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Summer Day

More good striper fishing news from the Kennebec this morning. We had the crew down from Sunday River along with a gentleman that I'll write more about soon. The fish were up on the surface early, making Forrest Faulkingham and I think about years past. The first pod we found we're mostly small (with some slot fish mixed in), but the hoots and hollers coming from Forrest's boat we're a sure sign that catching fish after fish was good way to start the day.

There were stripers giving us the finger in one cove. Individual fish popping up to the surface here and there, but fussy, fussy, fussy. We did manage to track down a school of bigger bass right at the end of the ebb tide. These fish were pushing herring two feet into the air. Here's Neil Scanlon's fish of the day.

Neils fish

Perfectly played on light line, Neil danced around the boat bow to stern, steered the bass around the push pole, navigated past the platform a couple of times and landed it with ease and confidence. This sweet striper made us all smile. Hopefully Neil is in such a good mood tonight that his wife will forgive me for calling her mobile phone by mistake at 4:43 this morning, as I was trying to check on his progress driving down from Bethel.

Overall, the fishing was good but the day was great. The bright sun wasn't ideal, given that the water is still too stained to see well on the flats. I would have paid for a little fog until mid morning. It was interesting to see a lot of stripers keyed in on very small bait when the river is absolutely loaded with adult herring. It felt a bit like Florida out there at 8:30 but when the tide really turned the breeze came up and the temp was perfect and the run to Five Islands for lunch was ideal. Great company makes for a great day under challenging circumstances. Add glorious summer weather, some cooperative fish and a stellar lunch...you get the idea.

Capt. Peter Fallon

www.Mainestripers.com

 

 


Striped Bass Update for the Kennebec River, Maine

Striper fishing in the Kennebec is getting back on track after the awful weather earlier this month, but it is still up and down. The River is slowly cleaning itself, but it is taking its sweet time. The water is stained (still) and towards the bottom of the ebb tide it looks like coffee milk. Sight casting is still limited to early morning or evening, when the stripers are waking in the surface. You just can't see down into the water at any distance, even from my perch up on the poling platform.

The herring in all sizes are everywhere, as they should be in mid June. I have seen bass chasing small bait such as sand eels up river from the mouth almost to Bath. Sometimes, these fish have been fussy, even when chasing the bait to the surface.

Father's Day +1

The striped bass that my dad is holding in this photo came out of two feet of water on Monday morning. We searched for the first hour of the morning with no results and then found happy fish slurping bait right at the bottom of the tide. The wind stayed down, allowing us to follow the fish up onto a big flat as the water started to rise. Unlike other pods of breaking fish that I've seen in the past week, these were mixed in size from small schoolies to ones about 28 or 29 inches. We went back out Monday evening to see if the pattern would repeat itself. The wind was up out of the south and the tide was running well, but we found nothing.

The weather change seemed to really turn on fish this morning. Second cast into a current seam past a ledge and bam, fish on. Next location, schoolies going nuts on the surface. Third stop, nada, but fourth stop was on again. This continued for the first couple hours until the tide died out. I thought for sure that I'd start to see fish working up onto the flats as the tide started to rise but they were stealthy and given the lack of water clarity, had to really prospect for them.

I was hoping for three or four days of southwest wind, but the wind forecast is all over the place. This strech of hot, humid weather isn't ideal for my wife's project of moving a dismantled chimney but might be just perfect for the striper fishing.

Capt. Peter Fallon

www.mainestripers.com


Maine Striper Update

I fished with Fritz in his gorgeous new 20 foot Maritime Skiff this weekend. Part of our mission is to teach him to be able to run the boat, competently, confidently and comfortably. Part of our mission, is of course, to catch fish. We are succeeding at both.

Saturday evening we spent the bulk of our time sorting through new gear, figuring out how to best stow everything, fueling procedures and putting some hours on the engine and the new owner. It was slack tide when we got underway, so we ran to the mouth of the Kennebec, scouted a couple of coves, made a few casts and then headed back up river for dinner at The Cabin.

On the east shore of Stage Island we found 200 gulls (mixed species), innumerable cormorants, terns, eagles, osprey, egrets and eiders. It was clear that there was something going on there. Our casts produced no results but our sonar screen was lit up with balls of bait.

Sunday morning we didn't dare start out in the dark. The Kennebec is still loaded with debris from the flooding. We were rewarded at our first stop with breaking fish. Schoolie stripers. This wasn't water boiling, birds screaming, bait fleeing, frenzied action but consistent, single breaking fish spread along a couple hundred yards. The tide was just starting to move and the stripers tended to hang on the drop off where it went from 6 to 15 feet deep.

We found the same pattern in a couple other coves for the first few hours of the morning. Half of our stops produced no results. We checked one flat that we both love to fish. No signs, no strikes.

All of the fish that we caught we little, little guys. We spent some time fishing deep in the areas where we were finding the fish, looking for a heftier return, but no luck.

First Fish

The water is clearer but still a mess. By half tide the draining river was again filled with swirling silt. There was far more bait visible that the previous week, but still not as much as prior to the flooding. I'm heading back over to eastern Casco Bay early this week but optimistic about the Kennebec for the coming weekend.

Capt. Peter Fallon

www.Mainestripers.com


Striped Bass Update for the Kennebec River

I don't have a striped bass fishing update for the Kennebec River for you as the water is still high and dirty but I'll be back out there Friday evening and over the weekend. Water levels upriver in both the Kennebec and Androscoggin are down significantly from a few days ago but both rivers are running about twice as high as what we were seeing last week before all the rain. That's a lot of water.

Here are a couple of photos that I took at the Kennebec Tavern on Tuesday. Folks there said that they hadn't seen the water that high in the 16 years they'd been there. They have a lot of clean up work ahead but amazingly enough they were hosting the Bath Garden Club Luncheon at the time I was snapping these shots. If you look real close in this first photo you can just make out the pink jackets and summer blouses through the front windows. I suspect that a few extra Manhattans were consumed that afternoon.

Kennebec River 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kennebc River 2

I did hear from a friend who was fishing from shore around the mouth of the Saco yesterday that the water there is starting to clear. He was seeing small schools of breaking fish that stayed well out of casting range.

I expect that I'll be over in Casco Bay for some part of this weekend and for at least two of my charters next week I will fish around Harpswell. Having the Maverick on a trailer is a huge benefit when the weather throws us a curveball.

Here are a couple of thoughts that might help you deal with all of this stained water:

Try fishing dark patterns - olive, purple, black.

Remember that the incoming tide brings cleaner water and the end of the dropping tide will be the muddiest.

Make some commotion on the surface with a popper or gurgler.

If you're chucking hardware, make some noise. Searching with a Rat-L-Trap can be a trip saver.

Find the bait. Everything has been disrupted by the flood waters. As normalcy returns, you need to hit the reset button on your own understanding of what's happening where.

Be very careful out there. There are still trees and logs and stumps and broken up docks and bolts of puplwood and deck furniture floating around. As much as I love to get an early start, I won't be launching until I can see what's ahead of me and I'll be back to the dock before it's truly dark. Also be mindful that the mud flat that you have run across a hundred times my now have a 70 foot oak tree stuck in it, lurking just below the water.

The most amazing thing about this whole event is that the water will drop, and the bait will show and the stripers will eat and we'll be singing the praise of June in Maine.

Capt. Peter Fallon

Gillies & Fallon Guide Service

Mainestripers.com


Maine Striper Update - Good News, Bad News

Striped bass continue to move up the Maine coast, filling into rivers and bays south of Portland, Casco Bay and the Kennebec watershed. We're seeing the schools of little stripers that I was finding down by Cape Cod last month, which is welcome news. And the bait. Wow.

Unfortunately, we are also watching floodwaters tear through coastal Maine, dumping dirty water into every bay, river and harbor. There are rocks sitting on the mudflat in Dromore Bay next to my house that were in the streambed two days ago. The combination of runoff, dam releases and high tides with the full moon has put a lot of junk into the Kennebec. And the rain. Wow.

Here are some graphs from the USGS that show what's happening upriver:

Screen Shot 2012-06-04 at 7.10.23 AM

Screen Shot 2012-06-04 at 7.09.26 AM

The forecast for the week calls for rain the next three days, but in lesser amounts. I'm hopeful that by the weekend, we may find some of the waters starting to clear and fishing picking back up.

Capt. Peter Fallon

Mainestripers.com