Fishing Report

August 13, 2017

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Bass Fishing — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather:  Warm with high winds from the north west.

Morning Temperature: Low 60’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 70’s

Water Temperature: Mid to high 70’s

Shallow water fishing has been great.  Fishing topwater frogs and soft plastics around lily pads are producing large numbers of fish. The biggest fish are being caught on craw fish imitations and topwater frogs. In the picture above, Caleb is holding a big bass caught on a craw fish imitation.

In addition to plenty of nice smallmouth and largemouth bass, we caught a boat load of white perch this evening. We landed fish on almost every cast for well over an hour. After 48 perch it was getting dark and we had to head back to the dock. The fish were still biting. Sometimes, when you locate a school of perch, you can have nonstop action for hours.

Tips:

If you catch a white perch on bass gear, drop your anchor and switch to smaller tackle. You might have found a school of perch.  Big schools of perch can produce literally hundreds of fish.

August 6, 2017

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Fishing Megunticook Lake — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather:  Warm with high winds from the west.

Morning Temperature: Mid 60’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 70’s

Water Temperature: Mid to high 70’s

The last two weeks have been busy and hot. Because the water is low in most of the streams, bass fishing is the name of the game. Two patterns have been working well. Fishing with jigs and Texas rigs in open water and on rocky drop-offs has produced some nice fish.

Most fishermen are superstitious. Many guides and charter captains have their own rules about what is and what is not allowed.  On my boat, bananas and white lighters are strictly forbidden.  The fish simply won’t bite if either is aboard.  Now, I’m thinking of adding a new rule: “Don’t call your fish before they are in the boat.”

Ash, in the picture above, gave me permission to share his story.  A foodie from DC, Ash wanted to try smallmouth bass.  Smallmouth from deep cold lakes like Megunticook can be excellent table fare. After catching mostly largemouth and little smallies, Ash finally hooked into a big smallmouth.  The fish came out of deep water and fought hard once it saw the boat. Ash made a good hook set and said: “This one’s coming home.”  Being superstitious, I immediately shushed him. But the damage was done.   Seconds after “calling his fish,” that big smallmouth shook the hook and got away. Apparently, fishing requires a great deal of humility.

Tips:

When possible, refrain from bananas, white lighters, and “calling your fish.”

July 23, 2017

Camden, Maine

Weather:  Cool with moderate winds from the north.

Morning Temperature: Mid 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 70’s

Water Temperature: Mid to high 70’s

What an awesome week of fishing!  The weather was hot, but the fish didn’t care. If you can get up for the early bite, the big fish will show themselves. We saw numbers and size this week.  David from Pennsylvania hooked one of the biggest smallmouth I’ve seen since spring. Benjamin and Daniel from Illinois caught 33 bass in 4 hours with a few fish in the 2.5 and 3 pound range.

Bass are in the shallows, but the bigger fish are suspended on deep water drop offs.  Texas rigs with sliding sinkers and jigs will catch the big ones.  Slow sinking soft plastics will catch fish all day in all sizes.

The trout fishing can be very good if you hit the weather right.  Without a couple of cool nights and some rain, 40ft casts are a sine qua non for getting a decent brookie.

Tips:

Fly fishing can often be counterintuitive.  When fishermen want more distance, they tend to “wind up” after the final false cast.  Most new fishermen break their wrist and drop the rod tip well below their shoulder line.  A good fly cast isn’t something you can muscle out with brute force. Timing, finesse and technique are necessary for a good cast. Keep your wrist straight and your rod tip high.

 

 

July 16, 2017

Camden, Maine

Weather:  Hot with light winds from the southwest.

Morning Temperature: High 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low 80’s

Water Temperature: Mid to high 70’s

The summer season is in full swing.  Coastal towns are busy, the weather is hot, and the fishing is awesome.

Spin fishing with soft plastics has been the most consistent way to catch large numbers of bass. But with sinking lines and a little patience, clients have been landing some large fish on fly tackle.

As the water warms, the fish start moving into deep water. Both bass and trout have been feeding in the shallows at first light before returning to deep water as the sun gets high in the sky.

The water level in the trout streams is a little lower than I would like, but it hasn’t seemed to hurt the fishing any. Fish from 2 inches to 15 inches were taking dry flies yesterday. The morning rise was done by 7:00am, but there were plenty of fish in the fast pocket water to keep us busy. An alewife even took a dry fly in a small pocket.

Tips:

When planning a fishing trip, I tend to recommend morning trips. The weather in the morning is generally much more settled. The wind is often lighter, the temperatures are cooler, the risk of thunderstorms is lower, and the fish are hungry. Most fish do not have pupils that dilate.  In the clear ponds and streams of coastal Maine, a bright sun will drive fish into the shade of deep water. In the morning, the angle of the sun allows fish to feed close to the surface where they are easier to catch.

July 10, 2017

Camden, Maine

Weather:  Warm with light west winds.

Morning Temperature: High 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 70’s

Water Temperature: Mid 70’s

The fishing has continued to be excellent. Despite the warm water in the ponds, fish are feeding heavily in the shallows.  The alewives are finally gone and the bigger fish are not as well fed.  Most inexperienced guests are getting into fish in the 3 pound range on each outing.

The trout fishing can still be excellent. In the pictures above, Quinten poses with a few brook trout for the frying pan. He let the big one go–a wild fish taken on a fly rod. Some of the small streams in Western Maine can hold a surprising number of fish.  We had a good couple of days.

Fly fishing for smallmouth has been great on certain ponds. Even though we had  an impressive green drake hatch this year, the bass aren’t taking topwater flies as readily as I’d like.  Sinking lines are still producing the best fish. First time fly fishermen are still doing well.  Early mornings with little wind make for the best times to learn casting.

Tips:

Smallmouth are great. Once hooked, they fight hard and make acrobatic jumps. Fighting one on a fly rod can be a challenge.  When you hook a big fish, get him to the boat as soon as possible. The fish will try to head for rocks and fray your line. We learned the hard way this week that a big fish in the rocks will almost certainly break off.

June 29, 2017

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Fishing Camden, Maine — Father and Son Double

Camden, Maine

Weather: Warm with light winds from the west.

Morning Temperature: Mid 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 70’s

Water Temperature: High 60’s low 70’s

The fishing was great this week!  The past seven days have been full of fish and fun clients from all over the country. In the beginning of the week, I chased trout with experienced and first time fly fishers. Mid-week, I chased smallmouth with a first time fly fisher and an experienced fly fisherman. The end of the week was spent fishing with conventional gear. We managed to get a 5 year-old from Dallas his first few fish. Today, the Arkansas boys put up some big numbers! I lost count within the first hour of fishing.

Bass are starting to be active on the surface. Shallow water and poppers are producing nice fish. Trout fishing is great, but you have to hit the early bite and make long casts.  Big fish are around, but large schools of baitfish and alewives are keeping them well fed. It takes patience and some skill to get the big boys right now.

Tips:

Whether you are fly fishing or spin fishing, keep the tip of your fishing rod two or three inches above the water when retrieving a fly or bait. This technique eliminates slack line and allows you to better feel fish and set the hook.

June 12, 2017

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Bass Fishing — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Hot with south winds at 5 to 10 mph

Morning Temperature: Low to mid 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 80’s

Water Temperature: 60 to 64 degrees

The past two days have been hot! In three days time, we went from weather in the 60’s and 70’s to temperatures in the 80’s and low 90’s. But the water is still relatively cool and the fishing is great. By the end of the week, the weather will have stabilized and we’ll be back in the 70’s.

Bass are still spawning. The bed fishing can be excellent, but there are also plenty of cruising, feeding fish if you know where to find them. I’ve been focusing a lot on shallow water structure like trees, stumps, and visible rock piles. Jigs and soft plastics have been the most productive. In the picture above, Gabe holds a nice bass taken on a soft plastic.  We never got to see the big one that broke his line.

Tips:

Losing a big fish happens to all serious anglers at one time or another. It’s tough on us all. I still have dreams about a very large fish that broke me off last year. Move on, keep fishing, and don’t let it get you down. If it helps, tell the story and exaggerate the size of the fish.

June 4, 2017

Camden, Maine

Weather: Warm with light west winds.

Morning Temperature: Upper 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low 70’s

Water Temperature: 60 to 64 degrees

Saturday was cold and windy, but Sunday was a perfect day on the water! The bass were on the spawning beds and the animals were active. We got close to three bald eagles and plenty of loons. We even saw a loon incubating an egg on a dock. In all of my years on the water, I have never seen a loon on a dock and have never seen a loon egg. Today was a day of firsts.

Jeff and his daughter, Tess, were visiting from Alabama. Both managed to get into some nice fish. Jeff caught his first smallmouth and Tess landed her biggest largemouth. I wish we could have got our hands on the big smallmouth that broke Tess off when it jumped.

Tips:

When bass are on the beds, jigs and Texas rigged soft plastics work best. Cast beyond a bed and let your lure sink. Slowly work the bait back until it is on the spawning bed. If you spook the fish, let the bait sit. The fish will likely come back to the bait. If your line starts moving sideways, set the hook!

May 28, 2017

Camden, Maine — Megunticook Lake

Weather: Warm with light to moderate winds from the north

Morning Temperature: Mid 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low to mid 70’s

Water Temperature: 58 to 60 degrees

The bass spawn will be happening very soon. I saw the first male of the season cruising around a bed on Sunday. I think we’ll start to see big smallmouth on beds by late this week or this weekend. Let’s hope the weather cooperates.

The alewives are still in the streams. Once the bass spawn is over, I’ll be back on the streams chasing trout with a fly rod.  The alewives should be gone by then.

I had two very different trips this weekend. One was with an experienced salt water fisherman. The other was with two novices looking to get into the sport.  May and June are great months for beginner or experienced anglers. You can have a day with multiple fish over 3 pounds like Mark from Georgia saw on Saturday, or you can have great action for beginners like Griffin and Ariel from Massachusetts saw on Sunday.

Tips:

When fishing for bass, it’s important to be aggressive with setting the hook.  Bass have tough mouths.  Once you feel the weight of a fish on your line, firmly pull or swing the rod in the opposite direction of the fish. If your drag is set correctly, a very firm hook set will not break your line.

May 21, 2017

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Bass Fishing — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Warm with light winds from the north

Morning Temperature: High 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low 70’s

Water Temperature: Mid to high 50’s

All the signs are pointing to summer. The bugs are out in full force, people are starting to vacation on the coast, and bookings are filling up fast. Soon, my seniors will graduate and then it’s just a few more days until school is done and I get to fish every day.

The alewives have made it into the inland ponds. They can make the bass fishing a little difficult, but we managed to do well this week. After some hard fishing and a couple of missed bites, Melanie and Josh landed some nice smallmouth.  In the picture above, Melanie holds up the big fish of the day.  Quantabacook has also produced some nice bass.

Now that the water is warming, fish are getting ready for the spawn. Some of the best sight fishing of the season should happen in the next one to three weeks.

Tips:

When you know the spawn is coming, make sure you get out as often as possible. If you miss a week of fishing, you might miss a chance at the biggest fish all season.

May 14, 2017

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Camden Maine Fishing — Smallmouth Bass

Camden, Maine

Weather: Partly sunny and cool

Morning Temperature: Low 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 50’s

Water Temperature: Low to Mid 50’s

The past two weeks have been full of rain, clouds, and high winds.  The weather still feels very much like early spring. Right now, the fishing is hit or miss.  I’ve had days with lots of big fish and days with no fish at all. It’s been an interesting spring.

The big bass are definitely around.  Normally, they are chasing down baitfish imitations in the spring.  Slow moving crawfish imitations have been more productive this year. The crawfish approach worked on the big smallmouth the picture above. It has also taken some very nice largemouth.

The alewives have started their annual spawning run into freshwater. They will make the stream fishing difficult for a couple of weeks. The alewife run is a great opportunity to see ospreys and eagles fishing.

Tips:

It’s important to flexible. If the fish aren’t biting at your favorite spot, don’t be afraid to try something new. Some spots that look “fishy” will never hold a fish, while other nondescript spots can end up being very productive. Remember, water temperature, cover, and feed determine whether or not a spot will hold fish.

April 25, 2017

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St. George Lake Salmon — Fly Fishing

Camden, Maine

Weather: Sunny and mild

Morning Temperature: Mid 30’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low 60’s

Water Temperature: High 40’s to low 50’s

After a few days of sun, the fishing is off to a great start. The salmon and trout are feeding close to the surface. Even the smallmouth are starting to bite. The streams are down to reasonable levels after the spring runoff. There is rain and wind in the forecast for the rest of the week, but the weekend will bring ideal fishing conditions. Spring has sprung and some of the best fishing of the season is right around the corner. This will be a great year for early season trips.

Tips:

When the water is cold, shallow, rocky areas warm up more quickly than the rest of the lake.  The rocks retain heat from the sun and attract aquatic bugs and baitfish. Locate these areas and the gamefish will be close by.

April 20, 2017

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cold and cloudy

Morning Temperature: Low 30’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 40’s

Water Temperature: High 40’s

Despite temperatures in the high 70’s on Sunday, spring has been slow to arrive in Maine. The ice finally left the ponds in my area last week. I just got a report from a friend that there is 30” of ice at Churchill Dam!

It was a cold, gray day out on the water.  But the weather didn’t stop the fish from biting. I was able to find a few trout willing to take a fly in shallow water. The little guy in the picture took a size 8 extra long streamer–a very big meal for a little fish. The salmon were also out moving around. Like the 16” fish in the picture, most of the salmon were feeding  heavily on tan mayfly nymphs. I’m hoping they start chasing smelts soon.

The loons, eagles, and osprey are moving back to the ponds. The loons were doing well fishing today. They caught the attention of an osprey who didn’t tolerate intruders. The osprey dive bombed the loons for close to twenty minutes before the loons finally moved on.

Tip:

One of the most challenging parts of being a guide is helping guests plan trips around “prime fishing times.” Last year, the ice was out in early March. This year, it went out more than a month later. Instead of calendars, I try to use water temperatures. The best spring smallmouth bite may usually be the first or second week of May, but it’s always when the water reaches temperatures in the low to mid 50’s. Keep a log of water temperatures and fishing conditions. In a few years you’ll be able to pattern the fish and better predict the best times to be on the water.

March 27, 2017

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cold, Snowy, and Icy.

Morning Temperature: High 20’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 30’s

Water Temperature: Ponds are still frozen, but most streams are open in the quick runs.

Last year at this time, I was already casting flies to trout on local ponds. Those same ponds still have close to two feet of ice in some places. Most of the streams are open, but still have significant ice in the slack water. Even the annual St. George River Canoe Race, held the last Saturday of March, was cancelled due to ice.

This year’s weather is much more typical of winter in coastal Maine. Rain and warmer temperatures are forecasted for this week. By the official opening of spring fishing on Saturday, the rivers should be completely open and ready for a fly.  The ponds will take a bit longer to open up. By the third week of April, the streams and ponds should be producing well.

We had a decent snowpack in February and March. The snowmobiling was good. On a warm day over school vacation we headed out to a favorite spot to get a jump on cutting firewood. With good snow, we were able to get at some nice oak trees that I can’t reach with my truck in the summer. The rain this week should get rid of most of our snow.

Tip:

I always get excited about the opening day of spring fishing. I fight the urge to be on the stream at first light. In early spring, wait until the water warms up before heading out to fish. The afternoon is often much more productive than the morning.

November 29, 2016

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cool with rain and wind

Morning Temperature: High 20’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 30’s low 40’s

Water Temperature: Mid 30’s, but lower in certain places

This year has been unusually warm and dry. Only recently have we started to get some wet weather. At the end of November, we should be getting snow instead of rain.

This year, I spent a lot of time in the woods chasing deer. This year’s buck was 185 pounds and eight points. He was shot on the run in hot pursuit of a doe while “still hunting” at 40 yards.

The water is open and some big trout can still be caught before freeze up.

Tip:

Unless you have spent years hunting the same spots, I suggest getting out of the stand and walking around. If you’re good about scent control, work the wind, and move slowly through the woods,spending midday still hunting and looking for sign can be very effective. A lot of people will tell you to sit in one spot, but walking has always worked for me.

September 25, 2016

Belfast, Maine

Weather: Cooler, sunny and dry.

Morning Temperature: High 30’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 60’s

Water Temperature:  Low 70’s to high 60’s but much colder in certain spots

It’s definitely fall. Right on schedule, we got a cold snap with a few days of the autumnal equinox. We’ve had high temperatures in the 60’s and low’s in the 30’s. It’s time to clean my chimney and get the wood stove ready for winter.

Fish are starting to change their habits. Trout are taking flies in places I haven’t seem them since spring. The bass are still hitting on the surface, but seem to be more interested in subsurface presentations. This time of year, you have to pick your days. The fishing can be phenomenal or it can be a little slow.

Tip:

It’s important to fish more slowly as the water cools. It’s easy to use the same baits and retrieves that worked three weeks ago when the water was warmer. If you use a thermometer, you can monitor the water temperature and adjust your techniques accordingly.

September 16, 2016

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Goose River Guide Canoe built by Bob White of Rockport, Maine                                                    Fly Fishing — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cooler, sunny and dry.

Morning Temperature: High 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low 70’s

Water Temperature:  Low 70’s to high 60’s

I have been testing out the Goose River Guide Canoe in the above picture. This canoe was built by Bob White of Rockport, Maine. Bob built this canoe on an E.M. White model 3 form. He made a few improvements. Of these improvements, my favorite is the modified stem profile. It’s not as tall, so it doesn’t catch the wind like some of the original versions. This is a fast canoe with a lot of secondary stability. Thanks to Bob for loaning this canoe to me for the fall. Check out his work at https://whitewoodcraftmaine.com/.

It took an experienced guide to teach me that water temperature is tied more to the angle of the sun and length of the day than the air temperature. The fewer hours the sun hits the water the more quickly the water cools. We’ve had unusually warm and dry weather, but my favorite trout stream is much cooler than one would think. The nights have cooled, the days have shortened and the bigger trout have come out.

Fly fishing for trout has been very good, but very technical. The trout are congregated in a few deep spots. Conditions like these are why you hire a guide. You could fish all day and catch nothing or catch 15 trout in 30 minutes.

Tips:

If you are out for the better than average fish, make sure your casting is sharp. I cannot stress enough how important casting practice is to successful fishing. If you have a trip planned, start casting 2 or 3 times a week for at least 3 weeks. Even if you have to use the back yard, it’s important to build that muscle memory.  It’s like homework for fishermen, but much more fun than translating Latin. I take that back. It’s just as fun as translating Latin.

September 7, 2016

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Bass Fishing – Belfast, Maine

Belfast, Maine

Weather: Cooler and cloudy with high humidity.

Morning Temperature: Mid  60’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 70’s

Water Temperature:  Low to Mid 70’s

The light has changed and the water is starting to cool. The fly fishing for smallmouth has been excellent. On certain ponds, the fish have been chasing bait to the surface. Sometimes, it can be hard to follow these fish. You need to be quick with a cast. Consistently reaching out to 40 plus feet will score you some more fish. This style of fishing is great practice for those who want to chase big saltwater species.

The more time I spend on the water with clients, the more I notice that popper fishing can sometimes be a struggle. It’s easy to get excited when a big fish hits on the surface. This tip applies to dry fly and popper fishermen: keep your rod tip close to the water, minimize slack, and give the fish a few seconds before you set the hook.

I had the pleasure of guiding an excellent fly caster the other day. He could pitch a popper super close to cover with great accuracy.  We didn’t even lose a fly. He’d fished everywhere on my bucket list: Montana, Labrador, New Zealand, etc. I loved his Sage Smallmouth rod–it threw a popper in 7 wt. like an 8 wt. or 9 wt.

We had lots of nice surface hits. We landed lots of fish and missed lots of fish. One strike stands out in my mind. There was a bit of chop on the water. He gave the popper a nice strip. It was hard to tell the difference between the surface disturbance from the popper and the splash from the fish. The fly disappeared and didn’t come back up. The client didn’t think he had a fish, but a nice smallmouth was hooked up. Give the fish more time than you think they need with a surface fly.

On lightly pressured lakes and ponds in Maine, you don’t need to set the hook as soon as you see the strike. Sometimes, I wait until I feel the weight of the fish to set the hook. When smallmouth hit a popper, they mean to do it harm. The foam poppers and sliders I tie seem to be more effective than plastic or balsa poppers.  The fish hold a soft fly longer.

Tips:

Slack line is a fly fisherman’s worst enemy. Slack line will ruin your casts and lose your fish. Keep your rod tip close to the water. Your hookup ratio will increase and your casting will improve.

August 23, 2016

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Bass Fishing Topwater — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Warm and dry with West winds.

Morning Temperature: Mid to high 60’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 70’s

Water Temperature:  Mid 70’s

I know it won’t last, but I’m starting to feel autumn in the air. The nights have been cooler and the light has started to change. We finally got some real rain yesterday morning. My two clients yesterday were troopers. They fished through high winds and serious rain. The rain was so heavy, we had to pull the boat on shore and pull the drain plug to get the rainwater out of the boat. The weather eventually passed and we got into lots of smallmouth.

I’ve been experimenting with a lot of topwater bass flies recently. I’ve found that fish often prefer a less intrusive fly like the yellow sneaky pete in the picture above. These flies work best when fished very slowly and deliberately. This slow style of retrieve can be very difficult for a lot of fishermen, but will pay off for the patient angler.

My thoughts about less intrusive surface flies were confirmed yesterday by a client. This client was spin fishing while his buddy was fly fishing. The client asked if he could tie on a Jitter Bug lure. The soft plastics were working, but he wanted to fish topwater. The Jitter Bug is a classic bass lure that was first introduced in 1938. It is still being made today. I pulled one out of my box–I hadn’t used it in many years–and tied it on. The fly caster and I sort of laughed at the thought of fishing a Jitter Bug. Pretty soon, that Jitter Bug was catching lots of nice smallmouth.

The client fished the Jitter Bug the same way I fish the sneaky pete. He would cast, let it sit, give it a twitch, then start a slow retrieve. He would pause the lure during the retrieve, let it sit, give it a twitch, and continue the retrieve. 90% off the fish hit on the pause or just after a the twitch.

Tips:

Don’t be afraid to try something new. As a guide it can be easy to fall into a routine of fishing the same spots with the same lures. It’s important to keep learning and trying new things. If you hire a guide, listen to your guide, but don’t be afraid to make suggestions and experiment a little. Your guide should be just as eager to learn and improve as you.

August 16, 2016

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Bass Fishing — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Warm and misty with light winds

Morning Temperature: Mid to high 60’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid to high 70’s

Water Temperature:  Mid 70’s.

The bass fishing on Megunticook Lake has been very good. The smallmouth have been a little harder to find than the largemouth. Shallow water fishing for bass has been producing lots of small to medium sized fish. Fishing slowly on deep water structure has been producing some of the biggest fish of the season. In the picture above, Jeff is holding a very nice largemouth.

Tips:

On clear water lakes, use shade to your advantage. Fish are more willing to take a lure in shallow water if the shore is shaded. Fish early in the morning or late in the evening for the best results.

August 10, 2016

Camden, Maine

Weather: Hot with variable winds.

Morning Temperature: Low to mid 60’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid to high 80’s

Water Temperature:  Mid 70’s.

August is one of my favorite times to fly fish for bass. In the mornings and the evenings, bass are often very willing to come up and take a surface popper. August is an excellent time to introduce new fly fishers to the sport. The weather is warm, lots of fish are in shallow water, and the wind is much more manageable than it is in the spring. The top left picture shows Ted with his first fish on a fly rod. He learned to cast just minutes before. When introducing someone to fly fishing, it’s very important that they be successful early on. A couple of fish on the first day really increases the learning curve.

For bigger bass during the late morning and middle of the day, deep water is the ticket. Patience and boat management become very important when fishing deep water.

Trout can still be caught. Deep water trolling and fly casting to springs are the best ways catch them. Some serious rain would really improve the trout fishing.

Tips:

When fishing poppers for bass, long pauses between pops are important. Wait longer than is comfortable. It’s okay to be aggressive with your flies, but be sure not to pop a fly right in the fish’s face. If you see a fishing moving toward your fly, don’t move the fly unless the fish loses interest.

July 20, 2016

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Float Plane, Baxter State Park Maine

Belfast, Maine

Weather: Hot and humid with variable winds.

Morning Temperature: Low 60’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid to high 80’s

Water Temperature:  Low to mid 70’s.

It’s been super hot and humid. Bass fishing is still great, but we’ve been having to move to deeper water in the larger lakes. Heavily weighted lures and deep diving baits are going to be increasingly productive. The best fishing has been early in the morning or late in the evening.

Despite the hot and humid weather, the rivers and lakes are low. Things are still dry from our two year mini-drought. This dry, warm weather has forced trout into predictable spring holes.  The fishing takes a little finesse, but it can be very good if you know where to go and what to use.

Tips:

When the weather gets hot, deep diving crank baits can be very productive. Crank baits are about structure contact. You want your bait to strike bottom and structure. If you are fishing in 15′ of water, you may want to use a crank bait that dives 20′ t0 25′.

July 10, 2016

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Trout Fishing — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Rainy with light Northeast winds.

Morning Temperature: Low 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 50’s

Water Temperature:  High 60’s Low 70’s

Fishing for largemouth bass has been very good. The water is warm and the fish are in shallow water. A lot of fish have been hanging around weed beds and rock structure. Soft plastic lures have been working well, but the crank baits are still working for those deeper fish.

The trout fishing is still good on the streams. You might be surprised at the number of nondescript little streams in Coastal and Central Maine that hold trout in the summer. You never know until you stop and fish.

Chanterelle mushrooms have started to come up. After close to two days of rain and clouds, more should be coming out soon. When stream fishing in summer, I always keep my eyes open for Chanterelles.

Tip:

Keep a little 6’6” fly rod in your vehicle. If you see a nice pool from the road, stop and give a few casts. Sometimes, those pools can produce some surprising fish. I found an excellent pool this way  while hiking last year in Western Maine. Sometimes, it really pays to keep an extra fishing rod in your car.

July 3, 2016

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Fly Fishing — Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Clear with South winds at 10 mph.

Morning Temperature: Mid 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 70’s

Water Temperature:  High 60’s Low 70’s

I’ve been complaining for a while about the lack of rain. We finally got some. We had heavy rains on Wednesday and Friday. The storms were isolated with the immediate  coast getting most of the rain.

When the storms rolled in on Wednesday morning, the rain was so heavy I had to bail out my boat. Water filled the boat above the drain plug. But the change in barometric pressure got the fish feeding aggressively. The storms soon passed and we were catching nice bass on successive casts. Sometimes, it pays off to stick it out through foul weather.

Friday’s storms came late Friday night and early Saturday morning.  The rains were so heavy that the river rose close to two feet. I had hoped that the rain would turn on the trout just like it had the bass on Megunticook Lake. Unfortunately for us, the cloudy water made conditions tough. While we did see some nice trout, the fishing wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for. In the above picture, Josh is casting for trout in what looks like bass water. The water should settle soon and things will go back to  normal.

Tip:

When fishing a flooded stream, dry flies won’t always work. If the rivers have really been churned up, I think a lot of trout are feeding on baitfish and dislodged nymphs. Don’t be afraid to use a sinking line with a streamer or nymph.

June 28, 2016

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Castle Island–Belgrade, Maine

Belgrade, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Clear and dry with South winds at 10-15.

Morning Temperature: Mid 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 70’s

Water Temperature: High 60’s low 70’s

The smallmouth bass fishing in the Belgrades has been excellent. We have been doing well fishing rocky structure in shallow water.

The smallmouth and largemouth fishing on Megunticook Lake in Camden has been excellent. Megunticook is a large lake and can be difficult to learn. It’s often a matter of putting in a lot of time on the water, or hiring a knowledgeable guide.

The trout fishing is still excellent. The water is very low, but the coast got some serious rain today. I’m hoping it was enough rain to bring up the rivers some.

Tip:

Use the wind to your advantage. When fishing a new body of water without a trolling motor, let the wind push you around.  Drifting lets you cover lots of water and helps you target productive water. When you start hooking fish, drop and anchor and fishing the area more slowly. When the bite stops, pull up your anchor and continue drifting.

June 19, 2016

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Smallmouth Bass — Belgrade, Maine

Belgrade, Maine

Weather: Clear and hot with South winds at 10-15.

Morning Temperature: High 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 70’s low 80’s

Water Temperature: Mid  60’s

The bass fishing in the Belgrade Lakes region is excellent. The lakes are large and picturesque with a variety of species to catch. Large and smallmouth bass, pike, trout and salmon can all be caught in this chain of lakes. Here is a picture of one of today’s many smallmouth.

The coastal trout fishing is great again. The alewives are gone and there have been evening hatches of caddis. We still need rain, but the water has remained relatively cool. If we get some wet weather, the first Chanterelles of the season should be out soon.

Tip:

When docking in big water in the wind, don’t forget your bumpers like I did today. In a pinch, lifejackets thrown over the gunnels will work.

June 12, 2016

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cloudy with winds 10-20 from the West.

Morning Temperature: Low to Mid 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: High 60’s Low 70’s

Water Temperature: Low to Mid  60’s

The weather this week has been unusually cool and cloudy. Temperatures have been in the 60’s and 70’s with wind and clouds. We got a couple of good rain storms, but the water is still low. We are trying to play catchup from last summer’s drought and last winter’s poor snow pack.

But the weather hasn’t negatively affected the fishing. Above are a couple of guests who got into some nice smallmouth bass.  These southern boys also got their first taste of schooling white perch. We boated something like 32 or 33 fish in four hours. It was a great morning!

Tip:

White perch cruise in big schools. If you are bass fishing and happen to pick up a white perch on a crank bait or the like, anchor and fish the area with a small lure. If you find a good school, you can catch fish on every cast. White perch are excellent table fare and there is no limit to the number you can take home.

June 5, 2016

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cloudy with calm or no wind.

Morning Temperature: Low to Mid 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 70’s

Water Temperature: Low to Mid  60’s

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of guiding a young man on a backcountry fly fishing trip in northern Maine. The bugs were bad, but the fishing was excellent! Although Adam was new to fly fishing, he managed to catch some very nice trout–and a lot of them. By the end of the trip, he was casting like a professional. We fished ponds and small streams. Dry flies, nymphs, streamers, they all seemed to work. Hike-in trips to remote trout ponds are some of my favorites. The fish are often very willing to take a fly and the scenery is unmatched.

Tip:

Use monofilament leaders for floating lines and dry flies and fluorocarbon leaders for sinking lines with streamers and nymphs.  Monofilament floats and will help to keep your fly on the surface of the water. Fluorocarbon sinks and will help get your fly down to productive depths much more quickly.

May 30, 2016

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Smallmouth Bass Spawning Bed — Rockport, Maine

Rockport,  Maine

Weather: Rainy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. Winds 5 to 10 from the South.

Morning Temperature: 50’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low 70’s

Water Temperature: Low to Mid  60’s

The smallmouth spawn is well underway. The picture above is of a large spawning bed. Only a few largemouth have been on beds, and they haven’t been as aggressive as the smallmouth. The fish have been taking just about everything we throw at them.  Large schools of white perch have been cruising the shallows. Keep a silver crank bait close by. Sometimes there are big fish following the perch.

Large numbers of alewives have moved into the rivers. Trout fishing on streams is tough, but there are still plenty of trout around in the ponds.

Tip:

When bass spawn, the male guards the bed. Males are usually much smaller than the females. Be patient and bring your polarized sunglasses. You will see the female patrolling the area around the spawning bed. Sometimes, if you put in the time, you can get these big girls to bite.

May 21, 2016

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Float Plane on Washington Pond–Fishing Guide Camden, Maine

Camden,  Maine

Weather: Warm and sunny with calm winds.

Morning Temperature: Mid 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 70’s

Water Temperature: Low  60’s

The weather here in Maine has been beautiful. We haven’t had a frost in about two weeks and the water temperature is creeping up into the low 60’s. Now, we just need some rain. Some of the summer people have even started making their way to the area. In the picture above, a pilot takes off from Washington Pond.

Bass are moving into the shallows. Some are already on spawning beds. Trout are taking dry flies and the caddis are out. Things are going well, but the alewives will show up soon and make things difficult on certain bodies of water.

Tips:

When the alewives are running, it’s best to fish landlocked bodies of water. I try to stay away from coastal rivers and ponds connected to the ocean by streams. Don’t think central  Maine is safe either. The fish show up in ponds 30 or more miles from the coast.

May 7, 2016

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Bass Fishing – Camden, Maine

Camden,  Maine

Weather: Cloudy with east winds around 5 mph

Morning Temperature: Mid 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 50’s

Water Temperature: Low to mid 50’s

The fly fishing for smallmouth bass has continued to be excellent. Throwing big streamers on sinking lines is one of my favorite ways to fish. Bill landed this 3 pound fish on a local pond. The fish made a couple of nice, line peeling runs. Bill kept the fish up above the rocks and it cleared the water several times with some acrobatic, head-shaking jumps.

Trout fishing has remained very good. Last week was cool and rainy, but when the sun did come out, bugs started hatching. Small dark mayflies have been the bug of choice, but the caddis will be here soon.

Tips:

Fluorocarbon is your friend. In the spring, when the water is clear, fluorocarbon leaders and lines are the way to go. Fluorocarbon has the same light index as water and is virtually invisible to fish. It’s more expensive than monofilament, but it’s worth spending the extra money for good fluorocarbon.

May 1, 2016 

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing – Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cloudy with calm winds from the south.

Morning Temperature: High 30’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 50’s

Water Temperature: Low to mid 50’s

Midcoast Maine has some superb smallmouth bass fishing. Once the water warms up a bit, the smallmouth start storing calories for the upcoming spawn. The above picture is of one of the four pound smallmouth caught today. This girl took a size 10 streamer fly that was catching trout just last week. Most people think of trout and salmon in April and May, but I always have my best smallmouth fishing in late April through late May and early June.

The trout fishing has remained quite good with hatches of BWO’s on the rivers and larger mayflies on the lakes. The trout are definitely starting to look up.

Largemouth fishing can be frustrating this time of year. You will see big fish cruising in shallow water. Sometimes you will see schools of fish cruising. They just don’t want to eat what lure and fly fishermen have. Be patient, they’ll be feeding soon.

Tips:

Fish on the rocks. In spring, I find that fish are especially attracted to submerged rock piles. Much like the bricks in your wood stove or fireplace, rock piles in your favorite pond retain and radiate heat. They also attract bait fish and provide great cover for feeding bass.

April 23, 2016 

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Fly Fishing – Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Rainy in the morning and clear in the afternoon.

Morning Temperature: Low 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 60’s

Water Temperature: High 40’s low 50’s

The trout fishing has been phenomenal. The water is cold and the trout haven’t spread out yet. It can be tough to find them, but when you do, you’re in for some fun.  In the picture above, Dan is holding a healthy brook trout. A number of nice fish came from that pool. We released a big female before we could get a picture.

Tips:

To complement the great trout fishing, the black flies have been out in swarms. I also saw my first tick of the season. This time of year, it’s especially important to check for ticks. Bug spray with deet will help repel ticks. Spray around your boots and pant legs.  If you don’t like deet, rose geranium oil is an organic alternative that seems to work.

April 17, 2016 

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Fly Fishing Midcoast Maine

Hope, Maine

Weather: Warm with light winds from the north.

Morning Temperature: Mid 30’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 60’s

Water Temperature: Mid 40’s

The smallmouth bass are starting to move around. The water is still cold, but the fish seem to be collecting around deep, rocky structure and drop-offs. Most fish were a pound or less, but I did see one three pounder.  It’ll just keep getting better as the weather warms up.

The picture above is of local canoe builder, Bob White–whitewoodcraftmaine.com. I had a half day at school before April vacation, so we snuck for a few hours on the river. Most people like dry flies, but when the water is cold, trout love a big streamer.

Tips:

When the water is cold, fishing the shallows for bass is often unproductive. I saw two guys fishing shallow water this morning. We talked at the boat launch in the afternoon. They didn’t see a single fish. Find a steep drop-off and fish deeper than you think you should.

April 11, 2016

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Brook Trout and Salamander – Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Clear, cold and windy all day.

Morning Temperature: High 20’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low 40’s

Water Temperature: Mid 40’s

The weather wasn’t great for fishing last weekend. The wind blew all day on Saturday and Sunday and temperatures only made it into the 40’s. But that doesn’t mean the fish weren’t hungry. This brook trout nailed a streamer and coughed up a 7″ salamander.

The weather service is calling for temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s this weekend.  Warm weather and April vacation is just around the corner. I hope the smallmouth cooperate.

Tips:

Floating fly lines are great, but don’t forget to fish sinking lines. My favorite is a clear intermediate sinking line. It’s great for throwing streamers. Most brook trout over 11 or 12 inches feed on larger prey like fish. Read Forrest Bonney’s book, Square Tails.

April 2, 2016 

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Megunticook Lake – Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cloudy in the morning with light and variable winds. Rain in the afternoon.

Morning Temperature: Mid 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Low 50’s

Water Temperature: Low 40’s

Today was one of those beautiful spring days I dream about all winter. During the summer, it can be difficult to find parking at the boat launch. This morning, I only saw one other boat on the 1,300 acre Megunticook Lake. The new lake warden was out addling goose eggs.

I was happy to see four or five pairs of loons, lots of ducks and geese, and a large, mature eagle. The bass haven’t been moving much, but I did get into a few short trout. Megunticook really gets good when water temperatures creep up into the 50’s, or, as the old-timers say, when the swallows come out.

Tips:

Early spring fishing is often about finding warm water and active fish, but choosing the right body of water is also important. I have never understood why some lakes have great fishing after the ice goes out and others fish poorly. Two of my favorite ponds come to mind. They are very similar in depth, water clarity, bottom contour, and are only a few miles apart. One has phenomenal early fishing, the other has slow fishing until May. To find great early fishing, put in lots of time on the water or hope someone takes pity on you and shares some information about their favorite pond.

March 27, 2016 

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Fishing Camden, Maine — Brook Trout

Camden, Maine

Weather: Cloudy in the morning with a few flakes of snow and sunny in the afternoon. Calm winds from the south.

Morning Temperature: Low 30’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 40’s

Water Temperature: Low 40’s

Spring trout fishing has started to pick up. The rivers are still a bit too high, but pond fishing has been good.  After last week’s snow storm, I’m hoping the weather starts to settle a bit.

In the afternoons, when the sun warms up the shallow water, brook trout and brown trout have been cruising for nymphs. You probably won’t see much surface action yet, but if you’re patient with a nymph, you can get into some nice fish. This brook trout took a small  red and white streamer.

Tips:

Finding warm water can mean finding actively feeding fish. You might bring a stream thermometer with you. Attach it to a string and take bottom temperatures. When you catch a fish, record or remember that temperature. If you can identify any patterns, keep looking for similar temperatures elsewhere. Pretty soon, you’ll have consistent catch rates  in “less than ideal” conditions.

March 5, 2016 

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Fishing Guide’s Canoe — Camden, Maine

Rockport, Maine

It’s only March, but the ice is already out on the rivers and larger lakes. While today is a bit chilly, we are going to get weather in the 50’s and 60’s next week! Great ice out fishing is just around the corner.

Today, I got the boat into Bob White’s shop for a good cleaning and to touch up some varnish and paint. Bob makes some beautiful canoes and paddles in this shop. Check it out: https://whitewoodcraftmaine.com. All I have to do now is change the oil in the motor and the boat will be ready for fishing on Saturday.

October 3, 2015 

Camden, Maine

Weather: Partly cloudy turning to mostly sunny. Wind 10 to 15 from the northeast.

Morning Temperature: Mid 40’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid to hgh 50’s

Water Temperature: Mid 60’s

Fishing Guide Camden Maine

Cedar and canvas canoe. Camden, Maine.

Sometimes, simple is better. Today was the first Saturday of duck hunting. At 4:45 am, the landing was busy with hunters, dogs, boats and trailers. I left the Nor-West at home.  If you don’t mind paddling, you can avoid all the traffic and predawn nonsense at the boat launch. A modest “J-hook” spread of a dozen or so decoys and two calls–one duck and one goose–did the trick. By 8:30 am, we were off the water with two geese, two mallards, and a woodduck. If you like the canoe in the photo, check out Bob’s website. He makes some very nice canoes and paddles. http://whitewoodcraftmaine.com/

Last week, we got close to 8″ of rain. The rivers and ponds are way up and the water is cooling down. It’s time to start thinking about pike again.

Tips:

When duck hunting in the early season, small decoy spreads can be very effective. There’s no need for fancy battery powered decoys, ten different calls, or a big boat. Spend some time scouting and shooting clays before the season opens. Time on the water, not expensive gear, will make you a better hunter.

September 7, 2015

Camden, Maine

Weather: Calm and clear in the morning with a light to moderate wind in the afternoon.

Morning Temperature: Low 60’s

Afternoon Temperature: Mid 80’s to 90’s (it was hot!!!)

Water Temperature: Mid to Low 70’s

Report:

There are big rainbow trout in Megunticook Lake! I think the fish and animals have a calendar. It sill feels like summer, but the trout, bass, turkey and deer have been moving around. It probably has to do more with the cool nights and shorter days than the calendar, but the animals seem to be saying that fall is on its way.

Tips:

Try flipping Texas rigged tubes or craws to structure. With a 1/4 ounce weight, you can fish shallow water lily pads, steep drop-offs, and deepwater docks. You might be surprised at what will hit a craw.

This time of year, try to get to the boat launch early or late. We got a late start today, but the launch was empty at 8:00 am. By 12:30, we had to wait in line to take out. People were having trouble finding parking. We saw one Prius parked in the middle of the lot off 105. I’m not sure how some of those drivers got their trailers around that vehicle. Be considerate at the launch, we’re all just trying to have a good time.

September 6, 2015

Union, Maine

Weather: Foggy in the morning, but clear by 8 with sun and a calm southeast wind.

Morning Temperature: Mid 50’s.

Afternoon Temperature: Low to mid 80’s.

Water Temperature: Mid to Low 70’s.

Report:

With the cool mornings we have had the past few days, the fishing has started to pick up. It’s still a bit too warm for pike, but the smallouth have really been moving around. I actually saw some fish cruising the shallows today. It’s always nice to sight cast to a big smallmouth.

Largemouth are on shallow structure and lilypads and lots of smallmouth are chasing schools of bait in open water.  Chasing schools can be tough, but weightless jerk baits have been producing.

The ducks have started to bunch up a bit. I saw mostly wood ducks today, but I know the teal and mallards will show up soon. A huge group of geese spent last night rafting on the pond. I guess I should have been hunting early season geese this morning.

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