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August 2012

Whoa, has it been that long since I posted a fishing update for the saltwater scene in mid-coast Maine? I guess so. It's been a busy stretch for me, highlighted by time with visiting family, living the summer life; digging clams, paddling, swimming with the dog, going to the fair, eating lobster and of course, catching fish.

The stripers are still often fussy, but I've noticed a change over the past two weeks. Is there a hint of fall in the air? I've seen more bass busting bait in the last two weeks than in the previous month. These have not been wide spread events and the striper fishing isn't "hot", but when we've been in the right place at the right time, we've had some excellent outings.

The bass in the lower Kennebec have been keyed in on the britt herring. I have found fish right in the surf along the beaches from Reid to Small Point but I can't report what they are eating. Sand eels? Shrimp? More herring? Starting two weeks ago, I saw stripers chasing young of the year alewives, a very nice sign.

The bluefish are still in the river. Some days they are in "full bluefish mode", going bananas, just as you'd hope but most often there are small pods of fish popping up here for two seconds and over there for four. "Chasing unicorns" is the description one friend gave to the chase. One technique that has worked for me is to cover moving current toward the bottom of the dropping tide. Bounce a Clouser or small jig right along the bottom, drifting with the current. The other option that can be a blast is to look for pods of blues finning on the surface up on the flats. We've had a lot of good calm mornings, perfect for this approach.

This week I found myself out along the beach, waiting for the tide to turn, sipping coffee and eating blueberries, when I decided to scoot just offshore to one of the rock piles south of Small Point. I came home with three cod, all around 26 inches. Hadn't done that in a long time. One fish fed three of us the other evening. What a delicious meal. The whole thing was a lot of fun.

Everyone is counting the days as summer starts to fade. School is around the corner. Days are noticeably shorter. Don't waste a tide. If you've had a tough outing recently, get back out there. I promise that you won't catch anything from home.