Anglers Get Ready for Opening Day
March 30, 2005 |
AUGUSTA, Maine -- April first marks the beginning of the open water fishing season in Maine, and although many lakes and ponds are still covered with ice, come Friday, anglers will be fishing in whatever open water
they can find.
Most lakes throughout the state are still covered in 2-3 feet of ice, yet these same waterways have spots or areas that are free of ice, including outlet, inlets, as well as below dams and by causeways. Inlets and
outlets of lakes are popular areas for early season fishing. Due the amount of ice, most anglers fish from shore this time of year, but some areas do have some open water, and you may see some anglers fishing from canoes or
The beginning of the open water season also means that the department stocking trucks will be busy. The Dry Mills Hatchery and the Casco Hatchery Fish Hatchery start an ambitious stocking program in mid-April and by the time ice starts to cover lakes in the fall, over 1.2 million fish will have been stocked in waterways across the state.
As with any boating activity, the Maine Warden Service is urging boaters to wear their lifejackets. Prolonged immersion in cold water can kill, and wearing a life jacket can greatly increase your survival chances if you are
in the water unexpectedly. Last year, over half the boating deaths in New England were cold-water drownings where a life jacket was not worn.
Below are some areas that always seem to attract anglers on the opening day of the season.
Auburn Lake (Auburn) is popular and accessible, with a chance at a lake trout, salmon, or brook trout. Sebago Lake (Raymond) also has some traditional early spring fishing spots including Panther Run, the Songo Locks, and the mouth of the larger rivers, including the Crooked and Muddy Rivers. Causeways often have open water and the currents created at these sites often attract fish in the early spring (i.e. the causeway at Thompson
Lake by the Heath and Long Lake. Remember you can only fish areas that are naturally free of ice and you cannot be standing on the ice and fishing the open water areas.
For a chance to catch salmon, brown trout, and possibly a brook trout, popular places to go are Belgrade Lakes Village and the Wings Mills Dam in the Belgrade Chain of Lakes. There may also be some sluggish pike and
bass in the area. The outlet dam on Cobbossee Lake and other dam sites on Cobbossee Stream also attract many anglers. The Kennebec River - if the flows are not too high - will attract many anglers to sections including
Waterville, Winslow and Fairfield. All the dam sites should have open water providing fishing for brown trout, salmon and rainbows. Closer to the coast, the Sheepscot, St. George and Medomak Rivers have sites that will be
yielding brown trout.
As always, the single best chance to catch a fish on opening day will be at Grand Lake Stream. On the better years, salmon hit streamers with a vengeance, and the opening day catch can hit 40-60, or more. In other
years, perhaps just a dozen or two are netted. Sometimes, early season anglers land a togue or two in the Dam Pool
Productive fishing sites for April 1 are few and far between in western Maine, but there are some notable exceptions, most of which are at dam tailraces. Rainbow and brown trout fishing downstream of Wyman Dam is
a time-honored opening day tradition, and similar opportunities occur upstream (below Flagstaff Dam on the Dead River) and downstream (below the dams at Madison). There are always a few hardy souls who snowsled into the
Rapid River for opening day fishing, and the Androscoggin itself presents some opportunities downstream of the New Hampshire line.
A few of the traditional standbys that will be fishable come the first of April include the West Branch of the Penobscot River downstream from Ripogenus Dam, Moosehead Lake's West Outlet and East Outlet, the Moose
River in Rockwood, the Roach River, and the Piscataquis River in the southern part of our Region.
Penobscot Valley Region
The West Branch Penobscot River salmon fishery between Rip Dam and Abol Bridge is always a popular spring fishery. Water flows through this section will be the key to good fishing.
Aroostook CountyGet Your Fishing License Online!
Open water pools below dams are always a good bet but if the dam is fitted with a fishway, be sure to follow the regulations restricting angling near a fishway. Waters in the region that routinely offer a chance to fish
April 1 include: the Meduxnekeag River in the greater Houlton area, the Prestile Stream, the Aroostook and Fish Rivers, and the Allagash River in the back country.
AUGUSTA, Maine - With every new fishing season comes the reminder that you need your fishing license, and now it is easier than ever to get your license. Go online to www.mefishwildlife.com and you can purchase your license 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
and print it right out for immediate use. No longer do you have to wait until the town office or local store opens, you can purchase your license whenever you want at www.mefishwildlife.com and use it immediately.