a stream or brook to fish, there’s certainly no shortage of waters in Region G where they have over 7,000 miles of flowing water.

“Try almost anywhere in the North Maine Woods, or in the eastern Aroostook farmlands from now until early August. Seek out streams with groundwater influence,” says IFW Fisheries biologist Frank Frost.

The green drake hatch is winding down, but there still are a few spots where the big bugs are popping.

It’s also been a good spring and early summer on the Fish River chain of lakes.

“We are seeing good catches of salmon in waters in addition to Long Lake. Eagle, Square and St. Froid are all producing higher than average salmon,” says Frost.

And with the cool nights, it can pay off to try a few early mornings on some larger rivers in the area.

“With cool nights in the 40s, it can drop river temperatures and fish will leave those cool areas for the first few hours of the morning to feed,” said Frost.