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Running 2023 Small Point to Port Clyde, ME VAL Area 4, Fishing Reports

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Instead of a North of Portland, this year I hope @Crozzbow won't mind segmenting it a bit, and I'll be reporting on Volunteer Angler Logbook's Area 4, Phippsburg to Port Clyde, my Bailiwick.  I encourage all to share their own experiences if you fish this area of the Midcoast!!!

 

The last few days have been hectic, and very frustrating for me, but today I finally scored with 2023 Bass #1 which was a damn good thing as I was about to buy some golf clubs.

 

On Sunday evening, I helplessly watched a full-blown blitz underway in my backyard, the first sign of stripers in 'da hood this year.  Since I was cooking for a Mother's Day Cookout, it was keep cooking or Divorce Court, and even a 50% divorce settlement didn't justify grabbing the boat keys.  Figured I'd get 'em Monday.

 

Hit the water at dawn yesterday, but not enthusiastic because of all tides around here, late flood is absolutely the worst.  Well the tide didn't disappoint and I found no trace of fish in any spots in my river and a second river.  I left no stone unturned, with no reward, but there was INSULT TO INJURY!!  While I was headed to Falmouth for an appointment later that afternoon, my across the river called screaming.  "Get over here, I'm getting hit every cast!!"  Once again, a "no miss scenario" that I couldn't capitalize upon  :banghd: :banghd: :banghd:

 

This morning, bound and determined to catch 2023 Bass #1, I hit the water at first light, which was around 1/3 into the flood, but the "Flood Sux" curse continued to reign as none of my spots even had a hint of fish.  Started to wonder what my golf handicap would be.

 

Well my neighbor's dock is great at the very end of the ebb, and he invited me over today, BUT "What if there's nothing there today??"  I decided to hit my best second third of the -ebb spot for an hour before going to my neighbor's.  Got there and set up, but the "curse" seemed to continue, and as I was considering tossing in the towel, I had a tepid swirl at my plug.  I kept at it for another 10 min and finally boated a beautiful, and very fat 25" fish.  After releasing her, I took a few more casts, but realized I was running out of water so I headed back to the barn.  Victory was mine!!

 

Hmm should I go to the neighbor's now?  I had accomplished the day's mission, but what if the has another great day?  Of course I went over there, and of course, neither one of us even had a follow after fishing for over an hour.  So my backup plan was the right move, as I rewarded with my earliest local bass ever, beating last year's earliest date of May 21.

 

Yeah, I'll probably still go out early tomorrow, but you can bet I'll be at the site of today's victory come later in the day!!

Edited by Roccus7

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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  • Roccus7 changed the title to Running 2023 Small Point to Port Clyde, ME VAL Area 4, Fishing Reports

Froze my butt off this morning, but my early flood bass spot, which happens to be my mid-ebb bass spot, and the sacred oyster and clam bar, coughed up 24 & 25" bass this AM.  Across the river neighbor's dock resulted another 25" fish just before low tide this afternoon...

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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Posted (edited)
After getting blown out yesterday, I was firmly set on getting out this morning before the daily gale set in.  That meant having to leave my dock by 04:15 because of the extreme low tide.  Motored to the Late Ebb Honey Hole, dropped the hook, and proceeded to cast nonstop for 90 minutes with moderate fish activity, only a dozen casts had fish "interest", but 2 of them resulted in nice slot fish, 29 & 30"...
 
I decided to call it a day at 06:15's low tide, and thanks to the kindness of a neighbor who has yet to come to Maine for the summer, I tied up at his magnificent dock.  With the -0.7' low today, my dock was actually high and dry so I would have had to kill another couple of hours before I could make it in to my dock.  It was far more comfortable sitting with a hot cup of coffee and catching up on my emails and fishing logs...
 
 
 
 
Edited by Roccus7

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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Posted (edited)

Lack luster day today, picked up 2 smaller fish, 20 & 22", and dropped a large one.  However, there was a first.  We've got a real glut of eagles around this year and today, there were scattered pods of larger fish crashing some unknown bait up on the mud flats.  This activity got eagles to swoop down and try to get in on the action.  That's something I've never witnessed.  Have to assume that meant alewives were on the menu.  The action was up and over within seconds so chasing them down was difficult.

Edited by Roccus7

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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Three, 25-27.5", this AM in this GD incessant strong wind.  Don't think I've ever seen so much wind at dawn in my life here.  Yeah, this time of year Aeolus usually flips the wind machine on around 09:00, but 04:30???

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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On 5/22/2023 at 7:16 AM, Roccus7 said:

Three, 25-27.5", this AM in this GD incessant strong wind.  Don't think I've ever seen so much wind at dawn in my life here.  Yeah, this time of year Aeolus usually flips the wind machine on around 09:00, but 04:30???

This wind has been crazy.   Fun at the home port each day watching people try to go out for that afternoon first cruise only to turn around mid river when mother natures air conditioner hits them.   They all  head back an “try” to dock after a 10 minute tour

 

all those early season perfectly buffed hulls getting some battle scars 

 

it has to let up at some point…

[/sIGPIC]"Never let the truth spoil a good story"
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Today's Lesson: Calm Water is very humbling...

Every day striped bass fishing should be a learning experience and this AM's glass-like conditions was a master class.  I've been fishing in >10 kts of wind for the past week, and it raises havoc with popper action, but more importantly, it doesn't allow you to know what's going on as only very overt fish "interest" in your lure.

 

Well this AM was quite different and I had a 20 minute spurt when every cast had "fish interest", but at first there was very little evidence with actual surface disturbances.  Most "interest" were subtle changes in the plug's wake or a change in the plug's wake, usually an increase in the plug's bow wake.  Without glassine surface conditions, there is no way one would even know there was a fish showing interest in your plug.

 

What I did learn today is that fish can follow your plug for 30 or 40 yards without making any kind of commitment of hitting it; I've never thought it be that long of a follow.  Now in the summer, when water temps rise above 60°F, a couple of quick, hard pops usually gets a strike from a "follower", but in the low 50°F temps of late spring, that doesn't work well.  I've found that one hard pop, and then, if the follower seems a little more interested, a pop and a STOP, will get that "strike".  Strike is in parentheses because the hits early in the season resemble more of a tap, than the violent crashes I would have later in the season.  At least I started getting some action by employing this new popping sequence.

 

So I ended the morning with 6, fat, 23" fish.  Five of these fish were caught in that 20 minute spurt mentioned above.  During that time about 90% of my casts had definitive fish interest.  Of that 90%, I'd say 80% were subtle signs of interest that only a dead calm day would reveal.  Of the remaining 10%, I had overt signs like splashes, swirls and actual "hits".  Of that 10%, I actually caught 5 fish and didn't drop any.  Yes, I was expressing my discontent quite loudly at the fish, but that's me.  

 

Striped bass fishing is truly a Remember thou art mortal! Experience...

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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Good reflections here.  I always get frustrated when I am casting from the rocks and get tail flops 3' from shore but run out of room.  Last year I learned to be more patient at the end of my reeling, caught a few fish inches from the rocks.  I am having a very rough start to the season. 

I cannot get a boat yet (building house now in Midcoast), its killing me to wait another year.  I cannot wait to have more access.  I am dreaming about an 18' center console almost every night.  Midcoast coastline before the shedder buoys drop looks like it could be really fun (when the wind is not screaming from the SW). 

I have had a hard time finding spots to fish from shore as so much of the access is private along the rivers.  I did find a few nice holes using Google Maps last year. 

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I caught André's escaped dinner today!!

Nice morning fishing with a friend on his flats boat equipped w/spot lock, which made for a nice session.  We started at my favorite rip, testing the spot lock system with a strong wind on a strong tide.  The performance was good, but not $omething I'd consider for my boat.  After picking up 4 fish 21-25", we noticed some action up on the flats, that only had 2' water on it and motored up to the action using the electric motor. 

 

After seeing a break, I tossed my plug at the spot and got hit.  It was a nice fighting fish, but when I got her close to the boat I could see a fairly fresh bite mark across her shoulders.  When boated, this 28" fish was lightly bleeding from this wound, and I could see some necrotic tissue, which, along with the size of the bite, suggested she had escaped from a 2 or 3 day old seal attack.  I intended to get a photo, but just after measuring her, she flipped out of my hands into the water.  Thankfully she swam straight away. 

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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FIRST CAST CURSE!!

This morning started off with that most detestable way that striped bass screw with you, the First Cast Curse.

Saw a neighbor fishing when I got out at 05:00 so I motored up to talk and as I slowly motored over to chat with him I noticed the odd "V wake" on the surface of the water so I tossed out my plug. I quickly noticed my plug's wake had changed indicating that it was being followed so I went through my normal bag of tricks to elicit a strike and BAM!!, I was on and landed a 20" fish.

And then the Cynical Demon popped up on my shoulder, "Well you're screwed now. Might as well pack it in and head back to the barn, it's over for the day." Fortunately the Optimistic Angel popped up on the other shoulder, "Well you got up early to get here, you might as well go up to the start of this drift and take a full drift", so I did. Lots of "Wake Follows" ensued and I was able to get one to hit the lure, and I soon landed a slot fish, telling the Demon to begone.

Well, should have packed it in then, fished for over an hour with only an occasional wake follow, and even though I channeled Joe Cocker's best spastic convulsions to lure a strike at my popper, there were none. Then the wind fan got turned to high, and I headed back to the barn...

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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On 5/25/2023 at 12:18 PM, Skunkoff said:

 

Got the logbook in the mail.  So I need to measure each one??  I don't use scales, but measuring takes time.

Yes, that's why I have a small dry erase board on the boat so I can record all the fish measurements.  And no, don't bother with weight, estimated or actual.  

Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing? - H. D. Thoreau

 

Veni.  Vidi.  Cepi. - with apologies to Gaius Julius Caesar

 

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