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Freshwater Fishing Report

July 25, 2011 - Augusta –The dog days of summer are here and fishing has slowed, but some biologists blame the slowdown on more than the fish.

Certainly trout are in the spring holes and togue are found down deep, but fishermen who know how to find and lure these fish to a hook are having success statewide.


There has been loads of big fish news in southern Maine the past few weeks.

At the fishway on the Skeleton Dam on the Saco River, a 4-pound smallmouth bass was caught, an unusually large one for a river system, said state biologist Francis Brautigam.

And on Hancock Pond, brown trout fishing has been slow but the ones caught have been big, said Brautigam, who works for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

"There was one fish in the 5-pound size class, and one large brown about 32 inches caught and released," Brautigam said. "Sounds like early summer fishing for browns has picked up there on a water not particularly known for fast brown fishing."

Finally, lake trout fishing in southern Maine has been consistent, Brautigam reports.

Togue are lying deep, as far as 120 feet, but with successful fishermen often using flat-fish lures and running them on the bottom lake, trout are being caught. Look for sandy bottoms, Brautigam said.


IFW biologist Bobby Van Riper said that when an out-of-state fishermen asked recently why the fishing was so slow, he found himself disagreeing.

"It is slower than the spring and fall, but it's still there. As a kid I fished Moxie Stream and was there two weeks ago. It's a great little spot and I always found the trout there as a kid. There were two spring holes and the trout would be right at the ripple," Van Riper said.

Fishermen who are adept at finding the spring holes and where the trout are laying low are catching trout, Van Riper said.

"I told this guy, 'Do you have a boat, a fish finder?' I told him to go out with his fish finder and start writing down what he found," Van Riper said.


It's all about the warm water species in Hancock and Washington counties. And the pickerel fishing is fun around weed beds with drop-offs, said IFW biologist Greg Bur.

"Right at the weed beds, the pickerel are right there and ready and willing to strike," Bur said.

Scammon Pond in Eastbrook is a great spot for pickerel, Bur said.


The big news in western Maine is an illegal smallmouth bass introduction in Spencer Lake, located in Somerset County in Township 3, Range 5. It's bad news for IFW.

"There is not much we can do in Spencer Lake. There are no control options," said IFW biologist Dave Boucher.


The trout fishing is getting a little more challenging around Moosehead, reports IFW biologist Tim Obrey.

The hex hatch is over from the most part, but insect activity is still very good in the late evening.

Obrey said biologists have found a lot of insects in fish stomachs last week, including flying ants, wasps and beetles.

Anglers will need to get down deep for salmon and togue the rest of the summer. Obrey said the "thermocline" level where the fish hang out is around 35 feet on most of our big lakes.


A couple reports of good salmon and togue fishing in eastern Maine have fishermen happy there, reports IFW biologist Nels Kramer.

"The salmon were really impressive, in the 6- to 9-pound range," Kramer said.

Salmon fishing at East Grand Lake also has been promising, Kramer said.

Deidre Fleming, Maine Sunday Telegram, July 2011