Saturday, February 10, 2007

Maine's Ice Fishing Regulations 2007

Just for fun, I read the entire State of Maine Ice Fishing Regulations for 2007 today. OK- it wasn't just for fun. I feel I need to know this stuff if I'm going to be a guide. Besides, some of this material might be on the guide exam.

In any case, I learned some cool things. Here are my notes:

  • You don't need a license to ice fish in Maine on 2/17/2007 and 2/18/2007. I wrote those days down, good days to take the kids ice fishing. (The Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding President's Day each year are free fishing days).
  • No ice fishing at night is allowed. You can ice fish only between 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset.
  • The bag limits for fish per day are actually between noon of one day and 11:59am the next day. So if you only fish one day, you can catch your limit in the morning, have a huge fish lunch and go out again in the afternoon to catch your limit again.
  • Only 5 lines/traps per person
  • Don't cut off heads and tails until you are ready to cook the fish
  • Use 2" Letters on your ice shack
  • All brooks, streams, and rivers are off limits to ice fishing unless they are listed in the rule book as open to ice fishing
  • Maine resident kids can fish without a license until they turn 16. Out of state kids can fish without a license only until they are 12.

Hopefully someone else finds this material interesting too.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Self Preparation for Maine Guides License

A year ago while reading Gil Gilpatrick's Allagash Guide, I decided I'd like to prepare to become a registered Maine guide. I considered taking a guide preparation class but in some ways, I was concerned that this would prepare me only for the exam and not for a guiding career. While hunting around for guides that might teach me valuable skills, I found an organization called Maine Wilderness Guides.

The folks at Maine Wilderness Guides encourage exploration of the back woods of Maine by non-motorized means. Since I was looking to improve my rusty canoeing skills, these guys suited me fine. They were offering a white water canoe class down the East Branch of the Penobscot.

I signed up, met some great folks, and really enjoyed myself. I hope to write up my trip here in the near future. For now, you need to know that Kevin Slater of Mahoosuc Guide Service organized the trip. He has done the East Branch over 100 times and I got the impression that he started his guiding career by apprenticing on that river. Tim Smith of Jack Mountain Bushcraft was my sternman for most of the trip. It was a real pleasure to camp, cook, and canoe with a group of Maine Guides. The exposure I had on this trip really helped me to commit to obtain my guide's license.

I plan to keep this site up to date with what I'm doing or reading about in order to prepare myself for the oral and written Maine Recreation Guide exams. So, check back often, I'll try to post at least once per week.