Ice fishing for smallmouth bass on Trickey Pond, Naples, Maine (March 29, 2014)

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General view of Trickey Pond with cloud "mountains" in the background

Early morning view of Trickey Pond looking north with “cloud mountains” in the background

Trickey Pond covers 311 acres and is located next to Route 114 in Naples, Cumberland County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B5). Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. Access to this pond is via a hard-top boat launch off Route 114. Beware that this launch is not typically plowed in the winter and that a 4X4 vehicle is required if you plan on driving down towards the pond. Limited parking is possible along the shoulder on Route 114. Trickey Pond contains exceptionally clean water (the pond is entirely spring-fed) and provides a smorgasbord of sport fish species. It supports a well-known regional salmonid fishery consisting of landlocked salmon, splake, and brook trout. But it also has an abundant smallmouth bass population of exceptional size and quality. It is these fish that I’m targeting today.

 

 

 

That's what a long, hard Maine winter does to water!

That’s what a long, hard Maine winter does to water!

 

I arrive at Trickey Pond with my truck around 6:30 am. I walk on the ice and drill a hole to make sure that I can safely drive on it. Holy mackerel, the ice thickness certainly reflects the awesome cold we’ve endured this winter: my auger finally breaks through after making a 26” deep hole! I drive across to the shoreline on the opposite end of the boat launch. My strategy this morning (which has worked – almost – flawlessly on this pond over the years) is to place my tipups in 20 to 35 ft of water in front of a cove. Even though it’s still winter, the bass typically start to congregate in front of their spawning beds in that cove this time of the year. I just need to find them by placing the bait in different locations… Read this blog for more information on this topic.

 

This 18" bronzeback fell for a small shiner 2 ft off the bottom

This 18″ bronzeback fell for a small shiner 2 ft off the bottom

I drill my holes and place the small baitfish about 2 ft off the bottom. I’m working on my fourth tipup when two flags pop up essentially at the same time. Nice, the fish are at their post!!  I land one smallmouth but the second one steals the bait before I can set the hook. I re-arrange the location of the tipups based on this new information. I have steady action over the next hour, with seven flags resulting in three bronzebacks. All are females: large (16”-18”), bloated with eggs and heavy! And then the flag action stops completely…The darn fish are still down there, of course, but the rising sun and increased light intensity seems to have stopped the morning feed. Boy, have I seen this pattern before!

 

 

 

 

 

A 2" yellow-orange airplane jig enticed this fish to bite

A 2″ yellow-orange airplane jig enticed this fish to bite

I drill a dozen jigging holes among and around the previously-active tipups. If the bass won’t take a live minnow, perhaps they’ll be interested in a darting lure. I use a small 2” airplane jig which has worked well for me in the past. I don’t work the whole water column but instead concentrate my efforts just off the bottom. Around 9 am I’m joined by a guy who lives right on Trickey. He sets up his traps a little ways off hoping to catch splake. We talk fishing for about an hour and a half, during which he gets two flags from one hole. Both result in smallies which took the baitfish placed 3 ft under the ice! We’re both puzzled by this unexpected behavior, but I’ll store that information for future consideration…

 

 

 

 

The blog author showing off the biggest fish of the morning

Your blog author showing off the biggest fish of the morning

My jigging efforts yield two more bronzebacks. One is a really nice 18.5” fat female that weighs over 3.5 lbs. I catch her with the jig right after she triggered a flag and stole the bait. Actually, that was the only flag action in 3 hours. The bite is dead now and I decide to call it good at 10:45 am. I thoroughly enjoyed my last morning on hard water for the 2014 ice fishing season. The bass where doing their thing, the weather was fine, and the company enjoyable. Now I just have to wait until all the ice and the snow melts so that I can start trolling for landlocks and fish for brookies in local streams in a couple of weeks. Life is darn good : )

 

 

 

 

 

The results: I caught 5 smallmouth bass measuring between 15.5” and 18.5” in 4 hours.

Was the information in this blog useful? I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to discuss your fishing experiences at this location.

 

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Ten fabulous largemouth bass ponds in southern Oxford County, Maine

Fishing for largemouth bass is a cherished summer activity for many fishermen in Maine. The desired quietness and loneliness, however, can be rudely impacted by the unwelcome hustle and bustle of jet skiers, swimmers, speed boaters, other fishermen, or general shore activity. My goal was to find, and share with you, hidden largemouth bass fishing spots scattered throughout southern Oxford County, defined here as that part of the county situated south of the Androscoggin River. I focused on smaller ponds less than about 50 acres in size, located mostly off the beaten track but still readily accessible by car (no need for 4X4 driving or hiking through the woods!). I also avoided ponds with excessive shore development. A small motorized boat could be launched on a few of these ponds, but most are fishable only by hand-carried craft, such as a canoe or kayak. This selection process ensures that you will likely be fishing all by yourself in unspoiled, quiet, natural surroundings. The ponds are also small enough that they can be covered in a lazy afternoon or a long summer evening. Finally, I fished each one of them to ensure that they contain largemouth bass, which they did!  Click here for an overview of the lures I like to use on these fish. I’ve also identified fabulous largemouth bass ponds in York County, Cumberland County, and south coastal Maine.

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Largemouth bass fishing on South Pond in Buckfield, Maine (September 14, 2013)

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View of South Pond from the rough launch

View of South Pond from the rough launch

South Pond is a 49-acre body of water located in Buckfield, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 C3). Drive east on Route 117 towards Buckfield, pass Sodom Road, and turn right on John Ellingwood Road after another mile or so. Go down this hard-top road for 0.1 mile and take the dirt road on the right (going straight will put you into a municipal parking lot). Drive down this remarkably-straight dirt road for 1.5 miles. The pond and its access point will appear on the right. Another access point is located at the end of the pond further down the dirt road.  Only small hand-carried craft, such as a canoe or kayak, can be launched from either access points. A public boat launch is not available.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Mud Pond in Greenwood, Maine (September 14, 2013)

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View of Mud Pond from the rough boat launch

View of Mud Pond from the rough boat launch

Mud Pond is a 52-acre body of water located in Greenwood, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 C5). Drive north on Greenwood Road towards the town of Greenwood. The pond will appear to the left side, right next to the road. The unimproved access point is located through a copse of trees. Parking is on a small grassy area alongside the road. Only small hand-carried craft, such as a canoe or kayak, can be launched from this point. A public boat launch is not available.

 

 

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Eight fabulous largemouth bass ponds in south coastal Maine (Androscoggin, Sagadahoc, and Lincoln Counties)

Fishing for largemouth bass is a cherished summer activity for many fishermen in southern Maine. The desired quietness and loneliness, however, can be rudely impacted by the unwelcome hustle and bustle of jet skiers, swimmers, speed boaters, other fishermen, or general shore activity. My goal was to find, and share with you, hidden largemouth bass fishing spots scattered throughout Androscoggin, Sagadahoc, and Lincoln Counties. I focused on smaller ponds less than about 50 acres in size, located mostly off the beaten track but still readily accessible by car (no need for 4X4 driving or hiking through the woods!). I also avoided ponds with excessive shore development. A small motorized boat could be launched on a few of these ponds, but most are fishable only by hand-carried craft, such as a canoe or kayak.

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Largemouth bass fishing on Bradley Pond in Lovell, Maine (September 7, 2013)

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View of Bradley Pond from the public access point

View of Bradley Pond from the public access point

Bradley Pond is a 34-acre body of water located in Lovell, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 D2). The pond is accessible via an unimproved, town-owned public launch. Drive south on Route 5 towards Center Lovell. Turn left on Bradley Pond Road  just before reaching North Lovell. Drive for 0.8 miles on this well-maintained gravel road and keep right at the split. Go for another 0.2 miles. The public launch is on the left, across from a big house. Note that motorboats are prohibited on this pond and that only small hand-carried craft can be launched from the access point.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Proctor Pond in Albany Township, Maine (September 7, 2013)

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Access point to Proctor Pond

Access point to Proctor Pond

Proctor Pond is a 45-acre body of water located in Albany Township, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 D3). Public access is a challenge. It took me a good 45 minutes of driving all around the pond to find a way in. The reason is that much of the waterfront is privately owned, plus the pond is surrounded by a dense network of gravel roads, four wheeler roads, and snowmobile trails which seemingly go everywhere and nowhere. An easier way in may exist than the one explained below; if so, please feel free to share that information in the comment section at the end of this blog.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Webber Pond in Sweden, Maine (September 7, 2013)

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View from the access point to Webber Pond

View from the access point to Webber Pond

Webber Pond is a 32-acre body of water located in Sweden, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 E3). Drive north on Route 93 towards Sweden. Turn left on Webber Pond Road. The pond will appear on the left side after about 1.5 miles (past Beaver Dam Road). Look for mailbox #150. The way into the pond is across from that mailbox. Beware that the trail is blocked by big boulders.  Only small portable boats such as canoes or kayaks have access to the pond and need to be carried in for about 300 ft. I did not see any “No Trespassing” signs on the trail and so assume that this is a legitimate way in. A public boat launch is not available.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Pickerel Pond in Denmark, Maine (September 1, 2013)

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Rough access point to Pickerel Pond

Rough access point to Pickerel Pond

Pickerel Pond is a 40-acre body of water located in Denmark, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B4). Drive north on Route 107 towards Bridgeton and turn left on Swamp Road. Turn right at the stop sign after about 1 mile and continue for 0.8 miles on Hancock Pond Road. Veer right at the dirt road and go straight for several 100 ft. The pond will appear on the right and is accessible via a rough boat launch on its southwestern corner. The launch can only accommodate small hand-carried craft, such as a canoe or kayak. A public boat launch is not available.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Spectacle Pond #1 in Porter, Maine (September 1, 2013)

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The rough footpath leading to the access point on Spectacle Pond #1

The rough footpath leading to the access point on Spectacle Pond #1

Spectacle Pond #1 is a 57-acre body of water located in Porter, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D2. Note also that on the attached Google Map above, the target pond is the one just below the red pin). Drive north from South Hiram/Kezar Falls unto Spec Pond Road. Follow this road for about 1.0 mile. The pond can be accessed two different ways, as follows: (a) Drive up to mailbox #50 (located just before Little Lane) on Spec Pond Road and turn right on the open area, from which a rough forest road snakes it way towards the pond.  I say “snake” because the road is narrow and curvy and is hemmed in by small trees at several locations. I didn’t try to drive my small car down it, but I suspect that a larger pickup truck may have more trouble getting through. The road ends at a sandy area with a fire pit overlooking the pond. (b) Stay on Spec Pond Road and drive past Little Lane for just under 0.2 miles. A rough foot path shoots down towards the pond on the right. Park your vehicle on the shoulder of the road.

 

 

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