Fishing Report

Click the links below for the most up-to-date fishing news and suggestions from Maine’s fisheries biologists.

Before you head for a day of ice fishing, ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Please enjoy the Maine outdoors safely and responsibly!

Maine's fishing regions

Maine Region ASebago Lake Region

By Fisheries Resource Technician Brian Lewis

The months of July and August can be some of the most productive if your interest is in fishing small streams for wild brook trout. The temperatures are generally pleasant and favorable for wet wading, the bugs are at least somewhat reduced from the levels typical to spring, and the trout are nearly always ready to bite. This kind of fishing does require some degree of exploration, though that can be part of the fun! 

Generally, target streams that are in moderately hilly terrain that are tributaries to medium sized rivers.  Satellite imagery can be useful for detecting transient impoundments in the form of beaver flowages that may concentrate trout and may provide a boost in size quality. Avoid locations that are outlets to ponds as these areas are generally too warm to support trout. 

Fishing gear choices include small fly rods with light weight lines and small flies or ultralight spinning gear with either artificial lures or small jigs tipped with your choice of bait. Remember to keep an eye on the rules and regulations for the waters you target and also keep in mind that general law for rivers and streams changes to artificial lures/flies only and a one trout bag limit on August 16th.

Potential streams to target include Swan Pond Brook in Biddeford, Douglas Brook in Gorham, and Black Brook in Woodstock.

Maine Region BBelgrade Lakes Region

By Fisheries Resource Biologist Wes Ashe

Where to fish: As we move into the dog days of summer with outdoor temperatures nearing triple-digits, it’s still possible to catch salmonids (trout and salmon) in Region B without owning fancy fish-finders and downriggers. But, before we give you some helpful pointers to target these coldwater beasts, you’ll have to decide on which fish species you’re after.

If it’s salmon you’re looking to reel in, we recommend Maranacook Lake (Winthrop), Swan Lake (Swanville), and Wassookeag Lake (Dexter). Some of Region B’s best holdover brown trout waters include Alford Lake (Hope), Cochnewagon Lake (Monmouth), and Damariscotta Lake (Jefferson). Our most productive rainbow trout waters are Megunticook Lake (Camden), Long Pond (Belgrade), and Lake George (Canaan).  Some the best regional brook trout fisheries include Bowler Pond (Palermo), Egypt Pond (Vienna), Little Pond (Damariscotta), and Lake St. George (Liberty). All these waters are managed as put-grow-and-take fisheries – so stocked salmonids are expected to grow and survive from year-to-year.

Fishing tips: Now that we’ve got that covered, here’s how anglers can successfully target these fish in July and August without using elaborate gear and pricy outboards:

During mid-summer, lake and pond-dwelling salmonids are forced to seek out cool water (≤ 21 C (~70 F)) and higher dissolved oxygen (≥ 5 ppm) at specific depths - commonly referred to as the growth & survival ‘window’. To find these temperature/dissolved datasets, visit www.lakesofmaine.org, type in the lake of your choosing, click on ‘Water Quality’, and then ‘Dissolved Oxygen & Temperature’. Next, knowing that environmental conditions are similar from year-to-year, select a historic date that approximately matches the day of your upcoming fishing trip to pinpoint the ‘window’ at which temperature and dissolved oxygen are close to optimal.

For example, if a brook trout angler is considering a trip to Little Pond during the first part of July, one can quickly generate a table showing temperature & dissolved oxygen from the surface to bottom at 13-meters (~43-ft). Taking a closer look, one can quickly observe that temperatures are too high from the surface down to at least 3-meters (~10-ft), and dissolved oxygen is too low from 9-meters (~30-ft) to bottom. This leaves the middle part of the water column as the optimal ‘window’ to target brook trout in Little Pond.

Little Pond does have restrictive regulations including artificial lures only (ALO), a daily bag limit of 1 brook trout (≥ 18-in), and a prohibition on motorboats. At just 83-acres, Little Pond is the perfect size to launch your canoe or kayak, anchor at your preferred spot, and start jigging. We recommend small Swedish Pimples, tear drop jigs with glow, and neon Trout Magnets for targeting brookies in Little Pond. Remember, the optimal ‘window’ is a horizontal band that stretches the entirety of the pond at specific water depths. So, Little Pond anglers can target behemoth brook trout in early July by jigging the middle of the water column over deeper spots, or by fishing the pond’s bottom at depths specified in the optimal ‘window’ shown above. Good luck out there!

Maine Region CGrand Lake Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Greg Burr

Where to fish: Summertime fishing is here! Great opportunities abound in Downeast Maine for warm weather fishing. This is the best time of year to fish for warmwater species such as perch, bass, and pickerel.  For white perch we highly recommend the following waters: Abrams Pond in Eastbrook, Georges Pond in Franklin, Big Lake in Princeton, Meddybemps Lake in Meddybemps and Second Gardner’s Lake in Marion. 

For smallmouth bass we recommend Branch Lake in Ellsworth, Abrams Pond in Eastbrook, Clifford Lake in T 26 ED, Meddybemps Lake in Meddybemps, and Big Lake in Princeton.  For largemouth bass some of the best places to go are Alamoosook Lake in Orland, Toddy Pond in Orland, Webb Pond in Eastbrook, Crawford Lake in Crawford and Pocomoonshine Lake in Alexander.

For chain pickerel we recommend Scammon Pond in Eastbrook, and Fields Pond in Orrington. 

For bank fishing opportunities we suggest Mariaville Falls on the West Branch of the Union River for smallmouth bass, Simmons Pond in Hancock for brook trout, and the Grand Lake Stream Canal (kids only water) for brook trout for the kids.

Fishing tip: A fishing tip for white perch is to troll a worm behind a spinner. Once you catch your first white perch by trolling, stop and still fish in that spot continuing to use a worm and spinner under a bobber or live minnow with a bobber.

Reminder: Remember to always check your lawbook before fishing the above waters as special regulations may apply.

Maine Region DRangeley Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Biologist Dylan Whitaker

Places to fish:

Fishing on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in the Rangeley area is a great destination for those seeking to catch wild brook trout and landlocked salmon. Mooselook is Maine’s sixth largest lake and is well known for producing quality size brook trout. The salmon population is currently abundant and can provide a fast-fishing opportunity when conditions on the lake are right. Those fishing Mooselookmeguntic for the first time should consider trying the famous mooselook wobbler.

For the fly angler a good destination to try is Round Pond in Rangeley. This 166-acre fly-fishing only water has a max depth of 50 feet and is stocked annually with 450 spring yearling brook trout. Water quality is good and stocked fish have the potential to grow quite large.
For those looking to fish on foot or by canoe/kayak I recommend trying the Sandy River from Strong down through Farmington there are several hand carry access sites to fish from shore or put in/take out a canoe. This section of the Sandy River is stocked yearly with brook trout and brown trout, there’s also an abundance of smallmouth bass fishing along this stretch of river.

For the adventurous angler looking for a high elevation pond to catch coldwater fish during the warm summer months try High and Helen Pond in Pierce Pond township. These ponds are only a few acres in size and sit nestled between the mountains west of Pierce Pond. They are abundant with wild brook trout.

Fishing tip:

Summertime is always a good time of year to experiment with what you’re using and where you’re fishing. Maine has over 2,500 lakes and ponds larger than 10 acres, each of which provides a unique fishing experience. This is the time of year to start checking fishing destinations off your bucket list.

If/when fishing starts to slow down try changing your fly, lure, or bait or maybe adjusting your presentation by fishing slower or faster. If you’re confident you have what the fish are eating, then try fishing deeper. Study bathymetric maps or buy a fish finder and look for new underwater structures to target, keep at it until you find what works. Get out there and enjoy the summer fishing!

Reminders:

Don’t forget a fishing net, bug spray, or sunscreen. A net always comes in handy for netting the hawgs and it always seems to be the one item left at home or a mile and a half back to the truck.  The deer flies are brutal in early summer up in the woods and you want to be focused on your fishing gear not on swatting away flies so bring bug spray. Finally, don’t underestimate the summer sun, wear some sunscreen.

Maine Region EMoosehead Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Tim Obrey

July and August are not thought of as great months for trout and salmon fishing, but here are a few tricks/tips that could help you. The fish are still there, just down deeper and not as active.  You’ll have to get down to their level.  Salmon and brook trout like to hang out at the top of the thermocline, that area in deeper lakes where the water remains cold.  For bigger lakes like Moosehead, Chesuncook, Sebec, and Chamberlain Lakes, that usually means you need to be fishing in the 35-50 foot range in the summer.  Lake trout like that range too but can often be found deeper. However, the very deepest water, say in excess of 90 ft, is where the small lake trout usually hang out.  You don’t need to go this deep.  Smaller ponds with deep water (greater than 25 ft) also stratify in the summer, but most of these ponds are void of oxygen in the deepest areas and the fish can’t survive there.  Don’t waste your time fishing the deep hole.  For smaller trout ponds try fishing in the 12-15 ft range. A thermometer with a cable is the best way to locate the thermocline. Lower it down the water column and watch for the temperature to drop. That’s the depth to start fishing.

July and August are perfect for taking a family fishing/canoe trip. The pesky bugs have receded, and the weather is great for outdoor activities. Of course, the Allagash River is the quintessential Maine canoe trip.  The friendly folks at the Allagash Wilderness Waterway do an excellent job managing the river and lakes in the Waterway.  The campsites are immaculate and there always seems to be a good flow in the river.  We see a lot of trippers heading up Chamberlain Lake on the beginning of their journey. The Penobscot River between Lobster and Chesuncook Lakes is another good option if you’re looking for a less challenging paddle. The Bureau of Public Lands manages this area and there are plenty of nice campsites on the river and the lakes. The trout fishing might not be at its peak, but the perch and chubs will keep the kids occupied until it’s time to cook the smores.

Maine Region FPenobscot Region

From Fisheries Resource Technician Brian Campbell

Summer is officially here, even though things have been rather cool for the most part.  The cooler temps have been great for the coldwater fish species that inhabit the marginal waters around the state.  The black flies have subsided, and the brook trout are hungry. The combination of the summer temps, cooler water and subsiding of biting insects is great news for the avid angler.

Most brooks and streams are still holding some nice brook trout. Both native and stocked depending on the body of water you are fishing.  If you are interested in waters that are stocked, you can check out waters stocked on the MDIFW website.  All stocked Maine bodies of water are listed by county showing date stocked, numbers of fish and size range of the stocked fish.

Middle Oxhead (T40 MD) is one such pond.  It has easy access and is quite remote. This brook trout stocked water has canoe carry access and great fishing opportunity from shore. There are several nice camp sites along the lake as well.  

If you are looking for native brook trout, the Penobscot Region has many brook trout waters. Waters like B Pond (TB R11 WELS) and Lost Pond (T7 R7 WELS) these ponds are best fished with a small boat or canoe. If you happen to be looking in the Baxter Park area this would be a great opportunity to hike in and rent a canoe and have a great wilderness fishing trip. For more information about what the park has to offer you can contact Baxter Park Headquarters at 207-723-5140.

The Maine IF&W web page contains some great information and suggestions for the avid Maine angler. If you have not checked out this page might I suggest you do so. I can guarantee you will find information that will help you on your next angling adventure.   

For some great smallmouth bass fishing, the Penobscot River is the place to go. We have been getting some great reports of fast angling for these feisty fish.  One of local anglers was bass fishing the Penobscot in the Greenbush area. He noticed that the 2 bass he kept for dinner were still gravid with eggs.  Generally, at this time of year they are on the nests protecting their eggs. He also noted that the fishing was fantastic for the smallmouth bass.

Make sure to take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy all the great state of Maine has to offer!

Maine Region GFish River Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Frank Frost

Cooler than normal weather and lots of rain recently has resulted in some great fishing conditions in northern Maine.  Northern Maine has experienced two summers of drought conditions but the trend in 2022 is for cool, wet conditions; the small brooks and streams have suffered from the dry, hot conditions the past two years but ponds and lakes are experiencing some great trout fishing.  Now, trout ponds are prime for the upcoming hex hatch while the large lakes are still experiencing top-water action for salmon and trout. 

Some waters to try the next two months:

  1. Cross Lake – trout and salmon can still be found in this 2,500-acre lake; anglers are not targeting invasive white perch that were first reported in 2017.  A great place to fish from shore is the public landing off Route 161 and the Disy Road
  2. Square Lake – our largest lake in northern Aroostook County, Square is best known for its excellent brook trout fishing; the hex hatch can be excellent for those looking for a place in early July
  3. Eagle Lake – an abundant salmon population and a liberal bag limit (see rule book) draws anglers to this northern Maine lake that boasts more than 5,500 acres and a large parcel of public land on the East end of the lake.  Salmon will still be found in the top 10 feet of water in early July and catching them is the topic of this month’s fishing tip.

Fishing Tip: Catching salmon at the surface requires minimal gear.  Try using a medium weight rod, a silver dodger followed by a 16 inch leader and fly of your choice.  Try a small, single hook pattern (grey ghost, wood special etc) and troll at speeds of 2-2.5 mph.  Also, there is a liberal bag limit on many waters including Eagle Lake so please consider harvesting your catch.