As you may recall,earlier this summer the following question was posed in this column: In Maine, which is a more popular freshwater game fish, bass or brook trout? A devoted brook trout man myself, and an occasional basser, I conceded that bass are making significant inroads when it comes to angler preferences. And, although state regional fisheries biologists agree that brookies are still on top, the fish doctors, too, acknowledge the turning tide.

 That tide is attested to by the following survey statistic: nonresident anglers who come to Maine do tilt toward bass in their preferences! Among residents, however, brookies are still king. The debate can be a lively one when you get a trout lover and a bass lover in the same room. In my column solicitations for reader feedback, a few readers stepped to the plate, as follows ( for security reasons names have been omitted):

 A retired Naval officer:

 “I fish for trout No. 1, Salmon no. 2. Bass are the quarry of the unskilled fisherman. Having said that, when my kids were younger, I took them smallmouth fishing because I knew they would catch fish. When I was a kid, I would take my fly rod down to the East Branch at Hathaway Dam in Medway and catch smallmouths until my arm got tired.”

 A retired fisheries biologist:

 “You asked for other thinking on Brook trout verses Bass.

If one looks at the old 1939 Cooper reports and Everhart; Fishes of Maine 1950-1966 and finally Forrest Bonney, 2006 I have to conclude that the Eastern Brook Trout reins high on the list of Maine Anglers(residents and non-residents). As for Bass; LM and SM there have been many, many introductions since 1869 and there is no question about both species being invasive. However, like all invasives we anglers adapt to a new fishery and the bass have provided a unique opportunity since 1869 for fishery recreation and management. Has it hurt Maine’s native salmonids? The answer is yes, no question. The adaptability factor is important as a number of sporting camps in the Belgrade’s and Down-east lakes have capitalized on these introductions. Bear in mind, I am biased, as a native resident, to brook trout and to me it is the premier fish we seek up here in Maine. Perhaps with climate change we will see temperature changes that will not be so favorable to Brook Trout however to me it still is the premier fish to seek. “

 A loyal reader:

 “Just finished reading your article about which fish is favored. Here is my two cent’s worth:

 1: Trout, Salmon, Striped Bass

 2: Lake Whitefish, Cusk, Smelt

 3: Togue, White Perch

 4: Large & Smallmouth bass

 5: Pickerel (never have caught Pike or Muskie, but they’re probably in here)

 6: Yellow Perch, Sunfish, Chub, Sucker, Hornpout, Blood sucker

 Thanks for the chance to vote!”

 Nary a word from the bass anglers. Perhaps they were too busy on the bass beds to join the fray?

The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He isalso a Maine Guide, co-host of a weekly radio program “Maine Outdoors.” His e-mail address is [email protected] . He has two books “A Maine Deer Hunter’s Logbook” and his latest, “Backtrack.”


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