Summer is a fun time for the fishing report as regional state fisheries biologists offer advice on how to beat the summer heat and lure trout out of spring holes. But if you’re not up for the challenge, get out now.
From central Maine to the Downeast region and up around Moosehead Lake, there is still fast fishing as rain and water temperatures keep the fish moving.
Summer fishing conditions have hit the Sebago region with water temperatures reaching into the 70s and slowing things down, said regional biologist Francis Brautigam.
“It’s fairly warm for this time of year, so anglers have to think about fishing deeper into the water column. Once the water temperatures get out of the upper 60s, it’s harder to pick up fish on the surface. Fish early and deeper,” said Brautigam with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
The fishing, however, has been steady for togue. And fishermen are asked to target the smaller togue, lake trout fewer than 23 inches in size. There is no minimum size or bag limit on those small togues that add to the overabundance of lake trout in Sebago.
The one species that fishermen are having good luck with lately is splake. And regional fisheries biologist Jason Seiders recommends several water bodies for splake fishing in his region.
Splake is that sterile hybrid that is a hatchery cross between brook trout and lake trout. Splake are stocked in waters where there is not good survival by other selmonid species, as splake do not rely on smelts as a food source.
Seiders recommends trolling deep on Messalonskee Lake, Basin Pond in Fayette and Biscay Pond on the coast.
“I saw a picture of one splake on Messalonskee that was 8.5 pounds,” Seiders said.
Salmon fishing on Grand Lake Stream is still good, but togue fishing season has arrived in the area, as well.
IFW biologist Greg Burr recommends trying West Grand Lake, as well as Green, Tunk and Branch lakes.
And the tasty pickerel moving through the weeds are easy to catch now, Burr said.
“They go up the little feeding avenues and if you can pinpoint those areas, the pickerel are right on the side of the avenues and will grab anything you throw out,” Burr said.
Like elsewhere in the state, Burr said the last of the good trout fishing is right now in the region’s streams.
MOOSEHEAD LAKE REGION
Summer doldrums have not hit Moosehead Lake yet, not by a long stretch. But this week will be the last of the best of it, according to IFW biologist Steve Seeback.
“The water temperature is starting to increase up here but the rain slowed it some. The rain cooled things down a little,” Seeback said.
The last of the green drake hatch traditionally comes this next week, right around July 4, Seeback said.
“The green drake hatch is quite an event if you get on the pond on the right time. The green drake hatch, they can be 2 to 3 inches. They’re huge. And they bring up the larger fishes,” Seeback said.
The fishing at Moosehead has been particularly good at the East Outlet, according to Seeback, and salmon are being caught in good numbers.
Even though the temperature in the river has warmed to 60 degrees, the salmon are moving, heading to cooler water in the lake. When that stops, they won’t be as active again until the start of fall, so now is the time to enjoy fast fishing.
“All the guides in town say they’re catching nice fish, in the 16- to 18-inch range,” Seeback said.
The deluge of rain that fell on Brownville has impacted the fishing, in addition to washing out road and railroad tracks, reports IFW biologist Nels Kramer.
“It’s put a damper on bass fishing this week on the Penobscot. It washed into the Pleasant River and transported all that material downstream from West Enfield to the Howland bridge and right into the Penobscot. It’s put a damper on fishing from Howland south,” Kramer said.
Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: