Weekly Fishing Report
Fishing Conditions & Updates for Maine, New Hampshire & Massachusetts
Week of August 12, 2019
It appears as though we may have turned the corner on summer. We may still get some hot weather, but the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and the fish are getting hungrier. Shorter days signify that the fall cold-water spawn is just around the corner. Salmon and trout will begin to feed with voracity as they prepare. Big stripers are still being caught with regularity along the New England coast; haddock, hake, and pollock fishing is also good. Bait is catching plenty of fish, but many anglers are taking advantage of some great artificial lure catches.
Dave Garcia at Naples Bait and Tackle in Naples told us that the local warm-water fishing has been very good. “I’ve heard of some really big white perch caught up on Lovewell Pond in Fryeburg. They were getting them drop shotting in about 12-feet of water.” He also says the crappie fishing at Parker Pond has been very good in the evening. Dave says drifting small shiners weighted with a small split shot is the ticket.
Maine guide, Dan Legere at the Maine Guide Fly Shop in Greenville, furnished the following report on his website: “We are smack dab in the middle of the heat of summer. Waters are the warmest they will be all season. It’s a great time to take care of those family obligations. We call it MFO (Mandatory Family Outing) season. Many of our customers are here for a wedding or family reunion or summer vacation. The fishermen in the family sneak in a day or two of fishing between family events. They’re looking for a nice day spent on the water and aren’t disappointed if they don’t see a lot of big fish.”
“The East Outlet and Moose Rivers are currently at low flows and fishing can be slow, especially during midday. When river water temperatures climb to 70 degrees many trout and salmon move into Moosehead and its colder water. Not all fish exit the river but we’ll see numbers fall off as water temps rise. This time of season the best area on East Outlet would be from the dam to the Beach Pool. Early morning and evenings are the most productive and when you’re likely to find caddis hatching and feeding fish.”
“There are exceptions to everything. One of those exceptions is the West Branch of the Penobscot below Ripogenus Dam. They make power there, so the flow of water comes from deep in the lake and is diverted into the powerhouse, McKay Station, where it goes through turbines before reentering the river. The West Branch is a very unique system where fish, both trout and salmon, are born and live their entire life in a river system. There is no fish ladder so they can’t leave. The entire river is loaded with fish and every big fish lives somewhere in that river.”
“The game is the same wherever you choose to fish. We are well along the caddis hatch cycle. Instead of all day hatches it’s more mornings and evenings. A lot of caddis have come and gone. Olive, green, and brown-bodied caddis is over. Fish even stopped eating the Nancy’s Prayer just the other day. On the menu these days are the Kennebec Caddis (burnt orange body) and tiny black caddis. It is also cheeseburger season when big golden stones are out so Stimulators and Golden Stone patterns get a lot of attention. Cover every square foot of water and every now and then you’ll bring up a big fish and when they show they mean business.”
“This time of season you can eventually get sick of trying to fool very finicky fish that refuse to participate or even worse flat out refuse whatever you are offering. It's time you might want to let your mind wonder over to the “Dark Side” also known as BASS angling. They like warmer water and are rarely finicky. We know it might be a hard pill to swallow for some but while I’m catching smallmouth on poppers I can’t help but image how I would be doing if I were trying to catch brookies on some trout pond where every fish is tucked away in some spring hole somewhere in the pond. If you can wrap your head around a warm water species, fly-fishing fun can last all summer. The list of smallmouth spots is extensive; Prong Pond, Indian Pond, Moosehead, Brassua and the West Outlet of the Kennebec. A couple of different color poppers, a couple different color rubber legged woolly buggers and maybe a crayfish look-a-like is about all you’ll need. There was a guy in the shop a while ago that was one happy camper boasting about big smallies he had caught in the morning that jumped sky high. BASS can be loads of fun. You just have to get past the fact that they don’t have colored spots.”
Captain Tim Tower of the Bunny Clark furnished the following information from a recent trip on there website: “The fishing, catching and landings were very good today. Most legal fish landed were haddock followed by pollock. The haddock cull was 50/50 with three more sub-legal haddock than legal haddock. Legal landings also included four cusk and fifteen or so mackerel. Released fish included forty dogfish, twelve cod of five pounds or greater, all those sub-legal haddock, a few small cod, pollock, a wolffish and a barndoor skate. They drift fished all day. All terminal gear worked well.”
“I never did ask Ian who was high hook. He probably couldn't tell me as there was so much going on today. Adam Cloutier (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish, a 20-pound barndoor skate. This is the second barndoor skate of the Bunny Clark fishing season to date and an exact tie in weight and gender to the only other one that has been caught. Erik Cloutier (ME) caught the second and third largest fish, a 16 pound pollock and a 15.5 pound cod.”
“Other Angler Highlights: Rachel Morrell (ME) caught a 9-pound pollock, the first fish to be weighed for the boat pool. Rich Morrell (ME) caught two pollock of 12-pounds each. John Giordano (MA) caught a 10-pound pollock, his biggest fish. Sam St. Hilaire (MA) caught a 10-pound pollock, his best fish.”
Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide Tim of Tim Moore Outdoors says the salmon fishing lit up over the weekend. “The bait has started moving out into deep water, which is a sign that the late summer salmon frenzy is beginning. We caught some really nice salmon trolling streamer flies on six colors of leadcore line and orange spoons on downriggers,” he said. Tim says the lake trout jigging has been hit or miss. One day is great and the next day seems like work. “We always catch fish, but I sure do enjoy it when the fish work harder than we do,” Tim told us.
Jason at Suds N’ Soda Sports in Greenland told us that the striper fishing has been hot! He told about a 44-inch and 48-inch striper caught by the son of local angler Scott Perkins, on a standup paddleboard! Jason says live pogies have been the go-to bait for most boat anglers catching big fish. He says a few anglers are still catching flounders in the creeks, but the reports have slowed. Squid on the other hand, is on fire right now. Jason recommends the New Castle and the Rt. 103 bridge in Kittery Point.
Alan Nute at A.J.’s Bait and Tackle in Meredith reported that everyone seems to be catching fish. “It was a real good week for me and other people,” he said. Alan says a lot of people are doing well trolling 35-feet to 55-feet down over deep water. He said the lake trout jigging is kicking into gear as well. For colors, Alan suggests all the usual suspects of reds, golds, coppers, and bronze.
Martha at Surfland Bait and Tackle on Plum Island says the fishing was a little slower over the weekend, which is typical for this time of year. She says she saw a “fat little 14-pounder caught off the beach at sunrise on a topwater.” She says the boat anglers are getting fish using pogies, but the night bite is heating up. She also said that the haddock fishing is doing well right now. Martha says any of the closer spots are doing well, as many other anglers are making the trek all the way out to Jeffreys or Stellwagon.
Pete Santinin at Fishing Finatics in Everett was excited about the recent striper fishing near him. “There’s an incredible bite out near Revere, Nahant, and Winthrop. There is bass up to 45-pounds being caught. They’re hitting the honey mustard Santini Tubes like there’s no tomorrow. They’re also hitting the orange and the red,” he said. He says big fish are being caught trolling tubes in 8 or 10-feet of water. Pete says there are still pogies outside and lots of anglers are doing well fishing live pogies in deep water by the North channel. He also said there are some mackerel by the B Buoy and that there are some tuna just off shore.
Because of inherent time restrictions of gathering fresh, up-to-date information, editing & 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 & tackle dealers, well-known successful anglers and state & 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