While it’s been too cold for many fishermen, it’s also been too cold for many fish, which means they’re not biting yet in most waters across the state.
But there is good news about big brown trout and biting brookies coming in to our fishing report. And you’ll want to hook into some of these notes from Maine’s regional biologists.
Most of southern Maine is ice free as far north as Cumberland County, if not up into Oxford County quite yet. But the fish don’t seem to notice.
“The fishing on Sebago is what I would call early-season fishing. What that means is people who know Sebago and know how to fish it are picking up fish,” said regional fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam.
Keep in mind the smelts have not started to move close to anything resembling a spring run, so the best is yet to come.
“It’s the slow side of good,” Brautigam said optimistically.
The stocking trucks have started their runs. So anglers should go to the stocking list for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, found at 1.usa.gov/ZCHRoq
As far as stocking in central Maine, take note that a new brand of big brown trout is going in some rivers this spring.
Regional fisheries biologist Jason Seiders said an “advanced yearling brown trout” is being stocked in several waters. These are brown trout that in the fall were 12 inches in length and now are 15 inches or more.
Those have been stocked in the St. George and Pemaquid rivers as well as the Goose River in Rockport. For other brown trout waters, go to 1.usa.gov/ZCHRoq.
“It’s kind of a special situation,” Seiders said. “There were additional funds by the legislature to help grow fish. We typically don’t hold them for a second winter. But we have a small pot of them.”
The ice-out line has fallen where it typically does this time of year, south of Route 9, across Hancock and Washington counties, said biologist Greg Bur.
But stay tuned for fishing picking up at the end of the month.
“We still recommend people fish small trout ponds, where it warms up first and where the trout are becoming active, feeding on insects. For those people who fish for salmon, the waters are still cold and the salmon are lethargic. So troll slowly with live smelt,” Bur recommends.
The final count on the northern pike in Pushaw Lake, part of the Penobscot River watershed, has more than doubled the old record for the spring catch, reported regional biologist Nels Kramer in Enfield.
The count was up to 159 on Thursday, topping the old record of 78 in 2011.
And Cold Stream Pond’s ice went out Monday night. So spring fishing is just around the corner for Eastern Maine.
Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: