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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Largemouth bass fishing on Little Togus Pond, Augusta Maine (August 21, 2016)

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Only hand-carried crafts can be put in at the informal access point. Note the shallow weed beds and the wind...

Only hand-carried crafts can be put in at the informal access point for Little Togus Pond. Note the shallow weed beds in the forefront, the wind, and the southern shore in the background.

Little Togus Pond is a 93-acre body of water located in Augusta (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 C1), just across from its much larger cousin, Togus Pond. The access point is found right off South Belfast Avenue (Route 105) which runs between the two ponds. This informal put-in can only accommodate hand-carried craft because it lacks an actual boat launch. Ample parking is available along the gravelly shoulder of the road.

 

 

 

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Spectacle Pond, Augusta and Vassalboro, Maine (August 21, 2016)

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Only hand-carried crafts have access to Spectacle Pond from the public put-in.

Only hand-carried crafts have access to Spectacle Pond from the public put-in.

Spectacle Pond is a 139-acre body of water located in Augusta and Vassalboro (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 B1). The northern half of this pond is surrounded by the Alonzo Garcelon Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Access is via a rough but drivable gravel road which extends for 1.4 miles through the woods between Church Hill Road and the pond. A small panel labeled “Public Access” located on Church Hill Road, about 1 miles south of Stone Road/Hannaford Hill Road, is the only sign pointing the way to the pond. A large parking area is located at the end of this gravel road. A hard-top launch is not available, however, and only hand-carried craft can be put in the water from this location. I observe an open gate at the beginning of the gravel road, and suspect that it would be unlocked to allow vehicular traffic only after mud season is over in the spring (click here for a similar gate at another wildlife management area).

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Tolman Pond, Augusta, Maine (August 21, 2016)

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The parking area next to Cross Hill road can accommodate three vehicles

The weedy parking area next to Cross Hill road can accommodate no more than three vehicles

Tolman Pond is a pretty 62-acre body of water located in Augusta, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 B1). This pond is completed contained within the Alonzo Garcelon Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The clearly-marked public access point is located on Cross Hill Road, just shy of one mile north of North Belfast Avenue (Route 202/3/9). The small parking area at the trail head can only accommodate three vehicles. No safe parking is possible on the road shoulder. A public boat launch is unavailable for this pond either. Instead, anglers must walk for about five minutes down a forest trail that links the parking area to the pond.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Minnehonk Lake in Mount Vernon, Maine (August 14, 2016)

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The public boat launch on Minnehonk Lake is one busy place this afternoon!

The public boat launch on Minnehonk Lake is one busy place this afternoon!

Minnehonk Lake is a 99-acre body of water located in Mount Vernon, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 A3). The public access is located at the northern tip of the lake off Main Street in the downtown area. Be aware that this access point is a busy place on summer weekends, with local residents swimming, picnicking and socializing. The launch is not hard-topped or improved but can easily accommodate small motorized boats. Plenty of parking is available on Main Street for cars without trailers. However, no spaces exist for vehicles with trailers, which have to be squeezed on the road shoulder. Also, be aware that it is tricky backing up a vehicle with a boat trailer into position to go down the launch because all of that maneuvering must occur right in the middle of Main Street.

 

 

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Largemouth bass fishing on Little Watchic Pond in Standish, Maine (August 5, 2016)

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The muddy access point at the southern end of the southern arm of Little Watchic Pond can only accommodate hand-carried craft

The muddy access point at the southern end of the southern arm of Little Watchic Pond can only accommodate hand-carried craft

Little Watchic Pond is a 55-acre body of water located in Standish, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D5). Click here for directions on how to access this pond. I haven’t fished it for several years now and am eager to give it a try again. In the past, I rarely had to share this water with other anglers, which is surprising given its close proximity to several towns in the surrounding area. I guess that may be due to its hidden nature and its relative inaccessibility. However, the place can get noisy if people are target shooting in the nearby gravel pit. Also, years ago, two guys placed a long line of buoys to create a water skiing obstacle course in the southern arm. I’m actually surprised to observe upon arrival today that the buoys are still there! Given the small size of the pond, the water gets noisy and wavy when these two do their practice runs. Fortunately for me, no one is shooting or water skiing when I reach my destination.

 

 

 

 

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Trolling for brook trout on ponds and lakes: 14 tips to increase your catch

Brook trout are, by far, the most-popular salmonids caught in Maine waters. Many approaches are available to catch these beautiful fish during the open-water season, such as spinner fishing, worm fishing, or fly fishing. Trolling is an additional and highly-efficient way to target brookies on ponds and lakes because it, by definition, is an active approach that covers a lot of water in a relatively short amount of time. I highlight below 14 tips to increase your odds of catching more brook trout using this technique. The information is derived from my own personal experiences of trolling for brook trout in Maine waters over many years. Keep in mind that the general principles presented below are universal and will apply wherever this beautiful creature makes its home.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Crescent Lake in Raymond, Maine (June 18, 2016)

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The Crescent Lake boat launch is wide and spacious but comes right off busy Route 85

The Crescent Lake boat launch is wide and spacious but comes right off busy Route 85

Crescent Lake is a 716-acre body of water located in Raymond, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2). It is part of an interconnected waterway consisting of four lakes (namely Raymond Pond, Crescent Lake, Panther Pond, and Sebago Lake) and three streams (namely an unnamed and non-navigable stream connecting Raymond Pond to Crescent Lake, the navigable Tenney River connecting Crescent Lake to Panther Pond, and the navigable Panther Run connecting Panther Pond to Jordan Bay in Sebago Lake). The public access point to Crescent Lake is located at its southern tip next to Route 85. The launch is hard-topped and can accommodate big boats. Parking is on the shoulder of Route 85. However, beware that maneuvering the boat to get it down the ramp occurs on busy Route 85 itself.

 

 

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