Smallmouth bass fishing on South Branch Lake, Seboeis Plantation, Maine (September 9, 2017)

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South Branch Lake is accessible via this nice hard-top boat launch

South Branch Lake is a 2,035 acre body of water located in Seboeis Plantation, Penobscot County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 43 E3). The lake can be accessed from an excellent hard-top public boat launch located at the end of Lake Road (off Seboeis Road) at the southern end of the lake. Plenty of parking is available by this access point.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River, Sidney, Maine (August 26, 2017)

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In this blog, I describe how I really enjoyed chasing smallmouth bass in the stretch of the Kennebec River flowing for about 1 mile upstream of the boat launch in Sidney, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 A1). So, I decided to get some more of that action by further exploring the river that flows downstream from the launch. In preparation for this trip, and because the river is an unknown to me, I go on Google Maps the evening before and “fly” over my future fishing grounds looking for potential target areas. And I’m not disappointed! Two sets of structures immediately stand out. The first one are about two dozen small log-driving islands located around one mile downstream of the public access point along the left shoreline of the river. Each island measures about 10 ft by 10 ft and consists of a wooden cribwork filled with large boulders. They were built in the olden days when the Kennebec River was used for driving logs down to the sawmills during the spring snowmelt. Nowadays, they serve as smallmouth bass magnets! The second structure consists of “Seven-Mile Island” located further downstream of the log-driving islands. Both are the focus of our attention this morning.

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River, Sidney, Maine (August 21, 2017)

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The Kennebec River is gorgeous and I have it all to myself this afternoon!

The Kennebec River is an environmental jewel which flows out of Moosehead Lake, winds its way through central Maine and reaches the Atlantic Ocean by Popham Beach. The focus of my attention this afternoon is the 6-mile stretch between Sidney and Waterville. The last time I fished these waters was way back before the removal of Edwards Dam in Augusta in 1999. So, it’s about high time that I return to this gorgeous river and check it out!! An excellent hard-top public boat launch is located at the end of Recreation Drive off West River Road (Route 104) in Sidney (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 A1). Plenty of parking is available for vehicles with trailers.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Panther Pond, Raymond, Maine (August 14, 2017)

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The sun is setting and the surface commotion is gone. It’s time for the smallmouth bass to grab dinner before dark!

Catching smallmouth bass in ponds or lakes during high summer in Maine can be a real challenge, even for the experienced angler. The surface water is warm (75° to 80°F), the sun is bright, and the human activity levels can be intense as a result of water skiing, jet skiing, pontoon boating, or power boating. The fish seek shelter 15 to 25 ft below the surface to locate cooler water, hide from the sun, and find respite from all the human commotion above. Unlike the nippier and less hectic spring months, when the smallmouth bass congregate and concentrate in large numbers along bouldery shorelines for the annual spawn, the summer bronzebacks are scattered over a much larger area and in deeper water. That makes them intrinsically more difficult to find and catch.

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Stearns Pond, Sweden, Maine (July 29, 2017)

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View of Stearns Pond from the public access point

Stearns Pond covers 255 acres and is located in Sweden, Oxford County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 E3). To access this pond from Waterford Road (Route 93), drive down Hardscrabble Road and turn left on Wint Road. Drive down this road for 0.25 miles before turning left on Town Landing Road. The public access point to the pond is located at the end of this gravel road. The boat launch is unimproved but consists of firm sand and can easily accommodate small trailered boats. Ample parking is available next to the launch.

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River, Lisbon Falls, Maine (July 20, 2017)

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Great smallmouth bass holding habitat downstream of the Route 125 bridge: shallow and deep water, boulders, and multiple current seams.

My 10-year old nephew Matt is visiting from “away” for a couple of days. He has never fished before, but expresses an interest in trying it out. I have to find a fishing spot where he (a) can cast wildly without causing harm or getting snagged, (b) is guaranteed to catch fish regardless of skill level, and (c) can experience the joy of seeing a fish jump out of the water after it’s been hooked. I quickly set my eyes on the half-mile stretch of the Androscoggin River that runs between the boat launch on Route 196 (Lewiston Road) and the hydropower dam in Lisbon Falls located just upstream of the Route 125 bridge over the river. I have fished this short stretch in the past for smallmouth bass and have consistently done well on it. Note that the access point off Route 196 represent a substantial boat launch that can handle larger vessels. The launch also has plenty of parking spaces across the old railroad tracks.

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Penobscot River, Greenbush to Passadumkeag, Maine (July 8, 2017)

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The Penobscot River between Greenbush and Passadumkeag is wide, shallow and dotted with islands

The Penobscot River is the premier river smallmouth bass fishery in Maine, bar none! The stretch flowing between the towns of Greenbush and Passadumkeag (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 35 B5 to D5) represents a gorgeous section of bass real estate. I meet up with my friend Tim at the Greenbush boat launch (which can accommodate large motorized craft) at 9 am. We leave his vehicle behind and drive my car 9.5 miles further north to the boat launch in Passadumkeag (which can also accommodate large motorized craft). We’ll be fishing from my 12 ft/8 HP aluminum boat which I hope will be able to pass through most of the extensive shallow areas that dot this stretch of river. Our goal today is to let the current float us down to the Greenbush boat launch while fishing for smallmouth bass along the way. We expect the trip to take about 5 hours. I have fished the Penobscot River between Old Town and Lincoln on and off for 30+ years but haven’t drifted it the way we’re doing today, so I don’t fully know what to expect. The water level is surprisingly high though given that it’s the beginning of July.

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Lake Arrowhead, Limerick and Waterboro, Maine (July 3, 2017)

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Lake Arrowhead provides hundreds of acres of shallow coves and bays

Lake Arrowhead covers 779 acres and is located in Limerick and Waterboro, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 A2). This lake has two trailerable boat launches. The first one is located off New Dam Road by the dam over which flows the Little Ossippee River. The second one is about two miles further south also off New Dam Road but closer to Chadburne Ridge Road which separates this lake from Little Ossippee Pond. I put my small aluminum craft in the water by the dam. The water is deep enough at this location to dispatch large boats. Plenty of parking is also available next to the launch. I arrive at the launch by 10 am and am greeted by a friendly and chatty boat inspector. The lake has been infested with Eurasian milfoil, an aggressive invasive plant species, for over 20 years. She checks every boat going in and coming out for fragments of this aquatic pest to ensure that the infestation does not spread to other water bodies.Surprisingly, considering it’s the long July 4th weekend, I only see three other cars with trailers parked by the launch.

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Pickerel Pond, Limerick, York County, Maine (June 24, 2017)

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The unimproved boat launch at Pickerel Pond can only accommodate small trailered boats.

Pickerel Pond covers 46 acres and is located in Limerick, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 E3). A small unimproved boat launch is found by the outlet at the southern end of the pond right off Route 11 (Central Avenue). The substrate by the ramp is sandy and firm but the water level is rather low. Only hand-carried craft and small trailered boat can be dispatched with ease from the ramp. The parking area is rather restricted and can only accommodate 3 or 4 vehicles with trailers. Salvador and I arrive at the launch at 10 am, eager to wet our lines. The sky is mostly overcast with air temperatures in the mid to high 70’s. It feels muggy and we have to face a stiff breeze blowing in from the northwest.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Sokokis Lake, Limerick, York County, Maine (June 24, 2017)

The public boat launch on Sokokis Lake is sturdy and the adjoining parking area can accommodate multiple vehicles and trailers

Sokokis Lake (a.k.a. Holland Pond) covers 192 acres and is located in Limerick, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 E3). A nice, hard-top boat launch is located at the southern end of the lake by its outlet right off Route 11 (Central Avenue). Enough space is available to park over a dozen vehicles and trailers on the public parking area located next to the launch. Salvador and I arrive at our destination at 2 pm and are greeted by a polite high school kid who checks my boat and trailer for fragments of aquatic vegetation to prevent introducing an invasive plant species into the lake. My boat and trailer get a clean bill of health. The weather has improved greatly since this morning, when conditions were overcast and gloomy. Now the sky is blue and the sun is bright, but the breeze is still blowing in briskly from the northwest. The air temperature is in the balmy low 80’s.

 

 

 

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