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The past few seasons have been great for striped bass in Maine and this year is no different. We started out with a huge push of young stripers on their first migration up to see us. These young fish provided us with great action on light gear early in the season and are a good indicator of a productive spawn. More recently we have been seeing a large number of menhaden, or pogies as we call them, which are an important food source for many of the larger predators making their way up the coast. The warmer mid-summer waters have brought in schools of bluefish. These toothy critters love to eat; they are aggressive and devour everything in sight. The bluefish game is always full on excitement.
We’re now well into August and the fishing is in full swing; bait of all types and fish of all sizes have settled into the bay. We have been consistently getting shots at large mature fish and this should continue through the rest of the season. Waking black flies and artificials on the surface over mudflats in low light scenarios or sight casting sand eel and shrimp imitations over the sand in the midday sun have all proved to be productive. We have recently come across several blitzes of stripers feeding on mackerel and have had a few unusually aggressive reactions from large fish using a mackerel pattern tied by Aaron Lockwood of Casco Bay Fly Co.