TOP brook trout ponds for the 2017 ice fishing season in Franklin County, Maine

The TOP brook trout ponds for the 2017 ice fishing season in Franklin County are highlighted below (in alphabetical order).  Only a few ponds are listed because most of the smaller water bodies in this county are closed to ice fishing.  A pond is considered “top” based on its stocking density. Simply put, the more trout are packed per acre, the higher the chances of catching them through the ice!

For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a brook trout pond as a smaller body of water which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support ice fishing.  These ponds tend to freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish well before the bigger lakes become accessible. This provides early-action opportunities for those of us (myself included!) who just can’t wait to get the hard-water fishing season going. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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TOP brook trout ponds for the 2017 ice fishing season in Cumberland County, Maine

The TOP brook trout ponds for the 2017 ice fishing season in Cumberland County are highlighted below (in alphabetical order).  A pond is considered “top” based on its stocking density. Simply put, the more trout are packed per acre, the higher the chances of catching them through the ice!

For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a brook trout pond as a body of water with a surface area of less than 100 acres which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support ice fishing.  These ponds tend to freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish well before the bigger lakes become accessible. This provides early-action opportunities for those of us (myself included!) who just can’t wait to get the hard-water fishing season going. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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TOP brook trout ponds for the 2017 ice fishing season in Aroostook County, Maine

The TOP brook trout ponds for the 2017 ice fishing season in Aroostook County are highlighted below (in alphabetical order).  A pond is considered “top” based on its stocking density. Simply put, the more trout are packed per acre, the higher the chances of catching them through the ice!

For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a brook trout pond as a body of water with a surface area of less than 100 acres (with exceptions…) which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support ice fishing.  These ponds tend to freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish well before the bigger lakes become accessible. This provides early-action opportunities for those of us (myself included!) who just can’t wait to get the hard-water fishing season going. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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TOP brook trout ponds for the 2017 ice fishing season in Androscoggin County, Maine

The TOP brook trout ponds for the 2017 ice fishing season in Androscoggin County are highlighted below (in alphabetical order).  A pond is considered “top” based on its stocking density. Simply put, the more trout are packed per acre, the higher the chances of catching them through the ice!

For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a brook trout pond as a body of water with a surface area of less than 100 acres which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support ice fishing.  These ponds tend to freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish well before the bigger lakes become accessible.  This provides early-action opportunities for those of us (myself included!) who just can’t wait to get the hard-water fishing season going. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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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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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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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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