Maine Saltwater Fishing: Hurry Up and Wait
Waiting on the Wind

September Dislikes and Likes

This is an amazing time to be on the water, both here in Maine and down in Boston Harbor, Cape Cod Bay and the south side of the Cape. Some days it's full on summer and other days it is very clearly fall. There is a touch of melancholy to every outing, as the days seem so much shorter and the fish start moving south but there is also a sense that we're onto a secret. With so many people turning their attention to house projects, youth soccer games, early season hunts and even winterizing their boats (Yikes!) we can feel like we've got it figured out and everyone else is missing the boat.

Here are some seasonal thoughts that have been rattling around in my brain these past few weeks.

September dislikes...

Too many windy days – everywhere - Kennebec River, Stellwagen Bank, Vineyard Sound.

Having to wear socks for a reason other than bug protection.

Lower angle of the sun makes sighting stripers more difficult.

Running low on hot fly patterns.

Hurricane swell messing up water clarity on the striper flats.

Sunset before 7:00 PM.

Dry, bright, clear, days with strong NW wind.

The run and gun crowd on the albie circuit.

Fewer excuses for why I haven’t finished remodeling the kitchen.

Did I mention the wind?

Trying to find my wool hat.

Wondering if the swarms of peanut bunker will ever return to Maine.

Thoughts of season pass sales numbers, staff training, new voucher policies and moving to Sunday River.

September likes...

Small bait is easy to imitate with a more castable fly.

Wearing socks for reasons other than bug protection.

No 2:30 AM wake up times.

Having a little more time to refill fly boxes between trips.

Eating supper with Sarah more than once a week.

Ice in the cooler lasts a lot longer.

Skinny water stripers slamming all sorts of flies.

Far fewer boats on the water here in Maine.

Less DEET.

Fat striped bass and fast false albacore.

Finding my wool hat.

The colors at Small Point.

Re-rigging the small metals for the windy day albie hunts.

The slow rate of growth of the lawn.

Indian summer days on the tuna grounds of Cape Cod Bay.

Taking along a thermos of tea for the first time since early June.

Thoughts of woodcock, grouse, pheasants, sharptails and huns.

Hope you've enjoyed this month as much as I have. Remember that there are still a lot of fish to be caught.

Capt. Peter Fallon


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Capt. Peter Fallon

Thanks for your comments, all season long, Peter.

Sorry to hear about another slow outing. The second half of August and September has been tough. I've had some good trips when the wind was down and the fish up on the flats. Their attitude really changed once we got into September. When we could find them, they would eat. The fishing upriver in deeper water has been amazingly consistent for weeks now, but most of the time it is not fly fishing friendly.

My wife can tell within 56 seconds after I walk in the door how my trip went. I go days rejoicing at having the best job in the universe and then a six hour trip when the fish just won't cooperate seems like it lasts six days. You are right about needing to be an optimist. Helps to have a short memory too. Thankfully, I've had some really fun outings after the slow ones.

I too am concerned about the long term trend for the striped bass fishery. We caught a lot of fish between 24 and 32 inches this summer, but very few schoolies. The pressure on the fish all along the East Coast is immense and Chesapeake Bay is a mess and the menhaden population is over fished and yet ASMFC is adamant that stripers are not over fished. I guess that we've got work to do...

If you head out for one last outing, give a call or send an email and I'll give you an update. I'm in Massachusetts right now trying to chase albies on days when the winds drop to 15 to 20, but in touch with guys who are still catching on the Kennebec. Hope you winter well.

Capt. Peter Fallon

Peter Driscoll

HI Peter,

I always admire your optimism -- the spirit of one who can be on the water for 12 hours without a strike and think clearly that it is not only a matter of time -- versus the realist who says "you idiot, you have not had a strike in 12 hours". I suspect many diehard fisherman are in the former category.

I gave it one more try 10 days ago -- tough day with strong north wind and incoming tide. I never saw sign of a fish in any way. Mighty discouraging.

I have begun to fear that we may have witnessed a long term decline in the striper fishery that may take the fun out of striper fishing.....I would hate to think that is true. But it was not a lot of fun going out and seeing or catching very few fish -- it must have been even less fun having clients on the boat who expected you to produce...

I am no longer a hunter, so have turned to other projects to finish up before winter. I haven't put the boat away just yet, just in case I get the urge -- maybe try for pike one more time close to home......

Have enjoyed your posts all summer -- sometimes you were my vicarious fishing trip......thanks. Saved me some gas money!

Be well

Peter Driscoll

The comments to this entry are closed.