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AUGUSTA, Maine Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fisheries biologists are preparing fishing reports that may help anglers in the weeks ahead. Early July generally means a big hex hatch, but DIF fisheries biologist Tim Obrey said that this year the hex hatch seemed a little off, according to reports from area anglers. Obrey suggested trying local rivers for trout and salmon.
“Water levels are good, and the fishing is still pretty good. The East Outlet and the West Branch should still have some good fishing,” said Obrey. Obrey noted that the caddis hatch has been strong on the West Branch, with anglers having the most luck in the evening.
Moosehead Lake experienced an excellent spring with good catches of trout and salmon, and several large brook trout. Right now, however, if you want to fish the lake, you need the equipment to get down deep.
“I’ve talked with the district wardens there, and for those who are fishing deep, they are still catching quite a few salmon in the 18 to 20 inch range,” said Kramer. Kramer added that they are even catching some salmon up to 23 inches.
Bass fishing on the Penobscot is picking up, but anglers need to be aware of changing water levels. The Veazie Dam was breached on Monday, lowering water levels in that section, and water levels behind the Mattaseunk Dam in Medway have been lowered to facilitate repairs on the dam.
“On Monday, we had one river that dropped 16 degrees,” said Frost, who added that with two nights of predicted nighttime lows in the 40s, river fishing should bounce right back.
Cooler tributaries will hold the most fish, and Frost recommended streams such that flow into the Aroostook such as the Mooseleuk and Munsungan as possible fishing destinations.
“Trout hold in the cooler water, but once it cools off, they will spread out,” says Frost, who added that water levels have been high much of the summer, and with the midweek rain last week, that trend will continue.
Central Maine region
DIF fisheries biologists are busy on the upper Kennebec River, taking a closer look at the section of river between Harris Station Dam and Wyman Dam.
“We are up there getting a better understanding of the fish population in that section, looking at the age and growth of fish in that segment of the river,” said DIF fisheries biologist Jason Seiders. To capture fish, biologists use an electro fishing boat that sends pulses of electricity into the water, temporarily stunning fish,
which allows biologists to net them. They are weighed and measured, then released.
Seiders said they saw several anglers fishing that section, and that the fishing was “fantastic.” The fish surveys revealed quite a few salmon in the 16 to 19 inch range.
“Unfortunately, bass numbers are also relatively high,” said Seiders, who reminds anglers that there is no size or bag limit on bass in that section, and anglers can keep as many bass as they want. Removal of bass from that section will help salmon and trout populations, and anglers who like to keep bass to eat would be wise to try this section of river as well.
Anglers may want to float that section of river in a canoe. Put in at the ball field just over the Route 201 bridge in The Forks and you can take out at the Hole in the Wall near Northern Outdoors on Route 201. This segment is approximately 5 miles in length.
Down East region
This time of year, anglers will have the most success chasing warm water fish such as pickerel, bass and white perch, according to Greg Burr, DIF fisheries biologist in Jonesboro. He recommends fishing the edges of weed beds and lily pads for pickerel and largemouth bass, and the drop offs and deep rocks for smallmouth bass.
White perch are schooling and anglers may find them nearly any time of day. If you are looking for some perch waters for a fish fry, in Washington County try Second Gardner Lake in Marion, Rocky Lake in Township 19, Third Machias Lake in Township 43, Big Lake in Greenlaw Chopping Township, and the Grand Falls Flowage in Princeton.
In Hancock County, head out to Toddy Pond in Orland, Georges Pond in Franklin, and Webb Pond and Abrams Pond in Eastbrook.
This time of year, fishing for salmon and trout is a little more difficult, but the fish are still there, just deeper. Burr recommends using use lead line, downriggers or still fishing to get down below the thermocline, somewhere between 25 and 40 feet.
Rangeley Lakes region
DIF Fisheries biologist Bobby Van Riper has noticed more anglers on the region’s rivers this year, and said he is receiving good reports about the fishing in these rivers.
“Fishing pressure seems to be up, and we are getting rave reviews on the fishing. The Rapid, Magalloway, and Kennebago have been superb at times, but with the warm up we’ve had, it is starting to slow down,” said Van Riper.