5/26-5/28 Southern Maine [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: 5/26-5/28 Southern Maine

05-29-2001, 11:36 AM
I was at my parents place in southern Maine this weekend and I fished the same rocky coves every evening. Late in the afternoon the coves were filling up with (i think) finger herring so thick that the water seemed alive. The bass and mackeral weren't usually far behind them. Saturday night I was a little late in arriving and only got a few bass, Sunday I was there all afternoon and into the night and I picked up 30-40 bass and a hanful of mackeral. Monday I was there just as long as Sunday, but only got 5 bass and a bunch of macks. The bass averaged 18-28" with a few bigger and a few smaller.

The fish were keying on the micro sized bait that was crammed into the coves and would often refuse anything else. I tried 'matching the hatch' but with that much bait the odds seemed to be against me. I picked up the most fish on a green/white clouser, but even that wasn't really consistent. I tried every trick in the book and every fly in my box, but nothing seemed to make too much difference.

Any suggestions about what I could try next time I run into this situation, or is this just one of those impossible situations?


05-29-2001, 12:10 PM
Hi Matt,

I love southern Maine marine fishing, I'm glad you had decent outings.

I'm sure you know the basics of fishing offerings in huge schools like that, it can be very frustrating. Last September was like that along the Maine/NH coast, with the baby herring/bunker exiting the estuaries.

I guess the exact locale where you were casting is important. Was the water deep enough to try to get a similar-sized imitation beneath the school? I had good success with this with a "dying baitfish" strip; or, more likely, if the water wasn't deep enough to fish under, casting well to the side of the baitfish pods worked well. "Un-matching the hatch" is another option. Go with something utterly different...I'm sure you tried this though.

These techniques worked well until I stumbled across a baby bunker pattern that worked like gold, even among dense schools of the real thing. This thing was inhaled usually as soon as it hit the water. I suppose a good "trigger pattern" like that will do it, the trick is to find it.