August 10, 2015 UPDATE: One of my blog readers (thanks, Tom) reported that the unnamed forest road into Wards Pond off Route 11 (Sokokis Avenue) was recently posted as “PRIVATE PROPERTY” and is therefore no longer accessible to the public. Feel free to let us know if you can find another way into this pond by car so that I can share it with everyone.
Wards Pond is located off Route 11 in North Limington (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D5). Access to the pond is as follows: drive west on Route 25 (Ossipee Trail), turn right on Route 11 (Sokokis Avenue), drive on Route 11 for 0.7 miles before turning right on an unnamed forest road (right across from Helmlock Lane). This trail, which is rough but passable with a car, reaches the north-western end of the pond after about 0.2 miles. A sandy launch allows access for small trailered boats, as well as hand-carried craft. Beware that the sand is soft and that it is a real challenge to pull a boat up the slope of the launch using a front wheel drive car (I know from experience; see below).
This 44-acre pond is a hidden gem in southern Maine. The water has a deeply-stained color. Most of the shoreline is wooded with minimal development. Only four camps are visible from the pond. The entire shoreline is ringed by floating and emergent aquatic vegetation. The amount of vegetation is not excessive because the pond rapidly gains depth away from the shore. The maximum depth is 34 ft. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The deeper part of the lake is off-limit to fish in the summer because of a severe oxygen deficiency down below. Hence, much of the summer fishing is concentrated along the shoreline.
Lily and I reach Wards Pond at 4:45 pm. The conditions are perfect: the sun is setting behind the treeline which puts the entire western shoreline in the shadows, and a light breeze keeps things fresh and pushes the bugs away. Lily throws a soft 5” stickbait from the launch before we take off and catches a 12” largemouth bass on her first cast. The omens are good! We motor up along the western shore and let the breeze push us along the vegetation line, where we focus our fishing. I catch four largemouth bass (11-13”) using a soft stickbait and Lily lands one more small largemouth over the next one hour. Then the bite stops just at the point where you’d expect the evening feeding to start. We motor up again and fish the back cove, I with a loud buzzbait and Lily using a soft stickbait rigged “wacky-worm” style. I land the biggest largemouth of the evening (14”), whereas Lily hooks but misses a feisty 16” bass and lands a fat crappie. We don’t get one more hit for 20 minutes after that and decide that the fish have given up for the evening and that it is time to go home.
On our way out, my front wheel drive car is unable to pull my boat out of the water without digging the tires down into the soft sand by the launch. The only way forward is to dismount my 18 horse outboard, empty out the boat of all the gear, and drag it up the hill to then put it on the waiting trailer. So, user beware!
The results after 2.5 hours of fishing – myself: five largemouth bass (size range: 11″-14″); Lily: two largemouth bass (11″-13″) and one large crappie.
Was the information in this blog useful? I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions by posting a comment. Also, feel free to tell us about your experiences fishing for largemouth bass on Wards Pond.