Shad and stripers are in, so it’s time to get fishing!

Come mid June, Maine anglers have a lot of options. On some rivers and streams, the caddis flies are hatching like crazy, and fly fishers try to take advantage of this annual event. Lake trollers can target both landlocked salmon and togue, and often drag a sew-on smelt behind lead-core line.

Cheryl Daigle (right) and Hazen Dauphinee fish for shad on the Penobscot River in Old Town back in 2016. John Holyoke | BDN

And in the mighty Penobscot River, people start to ask about striped bass and American shad. Are they in? Is anyone catching them? Should I give it a try?

The answer, according to a weekly report from the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ Bureau of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat, is a resounding “YES.”

The shad have returned to the river. So have the stripers. And it’s prime time to start thinking about fishing for them.

Jason Valliere of the DMR monitors the arrivals at the Milford Dam fish trap, where various fish are counted.

“We have passed 2,254 American shad.  Shad numbers seem to vary greatly day to day but have been between 100-600 the last 10 days or so,” Valliere wrote in his Sunday report. “We have passed 117 striped bass.  All smaller fish in the 10- to 20-inch range.  We typically do not see larger fish in the fishway.  It’s time to catch stripers!!!”

So there you have it. Find a friend and head to the river. Good luck!


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.