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JimW

Kayaking the Kennebec

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Any Maine kayakers out there, past or present? Will be camping on a bay at the mouth of the river in August, just across from Popham. Any advise, resources I should look for, etc? I hear the current rips 7-8 k in places in the Kennebec so plan to learn as much as possible now rather than see what's running in Greenland later.

Thanks all.

Jim

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Jim...here's a little more Maine info...we camped near where you're going in mid-June a couple of years ago. Before other schools were out and before the crowds. On Hermit Island, which is immediately SW of Small Point and a couple of miles SW of Kennebec mouth. Lots of stripers around; also small mackeral.

 

This area has extreme tides, hence current in any area where rivers, etc, neck down to a narrows. We didn't kayak such places at all. But there was lots of open ocean around islets, etc., where we did go without difficulty, and both the Kennebec and adjacent Sheepscot rivers have extensive broad backwaters that flood at high tide and where I've seen guys flyfishing.

 

The two main hazards I've seen are fog -- the water's cold, even in August, and fog can appear thickly and quickly. So don't forget a compass. The other is lobster boats. I think a lot of the local lobster guys are sort of ticked off at there being so many summer yakkers. Anyway, they didn't cut us any slack and it was clearly up to us to get out of the way.

 

My wife's family is from near there, so we visit in high summer sometimes, too. Lots of people! Coastal Route 1 traffic can be horrendous.

 

Two useful things: DeLorme's Maine Atlas is essential and will help guide you to put-in spots. Also, I got a great chart that covers the region, including Kennebec mouth: Chart #102 from Waterproof Charts, Inc., www.waterproofcharts.com

 

See also the book Sea Kayaking Along the New England Coast by Tamsin Venn (Appalachin Mountain Club, Boston, 1991), which we found useful as a guidebook.

 

Again, cold water...I'd suggest a Farmer John wetsuit or whatever protective gear you use in early spring farther south.

 

Happy paddling! --OJ

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Thanks OJ,

That's some good info. We've camped at a place near Reed St Pk a couple of times but never with a yak. Where do you find mackeral? We've never caught any mackeral but last year all the large bass we heard of (few) were taken on mackeral. We'll be there the 2nd wk of August.

Jim

 

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As I recall (and it's been a while), you should see plenty of mackeral inshore when you're there. I'm not a bait guy usually, but I have seen guys catch mackeral on little white streamer flies or small silver spoons, and then live-lining 'em from shore. I have had good luck casting from shore at Reid St. Park in years past, both from the rock ledges (slippery--caution!) and from the sand. One neat trick I heard from a guy up there (but haven't tried) was to catch a mackeral, then rig it unweighted with a large hook in the nose--cast and fish it back in twitches as you would an unweighted Slugg-O. He said it worked even better than live-lining.

 

Anyway, that's about it for what I know. Look forward to hearing about how it goes for you. --OJ

 

 

 

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Thanks OJ,

I really look forward to the Maine trip. First night eeling the beach at Reed 2 years ago I broke off a really nice bass, keeps you coming back. Best part is you more or less have the place to yourself.

Jim

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Thanks OJ,

We have always had good luck there, lot's of schoolies amd slots. Large Marge is out there, though, so I'm probably going to give big bait a couple nights. Circle hooks got me back to bait when it's what works.

Jim

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