There are plenty of stripers in the Kennebec right now and they continue to eat well. We've had some really, really good trips and some outings that qualify as solid but not spectacular (in terms of catching). If you're thinking we've hit the "dog days of summer" in terms of striper fishing, hold off on that assumption. The warmer weather has provided us with some foggy mornings and still evenings; fishy conditions for sure.
There are stripers available to you, no matter how you like to fish. Is sight casting to big bass on a sandy flat what gets you out of bed well before dawn? Well the water is gin clear in and around the mouth of the river and the bass are roaming the shallows on almost all of the flats within 2 miles of Popham Beach. Prefer chucking a crease fly with your 9 weight rod? Get after them in the shallow water early and late in the day when the light is low and you can be rewarded. You a top water junky? Fish the strong moving water on the outgoing tide around ledges, edges, and other structure and you can watch the surface show that is so much fun. If drifting deeper structure is your game, a lot of the traditional summer hot spots closer to Bath, especially from BIW down to Lee Island, are loaded with herring and can produce fish after fish on every drift once you find the stripers.
At some point, we'll find the fish more fussy in the shallow water and less likely to smack a fly striped slowly in the surface film or hopped across the bottom, but if you can go now, do it. Remember that not every day is great. Even when the timing and strength of the tide seems to be perfect for the way you want to fish, there is variation in how cooperative the other party will be. If you have a trip that is underwhelming, don't jump to the conclusion that "the stripers aren't running" or "the water's too warm and the bass must have moved out of the River". Resolve to get up early again or slip out of work in time to launch for the last hours of daylight. If you can choose your days, a foggy or overcast morning or evening is ideal.
If you want to know more about how to find striped bass on your own, you can accelerate your learning by hiring a guide. My favorite striper charters are ones where my anglers are curious about why we are fishing in a particular spot and why we passed up other water that looked so good. I'd love to share with you what I know about striped bass and help you become a better striper angler. Give me a call or send me an email if you're interested in a striped bass charter when you're here in Maine.
Capt. Peter Fallon
Gillies & Fallon Guide Service, LLC