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James Engle

maine open water/ cold techniques

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Hey everyone, I just joined the forum figured I'd get a post under my belt. 

 

tons of open water in southern maine as of now (april 10)

been out a few times on my kayak, just quick 1 hr sessions. Mostly marking waypoints on my graph, water is extremely clean and finding tons of timber, rock piles, etc. that will be buried with milfoil all summer. got into some deeper water today and saw quite a bit of activity on my raymarine. 

thinking this weekends weather will get em fired up. Im planning to fish little ossipee and/or estes. I dont have much (basically none) past experience with little ossipee, but from what Ive seen so far, looks clean, stumpy in areas, nice grassy flats, rocky, deep middle and lower basin... all the fixin's. Estes I have more time on than anywhere else, may be a good place to fall back on if I do not figure a pattern on lil ossipee.

 

Im hoping to find some stacks deeper and get them to light up on a jerk bait or rat'L'trap, or if theyre not going to budge drag a jig or a shakey head. Have never thrown a ned rig - but could see them performing well this time of year. other baits Im curious about for Maine's early spring bite: pumping spoons, a rig, deep cranking,  damiki rig's with or without underspins, dropshot flukes. Basically hoping I can get something working with a moving bait. But maybe the trick will be to find the bass on sonar and present them slowly with finesse.

 

I know a lot of guys going directly to a chatterbait for some reaction bites - I have a hard time getting them to run deep - need to dial in with that.

 

I dont know if anyones got any hot tips. but Id love to bounce some ideas around of what to throw this weekend. 

I generally film my trips and I will post any results.

 

below is a few sonar snapshots I took today.

thanks everyone!

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Glad to hear it! I'm in the MidCoast area and plan on Easter being my first day out.

I'd throw a silver buddy at those arches on the bottom!

Maybe a suspending jerkbait in 4-10'

 

Would love to see some vid and hear how you do!

 

 

EDIT: And welcome to BassResource!!

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Jig and a jerkbait are hard to beat. Personally I find the warmest water this time of year. Usually areas where an inlet dumps in and areas that have the most sun exposure ( usually the northwest corner or cove ) warm the fastest. Never underestimate the jig ! Swimbaits, chatterbait, rattletraps also work well after ice out.

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Thanks ya guys ! I got a buddy coming down on Saturday, and he’s a hammer.  supposed to be 70° Saturday. I’m going to take your advice and think about the warm water . Hoping to see some of the bass moving up , I’ll definitely be throwing a jerkbait, craw style jig, and I’ll try and track down a silver buddy. I’ll post our results !! 

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So it was a slow weekend, but I managed to put a pattern together. Saturday didn’t go as planned, my buddy didn’t get down here until 1 and i had plans for the afternoon so we spent 2 hours on the water and it was very windy. I knew the water temp would be warmer today, so I had my gear packed and ready to go last night and hit the water early this morning. I spent 3 hrs looking at my sonar , trying to find anything that looked appealing. I worked my way from the deepest point of the lake to the shallowest flats and eventually I spotted a bass! And not only 1... dozens. They were tightly grouped , relating to submerged timber , in 5-10’ of water - right beside sharp drop offs leading to 20’ of water. They weren’t real spooky, but slow to respond. Initially I soaked a senko hoping that I could pick away at them with a subtle application. They weren’t into it, so I grabbed the jerkbait and set up to cast parallel with the shoreline . 1st cast landed a nice 19” strong largemouth. I ended up pulling a few more smaller largemouth and a smallmouth out of this area. It was painful, because I must have seen 4-5 that were between 5-6... maybe even 7lbs. Unfortunately I could only get a few to bite today. But I believe that this spot will pay off well this summer during our trail event here.  Water temp was 48° when I left , 10° warmer than this time last week. I’m feeling a little bit more confident about getting some good  #’s on the leaderboard for some online challenges this month. I will apply this pattern to some areas I’m more familiar with and should be quick to get on some fish next time out on the water . Thank you guys for you advice, it’s greatly appreciated 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

Here’s a Quik edit from today! Mid April jerkbait action

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Good to hear and nice job getting a few of those to bite. More will bite as water warms. Don't forget a Ned rig thrown at those left overs that are slow to bite.

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I’m definitely going to have to try the ned rig on these fish. I went back to the spot on Monday evening and after work today. Monday the weather was not great but I managed a few , and lost a nice one at the boat. So yesterday I rigged up a few different jerk baits with new hooks. Got out there today, decent conditions, calm enough to ease in and site fish. I had the fish following everything I threw. They just would not commit. At one point I had 2 closing in from the outside and a giant coming right through the center directly at it. I was dragging a curly tail soft Swimbait on the bottom , I thought I had her , she came in and nipped the tail gently and just stopped and stared at it for 5 seconds then slowly turned off.  Pressure has risen a bit since Sunday/Monday, and the water is still 49° in this area.  Man, there is no joke 100 bass in this 300 yard radius against the shoreline. Most of them look to be 16-17” ranger but there is a handful of BIG girls lurking around the outskirts and occasionally right inside the juice. 

 

I’m not sure exactly yet what it’s going to take to trigger this group. I feel like if I can get the presentation right, i could stack 100” off this spot .  I’m pretty confident that these fish will remain on location for a bit. 

 

I’ll probably try to get back out here Friday. I think I will go about them differently next time ,  work some small finesse baits within 6” of the bottom  really slow . I’m kind of curious about the powerbait max scent. From the things I’ve heard in the past , something like that may be the hot tip.  We will see !! Haha nothing like staring at a group of nice bass staring at your bait ! 

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Hey James,  I know you!

 

Cant help you with Little O for bass,  as I’m usually out for rainbows and salmon there in the spring,  but what I can tell you is I almost never see the bass boats in the big basin. They typically run through to the other smaller basins or into the cove to the left of the ramp.(or skip it and hit Arrowhead)  Your sonar images remind me on the point strait out from the launch,(perhaps it is?)  it’s always loaded with perch in my experience.

 

  Only have one experience on Estes this time of year with water temps around 45.  We tried deep for awhile with no avail, ended up finding(catching) them all up shallow,  like 1 FOW. Points mostly. The skinny side.

 

My hot bait was a Spro BBZ-1 Shad, Floating

 

What my Buddy was throwing I can’t recall,  but what I do remember that my smallest was his biggest, lol, even though we had about equal numbers.  Got something like 8-10 each, mostly right tight to shore.  Everything I got was 2-4lb,  on Topwater even 👍

 

Hope that helps? Good luck! 

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@James Engle Have you tried a drop shot? You could keep that in front of them indefinitely. Try some finesse worms on the drop, as most do, but also try a craw type bait too.

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Bass were hitting jigs pretty well this past weekend

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On 4/17/2019 at 8:55 PM, James Engle said:

I’m definitely going to have to try the ned rig on these fish. I went back to the spot on Monday evening and after work today. Monday the weather was not great but I managed a few , and lost a nice one at the boat. So yesterday I rigged up a few different jerk baits with new hooks. Got out there today, decent conditions, calm enough to ease in and site fish. I had the fish following everything I threw. They just would not commit. At one point I had 2 closing in from the outside and a giant coming right through the center directly at it. I was dragging a curly tail soft Swimbait on the bottom , I thought I had her , she came in and nipped the tail gently and just stopped and stared at it for 5 seconds then slowly turned off.  Pressure has risen a bit since Sunday/Monday, and the water is still 49° in this area.  Man, there is no joke 100 bass in this 300 yard radius against the shoreline. Most of them look to be 16-17” ranger but there is a handful of BIG girls lurking around the outskirts and occasionally right inside the juice. 

 

I’m not sure exactly yet what it’s going to take to trigger this group. I feel like if I can get the presentation right, i could stack 100” off this spot .  I’m pretty confident that these fish will remain on location for a bit. 

 

I’ll probably try to get back out here Friday. I think I will go about them differently next time ,  work some small finesse baits within 6” of the bottom  really slow . I’m kind of curious about the powerbait max scent. From the things I’ve heard in the past , something like that may be the hot tip.  We will see !! Haha nothing like staring at a group of nice bass staring at your bait ! 

Hey man! Thanks for the advice !!! Wow I have never thrown a bait like that, but will absolutely add it to my arsenal this weekend . Looks like it’s a match the hatch bait.  I have been doing well on little O. I found some fish there a week and a half ago, on the upper basin. I was able to key into a jerkbait bite around timber. These bass have been very particular, I’ve seen giants on multiple occasions traveling the shoreline in groups of 3 , I’ve seen them spread out around larger schools of small to mid size bass, and I’ve seen them traveling slowly around shallow flats leading into coves. Saturday the water temp had warmed to 55° by noon, it appeared that the bass had begun moving around the lake a bit. I caught about 20 bass in an hr around emergent grass patches in 5’ of water. I even caught double 16”s on a shadow rap. It was a hot bite for a minute, thrilling action.  I haven’t been to Estes yet this year, looking forward to getting back out there, I have a lot of confidence there this time of year . Will have to try that shad out.  Been trying to get out to arrowhead after work throughout the week. We just moved into he LAC and I’d like to take advantage of the 15+ beach spots and get to know that body of water better. My PB came from arrowhead last summer and I’ve heard stories of 9lb’rs.  Friday I’ll be heading to Lewiston to get certified for the new state milfoil inspections. Saturday I’m planning on square pond, getting acquainted with the water and hopefully have a good game plan established for the first Maine a Yak Anglers trail event the following weekend . 

 

Its been a grind grind getting caught up with life after a crazy winter of work, travel, moving, etc..  working on developing a stable routine over the next few weeks so I can get the most out of this season! 

 

Anyone else going out this weekend?

On 4/18/2019 at 6:24 AM, Smokinal said:

@James Engle Have you tried a drop shot? You could keep that in front of them indefinitely. Try some finesse worms on the drop, as most do, but also try a craw type bait too.

I need to rig a drop shot rod  and keep it on my kayak indefinitely, I head it will always work. I need to grab some terminal gear , and get something set up. I was catchin’ em on the fall pumping  a red craw rattle trap , on Saturday morning.  I’m gonna get my gear staged and rigged for this weekend , I’ll post everything beforehand and be glad to hear any critique! Hope you all are off to a good week and get some lines wet ! Thanks a bunch 🙌🏽

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Little Ossipee and Estes are the 2 lakes I fish the most in Maine. I live in Sanford so im 3 minutes away from Estes, and 20 minutes away from Little O. If you have any questions about either lake, let me know. By no means am I god's greatest gift to bass fishing, but 3 of my 5 tournament wins in 20 years have come on Little O...in 25+ feet of water all 3 times. Shoot me a message if you have questions about either Lake.

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15 hours ago, MainelyBASS said:

Little Ossipee and Estes are the 2 lakes I fish the most in Maine. I live in Sanford so im 3 minutes away from Estes, and 20 minutes away from Little O. If you have any questions about either lake, let me know. By no means am I god's greatest gift to bass fishing, but 3 of my 5 tournament wins in 20 years have come on Little O...in 25+ feet of water all 3 times. Shoot me a message if you have questions about either Lake.

No doubt thanks brotha ! That’s awesome. I’m really liking little O. I will most likely pick your brain about that place at some point. I have my work cut out for me this season, trying to focus on the local trail events. Excited because we do have a stop on little o in August. So I have some time to get more familiar with it. I’ll be on square on Saturday trying to figure something out for the following weekends MYA tournament. Also neee  to cull some on the KBF State monthly this weekend, I’ll prob end up on Estes to work on that. I’m excited, Every weekend since ice out I’ve been scrambling around trying to coordinate/host a trip with a friend, this weekend I’m jumping in my truck solo and going hard, nothing to slow me down. Need some 5lbrs in my life right now... 

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Somebody filmed you out on Little O catching that fish a few weeks ago. What a small world. My buddy has a youtube channel and he was out there filming for his channel when he saw you hooked up. He zooms in on you and watches you land the fish. I think he even shouted out "Nice one" or something like that.

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No kiddin! That’s awesome, those guys were cool. I was pretty excited to see some guys out there with gopros bass fishin.  I’ll have to look em up and subscribe !! 

 

Anyone gettin after it this weekend ?

I sampled some smallies in square pond on Saturday and set up a game plan for the kayak tourney this weekend. 

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Northeast Fishing Adventures is the name of the channel if you want to check them out. The video you star in is called catching smallmouth on Little O.

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On 4/30/2019 at 12:28 AM, James Engle said:

Anyone gettin after it this weekend ?

  I can only hope.. actually got home early tonight.. 6:30..  maybe I’ll go down and put my batteries in my boat.  Been so out strait with work 8 days a week I haven’t even wet a line in open water yet this year. (Besides a 7day FLA bass trip in March)

 

  The construction boom is allowing you to have weekends?  Lol. Glad to see your going to get em.

 

  BTW this is Taylor from back in the skateboarding days, we oughta hook up some time and go out. (Fishing that is,  I can’t skate anymore) 🤦‍♂️

 

I’ll shoot you a PM

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16 hours ago, Arcs&sparks said:

  I can only hope.. actually got home early tonight.. 6:30..  maybe I’ll go down and put my batteries in my boat.  Been so out strait with work 8 days a week I haven’t even wet a line in open water yet this year. (Besides a 7day FLA bass trip in March)

 

  The construction boom is allowing you to have weekends?  Lol. Glad to see your going to get em.

 

  BTW this is Taylor from back in the skateboarding days, we oughta hook up some time and go out. (Fishing that is,  I can’t skate anymore) 🤦‍♂️

 

I’ll shoot you a PM

Dude! I was scratching my head trying to figure out who. I actually tried getting in touch with you last summer , Wayne Berry was telling me you were gettin into some bass. yeah I always tell people that it’s not only learning techniques on how to find and trick the fish, it’s the time

management to get on the water . Honestly though if I invested as much effort into building a business as I used to rather than working to become the angler I’m reaching to be... maybe I’m doing things backwards at the moment but I’m hooked and have been scraping by. Definitely should link up again. 207-321-8400 shoot me a text sometime , keep up the hard work I’m sure you’re crushin it like always! 

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On 5/3/2019 at 12:59 PM, James Engle said:

it’s not only learning techniques on how to find and trick the fish, it’s the time

management to get on the water .

Words of wisdom.  I need to improve on that.

 

 Turns out I already have your number,  your name popped up when I clicked on it haha.

 

Anything to report from the weekend?  Seems to be some more active Mainers here than usual,  cool to see some local reports.

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I was fortunate enough to hit Mousam Lake as a few piles of fishing were moving up into 3ft of water. When I say piles, I mean piles. The timing was epic. I moved up with the fish, even got ahead of them at one point and had to turn around to re fish the water they were in. Boated over 30 fish, nothing over 3, but I knew I was dealing with the males and not the bigger females. They entered a cove and immediately schooled up around docks. The first 6 docks were loaded with fish. Once you got past the 6th dock, not a fish to be found. Foolishly I would speed up and fish more docks even further away from the ones I had success on earlier. Then my buddy made the great observation that the fish may not have gotten that far back yet in their transition. I used the big motor to drive back to the mouth and start fishing the same docks over again. Same results, 4 casts in a row landing a 2+. Water temps were 58 in the coves and 53 on the main lake. 

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10 hours ago, Arcs&sparks said:

Words of wisdom.  I need to improve on that.

 

 Turns out I already have your number,  your name popped up when I clicked on it haha.

 

Anything to report from the weekend?  Seems to be some more active Mainers here than usual,  cool to see some local reports.

 

 

shallow water !! Last Saturday we fished the first of the year Maine Yak Anglers trail event , on square pond. I found smallies on rocky points with sharp drops in the morning , by 11am there were big largemouth lurking around sandy beach spots close to soft bottom and deep water. The north end of that pond was stacked with big fish. After the tourney I went to a little spot I call ‘breeding grounds’ I fished fast around the main lake channel points with timber, and did well pumping a craw colored red eye shad under or as close to wood as possible. The wind died down at around 7pm, and the cold water stopped pushing into the back coves. I got on a great frog bite, big bass were tucked way way back in thick grassy swamp areas 1-2’ of water.  So far this week, I have been seeing more bass cruising the shallow flats around points and inside coves , doing well with spinnerbaits, red eye shad, and when it gets dark throwing a frog out and just letting it sit on top - almost like dead sticking a senko with a frog...? I dunno but it’s workin ! I have seen some absolute tanks cruising around at night. I finally had one giant take my top toad last night and I failed to set the hook on er’ 😬

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