Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River, Topsham, Maine (June 24, 2012).

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View of the rock piles around the bridge over the Androscoggin River

This afternoon, I’m fishing the stretch of the Androscoggin River between the Pejepscot boat launch in Topsham and the power dam located about 0.5 mile further upstream (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 6 B2). I spend most of my time fishing the rock piles around where the Route 125 bridge crosses the river. The water level is quite high today and more water than normal is flowing through these rocks, which should attract smallies who like to ambush prey from behind submerged boulders.My lure of choice is a 4″ pink soft stickbait. I’m imbedding the large hook inside the body of the bait, but quickly notice that this tactic is causing me problems. I’m getting bites but missing too many fish because the point doesn’t come out of the bait when I set the hook. I switch to the “wacky worm”, which consists of squeezing the stickbait through a small “O” ring before hooking the “O” ring + the bait to a No. 8 fish hook. The results are immediate because the hook is now exposed instead of being embedded inside the bait. Just about every hit yields a bass.


Another view of the rock piles around the bridge over the Androscoggin River

Another view of the rock piles around the bridge over the Androscoggin River

Two fish are noteworthy today: I cast just downstream of a very large rock that sits on the edge of the current. The water is quiet behind that rock. My first cast results in a powerful hit but I miss the fish. I immediate cast in the same spot and hook a nice 16″ smallie which swims with the current and give me a strong fight. I see an even bigger smallmouth bass swimming next to the hooked fish! I’m guessing that the second fish was also hiding behind the same rock and followed the first one when it started acting “funny” (this phenomenon is not uncommon). So, I cast in the same spot and, sure enough, the 18 incher sucks in the bait, gets hooked and gives me a tremendous fight.I also catch a bass with a hook in its throat and a large soft stickbait still attached to it. Who said these fish aren’t gluttons! That old hook is too deeply embedded to take out but I do remove the stickbait before releasing the fish.

The results: I caught 28 smallmouth bass  (largest = 18”) in five hours. That’s a kick-ass day!

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