I reach the Pejepscot boat launch off Route 196 in Topsham (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 6 B2) with Salvador at 4:30 pm. We want to catch the smallmouth bass that are so plentiful in this stretch of the Androscoggin River. The conditions are perfect: the sun is setting and hazy, clouds are forecast to roll in later in the evening, the wind is light.
We hit our regular spots with 4” soft stickbaits rigged “wacky style”: the mouth of the Little River just downstream of the factory, the rapids across from where the Little River enters the Androscoggin River, the retaining wall next to the factory, the rock piles by the Route 125 Bridge. Damn, the fishing is tough today! We each have caught four tiny (< 12”) smallmouth bass in over two hours of pounding the water, which is pretty lousy.
We motor further upstream towards the dam and fish the big pool on the left of the power station spillway: nothing. We move the boat further up along the spillway wall, carefully weaving between the large submerged rocks. This area is just perfect smallmouth habitat: lots of hiding places among the boulders, 2 ft to 5 ft of water, swift-moving current, water tumbling down the dam. We each catch a few more scrawny smallmouths, but nothing to write home (or blog!) about.
It’s turning dark by now so I carefully work my way out of the dam and spillway area to head back to the boat launch. We try a few more casts along the retaining wall next to the factory in the hope that the bass may be chasing bait to the surface, like they’re wont to do in the evening. But not today… However, we are rewarded by a spectacular sunset over the Androscoggin River. Life is good after all : )
The results: I caught 5 smallmouth bass (largest = 12”) and Salvador caught 7 smallmouth bass (largest 13.5”) in 3.5 hours of fishing.
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