Weekly Fishing Report
MAY 18, 2017
From mid-state Maine and the Sebago Lake Region, Carol Cutting at Jordan’s store in East Sebago has a good handle on what’s happening on the big lake. His report is not about glowing results but it is on the positive note, as is his wife Barbara’s news: “We don’t think we’re seeing the usual amount of fishing pressure. Maybe because the big lake never really froze over this winter season so there were plenty of opportunities for fishing as it wasn’t impacted by ice-outs, as in the more normal years. There had been a huge ice berg floating around and that had to be a source of concern for the boat anglers.”
“The salmon take has been kind of slow but the prizes of the spring so far have been the really nice and healthy lake trout. We’re seeing more and more trophy-sized lakers each year and they are getting bigger each year compared with the prior year.”
“Although there were big icebergs floating around, there never was a complete ice cover on Sebago and that’s seeming to be the normal conditions as we are no doubt into a global warming pattern.”
At River’s Edge Sports in the Rangeley Lakes Region Jerry reported that there had been light fishing pressure, mostly centered around the Hunter Cove where river flow had enticed a few salmon and brookies as well as some of the dedicated cold-weather anglers. There had been a big flow coming down the Magalloway River. “Lots of water, some decent brook trout and occasional smaller landlocks.”
Master Maine Guide Stu Bristol of Lyman reported that the small and remote brook trout streams were just begging for patient and dedicated brook trout to follow them out into the more under-fished waters—away from the highways and just full of native brookies.
“We recognize that big native brookies are quite scarce in these small streams but most of them hold an underutilized population of pure bred native fish and they are suckers for a small worm fished on light tackle.”
Stu has a “secret weapon” for fishing the small native brookies. He uses a short but whippy section of fly rod tip with a short length (about four feet) of mono leader tied directly to the tip. He works every nook and cranny of these small brooks, using extreme stealth as these fish are wild and have to rely on their inbred senses of identifying danger, such as the footsteps of an angler trying to sneak up on them.
“Go slow and low,” was his answer when we asked him about his approach to these weary fish. “If you spook them they will not even look at your bait, never mind bite it!”
Stu also likes to fish the openings around ice bound ponds and lakes but with the early ice-out this season he hasn’t had to worry about this as there’s been plenty of open water to fish.
On the saltwater scene, the flounder still seem to have lockjaw in our local waters and even some of the top-notch flounder guides that fish the flounder-rich waters around Boston Harbor have found that putting together a good bag of flounder is possible but it seems to take a bit more effort than usual.
“Most of the decent flounder catches have been in the vicinity of Deer Island. We’re looking for next week (actually this would be this week) for the flounder to really turn on,” was the word from Pete Santini at Fishing FINatic’s Sports in Everett.
At Surfland Bait and Tackle the report noted that both shad and herring runs had started in the Parker River—they started last Thursday. Average catch per angler was running two to three shad a day. He also noted that a huge sturgeon was hooked and released by an angler that was using herring eggs for bait. Small silver or gold flutter spoons had been the best bet for the shad.
“There’s been some good catches of both tiger trout and brown trout at White’s Pond in Concord and Horn Pond and Jamaica Pond in Concord. Brown trout up to 16 inches are also quite common at White’s.” He also noted that Shiners, Al’s Goldfish and Rapalas are accounting for most of the larger trout being caught there.
In the tidal waters there’s been a nice run of white perch, with the Mystic River being one of Pete’s favorite white perch waters. He also reports that the herring runs are in full tilt, especially at the Emelia Earhardt Dam.
For the inshore waters Santini noted that the Deer Island had quite a run of herring. The offshore fishing success was for haddock that had settled in at the North West corner of Stellwagen Bank. He’s also looking forward to the flounder fishing success which will really peak at Deer Island.
At Surfland Bait and Tackle on Plum Island, the report was that the shad run had started in the Merrimack River and also there was a big run of herring in the Parker River.
At Taylor’s Trading Post in Lee, George Taylor is enthusiastic about the trout fishing at the heavily stocked Lucas Pond in Northwood. He also noted that there had been some huge brook trout being caught from the Isinglass River and some of the feeder streams in that river system. The river in the Watson Road area has been the best producer of these big trout. These have been two-year-old brookies that went up to three pounds! He also said that Stone House Pond at ice out had been a good bet for brookies.
Alan Nute at AJ’s Bait and Tackle was out on Lake Winnipesaukee yesterday. He reported that one boat in particular was doing real well on the landlocked salmon with spoons in the wonder bread pattern spoons and red/gray ghost streamer flies had been working well. “There’s been some really big rainbow trout at the outlet of the brook that flows into Meredith Bay from Wakewan Lake. One angler caught a couple of big ‘bows in the four pound range using Power Bait.”
At Martel’s Bait and Tackle in Laconia the good word was that the high water was dropping, making for better fishing conditions and some real quality landlocks and rainbow trout had been taken.
Jason Mackenzie at Suds-n-Soda Sports in Greenland was upbeat about the coming season, as good runs of both shad and alewives had already been in progress. “We’re looking for a great striper season this year as it seems that the Great Bay watershed and the upper Piscataqua River has had a lot of bait fish for this early in the season.”
“Although we haven’t had the once very productive flounder fishing in the river and Great Bay that we used to have, there’s already some flounder being reported both in and around the Rye Harbor waters and that’s a good sign. No reports of mackerel yet but they should be showing up any day now, and as we often have noted, once we have mackerel it’s almost a sure bet that the stripers are here or not that long before they will be. Even though the stripers love to feed on the herring runs, there seems to be something special about their attachment to feeding on mackerel. We’re pretty excited about the coming season!”
Because of inherent time restrictions of gathering fresh, up-to-date information, editing and producing this report in a timely manner, occasional errors or marginal information may slip by us. We try our hardest to provide accurate information. We urge readers to use this report as a tool to increase their fishing pleasure and not to rely on as their sole resource. First or second hand information is offered by fishing guides, commercial fishing charters or party boats, bait and tackle dealers, well-known successful anglers and state and federal fisheries and natural resources enforcement officials. We also welcome and use reports forwarded to us by fishermen that use this report. - Kittery Trading Post Fishing Report Editor