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.

Also, during my wanderings through Kennebec County over the last two summers to find these secluded bodies of water, I was surprised how many of the smaller largemouth bass ponds on my list had no ready access. I’m recording some these ponds below (with the map number from the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer included for easy reference) in the hope that one of my blog readers knows how to reach one or more of them and would be willing to share the information so that I can check out the conditions.

 

  • Black Pond, Vienna (map 20 E2)
  • Burgess Pond, Fayette (map 12 A1)
  • Dam Pond, Augusta (map 13 B1)
  • Dutton Pond, China (map 13 A4)
  • Hutchinson Pond, Farmingdale and Manchester (map 12 C4)
  • Lily Pond, Sidney (map 13 A1)
  • Mill Pond, Readfield (map 12 B3)
  • Mud Pond, Windsor (map 13 C2)
  • Tinkham Pond, Chelsea (map 13 C1)
  • Ward Pond, Sidney (map 12 A/B5)

 

Without any further ado, the fabulous largemouth bass ponds for Kennebec County are (in alphabetical order)….

 

BRAINARD POND IN READFIELD

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A glorious view of Brainard Pond from the access point.

A glorious view of Brainard Pond from the access point.

Brainard Pond is a 20-acre body of water located in Readfield (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 B4). I found one access point as follows: turn on Plains Road from Route 17, drive north on Plains Road for just under 0.5 mile and look for an unnamed gravel road on the left. You’ve gone too far on Plains Road if you pass Brainard Road.  Turn left on the gravel road and go straight unto a forest path when the gravel road veers to the left after about 0.1 mile. The pond is located 0.3 miles further down this path. It looks rough and overgrown but my small front-wheel-drive car made it in and out fine. I’m assuming for the purpose of this blog that this access way is legitimate because it was not posted anywhere along the way. You can leave your car in the woods about 200 ft from the pond. Only small hand-carried craft can be launched from this point.

 

 

Life is good!!

Life is good!!

It is well worth the effort to get to Brainard Pond. This pond is small, pretty, and isolated. Its challenging access also pretty much guarantees that you’ll have the place all to yourself. It is completely surrounded by woods and only has a single structure and a small dock along its entire shoreline. The surface water is slightly stained and has a cloudy look to it. The substrate is soft and muddy. The pond has a maximum and mean depth of 13 ft and 9 ft, respectively. The amount of aquatic vegetation is surprisingly sparse given the soft bottom and the relatively shallow depth. Other holding structure (e.g., submerged wood) is also scant. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

 

 

JIMMIE POND IN MANCHESTER AND FARMINGDALE

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A beautiful few of Jimmie Pond from the access point.

A beautiful view of Jimmie Pond from the access point.

Jimmie Pond (a.k.a. Jamies Pond) is a 107-acre body of water located in the towns of Manchester and Farmingdale (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 C4). This pond is at the core of the 915-acre Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area, which is owned and operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  The pond and its surrounding land was formerly the property of the Hallowell Water District and provided the water supply for the nearby town of Hallowell. As a result of this historic use, the pond’s shoreline has remained largely undeveloped, thereby providing an unusually unspoiled setting within a stone’s throw of downtown Augusta. The land surrounding the pond supports various outdoors activities throughout the seasons (click here for details). The public access to this pond is located by the former pump house at the end of Jamies Pond Road (off Outlet Road). The access point consists of a hard launch but only hand-carried craft can be released because the launch is blocked by two massive boulders. A review of the fishing rules, and searching on the internet, does not suggest that gasoline-powered engines are forbidden on the pond.

 

 

A typical view of the shoreline. Note the lack of aquatic vegetation. But the real habitat is hidden, consisting of sunken branches and tree trunks.

A typical view of the shoreline. Note the lack of aquatic vegetation. But the real habitat is hidden, consisting of sunken branches and tree trunks.

Jimmie Pond is quite a beauty! The surrounding landscape is completely forested. Only a single house is visible from the water. I also don’t see any docks or power boats along the shoreline. That, and the lack of an easy entry for power boats at the public access point, essentially guarantees complete quietness in a peaceful and serene setting while on the water. Just the way I like it! The surface water is clean and transparent. The substrate along the eastern shoreline (i.e., the one I explored for this blog) is compact, consisting of sand and cobbles, with little or no muck on top. The pond is quite deep, with a maximum and average depth of 75 ft and 34 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map. The shoreline contains little or no shallow water, except right up against the bank. Due to this steep underwater topography, the available aquatic vegetation is quite sparse which suggests little or no largemouth bass holding habitat. But here’s the secret: the forested landscape surrounding the pond has remained undeveloped, and hence undisturbed, for many decades. As a result, an unusual amount of sunken wood (mainly large branches, but also numerous tree trunks) is present all along the shoreline, providing ample – but hidden from view – holding habitat for use by the bass! The bass fishing rules fall under the general fishing regulations.

 

 

Jimmie pond yielded this nice largemouth bass.

Jimmie pond yielded this nice largemouth bass.

One notable exception to the lack of shallow habitat, which I did not explore, is found at the southwestern tip of the pond, at the opposite end of the public access point. The depth map for Jimmie Pond, and an aerial view obtained via Google Maps, shows a narrow thoroughfare leading to a shallow and weed-choked basin. I’m suspecting that it would be well-worth the effort to spend time exploring that piece of habitat. I would be curious to hear back about your impressions if you fish over there in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JIMMY POND IN LITCHFIELD

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View of the entrance of the wide and weedy stream that connects Jimmy Pond to Buker Pond

View of the entrance of the wide and weedy stream that connects Jimmy Pond to Buker Pond

Jimmy Pond is a 40-acre body of water located in Litchfield (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 E3). It is the most-upgradient pond in the Tacoma Lakes chain. This pond should not be confused with Jimmie Pond (a.k.a. Jamies Pond) presented above. Jimmy Pond cannot be accessed directly, at least to my knowledge. Instead, it is reached via a wide and weedy stream which connects it to Buker Pond located further downstream. The launch on Buker Pond is off Buker Street, which runs between Buker Pond and Sand Pond. Beware that Buker Street is completely hemmed in by road safety barriers for 1000+ ft on either side of the launch. A small parking area is located next to the launch, but can accommodate no more than 3 small cars. Extra parking is available on the road shoulder, but only passed the road safety barriers.

 

 

 

 

View of the western shoreline of Jimmy Pond with Danforth Hill in the background

View of the western shoreline of Jimmy Pond with Danforth Hill in the background

The Buker Pond launch can only accommodate hand-carried craft. Also, I found Buker Street to be quite a busy road which one must cross to go from the parking area to the access point on Buker Pond. Finally, Jimmy Pond can also be reached using a motor boat by launching at the northern end of Woodbury Pond (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 D3) and then navigating south into Sand Pond, Buker Pond, and Jimmy Pond via the aforementioned stream. I did not check this route personally but Google Map shows a thoroughfare connecting Woodbury Pond to Sand Pond, and I saw motor boats navigating between Sand Pond and Buker Pond. The one note of caution is that the stream gets quite shallow (1 ft or less) for a short stretch as it enters Buker Pond.

 

 

 

 

 

The western shoreline of Jimmy Pond is undeveloped and contains lots of aquatic vegetation

The western shoreline of Jimmy Pond is undeveloped and contains lots of aquatic vegetation

Jimmy Pond is a half-secluded lake because of its challenging access. The unnamed stream linking it to Buker Pond is quite pretty. It is actually inaccurate to call it a “stream” because it hardly flows. It is wide and runs through a forested corridor. It takes about 20-25 minutes to paddle from the launch on Buker Pond to the entrance of Jimmy Pond. The stream itself is definitely worth exploring further as it must contain largemouth bass due to the high quality of its holding habitat, which consists of vast expanses of aquatic vegetation along both shorelines. I didn’t spend much time fishing it due to my tight schedule. The setting of the stream is also very pleasing due to a total lack of human infrastructure along the way. One gets a real sense of isolation and quietness, which is always enjoyable. Jimmy Pond itself is also quite pleasing. The pond is moderately developed, but only along its eastern shoreline. The western half of the shoreline is dominated by Danforth Hill. That shoreline, together with the general area where the pond connects to the stream, supports most of the aquatic vegetation on this pond. The surface water is clean and clear, but develops a severe oxygen deficiency 15+ ft deep during the summer. The pond has a maximum and average depth of 32 ft and 14 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and additional fisheries information.

 

LITTLE COBBOSSEECONTEE LAKE IN WINTHROP

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General view of Cobbosseecontee Lake; Route 202 is hidden in the background

General view of Cobbosseecontee Lake; Route 202 is hidden in the background

Little Cobbosseecontee Lake is a 75-acre body of water located in Winthrop (see The Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 C4). Public access to this pond is a real problem. The “boat launch” I used during my visit is situated by the outlet which flows underneath Route 202. This road is a major motorway into and out of Augusta, which is located less than five miles away. The traffic is incessant and flying by at 55+ MPH. The boat and all the fishing equipment needs to be heaved over the road safety railing and down the rip-rap boulders towards the three large culverts. Needless to say, only hand-carried craft can be launched from this point. There’s ample parking on the road shoulder. Please keep in mind that this access is NOT kid-friendly at all! Afterwards, one of my blog readers mentioned that about 400 ft before the outlet on Route 202 (looking towards Augusta) is a dirt road on the right that points towards the outlet at the end of which one can put a hand-carried craft in the water. The access is not posted and I also did not check it out personally.

 

 

 

Christian caught this little bass right where the eastern shoreline merges into the large marsh. I caught a small pike in the same area.

Christian caught this little bass right where the eastern shoreline merges into the large marsh. I caught a small pike in the same area.

Little Cobbosseecontee Lake is quite pretty and relatively lightly developed given its close proximity to the Capital. About a dozen houses are clustered along the southern and eastern shoreline, together with half-a-dozen docks. The northern shoreline abuts a large marshy area, whereas the western shoreline is fringed by woods. The substrate in the lake is firm but overlain by a layer of muck which is carpeted by a luxurious amount of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water is surprisingly clear given these conditions. The lake has a maximum and average depth of 33 ft and 17 ft, respectively. It is fringed on all four sides by extensive weedy shallows, which provide great holding habitat for largemouth bass. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.  Note that northern pike have migrated up into this body of water from Cobbosseecontee Lake further downstream and have a well-established population.

 

 

 

 

LITTLE TOGUS POND IN AUGUSTA

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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. Note the shallow weed beds.

Little Togus Pond is a 93-acre body of water located in Augusta (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 C1), opposite 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.

 

 

 

 

This largemouth bass was hiding in the extensive vegetated flats on the left of this picture

This largemouth bass was hiding in the extensive vegetated flats on the left of this picture

Little Togus Pond represents a fine discovery! Not a single human structure is visible along its entire shoreline, except for one property next to Route 105. A large shallow and weedy area extends in front and to the right of the launch when looking towards the opposite (southern) end of the pond. Both of these areas offer excellent largemouth bass holding habitat. To my surprise, given the extensive weedy shallows, the surface water is almost crystal clear with only the slightest hint of color! The shore opposite from the launch has a very different character. It is bouldery, has little aquatic vegetation and gains depth quickly. The pond is relatively shallow with a maximum and mean depth of 22 ft and 9 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

 

 

MOOSE POND IN MOUNT VERNON

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Moose Pond is a 64-acre hidden gem located on Hovey Luce Road, about 0.3 miles off North Road in Mount Vernon (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 A3). The access point is in the woods on the left (coming from the direction of North Road). Parking is very limited and a boat launch is not available. A 400-ft rough footpath connects the parking spot to the pond. Only hand-carried craft can gain access this pond. The surrounding land is completely forested and undeveloped, except for a large pasture that leads up to a farm on a hill along the western side of the pond.

 

Chevron-shaped Moose Pond is surrounded by emergent aquatic vegetation along its entire shoreline. The pond is deeper at its southern end (maximum depth = 17 ft) but much shallower (< 5ft) at its eastern end by the outlet. The water is crystal clear. The largemouth bass predictably swim up from the deeper parts and enter the shallows in the evenings during the summer months to feed among the lily pads and other aquatic vegetation that grows abundantly in this part of the pond. I’ve seen this predictable pattern every time I’ve fished here. Another unusual behavior I have seen on this pond is that the largemouth bass in the shallows will jump clear out of the water to try to catch dragonflies! That makes for a lot of splashing activity in the evenings. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

MOSHER POND IN FAYETTE

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View of Mosher Pond from the access point off Chesterville Ridge Road

View of Mosher Pond from the access point off Chesterville Ridge Road

Mosher Pond (a.k.a. Lane’s Pond) is a 76-acre body of water located in Fayette (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 A1). One access point I found is situated on Chesterville Ridge Road (also called Mosher Pond Road in Google Maps) at the very southern tip of the pond. Only small hand-carried craft can be launched from this point. Plenty of parking is available alongside the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mosher Pond is pretty and readily accessible

Mosher Pond is pretty and readily accessible

Mosher Pond is a picturesque elongated pond located towards the northern fringes of Kennebec County. The surrounding watershed is completely forested. I do not notice any houses (except for one small trailer) or boats along the shoreline. Its easy access from the road, lack of dwellings, inability to accommodate the launching of power boats, and relative isolation makes this pond a desirable destination for those of us who cherish fishing in solitude from a canoe or kayak. The only negative is the presence of the Chesterville Ridge Road. Although it is a lightly-travelled secondary thoroughfare, its closeness to the pond means that the noise generated by vehicles driving by carries over the water and impinges on the sense of seclusion. The surface water is lightly stained but otherwise clear. The substrate is a mixture of solid or mucky bottom, depending on location. Aquatic vegetation is concentrated in certain spots along the shoreline and around a small island in the middle of the pond, but is otherwise sparse. I notice little submerged wood. The pond has a maximum and mean depth of 32 ft and 14 ft, respectively, and is therefore relatively deep. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

TOLMAN POND IN AUGUSTA

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It takes about 5 minutes of walking on a wood trail to reach this gorgeous pond.

It takes about 5 minutes of walking on a wood trail to reach this gorgeous pond.

Tolman Pond is a beautiful 62-acre body of water located in Augusta (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.

 

 

 

The largemouth bass in Tolman Pond, are numerous, eager to bite, but on the small side.

The largemouth bass in Tolman Pond are numerous, eager to bite, but on the small side.

Tolman Pond is one heck of a find, particularly when you consider that it is located almost within spitting distance of downtown Augusta! The shoreline is entirely forested and contains only a single house off Cross Hill Road. The water is absolutely crystal clear. The bottom is hard and interspersed with boulders. The amount of aquatic vegetation is rather sparse and is clustered right up against the banks. This set-up would suggest marginal largemouth bass habitat. But the hard bottom and lack of aquatic vegetation is more than made up by an abundance of sunken wood. I’ve reported on this pattern before at other wildlife management areas (click here and here for examples): the lack of human interference means that dead branches and trees that fall in the water are left untouched and accumulate over time. That creates great underwater structure that will hold fish. The maximum and mean depth of the water equals 26 ft and 14 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The pond has an abundant population of largemouth bass, although the average fish is on the smaller size.

 

Was the information in this blog useful? I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to discuss your fishing experiences at these locations.

 

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