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Author Topic: November....Most Highlights from a Road Trip, Just a Few Maine Bright Spots  (Read 1157 times)

Jim C.

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November is often one of my favorite months of Maine fishing.  I'm not one to sugar coat things, so let's just say that the month was sub-par in 2021.  Time, timing, weather, flows, and variety of other things can contribute to this, including the one doing the casting just being plain off his game.  When the going got tough, a case of the yips on the water sure didn't help my game.

A great trip to NY carried the month.  It wasn't so much that I caught a huge number of fish.  The brown trout and lake trout runs were behind schedule, but I came into the trip with Plans A, B, C, etc.   I was able to make it happen around Plan C for the most part.  It was super-satisfying to learn new water, see some beautiful country, avoid crowds, and catch some quality fish.  While the browns and lakers on the Great Lakes tribs were just getting started, the salmon were much fresher and aggressive for the date.  I had some success on spinners, but jigs were better.  The biggest fish fish of the trip (the last 3 pics) took a 1/64th ounce Voodoo jig on 8 LB. test and dwarfed my 12" long wading shoes, measuring in at 40".













The arrival of weekend days with far more anglers and also dropping flows made the fish super spooky, so I moved on to a back-up plan I had researched.  The higher elevation ponds to the south of where I was staying turned out to be a prime option.  Primarily solid rainbows, with a few nice brookies mixed in.  I had hoped to complete the hat trick, but browns proved to be elusive.  The vast majority of the fish fell for a black marabou jig under a bobber.  The fish ran 20"-24" for the most part......smaller than Great Lakes trib fish, but big enough to have the the average fish for the whole trip to be over 28".

















Not sure if these NY signs were left from last winter or put in place for the one coming, but there was definitely skim ice there almost a month ago now.







Back in Maine, the highlights were relatively few.  I thought I had turned things around when I found a nice pod of landlocks on the 15th.  That day started slow on a pond, but I did get some pics of a mountain flurry.





The salmon came later at a different location.  I love closing out days with a burst of action ;D











Unfortunately, I have been unable to duplicate my success with the landlocks in the days since.  The origin of these fish is intriguing, and I am coming to the conclusion, quite surprising. 

Other than the landlocks and some typical fall stocked brookies, I did get into a few browns both on the rivers and shorecasting the lakes.   The river fish color up more than the silvery lake fish.







As a change of pace,  I hit the salt for non-stop pollock action, with even a few mackerel mixed in.  November 20th sure seemed late to me for macks!





As we move into winter, it seems like it will be a very tall order to keep my open water streak on trout and salmon in Maine alive.  I'll have a shot only if I'm able to generate more bites and keep more fish hooked.









Dieseldog13

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Good report and great pics. Lots of nice fish. All of my gear is put away and just waiting for ice.

Smallmouth Squarepants

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Nice report as always Jim!

I definitely feel you with how tough it's been this fall here in the state. Even the tank scrubbers have been having lockjaw the past few times I've gone out (or, more correctly, required much more enticing/using unorthodox tactics). I took a friend who had moved to the PNW and was back home visiting out (to two of the 3 lakes we've talked about before, the two with bigger bass :D). Usually those lakes are fast and furious for the trout by this time of the year hits, but we had to grind to pull one each. I think the water temps are slightly above where they usually are, which might be throwing everything off. Big shout outs to using finesse bass gear to help actually catch trout. Spoons/Inlines/Trout Cranks have pulled 0 for me thus far during the fall; everything I've got has come off a tailspinner, blade bait, spybait, or 2.8" keitech on a tungsten jig.

Jim C.

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Thanks.

The fishing has been "off" in many places.  The Great Lakes, Alaska, etc.  I hope it's just a blip, but fear otherwise.  I keep detailed records.....great and useful, but can be a downer when historical comparisons are made :P


Nice report as always Jim!

I definitely feel you with how tough it's been this fall here in the state. Even the tank scrubbers have been having lockjaw the past few times I've gone out (or, more correctly, required much more enticing/using unorthodox tactics). I took a friend who had moved to the PNW and was back home visiting out (to two of the 3 lakes we've talked about before, the two with bigger bass :D). Usually those lakes are fast and furious for the trout by this time of the year hits, but we had to grind to pull one each. I think the water temps are slightly above where they usually are, which might be throwing everything off. Big shout outs to using finesse bass gear to help actually catch trout. Spoons/Inlines/Trout Cranks have pulled 0 for me thus far during the fall; everything I've got has come off a tailspinner, blade bait, spybait, or 2.8" keitech on a tungsten jig.

Steve H.

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Love these monthly re-caps, always a treat to view.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again....thanks for posting. 
It is understood that fishing licenses, gas, bait, etc., all cost money, but try not to let a limit of trout be your only gauge for success. – Ben Nugent, (NH F&G) Regional Fisheries Biologist

NBourque

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Informative and interesting report, Jim. As we have talked in the last month the fishing really has been hit or miss. Def some bright spots but a lot of slow days in areas I have crushed fish in years past. I got faith in ya to catch fish in December as long as the ice doesn’t creep up on you haha.

Jim C.

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Thanks, Nick.  December should be OK, but beyond that, who knows.  Something to think about......In a group of several winter open water spots, I caught 117 trout/salmon in Winter 2017-2018, 128 in Winter 2018-2019, 75 in Winter 2019-2020, and just 33 in Winter 2020-2021. Winter 2021-2022 isn't setting up real great either.  This info isn't some B.S., trumped up, Bureau of Tourism fishing report either.  It's put together from many borderline hypothermic days in waders.  In some spots, I know exactly where the problems came in and there's no going back.  Sorry for the rant, but being on Medicare, I guess I'm allowed :laugh:

I got faith in ya to catch fish in December as long as the ice doesn’t creep up on you haha.

NBourque

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Thanks, Nick.  December should be OK, but beyond that, who knows.  Something to think about......In a group of several winter open water spots, I caught 117 trout/salmon in Winter 2017-2018, 128 in Winter 2018-2019, 75 in Winter 2019-2020, and just 33 in Winter 2020-2021. Winter 2021-2022 isn't setting up real great either.  This info isn't some B.S., trumped up, Bureau of Tourism fishing report either.  It's put together from many borderline hypothermic days in waders.  In some spots, I know exactly where the problems came in and there's no going back.  Sorry for the rant, but being on Medicare, I guess I'm allowed :laugh:
:( :o :o That is def a downward trend.

Jim C.

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Maybe I just stink and should take up golf!

:( :o :o That is def a downward trend.

NBourque

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Maybe I just stink and should take up golf!
Haha never!

taxid

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Jim,

Thanks for sharing!

What are the caudal fins like on the salmon you catch? Are they somewhat forked? Not as square as a browns right? (I didn't see the tails in the above pictures.) The reason I ask is I believe this replica salmon has a brown trout fin on it. Outstanding job but I think the tail is from another fish. Or am I wrong?



BTW I've looked on the Internet and not seeing good images of the caudal fins on landlocks.
“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

Jim C.

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Thanks.

The tails on the salmon I catch are forked.  Stocked salmon in Maine also are fin clipped.  IF&W uses a clip pattern that rotates through every 4 years to ID the year of stocking. Interestingly, I didn't note clips on the salmon I caught last month.  I don't believe they were wild, unclipped fish.  Maybe IF&W added a variation to their clip pattern that I'm not aware of that is less obvious (maxilary?)

I agree that the tail on the fish replica in your post is squared off like a brown.

For many of my pics, I'm using the caudal as a handle, hence it doesn't show up.   I did find this one from 2020.  Not a big fish, so I took the pic in the net and you can see the forked tail.







Jim,

Thanks for sharing!

What are the caudal fins like on the salmon you catch? Are they somewhat forked? Not as square as a browns right? (I didn't see the tails in the above pictures.) The reason I ask is I believe this replica salmon has a brown trout fin on it. Outstanding job but I think the tail is from another fish. Or am I wrong?



BTW I've looked on the Internet and not seeing good images of the caudal fins on landlocks.

taxid

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Thanks for your reply Jim!

I think it's possible that some are missed? I've watched king salmon fins clipped and I can see how easy it would be to miss some as they are quite small when clipped.

And like you said maybe one year class could be no clipping?

OTOH I don't know about atlantics, but even here in the midwest with poorer stream and river conditions it's been found there has been more natural reproduction than intially thought. In fact so much more that planting numbers were reduced.
“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

TightLinesMaine

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what a report! way to go Jim, great success in NY it looks like, those 'bows must've been a blast and I can't even imagine the King :O I know you mentioned 8 lbs test, but what rod weight/action did you get that (king salmon) on? Looks light!

Grats on the Maine landlocks too, those are solid.  And you've greatly piqued my interest with their origin!  8)

NBourque

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what a report! way to go Jim, great success in NY it looks like, those 'bows must've been a blast and I can't even imagine the King :O I know you mentioned 8 lbs test, but what rod weight/action did you get that (king salmon) on? Looks light!

Grats on the Maine landlocks too, those are solid.  And you've greatly piqued my interest with their origin!  8)
Looks like an ultra light fenwick eagle to me  ;D

 



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