Maine Striper Fishing Reports ~ 2012
Some good stuff happening out there!! reports from striper fishing here in Maine over the weekend where pretty positive,Casco Bay fished much better than average for this time of the year and we found fish spread out throughout the bay, the rivers from Freeport south and west treated the early season anglers with a few good full on blitzes bringing smiles and striper thumb back to the dock on sunday, Reports I got from a very good angler/guide on the Kennebec where some very large Mackerel, have not herd of any striper action up there yet, my guess they are there and reports will start to surface soon, Carp fishing last week was great on Merrymeeting Bay timing to the tides is a little off this week to fish them in the skinny other than short windows, unless this weather pattern changes, the carp thing is happening a little sooner as well this season last week fish where moving a few ft to eat a fly in less than a foot of water, now those males are getting more interested in the female doing there pre spawn splash dance in the channels, for more on Maine Carp Fishing see the link our site updates from this weeks fishing with Don Causey editor of the Angling Report and photos will be posted in the next few days. Back to the Stripers, to the south of Portland there are lots of fish but a unreal amount of bait the sand eels are very small and plenty and last week fishing a brief period of good sky on the sand flats it was holy wow on the amount of fish that where ripping by us on the sand, we where able to turn a few and get some eats the fish where full of themselves and fought great. Size wise the rumors of the little fish are true!! this weekend we got a few fish that where under 12 inches followed up by 30 plus so they are mixed in together. Water temps are 58-63 and that includes the outer island surface temps, the different herring are in the river and the bluebacks are coming in a little earlier as well. So to sum it up It seems like we are about 2 weeks or maybe more ahead as far as number of stripers in the Casco Bay / Portland area bait wise the larger fin bait the herring, we often have good runs without a ton of stripers with them early but the big change that I have not seen in 5-6 season is the amount of sand eels this early. Hope for a continued push of fish and good stable weather.. Capt Eric Wallace 207-671-4330
at 11:28 AM
Flats fishing report for Striped Bass: Capt Eric Wallace
From Maine to Cape Cod Bay there are both big flats and small shoreline pockets that offer good skinny water fishing, and big tides that average 8 to 10 feet. The coast from Chatham, Massachusetts to Long Island, New York offers the same type of water but smaller tides, only 2 to 4 feet or so. Only Long Island has tide ranges up to 7 feet.
The bigger the tides the faster fishing conditions will change. In locations with a 2-foot tide a flat might be fishable for the entire day; a flat with a 10-foot tide will be most stable around low tide, sometimes for several hours. Once the strong flow begins be prepared to move with the flow so as not to get trapped by the rising water when wading.
An early incoming tide will be the most productive in many locations. Stripers feel more at ease and as the flats cover there is food like dead sand eels, clams and crabs that are easy targets for stripers. This is especially true where tides are biggest. However, a falling tide in places that trap baitfish along edges and inside basins and drainage gullies can be excellent, too. Small creekmouths attract fish on a falling tide and they move upstream into the creek in search of food as the tide rises. Some small creeks are crystal clear and will remind the trout angler of Western spring creeks. Generally, big-tides mean a short fishing window.
Sand eels are the best baitfish for northern flats because they burrow and remain in the sand on dry flats through low tide. As water returns, some baitfish die and lay on the bottom. A flat where you see dead sand eels at low tide could be a hotspot, so stick around. Crabs are numerous on all flats and both crabs and shrimp are abundant inside creeks and estuaries. I do very well with a sparse, white Deceiver, and an epoxy sand eel fly made with purple Fluorofibre over cream Fluorofibre with some flash. Tie these flies 3 to 5 inches long. The lady crab, or calico, is a very important food source in the shallows; a reddish Del Brown Crab Fly is a good match for these. Any light tan bonefish fly 1 1/2 to 2 inches long will match both the common shore and sand shrimp that live on the flats inside most estuaries. And lightly weighted 3- to 4-inch Clouser Minnows in tan-and-white or olive-and-white are also very popular.
Top times for sight fishing are from mid May through early July. Then you can depend on good sunlight and the lower water temperature brings hungry fish onto the flats and into the creeks to feed. Some of the colder water locations from northern Massachusetts to Maine can have good sight fishing into August. In September and early October big flats might hold fish at times but the light is not as good as in summer. The key to good daytime fishing is cool water and abundant food sources.
In the spring there are places when you can sight cast and catch large numbers of smaller stripers, but the real fun begins when casting to big stripers. You will earn each fish, and you will remember each one long after the memory of a 20-fish day has faded.
Copyright Coastal Fly Angler Maine Saltwater Fly fishing Guides and Reports With Capt Eric Wallace.