The Penobscot River is not-so-secretly a ‘world-class’ bass fishery — Outdoors — Bangor Day-to-day News — BDN Maine


Our targets on a glorious midweek September day have been fairly modest. Rob Dunnett would drive the boat, recommend a couple of flies and inform me exactly where the smallmouth bass have been most likely to hold.

I’d listen, delight in the stunning 70-degree afternoon, and inform a couple of stories.

And perhaps, if we have been fortunate, we’d catch a couple of fish.

Basically, that final element was fairly a great deal a offered. Here’s the classified element of this fishing report. (Guarantee you will not inform any individual else). This spot? This stretch of the Penobscot River up about Greenbush, or Costigan, or one thing like that? It is not as well shabby.

“It’s not a secret. Some of the bass clubs have tournaments on the river. There’s a quantity of guides who fish up by way of right here and make a very good living fishing for smallmouths on a fly in the river,” Dunnett says involving casts.

Then he gets to the punchline that may well prompt you to peel the shrinkwrap off your winterized boat and haul it to the nearest boat ramp.

“It genuinely is a planet class smallmouth bass fishery,” the Brewer angler says. “It’s stunning. We’re just spoiled.”

John Holyoke | BDN

John Holyoke | BDN

Poppers have been the order of the day on a current fly-fishing trip for bass on the Penobscot River.

On this day — an impromptu trip afield that we’d been attempting to place with each other for a couple of weeks — we had the vast Penobscot to ourselves, and didn’t see one more boat, or one more angler.

Dunnett stated he started fishing the Penobscot River a bit farther downstream back in 2007, when he joined the Penobscot Fly Fishers. One more club member, Don Corey, was amongst these fishermen who had “discovered” the awesome bass fishery that had taken hold in what had traditionally been recognized as an Atlantic salmon river.

And as a diehard fly fisher, Corey didn’t use the standard tackle that tournament bass anglers use — baitcasting reels, rubber baits, and the like.

Rather, he fly fished the river, and had terrific outcomes. Then he showed Dunnett the ropes, and Dunnett was hooked.

“We had some outstanding days fishing up right here. There have been some evenings when we would catch 30, 40, 50 fish,” Dunnett stated. “That was on the reduced element of the river, ahead of the Veazie Dam came out. I’m nonetheless understanding this upper element of the river. I just do not know it as effectively as I did the reduced element.”

Now, in the wake of the removal of two downstream dams — Veazie Dam and Wonderful Performs Dam — getting been removed as element of the Penobscot River Restoration Project, that impoundment no longer exists, and the very best bass fishing has moved farther upstream.

John Holyoke | BDN

John Holyoke | BDN

Rob Dunnett of Brewer shows off a smallmouth bass he caught on the Penobscot River on a current fishing trip.

Up close to Greenbush, Dunnett has a lot of mid-river islands to fish close to, and he targets the sort of underwater structure — rocks and sunken logs — that the fish will favor.

“We’re going to go up and sort of pound the shore a small bit. The water temperature is 63. The fish shouldn’t have to have to be in the deep, so hopefully we can get some action in below the [overhanging] trees,” Dunnett says. “They want protection. They want to feed, but they do not want to get eaten by the eagles.”

More than the course of a couple of hours, we located a couple of fish, caught some, and missed some. And even though we may well have selected extra productive solutions, we couldn’t have located a extra enjoyable way to fish.

Dunnett likes to see the action take spot, you see. That is why he prefers to fish floating flies, even when subsurface flies or lures would most likely place extra fish in his net.

“Everyone says topwater is not the way to go, that all the fish are under, but I adore fishing topwater poppers and seeing the fish take the fly,” Dunnett explains. “You can catch extra with Clousers and baitfish imitations and whatnot, but it is not about how numerous fish I catch when I come out right here. It genuinely is not. It is about acquiring out and spending time with pals and seeing the stunning scenery.”

On this day, the scenery was spectacular. Ducks flushed from their hiding spots. An eagle soared overhead. And the glass-clear surface wasn’t marred by even a puff of breeze.

At the finish of the day, as he pulled his 16-foot Lund boat back to the ramp, Dunnett summed up the day.

“Fish have been caught. Stories have been told. Very good occasions have been had,” he stated.

And entertaining was had.

John Holyoke can be reached at [email protected] or 207-990-8214. Stick to him on Twitter, @JohnHolyoke. His initially book, “Evergreens,” will be released by Islandport Press in October.



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