I reach the Durham boat launch off Route 136 (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 A5) on the Androscoggin River at 7 am. The weather is gorgeous, with full sunshine and a light breeze. The water temp is 70F. The air temp is in the low 70’s and forecast to rise into the high 80’s by early afternoon. I position my boat along the bank across from the boat launch and slowly drift down with the current while fishing the wooded shoreline for smallmouth bass using 4″ soft stickbaits. I get no bites, which is unusual since the bass typically are found shallow early in the morning on this river. I turn the engine on and move further downstream to fish another section of the shore, but with the same result…
I finally hook a bass shortly thereafter. It gives me a great fight. No wonder: it’s a healthy 16.5″ fish. This one was caught next to a submerged tree trunk. I notice that the area I’m fishing now has been severely eroded by the river, which has exposed the roots of the trees that grow along the bank. I decide to concentrate my efforts in this area, and the decision pays off. I catch 7 more smallmouth bass in the next hour, four of which measure over 15″ (largest = 17.5″). Then the bite stops. The sun has risen higher in the sky (it’s now about 10:30 am) and the bass seem to have moved away from the river bank. So I change my lure for a spinnerbait to try to catch pike in the weed beds along the shoreline. That’s a good move because I catch two small pike within 20 minutes and miss a larger one.
I decide to explore the river upstream of the Durham boat launch. I reach an area of increased current, interspersed with large emerging boulders. I carefully motor my way upriver and let the boat drift down while fishing the quiet pockets of water behind the boulders and along the shoreline using my spinnerbait. This approach yields another 2 smallies.
By now it is noon and time to head back home. I had a fun morning and the fishing conditions were just perfect.
The results: I caught 10 smallies and two small northerns in five hours. That’s certainly not spectacular but life is good regardless : )
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