Largemouth bass fishing on Minnehonk Lake in Mount Vernon, Maine (August 14, 2016)

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The public boat launch on Minnehonk Lake is one busy place this afternoon!

The public boat launch on Minnehonk Lake is one busy place this afternoon!

Minnehonk Lake is a 99-acre body of water located in Mount Vernon, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 A3). The public access is located at the northern tip of the lake off Main Street in the downtown area. Be aware that this access point is a busy place on summer weekends, with local residents swimming, picnicking and socializing. The launch is not hard-topped or improved but can easily accommodate small motorized boats. Plenty of parking is available on Main Street for cars without trailers. However, no spaces exist for vehicles with trailers, which have to be squeezed on the road shoulder. Also, be aware that it is tricky backing up a vehicle with a boat trailer into position to go down the launch because all of that maneuvering must occur right in the middle of Main Street.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Little Watchic Pond in Standish, Maine (August 5, 2016)

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The muddy access point at the southern end of the southern arm of Little Watchic Pond can only accommodate hand-carried craft

The muddy access point at the southern end of the southern arm of Little Watchic Pond can only accommodate hand-carried craft

Little Watchic Pond is a 55-acre body of water located in Standish, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D5). Click here for directions on how to access this pond. I haven’t fished it for several years now and am eager to give it a try again. In the past, I rarely had to share this water with other anglers, which is surprising given its close proximity to several towns in the surrounding area. I guess that may be due to its hidden nature and its relative inaccessibility. However, the place can get noisy if people are target shooting in the nearby gravel pit. Also, years ago, two guys placed a long line of buoys to create a water skiing obstacle course in the southern arm. I’m actually surprised to observe upon arrival today that the buoys are still there! Given the small size of the pond, the water gets noisy and wavy when these two do their practice runs. Fortunately for me, no one is shooting or water skiing when I reach my destination.

 

 

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Lewiston, Maine (July 31, 2016)

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The informal put-in off Switzerland Road In Lewiston

The informal put-in off Switzerland Road In Lewiston

This blog is the last in a series of four entries pertaining to smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River flowing through the Lewiston/Auburn metro area (click here, here, and here for the other three related blogs). Today, my focus is on the area right below the Gulf Island Hydropower Dam. This sizable structure is responsible for maintaining Gulf Island Pond, which is the largest reservoir on the Androscoggin River in Maine. I’m not aware of the presence of a public boat launch between the Gulf Island Hydropower Dam and the Deer Run Hydropower Dam located about a mile further downstream. So, I use Google Maps prior to my departure to locate a potential access point for my canoe. To reach this informal put-in, drive north through Lewiston on Routes 11/100/202 and turn left on Switzerland Road. Stay on this road for 1.2 miles (pass the Saint Peters Cemetery). The put-in is on the left across from the first house after the cemetery. You’ve gone too far if you drive underneath the high-voltage power lines or reach Gulf Island Avenue. Note that one cannot drive directly to the dam from this side of the river because Switzerland Avenue turns into a CMP Company private road, which is posted and gated. The put-in is located about 2000 ft downstream of the dam. Parking is along the road shoulder. Note that I did not check for an alternative access point on the other side of the river.

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Auburn, Maine (July 22, 2016)

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The hard-top launch off North River Road in Auburn can accommodate big boats and provides lots of parking space

The hard-top launch off North River Road in Auburn can accommodate big boats and provides lots of parking space.

I discovered fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in the Lewiston/Auburn area over the last month (click here and here for details). I continue my investigation of this fascinating stretch of the river by exploring the section that flows between Great Falls in downtown Lewiston/Auburn and the Deer Rips Hydropower Dam located two miles further upstream. The public put-in is about one quarter mile down North River Road off Center Street in Auburn. This hard-top boat launch is clearly indicated from the road and can accommodate big boats. It also provides ample parking space for multiple vehicles and boat trailers.

 

 

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Auburn, Maine (July 10, 2016)

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The boat launch on the Auburn side of the river, with Longley Bridge in the background hiding the Great Falls

The boat launch on the Auburn side of the river, with Court Street Bridge in the background, hiding Great Falls

I discovered fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in Lewiston last week (click here for details). I decided that I need to continue exploring this section of the river further downstream of Great Falls to appreciate its full potential. So, this evening, I put my small motor boat in the water at the boat launch located off Main Street in Auburn, just below the Route 100/202 bridge (Court Street). The access to this launch is via an unnamed ally off Main Street (Route 136) right after the Festival Plaza, with its unique multi-colored, sail-like awning. The launch area, which is located next to the Auburn River Walk, can accommodate small trailered boats. What is bizarre, though, is the complete lack of public parking next to this hard boat launch. All parking in that general area is by permit only. One alternative is to drive back out onto Main Street and park in the municipal parking lot located directly across from the Festival Plaza. Since Main Street is one-way, it requires driving around the block. I easily find a double parking space (for my truck + trailer) because it’s early Sunday evening and the municipal parking lot is half empty. But I doubt that it would be easy to find space to park a vehicle and trailer at any other time during the week. I also notice lots of signs in that municipal parking lot stating that vehicles can only be parked for a maximum of 2 hours during the day. Keep these parking limitations in mind if you are planning on launching a motorized boat from this location.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Lewiston, Maine (July 2, 2015)

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I put in my canoe at the Simard-Payne Memorial Park. The Court Street bridge is in the background further upstream.

I put in my canoe at the Simard-Payne Memorial Park. The Court Street bridge is in the background further upstream.

I love fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River (click here and here for examples)! This waterway provides a premier bronzeback fishery in southern Maine. I focus my attention this afternoon in the general area at and downstream of Great Falls, located just upstream of the Court Street bridge (routes 100/202) in downtown Lewiston. I haven’t fished this area before, so I’m on the look-out for an access point. I first park at Heritage Park next to the bridge but the rip-rap shoreline is just too steep to safely launch – or retrieve – my canoe. I cross Court Street, drive down Water Street (which runs behind the Hampton Inn Hotel) and park my car on the public parking lot behind the hotel. A quick walk across the pedestrian bridge and into Simard-Payne Memorial Park confirms easy access to the river. I note here that this park also allows for ample shore fishing opportunities. I strap my canoe onto my “canoe wheels”, place my fishing equipment inside, and wheel the whole kit and caboodle to the water’s edge. The wind is ripping down the river. Fortunately, the shoreline is full of boulders, some of which I stack in the front of my boat to provide much-needed counter weight. I’m on the water and ready to fish by 1:30 pm.

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Crescent Lake in Raymond, Maine (June 18, 2016)

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The Crescent Lake boat launch is wide and spacious but comes right off busy Route 85

The Crescent Lake boat launch is wide and spacious but comes right off busy Route 85

Crescent Lake is a 716-acre body of water located in Raymond, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2). It is part of an interconnected waterway consisting of four lakes (namely Raymond Pond, Crescent Lake, Panther Pond, and Sebago Lake) and three streams (namely an unnamed and non-navigable stream connecting Raymond Pond to Crescent Lake, the navigable Tenney River connecting Crescent Lake to Panther Pond, and the navigable Panther Run connecting Panther Pond to Jordan Bay in Sebago Lake). The public access point to Crescent Lake is located at its southern tip next to Route 85. The launch is hard-topped and can accommodate big boats. Parking is on the shoulder of Route 85. However, beware that maneuvering the boat to get it down the ramp occurs on busy Route 85 itself.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Mosher Pond, Fayette, Maine (September 26, 2015)

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View of Mosher Pond from the access point off Chesterville Ridge Road

View of Mosher Pond from the access point off Chesterville Ridge Road

Mosher Pond (a.k.a. Lane’s Pond) is a 76-acre body of water located in the town of Fayette (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 A1). One access point I found is located on Chesterville Ridge Road (also called Mosher Pond Road in Google Maps) at the very southern tip of the pond. Only small hand-carried craft can be launched from this point. Plenty of parking is available alongside the road.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Brainard Pond, Readfield, Maine (September 26, 2015)

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The access point to Brainard Pond. The fog on the water is so thick that the pond, located right behind Christian, is invisible!

The access point to Brainard Pond. The fog on the water is so thick that the pond, located right behind Christian, is invisible!

Brainard Pond is a 20-acre body of water located in the town of Readfield (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 B4). I found one access point as follows: turn on Plains Road from Route 17, drive north on Plains Road for just under 0.5 mile and look for an unnamed gravel road on the left. You’ve gone too far on Plains Road if you pass Brainard Road.  Turn left on the gravel road and go straight unto a forest path when the gravel road veers to the left after about 0.1 mile. The pond is located 0.3 miles further down this path. It looks rough and overgrown but my small front-wheel-drive car made it in and out fine. I did walk first all the way to the pond and back just to make sure that I wouldn’t get stuck! I’m assuming for the purpose of this blog that this access is legitimate because it was not posted anywhere along the way. You can leave your car in the woods about 200 ft from the pond. Only small hand-carried craft can be launched from this point.

 

 

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Little Cobbosseecontee Lake, Winthrop, Maine (September 19, 2015)

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The access point along Route 202 is a challenge to get in and out of.

The access point along Route 202 is a challenge to get in and out of.

Little Cobbosseecontee Lake is a 75-acre body of water located in the town of Winthrop, Maine (see The Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 C4). Public access to this pond is a real problem. The “boat launch” is situated by the outlet which flows underneath Route 202. This road is a major motorway into and out of Augusta located less than five miles away. The traffic is incessant and flying by at 55+ MPH. The boat and all the fishing equipment needs to be heaved over the road safety railing and down the rip-rap boulders towards the three large culverts. Needless to say, only hand-carried craft can be launched from this point. There’s ample parking on the road shoulder. Please keep in mind that this access is NOT kid-friendly!

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