Friday, August 31, 2018

Final Report

         Looks like I dropped the ball right there at the beginning of July in terms of keeping up regular fishing reports.  Oh well.  I wonder why I stopped then?  Striper Fishing has really remained strong all the way through the summer.  Aside from 1 or maybe 2 trips this summer we caught a lot of Stripers each time out also averaging almost 1 keeper a trip.  I went fishing this summer around 70  to 80 times including times with family and friends.
       One thing I really enjoyed about this summer was how many fish we caught on live mackerel and a hook with no weight.  On one hand, I love the idea of catching fish without bait, but on the other, I just love the feeling of that live Mac on your line being chased, harassed, bumped, picked up, dropped, and swallowed.  This year, the presence of smallish Mackerel and the addition of a Minn Kota Trolling Motor allowed us to fish Livies in current with ease.  I'm sure others will copy us but for now we are the only boat out there that I've seen using this technology(Spot Lock) with live bait in the Kennebec.  I know of other boats with the same Minn Kota motor as us, it's just that they are not coming from Boothbay, where its relatively easy to get live bait.  Nice right?
        Anyway,  I heard all summer how difficult getting the bait was. Many were even saying the Pogies drove them out.  Come on!  We did have a ton of Pogies(bunker, menhaden), which we like to snag and use for chum but the pogies are just a side show.  As far as I could tell Stripers never showed up under those Pogies.  I thought the Mackerel supply was pretty good. I have seen better and worse years.  The Macs being a small size was really effective. However, I did a lot of Macking by myself before clients to save time on trips to get people right into fish and not Macs.  Sometimes Macking took a while.  There were plenty of Macs in Boothbay Harbor but I always blacked out the livewell faster if I could fish out around the tip of Southport. 
         This Labor Day weekend I have decided to take it off.  I won't fish again until September 15 and 16 most likely.  My teaching job needs my attention right now.  It's just one of those years.  And once I'm out of the charter fishing for the season I'm out.  So, if you want to go fishing I can recommend a few guys who are still actively charter fishing.  If you are in Boothbay you can try Mainetain Charters and Ben Kaler or The BlackJack and Dan Stevens or Sea Raptor Charters and Craig Murray and Catch 22 and Russ Troy would also be a blast. If you are coming from up north and could meet in Bath you should try Peter Fallon.  All these guys are great people and are still actively chartering/fishing which is what you want when you hire someone. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Another Fishing Report? Come on. No one's that good.

  Since July 1 We have been using predominantly live Macs to target Stripers.  One reason? We have some smallish Mackerel that work really well.   Today, I jigged up some Herring while we were in the Kennebec River and proved those work too.  We are seeing fish up to 32" and are catching between 15 and 30 or more Stripers a trip at the moment.  I know there are bigger fish around and have solid intel of bigger ones on the beaches which we have yet to fish.

     Earlier in the week one could have caught a Striper simply by driving up and down the Kennebec River looking for birds.  During those trips, using light tackle gear, we amassed some really good numbers.  Since the high pressure has been in control, the birds have disappeared and we have made our hey floating livies catching fewer fish but catching bigger ones.  Fishing with a live mackerel has got to be one of the most fun ways to catch a fish. While its not stalking fish on the flats its pretty dang fun. 
     What else is there to tell you about the inshore bite here in the midcoast?  The Macks have been on and off. I have had my most consistent bite at the Cucholds but I have had slow moments out there too.  If you are using a boat to get the Macs and you put some time into an area without success don't be afraid to make a move.  There are pogies around too and a cool site has been local fisherman seining them in for lobster bait.  Also there are  acres of herring in the Kennebec River too.
      Maybe with all this bait we will get Bluefish this year.  We shall see.  I read they were in the St. George which is beyond us(as the Bluefish Migration goes) so you would think they would be around here too.  The on and off nature of the Mackerel also makes me believe there are some Bluefish around. 
      I still have holes in my calendar.  Give me a call if you want to go fishing. Its a blast right now. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fishing Report

      There seems to be Striped Bass all over the place.  For the first time in years it seems as though someone with shoreline access can find a few schoolies to play with just about anywhere along the Maine Coast.  In Boothbay Harbor, in early June at night, one would commonly find Squid slowly pulsing under any powerful dock light.  Now under those lights it's common to find Calamari-Eating-Stripers. 
      Still, while there are fish in Boothbay we are still choosing to head to the Kennebec River.  The moving water, structure, and amount of fish will likely out-produce the Boothbay Area even minus the run time.  Yesterday I took The Boy and his friend Noah fishing for 2 hours and that counts the run.  You can see a video of Noah describing the fishing below.  We are getting solid numbers for fish caught and our best in terms of size this year is 30" so far.  I am sure that will change in the next week as the bait prohibition eases in the Kennebec Watershed.

On a different note I took the family to see the Boothbay Harbor Windjammer Fireworks last night by boat.  I love fishing and watching these fireworks by boat is comparable.  I can not tell you how cool it is to get right underneath awesome exploding pyrotechnics.   Check out the video below to get a little of the flavor.  For the July 4th fireworks a longtime client has already hired me.  Hopefully, I will be able to get my family on someone else's boat.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Early Season

Woot Woot!  Early season Striper fishing is on in the Kennebec.  In the video below you can see fish rising around our boat .  Stripers are moving in all the time and anyone cruising up and down the Kennebec on a day without wind should easily be able to spot fish.  However, notice from the video that the birds are not on these fish yet.  No birds make it a little harder to spot the fish but the birds will figure it out soon.

What is the other big fishing  news for Boothbay? I'd say its the amount of Squid we have in the harbor.  People are catching good size squid all over the harbor usually under lights at night.  If you are visiting for a short while bring your squid jigs and head down to the Footbridge at night and get on them. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018


yep, I'm lame.  Not one update from the 2017 season?  Why?  Why was I so bad about updating this blog?

I've thought a bit about it and there are two reasons.  First, I hate trying to make this blog perfect.  Having other people have to edit is a pain in the beans.  From now I am gonna write first and edit later!  Seems like that approach is much more apropos for the times.   My second reason for not blogging last Summer was even less logical than the first.    I did not want to disturb the mojo of our fishing season by writing about it.  I was worried I'd jinx us.

Last season, the Striper fishing was excellent and was good from the beginning to the end.  Catching fish far into the double digits was the norm for every trip.  About 8-10% of all the fish caught were keepers until the tale end of the season.  A keeper is 28"+ FYI.  Most trips we would catch using a variety of methods from casting artificial to drifting bait along the bottom through current and over ledges. 

I am going to keep this short.  Maybe later I will add on to it. Maybe I won't.  In any case, I am really excited about the season coming up.  I've enjoyed quite a few guided trips myself in the past year both here in Maine and down in Florida and I know just how much fun a fishing experience can be.  Come on June, I'm ready now.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August Update

So, the Striper Fishing is off in the Kennebec.  Its odd, in just a few days it seemed to dry up. It won't stay that way and that is the tricky part for a guy who keeps his boat in Boothbay.  At some point soon, I will need to and want to get back to the Kennebec River .  For now, we are still having good trips in Robinhood, Hockamock Bay, and the mouth of the Kennebec including the  beaches.   For the most part we are seeing fish 30" at best.   

The Mackerel situation in Boothbay is unchanged.  I can't help but think that our Bluefish drought is causing this Mackerel surplus.  In other words, because we have seen no Blues at all north of  Casco Bay. the Mackerel have been super easy to get day in and day out all season long.  In the next week we will at some point look past the Mackerel for our super top top secret top secret top secret Striper Bait.  

Pictured below you see a Client off of my friend and fellow guide George Harris's boat.  This codfish was caught just a few miles off the beach and measures 28" and guess what?  This guy got to keep this codfish because DMR has opened the season on them requiring a fish to be 24".  If it is a flat day I would be delighted to do some nearshore Codfishing with people.  Just saying.


Friday, July 22, 2016


     I feel like the Mackerel situation has got to change.  There are soooooo many in Boothbay.  Now there are gigantic Macs mixed in with the smaller ones.  Allegedly, there are also Pogies (Bunker or Menhaden) in Casco Bay.  It seems like that would create a clear food path for the swarm of Bluefish that must be somewhere south of here.  However, we have seen no signs of Blues in the Kennebec or points north.  If the Blues do not arrive it will be the third year  without Bluefish in the Kennebec.  In the years when the Blues make it we have seen some kind of sign of them by now.

    The Striper fishing continues to be stellar.  This entire week we have caught fish top water, casting under birds.  We have also enjoyed hooking up on many consecutive drifts on the bottom through rips  in the Kennebec with bait.  We have also found some spots to chum and chunk Mackeral in shallow water for Stripers.  Best action has been the morning.
     One thing that has changed since my last update is the water temperature.  As I head  the boat into the Kennebec River winding through upper hells gates, I always keep one eye on the water temp, and usually by the time I go under the Arrowsic bridge, the water temp has reached 71 degrees.  Generally, this means to find Stripers look for some cooler water.  Some guys will fish really deep in the Kennebec River and some guys will head closer to the mouth or the beaches of the Kennebec.  Or, some guys will look for water that mixes with Sheepscot River water which still is running 56 degrees.