Largemouth bass fishing on Pickerel Pond, Limerick, York County, Maine (June 24, 2017)

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The unimproved boat launch at Pickerel Pond can only accommodate small trailered boats.

Pickerel Pond covers 46 acres and is located in Limerick, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 E3). A small unimproved boat launch is found by the outlet at the southern end of the pond right off Route 11 (Central Avenue). The substrate by the ramp is sandy and firm but the water level is rather low. Only hand-carried craft and small trailered boat can be dispatched with ease from the ramp. The parking area is rather restricted and can only accommodate 3 or 4 vehicles with trailers. Salvador and I arrive at the launch at 10 am, eager to wet our lines. The sky is mostly overcast with air temperatures in the mid to high 70’s. It feels muggy and we have to face a stiff breeze blowing in from the northwest.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Sokokis Lake, Limerick, York County, Maine (June 24, 2017)

The public boat launch on Sokokis Lake is sturdy and the adjoining parking area can accommodate multiple vehicles and trailers

Sokokis Lake (a.k.a. Holland Pond) covers 192 acres and is located in Limerick, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 E3). A nice, hard-top boat launch is located at the southern end of the lake by its outlet right off Route 11 (Central Avenue). Enough space is available to park over a dozen vehicles and trailers on the public parking area located next to the launch. Salvador and I arrive at our destination at 2 pm and are greeted by a polite high school kid who checks my boat and trailer for fragments of aquatic vegetation to prevent introducing an invasive plant species into the lake. My boat and trailer get a clean bill of health. The weather has improved greatly since this morning, when conditions were overcast and gloomy. Now the sky is blue and the sun is bright, but the breeze is still blowing in briskly from the northwest. The air temperature is in the balmy low 80’s.

 

 

 

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Brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 30, 2017)

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This little landlocked salmon jumped four times out of the water. What a treat!

Today is, most unfortunately, the last day of fishing on Pierce Pond in Somerset County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2) for Joel, Salvy and I before we have to leave this slice of heaven and return back home to face Life. Joel already spent 11 consecutive days on the pond before today and has discovered an intriguing pattern. The cool weather and lack of sunny days over the last week and a half has kept the surface water temperature below normal for this time of the year. The mayfly hatches have been sporadic and inconsistent at best and the fish have not focused on this seasonal food source yet. However, the cool surface water temps have allowed the salmonids to feed extensively in shallow water in search of bait fish and other bug life. Through much trial and error Joel figured out that, based on the unusual prevailing conditions, select rock piles in shallow areas of Pierce Pond (and the pond is full of those piles!) are serving as magnets for prey items and the salmonids that feed on them.

 

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Brook trout fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Somerset County, Maine (May 29, 2017)

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Excellent trolling conditions!

It’s the long Memorial Day weekend of 2017 and that means that I’m on my annual pilgrimage to gorgeous Pierce Pond in Somerset County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This huge “pond” is divided into three major basins (i.e., Upper Pond, Middle Pond and Lower Pond) which together cover a total of 1,650 acres. I’m fishing for four days in this special place with my son Joel and nephew Salvy. We’re renting a cozy log cabin a Cobb’s Camp in Lower Pond which affords us access to an indoor toilet, a hot shower, and cooked meals off the grid in the middle of nowhere!  Pierce Pond is a totally pristine and unspoiled environment. The lake is completely surrounded by forests in a protected watershed. These conditions maintain the exceptional surface water quality which supports a robust and self-sustaining native brook trout population and a healthy population of stocked landlocked Atlantic salmon. General fishing laws apply, except that (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing, (b) the ponds opens to fishing on May 1 (but beware that ice-out can occur well past May 1 after a cold winter), (c) only artificial lures are allowed, (d) the daily bag limit for brook trout is two fish, and (e) the minimum length limit for brook trout is 10”, with only one fish allowed to exceed 12”

 

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Brook trout fishing on North Otter Pond, Bowtown Township, Maine (May 27, 2017)

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View of North Otter Pond from the rough access point

North Otter Pond covers 71 acres and is located in Bowtown Township in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This pond can be reached as follows: from North New Portland (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 E2), drive north on Long Falls Dam Road for about 23 miles and turn right on Carrying Place Road at the sign for Cobb’s Camps. Drive down this gravel road for 10.1 miles until the Yield traffic sign and turn left on Bowtown Road (note: Google Maps calls this road “Otter Pond Road”). Pass Harrison Camp on the left, cross Pierce Pond Stream and drive for another 2.5 miles or so. Turn left on a short dirt road that leads to a small parking area. The pond is 300 ft further down from there. Both Carrying Place Road and Bowtown Road are gravel roads that are drivable by regular cars but can be rough during mud season in early spring. It took me about one hour to cover the 15 miles or so from the turn-off on Long Falls Dam Road to the pond. Hence, this pretty pond is reachable by car even though it is rather remote.

 

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Brook trout fishing on Daicey Pond, Baxter State Park, Maine (May 26, 2017)

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General view of Daicey Pond under a gloomy sky

Daicey Pond covers 38 acres and is located at the end of a good gravel road off the Park Tote Road in Baxter State Park [BSP] (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 50 D4). The turn-off from the Park Tote Road is clearly marked with a large sign and is located about 10 miles from the southern entrance to the park (Togue Pond Gate). Most people who visit BSP do not know of the secret which is hiding in plain view at Daicey Pond, namely the presence of ten rustic log cabins that can be rented from BSP for a very reasonable fee. Several canoes stored by the pond are also available for rent for $1/hour. Payment is based on an honor system; the payment box is located at the nearby ranger station. This pond cannot be fished from shore, so make sure to bring your own craft or a bunch of dollar bills to rent one.

 

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Brook trout fishing on Abol Pond, Baxter State Park, Maine (May 25, 2017)

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View of the rough access point to Abol Pond from the Park Tote Road

Abol Pond covers 70 acres and is located alongside the Park Tote Road in Baxter State Park, about two miles from the Togue Pond Gate (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 50 D5). Remarkably, given its relatively small surface area, the pond is about 1.2 miles long and has 3.4 miles of shoreline! This narrow and convoluted body of water consists of an eastern and western basin connected by a long and shallow thoroughfare. Both basins, but the eastern one in particular, provide spectacular views of Abol Mountain with majestic Mount Katahdin looming in the background. The pond can be accessed from two different locations. The easiest one is situated at the Abol Beach picnic area by the outlet on the western basin. The only problem with this launch area is that one then has to paddle one mile to reach the eastern basin. The alternative access point is located right off the Park Tote Road next to the pond at the point where the road dips down to pass over a large culvert. This access point, which is more central, is down a relatively steep bank by the road. I use the latter this morning.

 

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Rainbow trout and brook trout fishing on Long Pond, Denmark, Maine (May 18, 2017)

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A stunning view of Pleasant Mountain from the rough boat launch at Long Pond

Long Pond covers 55 acres and is located in Denmark, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 A2). This pond can be reached as follows when driving from the Naples/Bridgeton area: in the town of Denmark, turn right unto Denmark Road (just after crossing the outlet of Moose Pond), drive on Denmark Road for exactly 4.0 miles, make a left at the stop sign, drive down that road for 0.1 mile and take the first road (Long Pond Drive) to the left. A “No Trespassing” sign is nailed to a large tree but this road is open to the public. Stay on Long Pond Drive for 0.9 miles; the public launch is on the left and is clearly marked. Note that the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer shows that the access point is on the eastern side of the pond, when in fact it is located on the western side. It took me a while, and talking to several locals, to figure that one out…

 

 

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in York County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in York County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of pond, the greater the chances of catching those fish!  All of these ponds cover less than 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the fishing slows down in response to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

Some ponds were stocked last fall but were closed to ice fishing. Others are stocked once early in the spring or may be stocked several times in April and May. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds. The one exception is Round Pond in Lyman, which is a “kids-only” pond for ice fishing, but is open to the general public during the open-water season. Hence, it is included below.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout for this spring in York County are listed below in alphabetical order

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in Washington County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Washington County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of pond, the greater the chances of catching those fish!  Most of these ponds cover less than 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the fishing slows down in response to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

All of the ponds discussed below are closed to ice fishing. Most were stocked last fall, whereas a few are also stocked in the spring. Fish that were released last fall will therefore have had 7 to 8 months to fatten up a bit. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout for this spring in Washington County are listed below in alphabetical order:

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