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September Striper Fishing and a North Wind

Fishing 20090028

Our fall striped bass fishing in Maine changes day to day, tide to tide. We go from catching lots of fish to working very hard for a few in an instant. This persistent north wind hasn't helped to really turn on the bass but there is some good news from the Kennebec River.

There are fish holding consistently over deep structure where the herring are still plentiful. Some trips we've seen individual fish pop to the surface to chase a 6 to 8 inch herring or a 3 to 4 inch alewife right out of the water. Most of this visible activity has happened early in the morning or in the evening. Still no signs of blitzing fish, but with all the bait that is coming down the river that too could change quickly.

There are still stripers prowling the flats and they are much less fussy than they were back in late July and August. One of my experienced fly anglers this week was very surprised to hear my stories of fishing 13 foot leaders of 8 pound test fluorocarbon and changing flies every fifteen minutes to see what small crab or shrimp pattern the skinny water bass would eat.

Most of these bright days have come with a healthy breeze. The fish that like to cruise just under the surface when the light is low should feel more safe when the overhead visibility is limited...right? So why don't I see them exhibiting this behavior when the leaves are rustling at 5:00 AM? Is it tied to the effects of the weather associated with the north wind? Does their prey change behavior when the water isn't still?

Fishing 20090009

I've been jotting down notes about tips for sight-casting on windy days. I'll add a post devoted to this topic shortly. September is a great month to fish in Maine. The water is warmer than in June but cool enough to remind the fish about the coming migration and winter. We see lots of bright and dry days and can "sleep in" and still get on the water before dawn. The downside is the north and northwest wind that is so common.

Remember the bit about change. Cover the water. Move and move, again and again. If you fished yesterday and it was slow, don't wait to go back out until sometime next week. You could miss the day that keeps you dreaming of spring during the coming winter months.

Capt. Peter Fallon



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Peter Driscoll

Hi Peter,

Your post was once again encouraging and informative. I was able to fish today -- what a day! Totally clear sky, hardly any wind, and warm temps -- glorious.

You encouraged me to try something different -- I put in by Maine Maritime for the first time this year -- and fished edges on the out tide -- and found fish just as you had predicted! Thanks for that. Saw very little sign of fish showing -- very occasional -- but I was able to get fish on just about every drift until the tide changed. Headed south after that, fished flats for a bit, with no success. I tried my ledges again on the in tide, with no success. Headed north, and found quite a gang at the mouth of the Sassanoa. Quite a few eels met their maker I am afraid. I did see the occasional fish taken, but it was not nearly so much fun as my morning fishing with only an eagle for company.........
thanks again

Peter D

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