Weekend Fishing Forecast - July 11, 2008

Saco, Maine

Kevin Groundin at Saco Bait and Tackle www.sacobaytackle.com told us that fishing on Maine’s East Coast has been slow but anglers trolling surgical tubes and umbrella rigs are still finding some nice striped bass. “On hot days it’s better to fish early in the morning or at night,” he says. Kevin suggests anglers look for cooler water around the islands. He said that crews exploring the water around Scarbarough are finding plenty of smaller bass. “Bluefish are starting to move in to the same areas,” he added. Offshore the bluefin tuna bite is picking up at Stellwagon Bank and Jefferies Ledge. Kevin suggests trolling black squid rigs or a Big Kahuna rig to lasso tuna over 200 pounds. Ground fishing has also been good for cod and haddock at the Fingers and Jefferies Ledge. The best bait has been black, pink, or chrome jig. On the freshwater scene, a lack of rain has left the rivers and streams low. Kevin says that anglers can still catch trout by trolling pre-rigged hooks with orange beads and spinners with worms or Super Dupers or Swedish Pimples. “You’ve got to find the deepest spots in the lake,” he says. Sebago Lake has been producing a few lake trout up to 40 inches for anglers pulling flatfish lures. “Use the biggest lure you can buy,” Kevin says. Largemouth bass have started to move off their beds. Kevin says that the fish are holding around weedlines and drop offs. “Bass fishing has been decent for guys working Gary Yamomoto black and white flukes or a Wacky Worms,” he added.

New River, West Virginia

Recent rains put a damper on the action along the New River, but P.J. at Rivermen Outfitters www.rivermen.com says that the water is dropping and fishing is picking up. “We’re averaging 80 to 100 smallmouth each trip with a handful going 19 to 22 inches,” she says. She told us that most of the action has been on the New River, but fishing on the Gauley has been hot, too. The guides are rafting from Stone Cliff to Cunard working a blue pearl fluke against the banks and in the eddies behind rocks. P.J. said that the overnight trips have been very popular with anglers covering up to 45 miles of the river and taking advantage of the early morning and late evening blitzes of smallmouth. SheSmallmouth added that trout fishing was good before the rain. “The streams were low, but now they should be in better condition,” she said. The guides prefer to fish Dunlop and Lake Creek. Check out the action on an upcoming episode of Red Neck Adventures – P.J. told us that they’ll be filming the smallmouth bite this weekend. She’s looking forward to the New River Smallmouth Classic which is coming up August 23rd . The tournament benefits one of their guides who was diagnosed with Multiple Schlerosis. Check out their website for more details.

Sardis Lake, Mississippi

“Crappie fishing is all we do,” Bob Hare at Mike Hare’s Guide Service www.mikeharesguideservice.com told us. And crappie fishing has been very good. Mike’s been way-laying crappie on Sardis Lake, which is one of the largest man made lakes in the U.S. To cover all that water, Mike side pulls jigs and minnows over stumps and brush piles. A 12 inch minimum size limit on crappies hasn’t slowed him up, either. “Last Monday he caught 101 crappies and had 37 keepers,” Bob told us. At 12 inches each, that’s a nice mess of slab crappies.

Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

Tom Helgeson from Mid West Fly Fishing www.mwfly.com has had a hard time deciding where to fish this week. “Trout fishing has been good, smallmouth good, pike are good, muskie are good,” he told us. When we called he was preparing to West Central Wisconsin to fish the tributaries of the St. Croix River. After the recent deluge of rain, Tom said that the trout streams have finally recovered. “The hatches have dropped off from the peak in June,” he said, suggesting anglers float small dry flies or cricket patterns early in the morning for the best chance at enticing a summer trout. Tom added that smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent in the St. Croix and the Mississippi rivers. Tom fishes out of a drift boat tossing streamers and poppers to the bank. “It’s not very sophisticated,” he says, “but it’s very effective.” Fishing for largemouth bass has been productive, too. “My luck has been crappy,” Tom laughed, “but the fish are around.” The best bet is to work a popper through the weeds in any of the local lakes. Pike and muskie fishing has been especially good for anglers casting super long streamers in the backwaters of any of the rivers or streams.

Ketchican, Alaska

Alaska fishing is just starting to heat up around Ketchikan. Russell Thomas at Clover Pass Resort www.cloverpassresort.com told us that a few king salmon are floating around but anglers are having better luck catching pinks and silvers with a few nice chum mixed in. The most effective method for salmon is trolling plug cut herring on flashers and hoochies. “Everyone has his favorite color,” Russell says, “but I haven’t heard of one hot color.” Once the salmon arrive in force, anglers will switch to mooching whole herring from anchor or at drift. “Drop the bait down to the bottom and reel up for a chance at catching halibut or salmon,” he says. He said the salmon are running through all the local channels and inlets. “Just about anywhere you go you’ll find fish,” he says. The pro guides have been running offshore to jig up halibut. “No real big fish yet,” Russell says, “but the action is getting better.”