Spring is a mixed bag for fishing. Sure the bugs are thick — but so are the hatches. And across Maine, biologists still report fast fishing typical of cool spring weather.

SOUTHERN MAINE

Biologists in the southern region have been working at night on the electrofishing boat to study bass.

Now is the spawning season for bass, which makes for good fishing for the largemouth and smallmouth species, but the usual predictability of the fish’s behavior is lost when there is constant rain.

The good news is biologists are trying to zero in on where the bass fishing is best.

Biologist Francis Brautigam with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said his office has sampled 25 bass waters over the past several years, and eventually the work will lead to a new way of actively managing for bass fishing in the region.

CENTRAL MAINE

The bass fishing also has been good in one of Maine’s bass fishing havens, but IFW biologist Scott Davis admits it’s been an odd year in central Maine with the rain making it more of a guessing game.

Meanwhile, biologists in this region have been focused on black crappie surveys. While the black crappie is not a managed game fish — it continues to be moved into lakes and ponds through illegal introductions.

“Last fall, crappies were found in Maranacook Lake. Now they’re going to move above to the other lakes. A chain reaction is what happens,” Davis said.

DOWN EAST

Both bass and salmon fishing in the region is at its best right now, reports IFW biologist Greg Burr.

The males are guarding nests aggressively, which means they’ll strike at anything that comes close, Burr said.

Also in Grand Lake Streams, flows are down and salmon are dropping in from Big Lake and West Grand Lake, which makes the fishing there just about perfect.

“The salmon are fat, and they have plenty of energy,” Burr said.

MOOSEHEAD LAKE REGION

The hatchery trucks are finishing spring stocking runs right as the hatches are turning on, according to IFW biologist Tim Obrey.

“Caddis hatches were just starting last weekend in the Moosehead Lake Region. Anglers will find good fishing on the surface for brook trout and salmon, as these fish switch from feeding on smelts to insects,” Obrey reported.

The East Outlet and Moose River are perennial favorites in the region, and Obrey said water temperatures and flows should be perfect on both.

EASTERN MAINE

Fishing for the cold-water game fish in the region — brook trout and landlocked salmon — has been excellent, said IFW biologist Nels Kramer.

“The East Branch (of the Penobscot River) and the West Branch have been really good,” Kramer said. “The salmon fishing in Millinocket Lake has been good. And East Grand has been hot as a pistol.”

The salmon in East Grand have been larger than in past years, he said, with fish caught in the 3- to 4-pound range.

Pleasant Pond in Island Falls also has offered fast fishing lately.

NORTHERN MAINE

Regional fisheries biologist Frank Frost says there is no better time to run a float trip down a river in Aroostook County than right now.

There are many long trips, but Frost points out there are many shorter trips in eastern Aroostook County near towns and cities.

Water flows and temperatures are ideal right now with the typical wet spring weather we’ve had. And insect hatches also have made for perfect fishing conditions.

Frost recommends the trip from Caribou to Fort Fairfield, a stretch of river about 12 miles. To cut the trip in half, use the Forbes Pit landing near the Caribou-Fort Fairfield town line.

Anglers would do best anchoring and casting near the islands, Frost said. And as always, consult the rule book for the special regulations.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

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