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Freshwater Fishing Report

May 21, 2012 - Augusta-As we head into the best of spring and onward toward summer, the fishing is transitioning, too.

Around the state it's picking up or slowing down or dropping off with one species, while it gets crazy fast with another.

Makes us want to tie a fly.


This is the time of year when white perch are schooling up in coves, which makes for easy fishing around southern Maine for this pan-fried favorite.

Crappies also are in their spawning season and can be found near the weeds, as they nest in colonies, said regional fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam. It's a species that has become more popular among southern Maine fishermen in recent years, and the next few weeks offer the best of crappie fishing, Brautigam said.

Meanwhile, the fast early-season salmon and togue fishing on Sebago Lake is holding up well despite the warmer days, reports Brautigam, of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.


Salmon have been biting in Grand Lake Stream since April 1, but they're still dropping in from West Grand Lake and looking pretty fat, reports regional fisheries biologist Greg Burr.

Meanwhile, salmon being pulled out of West Grand Lake are in the 3- to 4-pound range, Burr said.

Then there are the smallmouth bass waters Downeast that are just heading into the spawning season. That means fast fishing along the rocky shores in the week ahead.


Salmon is the fish to target in one of the hot spots in western Maine right now: Beaver Mountain Lake in Sandy River Plantation.

The size and quantity of the wild fish are as good as it gets, said IFW biologist Jason Seiders.

Seiders also would like to remind fishermen that the take on salmon in Mooselookmeguntic Lake is three fish, a long-standing liberal bag limit. Biologists still are trying to improve the salmon fishery in the big lake, and anglers catching and keeping salmon will help. The result will be a bigger smelt population, and eventually more robust salmon.

And the salmon fishing there should be picking up this week, he added.


The recent rain has helped to bolster the stream flows around Maine's biggest lake, which amounts to great brook trout fishing in the week ahead, reports IFW biologist Tim Obrey.

"We have had some reports that the trout ponds are producing as well. Surface water temperatures are in the upper 50s and low 60s on smaller trout ponds, which is prime for brook trout action," Obrey said.


Fishermen are having great luck at Pleasant Pond in Island Falls for brook trout, with some caught in the 18- to 20-inch range, said IFW biologist Nels Kramer. And salmon caught in the lake this spring have been 2 to 3 pounds, with one reported at 6 pounds, Kramer said.

Meanwhile, at Matagammon Lake the salmon fishing is going strong, he said.

Elsewhere in the region, streams should be receding from flood levels after the rain last week, Kramer said. And fast stream fishing in the region should coincide nicely with the Memorial Day weekend.


Regional fisheries biologist Frank Frost went to check out a section of the St. John River last week, and was able to report the muskellunge fishery is strong as ever.

The Upper St. John River has traditionally been a great spot to catch wild brook trout because of fluctuations in water flow and temperature. But the muskie population has taken hold, and along with that non-native species, smallmouth bass as well.

IFW staff monitor the effects of the invasive fish on the native fishery. They encourage anglers to catch and keep muskie.

Deirdre Fleming, Maine Outdoor Journal, May 2012