Rainbow trout and brown trout fishing on Kennebunk Pond, Lyman, Maine (December 3, 2016)

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The boat launch on Kennebunk Pond is unimproved and sandy.

The “boat launch” on Kennebunk Pond is unimproved and sandy.

Kennebunk Pond is a 224-acre body of water located in Lyman, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 B5). A rough and sandy public boat launch is located off Kennebunk Pond Road at the outlet on the eastern side of the pond. Ample parking is available across from the launch. Be aware that this launch is quite shallow, particularly in the fall when the water level in the pond is low. In my opinion, only hand-carried craft or small motor boats can effectively be put in and retrieved from this spot in late fall. Anything bigger would be problematic, and would require a 4X4 vehicle. This pond was stocked last month with a total of 641 brown trout, rainbow trout and brook trout measuring between 12” and 15”. Our goal this morning is to catch some of those fish.

 

 

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Rainbow trout fishing on Middle Range Pond, Poland, Maine (November 27, 2016)

Middle Range Pond is a heavily-developed 366-acre body of water located in Poland, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 A3). A private hard-top boat launch is located at Cyndi’s Dockside restaurant (www.dockside.me) right off Route 26 at the northern end of the pond. Keep in mind that the launch fee at this spot is $8. An alternative (and free) public boat launch can be found at the northern end of Upper Range Pond off Range Hill Road. Boat access to Middle Range Pond is via a large passage underneath this road.

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Lake trout fishing on Sebago Lake, Maine (November 12, 2016)

The water level by the boat launch is really low but fortunately the boat has a low draft and Joel brought the waders!

The water level by the boat launch is really low but fortunately the boat has a shallow draft and Joel brought the waders!

Mid-fall is a great time to troll for landlocked Atlantic salmon and lake trout in southern Maine. The surface water temperatures in the larger lakes have dipped into the mid- to upper-40’s and the cooling temps allows these cold-loving fish to emerge from the depths to partake in their annual breeding efforts. The salmon congregate in the shallows to migrate up their spawning rivers, whereas the lake trout assemble along bouldery shorelines to deposit their eggs. And, as an added bonus, most open-water anglers have closed up shop for the season, meaning that no one else is on the water! My son Joel and I decide to take advantage of these conditions to fish Sebago Lake, with a particular focus on the area in front of where Panther Run (i.e., the outlet of Panther Pond) enters Jordan Bay. A few days earlier, I walked down a small stretch of Panther Run downstream of the dam on Mill Street in Raymond and observed spawning landlocked salmon, meaning that they’ve started swimming up from the lake. Beware that the direct tributaries to Sebago Lake (including Panther Run) are closed to fishing from October 1 to March 31.

 

 

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Six tips to catch more smallmouth bass in rivers

River smallmouth bass have predictable habits and behaviors which, if known and understood by the angler, can increase the odds of caching more of these magnificent fighters. Smallmouth bass are not unlike humans: they want to gain maximum benefits with the least amount of effort in the most comfortable way possible. Hence, learning to properly “read” a river in order to locate the places where bass like to congregate will yield more fish.

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Brown trout fishing on the Saco River, Buxton, Maine (October 8, 2016)

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Fall is in the air and trout fishing is back on the agenda!!

Fall is in the air and trout fishing is back on the agenda!!

The Saco River in this part of southern Maine passes through a series of hydroelectric dams on its way to the sea. My target today is a small stretch of river right below the West Buxton dam located in Buxton (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 A5). The reason for selecting this section of water is that it was stocked last week with brown trout and also has flowing water coming through the dam turbines. I’d love for my 13-year old nephew Christian to catch one of those fish. The access point is located off Route 112 (River Road) just below the green bridge that carries the road over the river. Keep in mind that only hand-carried craft can be launched from this point.

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Brook trout fishing on Grassy Pond, Baxter State Park, Maine (September 26 and 27, 2016)

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A walk through the enchanted forest

A walk through the enchanted forest

Grassy Pond is one of a dozen and a half gorgeous native brook trout ponds sprinkled around the southwestern corner of Baxter State Park (BSP) in northern Maine. It is found right off the Appalachian Trail (AT) about 1 mile south of the Katahdin Stream campground located on the Park Tote Road (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 50 D4). At first blush, this pond would not seem to qualify as a brook trout haunt! It’s name aptly describes the apparent conundrum: the pond is so shallow (< 4 ft) that thin aquatic vegetation (“grass”) emerges all over the water surface. If this water body were located anywhere else but in BSP, it would be dismissed out of hand as habitat suitable only for pickerel, yellow perch, or sunfish. But don’t be fooled by appearances because Grassy Pond supports a thriving population of native brookies. The secret lies in its source of water, which is supplied directly by Katahdin Stream. This ice-cold brook, which originates on the slopes of mighty Mount Katahdin, enters the north end of the pond and exits it to the southeast.  The stream keeps the surface water in the pond cool and oxygenated, and the abundant vegetation and soft bottom serves as a hyper-active bug factory to feed all the hungry trout.

 

 

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Brook trout fishing on Nesowadnehunk Stream, Baxter State Park, Maine (September 28, 2016)

Bushwhacking is required in order to find the secret honey holes...

Be ready to bushwhack in order to find the secret honey holes…

Nesowadnehunk Stream is a tributary of the west branch of the Penobscot River with its source located at the outlet of Nesowadnehunk Lake. This 17-mile stream flows roughly along the western and southern boundary of Baxter State Park (BSP) in northern Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 50; the outlet of Nesowadnehunk lake is on map 50 B4). About three quarters of the stream runs approximately parallel to the Park Tote Road which connects the south entrance (i.e., Togue Pond Gate) to the north entrance (i.e., Matagamon Gate) of BSP. The surrounding watershed is hilly and deeply forested with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees. The stream is typically 20 to 40 ft wide and has a depth ranging from < 1 ft to > 4 ft. Depending on the location, the substrate varies from soft silty mud, to coarse gravel, to exposed bedrock, to boulders. Fishing on this stream is particularly enjoyable in late summer-early fall due to the cooling surface water and the total lack of black flies, mosquitos and deer flies which can drive even the most dedicated angler to insanity in the spring. Keep in mind that open-water fishing in this part of Maine ends on September 30, whereas BSP closes for the season on October 15.

 

 

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Eight fabulous largemouth bass ponds in Kennebec County, Maine

 

Fishing for largemouth bass is a cherished summer activity for many anglers 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 Kennebec County. I focused on smaller ponds less than about 100 acres in size, located mostly off the beaten track but still readily accessible by car (no need for 4X4 driving or too much 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! The bass fishing rules for all of these “fabulous” ponds fall under the general fishing regulationsClick here for an overview of the lures I like to use on these fish. In addition, check out the fabulous largemouth bass ponds in York County, Cumberland County, southern Oxford County, and south coastal Maine.

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Largemouth bass fishing on Weary Pond, Whitefield, Maine (September 18, 2016)

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View of Wearey Pond looking north

View of Wearey Pond looking north

Weary Pond is a 42-acre body of water located in Whitefield, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 D2). I try to reach this pond by driving south on Weary Pond Road off Hilton Road in North Whitefield. Weary Pond Road is rough and unimproved. I have to turn around after driving for about half a mile when I hit a stretch that is too bouldery for my little front wheel-drive car. I successfully reach my intended destination by driving north for 0.8 miles on Weary Pond Road off Jewett Lane in Whitefield. Jewett Lane is a solid four-season gravel road, whereas Weary Pond Road from this end is still unmaintained and rough but passable with a normal car. The pond becomes visible on the right through the trees. Park your vehicle as best as possible on the side of the forest trail. A boat launch is not available. Hence, only hand-carried craft can be used and need to be transported for about 300 ft or so through the woods from the road to the pond. But the destination is well worth the effort!!

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Lower Range Pond, Poland, Maine (August 26, 2016)

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The extensive shallow weedy area on Lower Range Pond looking towards Route 26 in the background

The extensive shallow weedy area on Lower Range Pond by the campground

Lower Range Pond is a 290-acre body of water located in Poland, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 A3). An excellent hard-top boat launch is located in Range Pond State Park off Plains Road on the eastern side of the lake. Users must pay an access fee to enter the park and use this launch. I also note here that, as per the fishing rules, motor boats over 10 horsepower are not allowed on this pond. That means no speed boats or jet skis or other loud commotion on the water. I access the pond this morning via the Poland Spring campground (right off Route 26) where my son and his family are spending a few days camping before the kids head back to school again.

 

 

 

 

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