Weekly Fishing Report
October 2, 2017
This is the last report for the year 2017. Thanks for your interest and many thanks to all of the contributors for continuing to furnish information, making for a great resource for all those that rely on Kittery Trading Post’s fishing report.
Fishing season is winding down for a lot of anglers as salmon and lake trout closed in New Hampshire, and salmon has closed in many Maine lakes. Anglers not heading into the woods for archery deer and bird hunting may still take advantage of some excellent angling opportunities for coldwater stream fishing and warmwater species such as bass, crappie, and white perch. Cooler nights and shorter days will cause most water bodies to turn over, which will trigger warmwater fish to feed, sometimes all day.
In East Sebago, Greg at Jordan’s Store wanted to remind anglers that although salmon fishing has closed, lake trout can still be caught and kept. Greg reports that fishing action in the store is taking a back seat to hunting seasons, mostly bird hunting. He did note that the salmon which were caught in the final days of the season looked very healthy. Greg says anglers should be excited for spring, as the fishery looks very strong.
Ken at Rivers Edge Sports in Oquossoc said that fishing is almost done in their neck of the woods. “You can still practice catch-and-release fishing in streams. The water is getting colder, which is good, but we need water,” he told us. Ken also reported that many are preoccupied with bird season.
The following report was furnished on the Maine Guide Fly Shop website:
We’ve been flat out with trips so I apologize for not being at the keyboard more. It’s that time of season. It’s too bad September isn’t four months long instead of four weeks.
It’s been an interesting September to say the least. Every river saw great early September runs of salmon and brookies. Fall fishing started with a bang. We saw some of the best fishing we’ve seen in years shortly after flows were increased the day after Labor Day. All we needed was a big streamer on a floating line. If a fish missed it the first time they would come back on the very next cast and get the job done. It didn’t really matter what streamer it was. Life was very good and the fishing was easy for that first week.
But as it has in the past years, September became our newer summer month and the water slowly became too warm during bluebird days and warm nights. As we have said in the past, good fall fishing depends on increased water flows and decreasing water temperatures. But when water temperature in the low 60’s start to climb back up, fish get much less aggressive with every degree and the bite begins to ease off. And if it climbs back to the high 60’s catching gets real tough. You can easily go from ten fish per rod per day to four fish per rod per day to two fish per rod per day in the matter of a week.
A river full of fish weld themselves to the bottom and only move to get out of the way of any fly that comes too close. If river water warms back to 70 degrees or higher, fish may drop back into a lake and wait until it cools before reentering. The biologists saw that very thing happened when they studied the migration of trout and salmon at the Roach River a few years ago. That is the “Feast or Famine” of fall fishing, folks.
It’s been said by many skeptics, “climate change is all in our heads”, and we’ve been saying for some time now, “September has become our newest summer month.” This could very well be the first fall on record that the Moosehead Region did not see one frost during September.
Few waters remain open after the last day of September. It’s because brook trout spawn in October and now more than ever before fish biologists want wild brook trout populations to be left alone during spawning, especially now that we know 50% or more perish during the spawn.
But if you consult your fishing law book you’ll find a number of trout ponds in our region remain open during October, like Mountain View, Prong, Indian, and a few others that are stocked throughout the season.
The East & West Outlets of the Kennebec are on that list. So, it’s not over just yet. You have another entire month with a river full of fish and many more fish that will be entering the rivers during October.
Male salmon are never more handsome as are brook trout. If you haven’t already done so you’re likely going to hook your biggest fish of the season. This fall, the word that best explains the quality of these fish is “Football”. They are impressive and powerful and when you hook into one of those tiny flies it often takes to entice them, you had better hope everything goes your way. Fish of this caliber easily part even 3X tippet if you are the least bit heavy handed. This is when a good reel with a sophisticated drag will make the difference between getting a fish to the net or waving goodbye as you and your fish part company.
The other thing about October fishing is it may take ten different flies to catch ten different fish. Our fly patches are always overflowing at the end of the day. Watch for yourself. You’ll see everyone bent over tying on another hopeful time and again.
There is a fish out there that may chase a streamer but refuse everything else and one that want some tiny nymph, or one that decided to rise to a big dry. The trick is getting two fish to eat the same fly. Our best advise this time of season is, once you catch a fish just change the fly because it probably won’t fool another.
Oh, this month for sure bring your ear muffs and hand warmers. It’s finally fall and the colors are coming on strong.
Licensed New Hampshire fishing guide Tim Moore from Tim Moore Outdoors finished out the season on Lake Winnipesaukee. “The season is now closed, but we finished strong with some very nice lake trout caught on the last day. The warm spike we had seems to be over and water temps are falling once again. Surface temps were up as high as 74 degrees again, but were back down around 68 degrees over the weekend. While lake trout and salmon are closed on salmon and lake trout lakes, you can still fish for bass and white perch, and the white perch fishing is heating up,” Tim reported.
“We will now transition entirely to northern pike on Moore reservoir and crappie in many smaller ponds. Both fisheries will be heating up throughout the month. Closer to average water levels this fall on Moore should lead to some excellent opportunities for trophy pike.
A.J.’s Bait and Tackle is now closed Sunday through Wednesday until ice fishing season begins. They furnished the following report on their website. “Salmon & Trout fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee has closed BUT that doesn't mean you can’t fish. The managed lakes such as Lake Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam & Squam are still open for bass and white perch and they are biting! There are also lakes open to catch salmon & lake trout.
Nick at Suds N’ Soda Sports in Greenland told us that there are still a lot of stripers around and he expects some nice fish to move through from Maine very soon. Nick urged anglers to stick to the ocean front for the bigger migrating stripers, but said the amount of fallback herring in Great Bay should pull some fish in that direction. He also reported that a few black sea bass are finally being caught in the Piscataqua River, but noted his customers are being tight lipped about where they are catching them. Nick also said that largemouth and smallmouth bass had been holding in deeper water due to the recent warm spell, but they should be moving shallow now. Slow rolled spinnerbaits should produce well.
Tom at Surfland Bait and Tackle on Plum Island reported that there are still plenty of schoolie stripers around. “There were some bluefish around for two days last week, but we haven’t heard any reports since,” Tom told us. The abundance of seaweed washed ashore by recent offshore storms has mostly cleared from the beach, making the fishing much easier.
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