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.
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