Maine Opening Day of Fishing Season 2001
April 1, 2001
By Mike Christy
That groundhog was right, or was he? There seems to be much more than 6 weeks of winter
left in the southern part of Maine. Or is it just a cruel April fools joke; that there
will be no fishing on opening day? Areas north and west of Portland appear to be stuck in
the middle of January, not to mention the northern regions of the state. Many of the towns
surrounding Sebago Lake have 3 feet of snow on the ground, with roadside snow banks even
higher. Needless to say, there is not much open water for fishing to be found on the
area's lakes and ponds. Reports of 2 feet of ice by anglers whose fished on the last day
of ice fishing season appear to be true.
What little open water there was could only be found near coverts, river mouths
and bridges. The Muddy River, The Crooked River & Songo Locks, Panther Run and
the causeway at Naples did provide some angling chances. Many opportunistic anglers donned
their insulated overhauls and woolens as for a day on the ice and headed for these spots.
For those who did, Dick Pinney who authors the region's weekly fishing report, writes
the following about opening day in Maine:
"In the Sebago area, Dave Garcia at Naples Bait on Long
Lake, reported that fishing on the causeway at Long Lake had produced a few average
landlocked salmon and one outsized brown trout. The salmon were taken from the culverts
and bridge area where the current had attracted them. They were caught on live smelts. The
brown trout, a six-pound beauty, was caught on a nightcrawler below a bobber right at the
Anglers at the Songo locks found little activity under the surface. The water
appeared very low for this time of year, most probably because the majority of it is still
in solid form on the ground. Several opening day enthusiasts brought folding chairs
and coolers (whatever for, maybe to keep the drinks from freezing?) and set up camp below
the locks for a day of fishing.
This report from Dick Pinney's contact Biologist John Boland, confirms that some fish
were taken today:
"Chief Sebago Fisheries Biologist John Boland reported that some
salmon had been caught at Panther Run in Raymond and at the Songo Locks. "The salmon
were from 17 to 19 inches long and not too fat. I'd have to describe them as in fair
condition. The brooks are low and fishable here but you just can't get at most of them
because of the snow depths. Our stocking schedule has been set back a good two weeks
because of this," John said. "
During spring, fish tend to congregate towards open or running water in search of
warmer water, food and oxygen. Even though they are hungry, their metabolisms are slow and
will not exert much effort chasing bait. A night crawler on a bobber is all that's
required to entice a trout or salmon. I recall a few years back about a secret opening day
bait that an old timer in a weak moment let on about. "We are using a secret weapon
-it's called the guitar guppy..." It turned out to be your basic garden worm.
Opening day of freshwater fishing in Maine tried the patience of many sportsmen
including the owners of these fishing shanties resting on the shore at Sebago Station.
They will just have to wait until next year to return to the ice, even though the
thickness is plenty to support them, and may be for days to come.
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