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More Fun on the Flats

Big bass

The greenheads are out in force, which in addition to wearing long pants all day, means that the stripers should be up on the flats in good numbers. Some of the most consistant sight casting of the entire summer often happens right here in the first half of July. A stable, southwest flow coupled with high overhead sun makes me feel like I'm in Florida...sneaking around in two feet of water, changing flies to see what the fish want, kneeling on the bow of the boat to minimize profile, wiping sweat from around the eyes, mouth dry with excitement as 40 inch bass track the fly. It is all so much fun I can't stand it. I spend all day doing it and just want more. Three times this week the breeze started to wrinkle the surface of the water just as the light got bright enough to spot the fish, not just the wakes, fins and tails and then, it just died right off again. 11:00 AM and the water was unblemished. So lucky.

Fly fishing striped bass

A cloudy or foggy morning right about now would go over well with me. The stripers are super fussy and a little fog would help the early morning bite. The timing of the tide has also been a bit funky. The fish aren't very active when the water isn't moving, even at 4:30 AM. The neap tides do slow everything down, keeping the bass up on the flats longer, giving us more time to try to figure them out.

Maine fly fishing

The forecast through the weekend is good, although it looks like the breeze will kick up each morning and may not settle until right at sunset. The Kennebec is still brimming with bait of all kind. I've heard rumors of bluefish of Seguin and Small Point but haven't been able to confirm them with anyone who I know well. Hope you get a chance to get on the water and enjoy the amazing sight casting opportunity we have right here in Maine.

Recycled fish

 

Capt. Peter Fallon

 


Skinny water game on

What a fun day. Started up on one of my all time favorite flats at first light. The stripers were amazingly fussy. They were grouped up into schools that were too large. Drop the fly just a little too close to the pack and vooooom, the entire group erupts and scoots. I much prefer chasing pods of four, six , ten fish, where there is enough competition to encourage eats but not this skittish behavior. I was surprised at how almost all of the bass on this flat were in schools of twenty, thirty, fifty fish. It was very demanding, very cool and very satisfying.

As the tide dropped out of this bay there was one pack of striped bass that packed themselves so tightly together and roamed making tight circles as they went. The sun was high enough that they looked like a large patch of weed on the bottom from a distance, just a black glob. They were exposing fins on the surface, swirling, cavorting but not eating.

Splash

I picked up Sarah at 10:30 and ran back to a spot were I had fished at the end of the dropping tide. There were waking fish for a while as late at 9:00 which was a treat. On this flat the water was still murkey enough that unless the fish were pushing water, there was little chance to see them until right on top of them. I did spook one huge fish. This striper was over 40 inches. It had broad shoulders and a huge light colored tail. Under bright sun a few of the fish started to pop bait right on the edge of the still ebbing current. It was a nice way to finish the morning.

IMG_3055

Well, the real finish to the morning was running out past Reid State Park to Five Islands for lunch.

There was more from today that I'll share tomorrow but its late and the alarm is set for early.

Capt. Peter Fallon

 


Fishing Fourth of July Week

I'm curious to see what the striper fishing holds for us this week. The weather forecast is pretty favorable, with a steady south to southwest flow. After what's seemed like a month of always changing weather, some stability might help bring some consistency to the striper fishing here in midcoast Maine.

I'd love to see some foggy mornings buy us a bit more time before the light hits the shallow water. You've got to be up awfully early this time of year to fill the thermos, load the cooler, launch the boat, get the sports squared away and get to the first fishing spot before the sun is peaking over the tree tops. But the early alarm is worth it. The fish really do behave differently in that period of low light when you can see the wakes and swirls and get close to the bass before they scoot away from the boat or your cast.

The water in the Kennebec River is still dirty. If you've read any previous posts here, you know that's been a constant refrain this season. I'll stop right there.

The strong tides and full moon are a mixed blessing. We will have good water movement which helps when fishing around structure and the edges of the flats after the fish have moved out of the shallows but that period when the flats just start to fill in goes by so quickly. A spot that would often be worth poling for two hours will only keep us in place for half that time.

The other downside is the moon itself. I have logs that show some epic outings on the two days/nights either side of the full moon, but most entries are about disappointment. The striped bass can get funny and that doesn't equate to fun.

There will be a lot more boat traffic this week anywhere you hit the water or beach. Be mindful of others, expect the same in return but be prepared for everything. 

Capt. Peter Fallon

Mainestripers.com