A Day on the Water
A trip with Sweet Action is sure to be one of the highlights of your stay in Maine, whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner. If you enjoy using bait, an outing typically begins somewhere in Boothbay Harbor with a short boat ride to fish for the “Macks” – the mackerel that will be used as bait for the day’s true prize, the feisty striped bass(depending on the tides and when you choose to depart, this is also a chance to see a beautiful Maine sunrise or sunset). Jigging a silver cigarette shaped lure, it is not uncommon for two anglers to catch thirty 6” to 12” Macks in less than fifteen minutes. If the Mackerel are more spread out, Captain Wolotsky will reach into his bag of tricks to make sure that we have a few of these striper delicacies on-board.
With the 40 gallon live-well now stocked with your mackerel, we’ll then head up from Boothbay Harbor through Townsend Gut, across the Sheepscot River to our fishing destinations: Hockomock Bay, the Sasanoa River, the Back River, and the Kennebec River. If the weather is calm enough, we will sneak across the mouth of the Sheepscot to fish the beaches and coves at the mouth of the mighty Kennebec River. If the wind is whipping, we will head up river where the effects of the wind are diminished. Because we make a 30 to 50 minute run to areas with a higher density of fish then Boothbay Harbor, we strongly encourage the six hour charter. With over 35 years of experience in the region, Captain Wolotsky will lead you to his favorite spots, where in no time you’ll be catching fish. Once there, we’ll look for the telltale sign of action: swirlies (small swirling currents on the water’s surface) indicating that stripers are feeding. Wildlife abounds, as eagle, deer, seals, otter, and osprey are all commonly seen. Few feel the effects of seasickness in this shallow water environment that resembles a lake or a river more than the ocean where we began.
Stripers can be caught at all times of the day. Our strategy really depends on a variety of factors, including time of day, point of the tide, location, water temperature, time of year, and more. Below are a few techniques you are likely to use while fishing with us.
We’ll place a live mackerel on the end of your line, occasionally using a balloon as a bobber. Once the mackerel is in the water, you will quickly become amazed by the action. When the stripers approach, your mackerel will become increasingly nervous, and your line will begin to frantically dance. The mackerel breaks the surface trying to flee (we call this “ringing the dinner bell!”). Darwin’s Theory prevails as you watch a scene resembling a show on the Discovery Channel.
Perhaps no other form of fishing is as fun as using these surface lures. We will drift by spots with lots of current and throw our lures towards rocky spots where we know there are fish. Once your lure hits the surface, you will begin to reel and “pop” your lure so that the popper makes a surface splash mimicking a baitfish boil. The Striper will hit the popper with its tail to stun its prey, often throwing the popper out of the water. Then, if the angler remains patient, the Striper returns moments later to suck down the popper.
Carolina Rigged Baitfishing
We use live or chunked bait in the Kennebec River with weight to fish in deeper water. We set up above or below structure and let the heavy current of the Kennebec River drag our baits across the bottom.
Here, we’ll use cut pieces of mackerel. Through this method, the stripers will be attracted by the scent. As such, this is a particularly effective way to fish at night. Occasionally, we will employ the “Filet de Mackerel,” allowing the bait to swim in the current instead of on the bottom.
Gummies are synthetic lures that mimic the look of the fish that stripers feed on. These fishy lures, having a lead head and plastic body, target Striped Bass feeding below the surface. Often, we will cast gummies to float over or past a hole where Captain Wolotsky knows the stripers congregate.
For fishing in those deep spots on the Kennebec, get out your jigs. Anything with a flash on the bottom will do the trick. This method can produce large quantities of fish caught.
Make no mistake; this will not be a passive trip. We will not sit back and troll for fish. Whichever technique we use, be prepared for a good fight and lots of Sweet Action.
The state of Maine allows anglers to keep one fish per day that is over 28”. If you’d like, you can bring home one of your catch (we can filet it for you and share with you our favorite Striper recipes). After one fish per person, we will catch and release the rest to ensure that the fishing will be as fun when you return next year. When our fishing is complete, sit back and enjoy the ride as we cruise back through the rivers to our home port.