Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The striper addicts who started lining the rivers of southern Maine a week ago have their favorite spots.
And they won't tell you where they are.
Luckily, you can also catch a 40-inch striped bass at any of the many busy public spots, and many seasoned fishermen go there as well.
Even fishermen who are constantly hunting for new, unknown spots.
Even fishermen who sometimes end up in places they are not supposed to be.
''I was fishing in the National Park, and I called (a fishing buddy) up and said, 'Man, I'm at a great spot. Nobody is fishing here,' '' said Will Evangelista of Biddeford.
That park would be the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, which is closed to fishing. Don't go there.
Instead, try some of the seven better-known striped bass fishing spots listed below. Some seem over-fished, overcrowded and even redundant, but the fishing reports that come out of these old haunts make them worth a look.
For example, the jetty at the mouth of the Saco River tends to have a crowd during the outgoing tide --
every 12 hours -- but some of the more avid striper fishermen say it's actually great anytime.
''There is never a situation where you can never, ever catch fish,'' said Evangelista as he put a sandworm on his hook at the jetty.
The same is said at Maine State Pier off Commercial Street in Portland's Old Port, where Katt Clancy and Bruce Smith have fished for decades, sometimes for 18 hours straight. ''It gets busy. But real fisherman show common courtesy,'' Smith said.
The Portland pier may be one of the oldest fishing spots in a city that was founded in 1632. The docks beside Maine's biggest city are a gimmee. So are the extraordinary fish tales that come out of there.
''I call it combat fishing here. There will be 40 to 50 fishermen lining the pier. People throw their lines everywhere. There are a lot of careless people. I've thrown a couple of people in the water,'' Clancy said... without emphasis.
With that, here is our goodwill list of some of southern Maine's most popular fishing spots (shared in the spirit of friendship). We chose seven places known by regular striper fishermen, who are happy to tell others of their existence.
Then we rated each according to the most important criteria -- namely, the fish and your chances of getting them -- based upon what we've seen in the past and word on the street.
On any given day, these ratings may be wildly off. If so, just remember what our Biddeford expert said in these pages, which is worth repeating:
''There is never a situation where you can never, ever catch fish.''
Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:
click image to enlarge
Staff Photo by John Ewing, Wednesday, July 14, 2004: A striped bass caught using a live mackeral for bait is hoisted aboard by Pat Will on a recent fishing trip on Casco Bay.