Ben217

Tips for a new Maine fisherman

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Hello all, 

I already posted this on the main forum but was told this would be the best place for my post so I apologize for the double post, I’m still a bit new here. Anyway recently my folks bought some land on the Bagaduce river in Brooksville Maine, so as you can imagine I’m beyond excited to test my luck up there when college stops hurting me mentally and financially. I read some old posts here about the Penobscot Bay Area but thought it would be best to have a newer conversation. Here’s the thing though… I have no real idea what I’m doing. I’m mainly a freshwater fisherman so my knowledge extends to if I see a tree I throw a jig at it. So I’d love some tips! What fish to target any spot recommendations and all that and even when the best time to fish is. Before I spend ludicrous amounts of money I would love to know what to spend it on, baits etc. I have a rod reel and a nice little hobie kayak with survival gear as well, but no real idea on what to throw. Sorry if this is all over the place but just beyond excited to try. Hope everyone is doing well and thanks for taking the time to look at my post! 

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First, I have to assume that virtually all fishing has stopped for the winter up there, boats getting hauled out and dock floats hauled.

 

There are mixed comments on whether or not bass make it up that far.  Hopefully some folks that fish Downeast will see this and chime in here.  IF there are striped bass up there, a quick look on Google Earth, your best friend, shows that the Bagaduce screams STRIPAH, and the two spots that yell the loudest are the reversing falls by ME-175 and the narrows by the Seal Ledge Marina.  I'd hazard a guess that both of these areas would be very productive on outgoing water.

 

Your first goal will be constant recon missions on your kayak, which you can do now.  While the weather still holds you should be out there book-ending low water pedaling along along looking for nice structure/rips that will hold bass.  I like to get my intel by going out around one hour before low tide, continuing through an hour into incoming water so you can find areas of good moving water for both tides.  Rock piles and small jutting ledges that have current around them are the spots to look for.

 

Of course, you should be looking for places that sell bait/tackle and start chatting with them.  They will be an important source of info, but be forewarned, striped bass fishermen are quite taciturn.  Don't ask them for specific spots, but ask them if and how they catch them, along with any other fish around there.  You're guaranteed for mackerel up there, which are a hoot on your light freshwater tackle.  Additionally, you'll be able to catch harbor pollock.

 

One great thing about Maine is just about everyone leaves their rigged fishing rods on their boats so once June rolls along next year be nosy, and check that out.  You may want to go over to Castine and check the boats there.  If you were to paddle around my area you'll notice that we all use 3/4 oz Creek Chub Striper Strike 2500s.  You can read my multiple posts as to why an old fashioned, < $8 sinking popper out fishes the hell out of the fancy, schmancy >$15 new generation of floating poppers.  As for what you'll want a minimum for your kit, that would be one lure, along with some rubber lures, I like the 7" Fin-S in white, some bucktail jigs, some tin lures like a Deadly Dick and swimming plugs, either Redfin Minnows or Daiwa SP Minnows.  You DO NOT need to run out and buy the $20 - $50 dollar custom made plugs that some folks do, that's just insane!!  None of the lures mentioned above pop above $10...

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12 hours ago, Roccus7 said:

First, I have to assume that virtually all fishing has stopped for the winter up there, boats getting hauled out and dock floats hauled.

 

There are mixed comments on whether or not bass make it up that far.  Hopefully some folks that fish Downeast will see this and chime in here.  IF there are striped bass up there, a quick look on Google Earth, your best friend, shows that the Bagaduce screams STRIPAH, and the two spots that yell the loudest are the reversing falls by ME-175 and the narrows by the Seal Ledge Marina.  I'd hazard a guess that both of these areas would be very productive on outgoing water.

 

Your first goal will be constant recon missions on your kayak, which you can do now.  While the weather still holds you should be out there book-ending low water pedaling along along looking for nice structure/rips that will hold bass.  I like to get my intel by going out around one hour before low tide, continuing through an hour into incoming water so you can find areas of good moving water for both tides.  Rock piles and small jutting ledges that have current around them are the spots to look for.

 

Of course, you should be looking for places that sell bait/tackle and start chatting with them.  They will be an important source of info, but be forewarned, striped bass fishermen are quite taciturn.  Don't ask them for specific spots, but ask them if and how they catch them, along with any other fish around there.  You're guaranteed for mackerel up there, which are a hoot on your light freshwater tackle.  Additionally, you'll be able to catch harbor pollock.

 

One great thing about Maine is just about everyone leaves their rigged fishing rods on their boats so once June rolls along next year be nosy, and check that out.  You may want to go over to Castine and check the boats there.  If you were to paddle around my area you'll notice that we all use 3/4 oz Creek Chub Striper Strike 2500s.  You can read my multiple posts as to why an old fashioned, < $8 sinking popper out fishes the hell out of the fancy, schmancy >$15 new generation of floating poppers.  As for what you'll want a minimum for your kit, that would be one lure, along with some rubber lures, I like the 7" Fin-S in white, some bucktail jigs, some tin lures like a Deadly Dick and swimming plugs, either Redfin Minnows or Daiwa SP Minnows.  You DO NOT need to run out and buy the $20 - $50 dollar custom made plugs that some folks do, that's just insane!!  None of the lures mentioned above pop above $10...

Thank you so much for your response! 
 

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Stripers will migrate all the way to Nova Scotia.  And I believe there are residents up there as well which may make it down to Maine coast every now and then.

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my number one rule of fishing: Fish where there's fish.  Definitely ask the local bait and tackle shops for directions.  You are pretty far up there, but the maps look incredibly promising.  I've spent some time in isleboro, and can tell you many mackerel are there, and although I've never caught a striper there, I know definitively that others have.  Locals in Bar Harbor have told this when it comes to striper fishing out there:  Only with worms, only at night.  Down south, idiots like me can catch them any time, but I would say I do best in low light conditions.

 

Also, Roccus and SkunkOff are kind of great at this, anything they say should be headed.

 

-SpC

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Posted (edited)

Lol, I don't think I deserve that much credit.  I'm just another idiot out there haha.  I usually fish early morning because that's what my schedule allows.  

 

Most of my fishing is kayak, or river banks / sod banks.  Surf once in a while.  There may be harbor pollock up there now.  I think the Penobscot has some residents (there might be some protections on them at certain times a year).  OP, check the rules and regs.  I could be wrong on both accounts....

 

And to OP, striper fishing for me has similarities with FW, just bigger gear.  And you don’t need to rob a bank to get started.

Edited by Skunkoff

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With the Bagaduce I’d be thinking about trying some smelting in the river. 
 

Some interesting reading here: 

https://seagrant.umaine.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/467/2019/05/Fisheries-History-of-the-Bagaduce-River.pdf

 

Not sure if the bait shop in Holden Maine is still open. But when I have passed by in striper season the sign would usually say ‘Stripers are in, bloodworms for sale”

 

Wherever the stripers live from Canada to Florida you can catch them the same way using all methods. I’d run lures that can do double duty: small swimmers, metals, bucktails and plastics.

 

If I was fishing there today I’d be fishing a half cut sabiki with a metal jig on the end for smelt. 

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