Ice fishing for brook trout and largemouth bass on Parker Pond, Casco, Maine (February 19, 2017)

Good morning, Parker Pond!

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Three inches of water on top of the ice make for a floating trap and a slushy mess…

Parker Pond covers 166 acres and is located in Casco (Cumberland County), Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B1). I choose to ice fish this body of water today because it is located right next to a major road (Route 121). Southern Maine has been walloped by over 3 ft of snow over the last two weeks. Since I do not own a snow mobile, and hence have to walk everywhere on the ice, I want to fish close to a road.  Route 121, which runs along the western shore of Parker Pond, has two 300-ft long “pull-outs” that run parallel to the road (and are typically plowed in the winter) and where anglers can park their cars to gain instant access to the ice. Parker Pond is a shallow body of water with an average and maximum depth of 10 and 19 ft, respectively. It contains your typical collection of “warm-water” species, such as bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch and white perch. The state also frugally stocked the pond last fall with 410 brook trout measuring 12” and 13”, resulting in a stocking rate of between 2 and 3 trout per acre. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

 

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Ice fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Moose Pond, Bridgton, Maine (February 13, 2017)

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View south down the middle basin of Moose Pond. I’ve got the place all to myself this morning! The sky is also completely overcast.

Moose Pond covers 1694 acres and is located in Bridgton (Cumberland County) and Denmark (Oxford County), Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 A3). A convenient public access point is available off Route 302 at the northeastern tip of the middle basin of the lake, right before the road crosses the water. Plenty of parking is available along the shoulder of the road. This pond supports a robust landlocked Atlantic salmon fishery which consistently produces 20+ inch fish. This species is the focus of my efforts today. However, ice fishing for salmon can be slow business. The reason is that the state stocks this species at a low rate (typically about one fish per two or three acres of lake) in order to preserve the local rainbow smelt populations, which represent the salmon’s main forage base, and to allow for decent growth. Hence, lots of patience is needed… Keep in mind that because of the popularity of this fishery with the local hard-water angling crowd and the easy access from Route 302, the regulations for Moose Pond during the ice fishing season stipulate a daily bag limit of one landlocked salmon with a minimum length of 16”. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

 

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Ice fishing for brown trout and largemouth bass on Little Sebago Lake, Gray, Maine (February 5, 2017)

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The boys with the toys have more fun!

Little Sebago Lake covers 1,898 acres and is located in Gray and Windham, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C3).  The public access point is reached by driving north on Route 302 in Windham, turning right at the light (by Bob’s Seafood Restaurant) on Anglers Road, driving past Pettingill Pond, turning right on Woodland Road, and then turning right again on Mount Hunger Shore Road. Follow this road until you reach the boat launch. My son Joel and I decide to bring out the “side-by-side” vehicle and our two four-wheelers to give us mobility to bring his family and I out on the lake. We want to fish the south-facing shore of Ridgewood Island, located amongst a set of islands on the largest of the four bays that make up this beautiful lake.

 

 

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Ice fishing for brook trout on Littlefield Pond, Sanford, Maine (January 28, 2017)

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The larger baitfish targets bass, while the smaller baitfish targets brook trout

Littlefield Pond covers 19 acres and is located in Sanford, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 C3). The public access point is on Emmons Road (off Littlefield Road) right before the two signs that state “Private Road”. Parking is on the shoulders. Emmons Road is a drivable dirt road but I do not know how well it is plowed after a snow storm. I have no problem driving on it today because it hasn’t snowed significantly over the last two weeks and the temperatures have been rather mild lately. Hence, the road is largely snow-free and parking is not an issue. Earlier in the week, while planning for this weekend fishing trip, my eight-year old grandson Giovanni confided that he really wanted to ice fish for “eating fish”, i.e., trout. I decide to give him his wish by selecting a pond which was well stocked with brook trout last fall.

 

 

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Kids-only trout ponds stocked for the 2017 ice-fishing season in Maine

This blog presents the kids fishing-only ponds in Maine that were stocked with trout last fall with the specific goal of encouraging youngsters to enjoy ice fishing during the winter of 2017. Be aware that these special ponds are governed by strict and convoluted rules regarding opening dates, use of bait fish, number of lines allowed, and daily bag limit, among others! It is strongly encouraged to consult the latest law book when planning a fishing trip to one of these ponds.

The purpose of these unique set-aside ponds is to provide a reasonably quick and assured way for youngsters to catch trout through the ice. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to introduce a child to what may blossom into a life-long passion for fishing and the outdoors. I can’t think of a better means to redirect fledgling minds away from the corroding effects of electronic devices and social media!

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Ice fishing for brook trout on Savade Pond, Windsor, Maine (January 2, 2017)

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The 10 am “shadow line” along the eastern shoreline of Savade Pond. Note the sharp contrast between the bright light and the dark shoreline.

Savade Pond covers 42 acres and is located off Greeley Road in Windsor, Kennebec County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 C3). I get out of bed at 4:30 am in order to reach this pond by 6:45 am (sunrise this morning occurs at 7:15 am) with the goal to start fishing “at the crack ‘o dawn”! I identified this pond as a prime destination in Kennebec County for catching 1-lb brookies through the ice this winter. It is also one of a handful of elite ponds in Maine with a reasonable potential for catching an 18+” brood stock trout. That’s enough incentive for me to put in extra effort to arrive early! The pond is reached via a boat launch which is clearly marked on Greeley Road. The access road is gated but the gate is open when I arrive at 6:50 am. Ample parking is available by the pond. Note that I do not know if this access road and parking area are plowed after a snow storm. The distance between Greeley Road and the pond is less than 1000 ft and could therefore be easily walked, if needed. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

 

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Best ice fishing ponds for catching large trout in York County, Maine (winter of 2017)

This blog highlights the ponds in York County which provide the best odds of catching larger stocked trout during the 2017 ice fishing season. About a dozen and a half ponds open to ice fishing in this county are stocked with trout each fall. Most of these fish are relatively small (7” to 12”), but plentiful, in order to provide fast action. The state also spiced up some of the ponds with larger trout, which are defined here as fish measuring 13” or more, and weighing at least 1 pound. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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Best ice fishing ponds for catching large trout in Washington County, Maine (winter of 2017)

This blog highlights the ponds in Washington County which provide the best odds of catching larger stocked trout during the 2017 ice fishing season. About a dozen and a half ponds open to ice fishing in this county are stocked with trout each fall. Most of these fish are relatively small (7” to 12”), but plentiful, in order to provide fast action. The state also spiced up some of the ponds with larger trout, which are defined here as fish measuring 13” or more, and weighing at least 1 pound. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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Best ice fishing ponds for catching large trout in Waldo County, Maine (winter of 2017)

This blog highlights the ponds in Waldo County which provide the best odds of catching larger stocked trout during the 2017 ice fishing season. About ten ponds open to ice fishing in this county are stocked with trout each fall. Most of these fish are relatively small (7” to 12”), but plentiful, in order to provide fast action. The state also spiced up some of the ponds with larger trout, which are defined here as fish measuring 13” or more, and weighing at least 1 pound. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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Best ice fishing ponds for catching large trout in Somerset County, Maine (winter of 2017)

This blog highlights the ponds in Somerset County which provide the best odds of catching larger stocked trout during the 2017 ice fishing season. Around 20 ponds open to ice fishing in this county are stocked with trout each fall. Most of these fish are relatively small (7” to 12”), but plentiful, in order to provide fast action. The state also spiced up some of the ponds with larger trout, which are defined here as fish measuring 13” or more, and weighing at least 1 pound. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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