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Interview With Maine Experience Guide Service
I had the opportunity to interview Licensed Master Maine Hunting & Fishing Guide, and USCG Master Captain Jay Farris. Jay operates Maine Experience Guide Service out of Central Maine.
Jay provides day & overnight fishing in the areas of Augusta, Brunswick, Bath, Midcoast Maine, Downeast Maine, North Maine Woods, Southern Maine, Gardiner, Winthrop and Belgrade, Maine. Jay is a lifelong Maine resident.
Jay's Facebook page is loaded with impressive pictures of Maine Striped Bass. We discussed the Striped Bass fishing with him but also asked him about other species, including Maine's Northern Pike.
GFN: When reviewing your page for my site, the first thing I noticed was that you guided for northern pike. I think a lot of people think about going to Ontario or Quebec and maybe New York for northern pike but I am not sure they always consider southern Maine, describe for us your view on the status of northern pike fishing in your area?
We have very good northern pike fishing in Central Maine. The pike average between 20 and 40 inches long and are very aggressive. They see very little angler pressure.
GFN: Are Northerns mostly an early spring and fall target or can they be caught throughout the summer?
We have good year-round Pike fishing in central Maine but spring and fall are best for open water.
[GFN Note: This article focuses on open water fishing but hard water fishing can be just as good, and Jay also provides guiding for ice fishermen as well. As you can see in this photo he provided of this beautiful Northern caught through the ice.]
GFN: What methods are you typically using when targeting Maine's northern pike?
My favorite method for catching Pike are jerk baits. We do sometimes use other techniques but jerkbaits are definitely to go to lure.
GFN: Now bass fishing is something that Maine is well known for and I know you target them as part of your guiding service. Can you tell us about a few of your favorite Maine smallmouth and largemouth bass waters?
We have many bass bodies of water here in central Maine. I prefer to guide for largemouth bass on smaller ponds that do not see much angler pressure. I guide for smallmouth on some of the larger lakes and rivers here in Maine. We do very well with both species. Both in size and quantity.
GFN: What are you top 3 favorite smallmouth and top 3 favorite largemouth bass lures for fishing your part of Maine?
My three favorite lures for both small and large mouth bass are top water, jerk baits, and soft plastic worms.
GFN: From the reviews I have read of you, it seems like you know how to find both #s and quality striped bass. What is your favorite time of year to fish for stripers?
Fishing for stripers is hot right now in June and will run through October. Striper fishing is good throughout the season but I do prefer early fall as the temperatures are cooler, less pressure, and the changing of the seasons make for a very scenic and relaxing day of striper fishing.
GFN: What size stripers do you catch?
Most of our stripers run in the upper 20s and low 30s but we do manage to put a few 40 inchers on the boat every season.
GFN: If you could only guide for one Maine species of fish, what would it be and why?
If I could only fish for one species of fish it would be stripers very closely followed by Smalleys. I like a good aggressive strong pulling long-lasting fish.
GFN: What should clients expect when they fish with you?
My fishing client should expect that I will give them 110% of my attention and that I will work very hard to make sure they are both safe and catch lots of Quality fish all while having a great time. I try to taylor every trip for what the client tells me they want to target for species and how they want to do it for both beginners and experts alike.
GFN: If you had one week for you to personally fish at any place in North America, where would it be?
If I had one week to fish anywhere in North America; that is a tough one! Overall I guess I would say Alaska but the number one fish on my bucket list right now is a giant Tarpon from Florida. Funny thing is when I do go out of state fishing or hunting I'm always thinking about what fish species and animals that I could be hunting or fishing for right here in Maine. I really believe having been all over North America fishing and hunting that the fishing and hunting here in Maine is as good as anywhere or better with a killer view and nice people to boot.
GFN: Thank you Jay for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us learn a bit more about Maine fishing and providing these great photos. For more information, be sure to visit Maine Experience Guide Service.