For a final summer hurrah, I headed to Maine with hopes of catching larger striped bass. Ignoring the less than ideal tides and the developing hurricane off our Southeastern Coast, I drove the 7.5 hours to Hills Beach/Biddeford Pool. The weather didn’t cooperate and angling was tough. It blew hard the first three days and kayaking was dangerous/challenging. Heavy rain and large swells kept me off the water for two days. I did manage to find a fish or two, but nothing spectacular. There wasn’t bait (sand eels, pogies or herring) around and I only spooked one fish on the flats.
To end the trip, I contacted Tom at Eldredge Brothers Fly Shop. http://www.eldredgeflyshop.com/ It is a first rate freshwater/saltwater fly shop w/ great service, an outstanding fly tying selection and honest local reports. Eldgredge Brothers also offers a guide service, so I asked Tom for a recommendation. Within two hours, Capt. Mark Drummond-http://www.fishlikemad.com called me and we agreed upon a location and time to fish.
I met Capt. Mark nice and early 5:20 am in Pepperall Cove and we fished for stripers in the Pascatagua River and outer ocean rocks. Early on there were some stripers busting on herring and terns diving. Nice to see surface activity and we soon hooked up w/ a 22″ fish. After chasing a few more pods of scattered bait/fish, we decided to pursue bigger bass on the outside. Capt. Mark operates a very smooth, easy to cast from 24′ custom boat that is ideal for fishing bays, rips or rocks. He expertly manuvered the boat, angling me w/ the wind to make long casts to the rocks/swash/troughs. We managed another decent bass, but the fish just weren’t there. I sure would like to fish those rocks under better conditions. Our best guess is that the recent storm activities put off these fish. Our decision to chase cow bass outside limited our total fish count, as we likely could have located more schoolie sized fish within the harbor. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to fish w/ Capt. Mark. He has an easy temperament, knows the water, ties quality flies, communicates well as a guide and has a very fishy boat. I would recommend Capt. Mark to any of my friends looking to fish the Portsmouth/Kittery/York waters for bluefish/mackerel/pollock/shad/stripers.
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