I’m taking my canoe to fish the Sabattus River just before it enters the Androscoggin River at the boat launch off Route 196 in Lisbon Center (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 6 A1). The Sabattus River starts at Sabattus Pond, which is one of the premier northern pike lakes in the area. The pike drop down the Sabattus River and congregate in the area above the boat launch, which is the spot I’m targeting today. It’s relatively shallow (< 5 ft), quite weedy, and has little or no current: ideal pike habitat.
Click here for the story of the first two days
It’s day 3 of our annual Pierce Pond fishing expedition. Salvador and I are back on Lower Pierce Pond at 5 am to troll for landlocked salmon and brook trout for 1.5 hrs before breakfast (note: the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks the pond with landlocked salmon in the spring. Check the web site associated with this blog for more stocking details). Even though my fish finder is on, I don’t pay enough attention to the bottom contour and end up wedging my trolling weight in a shallow rock pile. It’s a real mess: the wind blows us off the rock pile, my downrigger is jammed, and our fishing lines are scrambled up. It takes us about 20 minutes to untangle the mess which, to our surprise, yields a 12″ brookie for Salvador. The fish must have taken the Mooselook spoon before we got stuck, but was just too small to trigger the release mechanism on the downrigger. It’s hardly glorious, but Salvador finally caught his first trout!
Pierce Pond is a magnificent, remote, 1,650 acre (maximum depth = 185 ft) lake located in the shadow of Pierce Pond Mountain deep in Somerset County in southwestern Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). It consists of three basins (Lower, Middle, and Upper Pond) which are connected to each other by shallow thoroughfares. The surrounding watershed is entirely forested and forever protected from future development. The whole shoreline is rugged and undeveloped, except for Cobb’s Camp where we’re staying for four days. Several unimproved access points are located in the lower and upper basins. The state stocks this lake with juvenile landlocked salmon each spring after ice-out. The adult salmon don’t grow particularly big: a 3-pounder is considered a nice fish, whereas a 4-pounder is exceptional. But they are relatively plentiful and do not shy away from sipping flies or pounding on a spoon. The brook trout are all natives and can also reach 3 to 4 pounds.
This afternoon, I’m fishing the stretch of the Androscoggin River between the Pejepscot boat launch in Topsham and the power dam located about 0.5 mile further upstream (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 6 B2). I spend most of my time fishing the rock piles around where the Route 125 bridge crosses the river. The water level is quite high today and more water than normal is flowing through these rocks, which should attract smallies who like to ambush prey from behind submerged boulders.My lure of choice is a 4″ pink soft stickbait. I’m imbedding the large hook inside the body of the bait, but quickly notice that this tactic is causing me problems. I’m getting bites but missing too many fish because the point doesn’t come out of the bait when I set the hook. I switch to the “wacky worm”, which consists of squeezing the stickbait through a small “O” ring before hooking the “O” ring + the bait to a No. 8 fish hook. The results are immediate because the hook is now exposed instead of being embedded inside the bait. Just about every hit yields a bass.
I’m meeting up with my family at Sebago Lake State Park in Naples. They are spending the long Labor Day weekend camping. I’m dropping by at 5: 30 pm to go fishing for largemouth bass on Sebago Lake with my son Joel for a few hours. We launch his boat from the beach and motor around Thompson Point, past Witch Cove and towards the thoroughfare to Sebago Cove under Route 114. Our goal is to hit the set of boat docks across from Camp Mataponi. We arrive around 6 pm and start pitching 5” soft stickbaits against and underneath the docks and in the emergent aquatic vegetation which grows abundantly in the shallows on the backside. Joel catches a 15” largemouth on his very first cast, which is quite exciting. We hit the docks pretty hard but do not get another bite for 30 minutes.
Adams Pond is located in the town of Bridgton (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B4). This delightful small pond is located next to Route 107 off Adams Pond Road. Access to the pond is via its small outlet which runs underneath Adams Pond Road. Only hand-carried craft can be launched from this point. Adams Pond is completely wooded on its southern and western shoreline. Adams Pond Road, which runs along the eastern shore of the pond, has a handful of houses. Much of the northern shoreline is occupied by Camp Pondicherry, a girl scout facility. The pond covers 45 acres and has a maximum depth of 51 ft and a mean depth of 20 ft. The bottom consists of clean sand interspersed with boulders and cobbles. The water is absolutely crystal clear, with visibility down to 25 ft! Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.
Highland Lake (634 acres) is located in the towns of Windham and Fallmouth in Cumberland county (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D3). Unfortunately, the only public access to this beautiful lake is via an unimproved boat launch off Mast Road which only accommodates hand-carried craft. Tom and I go through the effort of hand-carrying my 12-ft aluminum boat and 8 HP engine from the parking area to the water to provide us with mobility and a stable platform to go after largemouth bass this evening. The pond is divided into two basins: the northern part is deep, whereas the southern part is much shallower and weedy. The outlet dam is at the southern-most tip. The pond has a mean and maximum depth of 19 ft and 67 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.
Holt Pond is located in the town of Bridgton (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B4). From Route 302 in Naples, turn left on Perley Road and drive for about 1.4 miles until the intersection with Chaplin Mills Road. Drive straight on Grist Mill Road (a gravel road) and turn left after about 0.2 miles. Continue until you reach a small parking area. Holt Pond can be reached via its outlet, called the Muddy River (although calling it a “river” is a misnomer since it has little or no current), by walking down the left trail that start at the parking area. It takes about three minutes to reach the outlet. Only small craft can be launched from the Muddy River because of the carry-in. It takes another 10 minutes of paddling on the Muddy River to reach the pond itself. Continue reading
Dixon Pond is a 17-acre body of water nestled on the flank of Pierce Pond Mountain in Pierce Pond Township (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A1). The pond is remarkably deep for its small size, with a maximum depth of 55 ft. The only way to reach this little jewel is to hike up to it from Pierce Pond via a forest trail. The pond supports a healthy population of native brook trout.
I tie my boat just passed the Caribou Narrows on Middle Pierce Pond and hike the 25-minute to the pond by myself. I love Dixon Pond: its beauty, total isolation, forested surroundings, and fiesty brook trout. The trout don’t get big (the largest one I have caught in this pond over the years was 13″) but eagerly take dry flies. In fact, flyfishing is the only legal way to fish the pond, which suits me just fine.