Your Best Spring Fishing in Maine
March 19, 2014
Spring is clearly defined in the North Country. March is still winter, which means ice-fishing rules till the end of the month. April 1 is opening day for open-water angling but it may be weeks before there's enough open water available for boating or casting from shore. May literally bursts upon the scene as the leaves on the poplars become "big as a mouse's ear," which traditionally means it's time to go for trout, salmon and togue.
Ice rules in March and may well rule the waters of Sebago Lake till mid-April. Ice-fishermen take advantage of the extended winter weather by targeting Sebago's legendary giant lake trout. A 22-pound specimen was taken during a February 2014 fishing derby and there are plenty more where that one came from. Fish just off the bottom using cut bait, jigged lures or a lively sucker and keep your lines down from sunrise till sunset. The biggest fish often hit with just minutes of legal fishing time left, so stay put till the last gun is fired.
Even though April 1 is the legal "opening day" in Maine it may be a few weeks before the really good fishing begins. Still, larger waters like the Kennebec River near Augusta provide good fishing for rainbows and brown trout whenever there is enough open water to allow wading and casting. Browns prefer big, meaty flies and lures while rainbows appreciate offerings that are a more delicate. Experiment with dries, nymphs and Wooly Buggers until you find a size-color combination that works.
In May the lid comes off on Maine's open water fishery. Every species that swims in the state is legal game this month and all are readily susceptible to an artfully presented fly, lure or bait.
For pre-spawn smallmouths, the Penobscot River above Bangor has been the premier destination for bass fishermen since the late 1800s. Rent a canoe or kayak in Old Town and drift along shore casting to shoreline cover including logs, rocks, ledges and overhanging brush. The action will continue well into the hot summer months, when the best fishing will occur early and late in the day and at night.
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