June

The Striped Bass Are Back In Maine

Stripers are back in the Kennebec River and all seems right with the world again. There are fish all along the Maine Coast, from Muscongus Bay to Kittery. After a long winter, feeling the tug of that first striped bass really is so encouraging and rewarding.

The water has been slower to warm this spring compared to the last two years. It's a good strategy to fish up the rivers a bit from the open ocean and on mudflats and in coves that are warmed by the sun. The alewife and herring runs are in much better shape here in Maine vs. Southern New England. Here's to hoping that some of the big stripers that anglers are catching to the south find the feed here in Maine.

I'm fishing Boston Harbor, Mass Bay, and Cape Cod Bay for the next couple of weeks. Between fishing trips, teaching commitments at Bean's, and work at Sunday River, I am fully booked for the month of June. If you are looking to get out on the water (and you should) here on the Kennebec River, anywhere in Maine, or down in Boston or on the Cape, send me an email or give me a call at 207-522-9900 and I'll do my best to direct you to a great guide who will be a good fit for the way you want to fish. I do have some open dates in July and August.

Get out on the water. November will be here before we know it.

Capt. Peter Fallon

 

 


Quick Maine Striper Fishing Update

Despite continued dirty water, the Kennebec River is still fishing well for striped bass from Bath through Phippsburg to Popham and around to the New Meadows. The combination of a lot of water coming from upcountry rains and some high full moon tides, has the river a mess. Once the stripers are done waking, sighting on the flats is non-existant much past the beaches on the way upriver and running in the dark is not a good idea given the lumber floating around but...the stripers are here and happy to eat.

We fished both fly and spin gear this morning. The Lonley Angler Zipster was far and away the best producer, which makes sense (surface splash, rattle) given the water conditions but we also caught bass on Hollow Flyes, Mushies, small Clousers and surface sliders. The average size of the fish was pretty small this morning, but it really varies day by day, angler by angler, cast by cast.

The guides I know who are drifting live bait back into the surf along the beaches are doing well. We've got some cloudy days on the way, good news, but also some more rain, bad news. Casco Bay should be cleaner and I expect to get over there early next week after a quick trip to fish Boston Harbor again this weekend. If you have the chance to get out and fish, don't let it pass you by.

 

Capt. Peter Fallon

mainestripers.com

Gillies & Fallon Guide Service, LLC


Good Reports on Striper Fishing in Maine

Everything I'm hearing about striper fishing in Maine is supporting what we're finding in the Kennebec River and Eastern Casco Bay. The striped bass are here and in good numbers. The bait is here and nervous, for good reason.

Schools of mixed sizes from under 14 inches to 32 inches were popping to the surface this morning, sometimes for a short burst and other times for a sustained feed. Most of the stripers we found were in 2 to 6 feet of water which was nice to see. The Kennebec is still very muddy. The bass could find the fly, but they would "miss" often and I think it was due to water clarity issues. A little surface splash went a long way in helping the stripers locate the faux meal we were serving.

Tides aren't strong right now, but that isn't a deal breaker by any means. Pay attention to water movement, look for subtle signs on the surface and don't forget to use your ears. The best feed of the day came to our attention from some distance away when we tuned in to the slaps all the way across the river.

Capt. Peter Fallon

Gillies & Fallon Guide Serice, LLC

MaineStripers.com


Time to Head Home to Chase Maine Striped Bass

Photo-8It's been a great couple of weeks fishing early season stripers down here around Boston Harbor but now it's time to head home to Maine to fish the Kennebec River and Casco Bay. I'll post a recap of adventures in urban angling soon but I need to hit the road. I'm excited to get back up on the poling platform of the Wasabi and work across mud flats, sandy bays and mussle bars seaching, searching, searching for those telltail signs of striper activity. I'm not looking forward to seeing the color of the Kennebec when I get back to Phippsburg. We need a halt to all of this rain. Reports from fellow guides in Maine are encouraging.

Capt. Peter Fallon

www.MaineStripers.com

Gillies & Fallon Guide Service, LLC


Summer Day

More good striper fishing news from the Kennebec this morning. We had the crew down from Sunday River along with a gentleman that I'll write more about soon. The fish were up on the surface early, making Forrest Faulkingham and I think about years past. The first pod we found we're mostly small (with some slot fish mixed in), but the hoots and hollers coming from Forrest's boat we're a sure sign that catching fish after fish was good way to start the day.

There were stripers giving us the finger in one cove. Individual fish popping up to the surface here and there, but fussy, fussy, fussy. We did manage to track down a school of bigger bass right at the end of the ebb tide. These fish were pushing herring two feet into the air. Here's Neil Scanlon's fish of the day.

Neils fish

Perfectly played on light line, Neil danced around the boat bow to stern, steered the bass around the push pole, navigated past the platform a couple of times and landed it with ease and confidence. This sweet striper made us all smile. Hopefully Neil is in such a good mood tonight that his wife will forgive me for calling her mobile phone by mistake at 4:43 this morning, as I was trying to check on his progress driving down from Bethel.

Overall, the fishing was good but the day was great. The bright sun wasn't ideal, given that the water is still too stained to see well on the flats. I would have paid for a little fog until mid morning. It was interesting to see a lot of stripers keyed in on very small bait when the river is absolutely loaded with adult herring. It felt a bit like Florida out there at 8:30 but when the tide really turned the breeze came up and the temp was perfect and the run to Five Islands for lunch was ideal. Great company makes for a great day under challenging circumstances. Add glorious summer weather, some cooperative fish and a stellar lunch...you get the idea.

Capt. Peter Fallon

www.Mainestripers.com

 

 


Striped Bass Update for the Kennebec River, Maine

Striper fishing in the Kennebec is getting back on track after the awful weather earlier this month, but it is still up and down. The River is slowly cleaning itself, but it is taking its sweet time. The water is stained (still) and towards the bottom of the ebb tide it looks like coffee milk. Sight casting is still limited to early morning or evening, when the stripers are waking in the surface. You just can't see down into the water at any distance, even from my perch up on the poling platform.

The herring in all sizes are everywhere, as they should be in mid June. I have seen bass chasing small bait such as sand eels up river from the mouth almost to Bath. Sometimes, these fish have been fussy, even when chasing the bait to the surface.

Father's Day +1

The striped bass that my dad is holding in this photo came out of two feet of water on Monday morning. We searched for the first hour of the morning with no results and then found happy fish slurping bait right at the bottom of the tide. The wind stayed down, allowing us to follow the fish up onto a big flat as the water started to rise. Unlike other pods of breaking fish that I've seen in the past week, these were mixed in size from small schoolies to ones about 28 or 29 inches. We went back out Monday evening to see if the pattern would repeat itself. The wind was up out of the south and the tide was running well, but we found nothing.

The weather change seemed to really turn on fish this morning. Second cast into a current seam past a ledge and bam, fish on. Next location, schoolies going nuts on the surface. Third stop, nada, but fourth stop was on again. This continued for the first couple hours until the tide died out. I thought for sure that I'd start to see fish working up onto the flats as the tide started to rise but they were stealthy and given the lack of water clarity, had to really prospect for them.

I was hoping for three or four days of southwest wind, but the wind forecast is all over the place. This strech of hot, humid weather isn't ideal for my wife's project of moving a dismantled chimney but might be just perfect for the striper fishing.

Capt. Peter Fallon

www.mainestripers.com


Maine Striper Update

I fished with Fritz in his gorgeous new 20 foot Maritime Skiff this weekend. Part of our mission is to teach him to be able to run the boat, competently, confidently and comfortably. Part of our mission, is of course, to catch fish. We are succeeding at both.

Saturday evening we spent the bulk of our time sorting through new gear, figuring out how to best stow everything, fueling procedures and putting some hours on the engine and the new owner. It was slack tide when we got underway, so we ran to the mouth of the Kennebec, scouted a couple of coves, made a few casts and then headed back up river for dinner at The Cabin.

On the east shore of Stage Island we found 200 gulls (mixed species), innumerable cormorants, terns, eagles, osprey, egrets and eiders. It was clear that there was something going on there. Our casts produced no results but our sonar screen was lit up with balls of bait.

Sunday morning we didn't dare start out in the dark. The Kennebec is still loaded with debris from the flooding. We were rewarded at our first stop with breaking fish. Schoolie stripers. This wasn't water boiling, birds screaming, bait fleeing, frenzied action but consistent, single breaking fish spread along a couple hundred yards. The tide was just starting to move and the stripers tended to hang on the drop off where it went from 6 to 15 feet deep.

We found the same pattern in a couple other coves for the first few hours of the morning. Half of our stops produced no results. We checked one flat that we both love to fish. No signs, no strikes.

All of the fish that we caught we little, little guys. We spent some time fishing deep in the areas where we were finding the fish, looking for a heftier return, but no luck.

First Fish

The water is clearer but still a mess. By half tide the draining river was again filled with swirling silt. There was far more bait visible that the previous week, but still not as much as prior to the flooding. I'm heading back over to eastern Casco Bay early this week but optimistic about the Kennebec for the coming weekend.

Capt. Peter Fallon

www.Mainestripers.com


Striped Bass Update for the Kennebec River

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.

Kennebec River 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kennebc River 2

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

Mainestripers.com


Maine Striper Update - Good News, Bad News

Striped bass continue to move up the Maine coast, filling into rivers and bays south of Portland, Casco Bay and the Kennebec watershed. We're seeing the schools of little stripers that I was finding down by Cape Cod last month, which is welcome news. And the bait. Wow.

Unfortunately, we are also watching floodwaters tear through coastal Maine, dumping dirty water into every bay, river and harbor. There are rocks sitting on the mudflat in Dromore Bay next to my house that were in the streambed two days ago. The combination of runoff, dam releases and high tides with the full moon has put a lot of junk into the Kennebec. And the rain. Wow.

Here are some graphs from the USGS that show what's happening upriver:

Screen Shot 2012-06-04 at 7.10.23 AM

Screen Shot 2012-06-04 at 7.09.26 AM

The forecast for the week calls for rain the next three days, but in lesser amounts. I'm hopeful that by the weekend, we may find some of the waters starting to clear and fishing picking back up.

Capt. Peter Fallon

Mainestripers.com


Maine Saltwater Fishing: Striped Bass Update

Fritzwithlincfish Stripers are transitioning to a more typical summer pattern. There is still a lot of herring in the Kennebec River and the schools of these critical baitfish are setting up on the ledges and humps. The herring range in size from 3 to 10 inches. If you can locate the larger bait, you increase your chances of taking a bigger striped bass. We caught our two largest fish of the season on Sunday afternoon in just such a setting.

The flats fishing has ranged from ok to excellent. Our best success has come on the incoming tide regardless of the time of day, as long as it was cloudy or foggy. The beaches are also fishing well, even though the schools of mackerel have thinned out here. Plenty of small bait to go with the pollack and crabs.

Catch and release season in the Kennebec special area ends today (July 1), and along with that change, it is now legal to fish bait. Here's to all angler's sharing the drifts instead of anchoring up.

Should be a busy holiday weekend on the waters in Maine. The forecast has everyone talking about getting out. Today and tomorrow may be a bit challenging fishing wise, but we're set up for a stable SW flow after Friday, a real summer pattern, that might make some fish very willing to eat your fly.

Capt. Peter Fallon

www.MaineStripers.com