Pike fishing on Sabattus River, Lisbon Center, Maine (June 23, 2012).

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I’m taking my canoe to fish the Sabattus River just before it enters the Androscoggin River at the boat launch off Route 196 in Lisbon Center (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 6 A1). The Sabattus River starts at Sabattus Pond, which is one of the premier northern pike lakes in the area. The pike drop down the Sabattus River and congregate in the area above the boat launch, which is the spot I’m targeting today.  It’s relatively shallow (< 5 ft), quite weedy, and has little or no current: ideal pike habitat.

I leave home in midafternoon under a blazing sun but notice that the sky fills up quickly with dark storm clouds as I drive north. It starts raining by the time I reach the boat launch. Great… The fish gods haven’t been smiling on my lately. I sit in the car for about 45 minutes, waiting for the rain to slow down a bit, but it doesn’t. Either I put on my rain gear, off-load the canoe and start fishing, or I turn around to go home and declare myself defeated.

I start fishing! I use a one-bladed spinnerbait to go after the pike. I learned from past experience that they like the spinnerbait skirt in bright yellow/orange/red colors, which is exactly what I give them. Two hours of fishing in a steady rain produces four pike hits, with three landed fish. The three pikes are small (18-22″) but at least I defied the odds and the weather. I’m satisfied.

The results: I fished for two hours and caught three small pikes.


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