Largemouth bass fishing on Ingalls Pond in Baldwin, Maine (August 30, 2014)

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View of Ingalls Pond from the access point

View of Ingalls Pond from the access point

Ingalls Pond is a 25-acre body of water located in Baldwin, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C3). The pond is located immediately to the left of Route 113 (looking north). A smaller lobe of the pond, which I did not visit, is located to the right of this road (again, looking north). A traditional access point is situated off Route 113. This launch can only accommodate hand-carried craft. Parking is either in the woods right next to the access point or on the shoulder by the road.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingalls Pond is surrounded by forested hills

Ingalls Pond is surrounded by forested hills

 

 

This pond is pretty and visually attractive. It is unusual in that it is extremely shallow for its size, with a maximum and average depth of only 4 ft and 2 ft, respectively.  As a result, well over 90% of the pond supports a luxurious carpet of aquatic vegetation, represented mainly by extensive beds of lily pads. These plants provide abundant largemouth bass habitat. The substrate consists of a thick layer of organic muck. It is surprising, given the rich plant life, that the water is so clear and clean. The surrounding region is also quite pleasing, consisting of many wooded peaks, such as Flints Mountain, Smalls Mountain, Mount Cutler, Mount Misery, and Gould Mountain. The shoreline is completely undeveloped; not a house, camp, or dock is visible from the water.

 

Much of Ingalls Pond is covered by luxurious aquatic vegetation

Much of Ingalls Pond is covered by luxurious aquatic vegetation

Unfortunately, a huge and ugly fly hides in this otherwise idyllic setting. It’s called Route 113…This major thoroughfare connects Fryeburg, Maine and the White Mountains further north in New Hampshire to the greater Portland Metro area and points south. The traffic, even on an early Saturday morning is incessant, and intrusive. The noise of passing cars, trucks, and motorcycles is unavoidable because the pond sits right next to the road. Keep that in mind if you plan to fish Ingalls Pond. Largemouth bass represents the main fishery on this body of water. The fishing rules fall under the General Law provisions.  Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

 

 

 

 

This 17" largemouth bass pounced on a noisy buzz bait

This 17″ largemouth bass pounced on a noisy buzz bait

I reach Ingalls Pond at 8:00 am with my 11-year old nephew Christian. The sky is blue and sunny but the morning air contains a noticeable chill. Fall is giving us a gentle warning that it will soon arrive at our door step, that the leaves will change color and drop, that life goes on… We put in my canoe after picking up some of the litter that careless users have dropped around the access point. The breeze is also pretty stiff, blowing in from the southwest. The best way to deal with this situation is to paddle upwind and let the wind push us all the way back. Fortunately, boat control is less important when fishing a wadable pond! The surrounding habitat is designed for weedless frog fishing. Keep in mind that, even though the froggy elicits explosive bass bites when fished in and amongst aquatic vegetation, the hooking rate is quite abysmal (< 20%). One way to compensate is to fish with two rods: one rod uses froggy as a search lure to expose hiding bass, whereas the other is used to immediately follow up on a strike by tossing a plastic worm or soft stick bait in the strike zone. In my experience, this tandem approach increases your chances of catching a fish to around 30%-40%. I’ve instead settled on a buzzbait to do my searching and hooking, except that this lure will get stuck in dense aquatic vegetation. I catch a nice 17” bass in a pocket of open water, and miss several more fish over the next hour. Christian also hooks but misses several bass using a soft stickbait. The issue is that the luxurious vegetation favors the bass: they can immediately burrow into it when caught and promptly unhook themselves, or the vegetation interferes with setting the hook. Regardless, Ingalls Pond is pretty. It is also full of bass which have no place to hide due to a lack of deeper water.

 

The results: I landed a 17” largemouth bass but Christian got skunked after about 1 hour of fishing. We each hooked but lost three more bass.

 

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 this location.

 

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