Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring Togue Fishing on the Grands and Youth Turkey Hunting

During the beginning of April, most togue will still be on or near the surface, but as water temperatures begin warm up by the end of the month, the trout begin their annual migration to deeper more oxygen rich waters. This period of transition can have togue spread throughout the water column and at times difficult to locate. A depth finder can serve to simplify finding fish as it allows anglers to map out suspended schools of smelt. Find the bait, find the fish. Successfully anglers’ work the perimeters of these bait balls, knowing that large togue and salmon typically troll around the perimeter of these clusters, awaiting weak or injured fish to venture outside the school. In April, these schools of bait-fish typically hang in the 30 to 40 foot range, so begin searching at that point and expand search area as appropriate, looking at deeper water as the month progresses.

After years of fishing with lead core line, Luhr-Jensen spoons and down riggers, I have recently begun employing a different tactic when chasing togue into deep waters. I enjoy success through simplification by employing the 3-way swivel technique. This method is comprised tying two 3-foot pieces of line to a three-way swivel and attaching a 1 or 2 ounce weight on one line and a small lure on the end of the other. The rig is attached to the rod and reel by a 10-12 pound braided line. The braided line is preferred over monofilament, as braided creates less drag and doesn’t stretch when a quick hook set is required. This straightforward set-up is capable of deploying lures or bait down to depths of 60 feet. While most anglers will be fishing such classics as the Swedish Pimple and DB Smelt, I have also had great luck with the Sutton Silver Spoon and Classic Silver Vibrax Blue Fox Spinner. Also, don’t be afraid to go small when chasing big togue, as smaller lures can be extremely effective.

East Grand Lake (DeLorme’s The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer (MAG), Map 45, A-4) and West Grand Lake (Map 35, B-3, B-4) both hold excellent populations of healthy togue. Anglers looking to explore these two lakes would be well served to explore trolling around the drop offs that exist around Norway Point and Five Islands on East Grand Lake and Hardwood Island and the western shore of Whitney Cove on West Grand Lake.

Take a Kid Turkey Hunting
April 30th is youth spring wild turkey day, with Down East youths eligible to shoot 1 bearded wild turkey. This season, youth’s statewide of any age that hold a junior hunting license, including a junior lifetime hunting license, may hunt under direct supervision of an adult. The adult must be a person 18 or older, who has been approved by the youth's parent or guardian and holds a valid Maine hunting license or has completed a hunter safety course. The new law, implemented on January 1, 2016, eliminates the previous minimum age of 10 years old to hunt. So for example, this turkey season I will be joined by my 7 and 9 year olds, both of whom are now, thanks to the new law, able to hunt. The law stipulates that junior hunters, under the age 10, must be “within 20 feet, of an adult supervisor.” A point in the language of the law, designed to reinforce the critical importance of an adult being right beside the youngster at all times. This law is exciting, as it allows Maine to join the ranks of 39 other states that currently allow kids of any age to hunt with adult supervision.

Youths, under 10 will need to use a bow and arrow, crossbow or 20 gauge shotgun or greater, as Maine law prohibits the use of .410s to hunt turkeys. For some small framed hunters, the 20 gauge can pack a punch, so make sure to lessen the chance of injury or accidents by practicing shooting, weeks ahead of the opener. Recoil absorbing autoloaders, 2 ¾ inch loads and ample recoil pads can help to ensure youth do not develop bad flinching habits from the start.

When attempting to locate turkeys Down East, it pays to slowly walk or drive along logging roads and snowmobile/ATV paths. This method of “running and gunning”, is easier on little legs and allows turkey hunters to be mobile and more apt to locate early morning gobblers. While prime turkey hunting locations exist throughout Washington County, a fun and exciting hunt can be had by starting in Northfield (Map 26, B-2) and driving the logging roads into Smith Landing, the beautiful Great Falls (Map 26, B-2) and continuing south following the Machias River into Whitneyville. For coastal hunters I suggest exploring the 649-acre Jonesboro WMA (Map 26, C-2).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for posting a comment. Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...