I reach the Durham boat launch off Route 136 (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 A5) on the Androscoggin River at 7 am. The weather is gorgeous, with full sunshine and a light breeze. The water temp is 70F. The air temp is in the low 70’s and forecast to rise into the high 80’s by early afternoon. I position my boat along the bank across from the boat launch and slowly drift down with the current while fishing the wooded shoreline for smallmouth bass using 4″ soft stickbaits. I get no bites, which is unusual since the bass typically are found shallow early in the morning on this river. I turn the engine on and move further downstream to fish another section of the shore, but with the same result…
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.
August 10, 2015 UPDATE: One of my blog readers (thanks, Tom) reported that the unnamed forest road into Wards Pond off Route 11 (Sokokis Avenue) was recently posted as “PRIVATE PROPERTY” and is therefore no longer accessible to the public. Feel free to let us know if you can find another way into this pond by car so that I can share it with everyone.
Wards Pond is located off Route 11 in North Limington (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D5). Access to the pond is as follows: drive west on Route 25 (Ossipee Trail), turn right on Route 11 (Sokokis Avenue), drive on Route 11 for 0.7 miles before turning right on an unnamed forest road (right across from Helmlock Lane). This trail, which is rough but passable with a car, reaches the north-western end of the pond after about 0.2 miles. A sandy launch allows access for small trailered boats, as well as hand-carried craft. Beware that the sand is soft and that it is a real challenge to pull a boat up the slope of the launch using a front wheel drive car (I know from experience; see below).
Bartlett Pond sits in the middle of a triangle formed by Route 5, Deering Ridge Road, and Bennett Hill Road in Waterboro (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 B5). The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer shows a trailerable boat launch at the southern end of the pond. Note that this launch is NOT trailerable. It is also located on a private forest road and is therefore not accessible to the public. One way onto the pond is to launch a canoe on Bartlett Brook which flows through a culvert underneath Bennett Hill road 0.9 miles north of Route 5. The stream is narrow and confining at first but quickly opens up into a wide passageway through an enormous marsh. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the pond by that scenic route.
Deer Pond is located right off busy Route 117 in Hollis (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 A5). Access to the pond is via a small public gravel ramp from Route 117 at the southern end of the pond. The ramp is squeezed between two private properties (look for a long, brown fence). This launch can accommodate small trailered boats, but parking is limited to one or two cars. The shoulder on Route 117 is available for more parking.
Moose Pond is located right off H Road in Acton (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 A1). Access to the pond is via a rough boat launch visible from H Road. The launch, which is located by the outlet, could accommodate small trailered boats. A small wooden plaque affixed to a nearby tree states that motorboats are not allowed on the pond. However, a review of the ME Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fishing rule book does not state that engines are forbidden. Hence, it appears that the plaque may reflect the views of local homeowners. Moose pond is a real beauty! It covers 27 acres and has a maximum depth of 20 ft. The substrate consists of coarse sand, rubble, and boulders. The water column is crystal clear and stays oxygenated throughout the summer. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.
Killick Pond is located off Killick Pond Road or Sand Pond Road in Hollis (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 E4). The pond can be accessed with some difficulty from several directions, two of which are described below: (1) Take Route 35 (Bonny Eagle Road) south and turn right on Killick Pond Road. After about 1 mile, turn right on Berube Lane (an improved dirt road). Pass the Poland Spring plant on the left, the high-voltage lines, and the “Killick Pond Wildlife Management Area” panel. The road narrows and becomes rough as it enters the woods. The pond outlet is about 0.2 miles further down on the left. Only hand-carried crafts can be launched from this access point. Beware of the gate at the beginning of Berube Lane. It was open when I checked out the area in late afternoon but I do not know if it is closed at some point in the evening. (2) Take Route 35 (Bonny Eagle Road) south and turn right on Sand Pond Road just after crossing the Saco River. Drive on Sand Pond Road for about 2.3 miles before turning left on Old Stage Road (an improved dirt road).
Click here for the Day 2 story
Day 3: It rained non-stop from yesterday 4 pm until 4 am this morning. Everything is wet and damp. Joel and I are back on the Churchill Lake thoroughfare (called Heron Lake; see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 56 A1), at 6:15 am to try our luck one more time. We only have about 4 hours to fish before we need to start packing up at 10:30 am to drive back home. We discuss our options and decide to go after brook trout by the ledges near the camp site, instead of motoring up-lake for 30 minutes to fish for lake trout in the deep part of Churchill Lake.
Click here for the Day 1 story
Day 2: It’s amazing how much can change in 12 hours! Joel and I are back on the water at 6:30 am to catch the early morning bite on the two ledges we discovered yesterday in Heron Lake (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 56 A1). This “lake” is the thoroughfare between Churchill Lake and Churchill Dam. We only catch three smallish (12-14″) brookies after 3 hours of hard fishing. The trout have gone missing! It’s clear that the smelts, and their fishy predators, have moved elsewhere.