My father and I have been wanting to plan a trip back up to Maine for nearly a decade, which is where we used to live for roughly seventeen years. Over the summer we finally planned it out, incorporating into our plan some rural areas of Maine for some small mouth bass fishing, then onto southern Maine for striped bass. I contemplated driving my truck with kayaks loaded to Pennsylvania to pick up my dad, then on to Maine – but it turned out easier for me to fly to Pennsylvania and carpool north on to Maine taking my dad’s vehicle with a trailer in tow.
My father had picked up an older classic sit-in style fiberglass kayak while living in Florida and customized it by molding in rod holders at different angles for trolling. Since I flew, I unfortunately could not carry on one of my kayaks so we stopped by Cabela’s in Scarborough, Maine and met a friendly guy, Tom, who helped us pick out another sit-in that would be easy to transport and haul around. After loading up on our final gear checklist, we headed up to the remote area of Maine of Katahdin Iron Works where we were to camp for the night.
On our way through we checked out my old college, the University of Maine, reminisced a little, and stopped in the factory store of Old Town Kayaks, in Old Town, Maine. I had never stopped in the store even though I lived in the town for several years and it was certainly an awesome place to visit.
If you’ve never been camping (and I’m talking actual camping) in Maine, not the type where you have a flat screen and an Xbox with a full service motor home, but roughing it out in the woods, cooking on a handmade fire and sleeping in a tent that you tied to a tree, then you’ve got to give it a try at least once to see what camping really is. We checked in to the main gate, found our camp area which was perched next to beautiful Silver Lake, and started unpacking the essentials in order to get out on the water in the kayaks before it got dark. It was like a dream being back on the same lake I fished as a kid and had so many great memories at!
If you’ve never fished freshwater in Maine, you’ll surely run into some pickerel, which are like our saltwater barracuda here in Florida. As I threw a top water plug, we quickly got into some little guys that would explode violently near the lily pads, it didn’t matter the size, just being there fishing was good enough. However shortly after, one of my throws was greeted by an eruption as soon as the plug touched the water. Taking the lure towards the thick of the weeds I thought it was a good sized pickerel at first, but as soon as I freed it and it rose to the surface shaking I knew I had on our first small mouth, and what a beaut! After a nice fight and some “yahoos!” from my dad we took some pictures and released her .
Day 1 went to me vs dad on our catches, and it was something we replayed and talked about over the campfire that night. As I would upload the pictures from my phone on Instagram and Facebook (yes I somehow had reception in the northern woods), people were commenting that our food looked more like from a gourmet restaurant than a frying pan in the woods! That’s one thing for sure, when you go camping with my dad, you’re sure to get a lot of laughs and have a full tummy hitting the sleeping bag.
Catch you on the next blog post as I cover our trip to Saco, Maine as we drop our kayaks in the saltwater and go after striped bass!