AUGUSTA — In the Down East region, people are fishing, but not in areas that you normally would this time of year, according to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW).
“Until last week’s rain, the ice was shaping up, even if it was a little later than usual,” said IFW fisheries biologist Greg Burr. “Most had sealed over, even though the larger waters were marginal.”
With the rain last weekend and then the snow, larger lakes are still extremely questionable. Thin ice is blanketed with snow, covering up poor ice conditions, as well as creating slushy conditions.
“We are seeing people along shore and in the coves,” said Burr. “People are anxious to get out.” Burr hopes the colder weather will help freeze the slush and solidify the ice. Until then, fishermen should check the ice before venturing out.
“People who are fishing the smaller ponds are doing really well. Ponds like Round Pond on Mount Desert Island and Lovejoy in Township 34 offer some really good fishing,” said Burr.
“Fish the shallower water for brook trout. Brookies tend to hang out in 4-8 feet of water. We found them schooling in some of the coves,” said Burr, who said not to be afraid to keep moving until you find the fish. Try fishing off of structure, or even downed trees in some of these ponds.
Small bodies of water in the region have 5-8 inches of ice.
Other ponds to try include Fitts Pond in Clifton, where there are some splake and retired brood fish. Lower Hadlock Pond in Northeast Harbor has brook trout ranging from 8-20 inches, and Jacob Buck Pond in Bucksport has brook trout, splake and landlocked salmon.