Largemouth bass fishing on Little Purgatory Pond, Litchfield, Maine (September 4, 2015)

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The access point from Whippoorwill Road to Little Purgatory Pond is just a hole through bushes...

The access point from Whippoorwill Road to Little Purgatory Pond is just a hole through bushes…

Little Purgatory Pond is a 44-acre body of water located in Litchfield, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 D3). It is situated just north of Whippoorwill Road and is linked by a short culvert to Woodbury Pond on the opposite side of this road. The access point is quite rough and consists simply of an opening through bushes between the road and the pond. Only hand-carried craft can be launched from this location. The lack of a public boat launch means that fishermen will most likely be fishing this pond pretty much by themselves. Cars can be parked “rough” on the shoulders of Whippoorwill Road. Beware that this road is a surprisingly busy thoroughfare. The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer is actually confusing, because it shows that a substantial spit of land separates these two ponds, even though they are parted only by the width of the road. That baffles the hell out of me because I reach Whippoorwill Road using my GPS, meaning that I’m not paying any attention as to the direction I take to get there. So, I get confused and unknowingly launch my canoe in what turns out to be Woodbury Pond. It takes me a good hour before I realize my error and turn around so that I can finally fish the “right” pond!

 

 

 

 

A nice view of Little Purgatory Pond down the "neck" towards Whippoorwill Rod in the background. East is to the left.

A nice view of Little Purgatory Pond down the “neck” towards Whippoorwill Rod in the background. East is to the left.

 

 

Little Purgatory Pond is moderately developed with about two dozen homes discretely scattered along the shoreline. I notice only a few docks jutting into the water. The surface water is crystal clear, as is typical of all five Tacoma Lakes. The direct connection between this pond and Woodbury Pond via the culvert also means that all the fish species can freely mingle between these water bodies. The surrounding landscape is fully forested. Much of the bottom along the shallow shoreline consists of soft sediment carpeted with submerged aquatic vegetation. The bass-holding habitat consists mainly of shallow weedy areas located along the southern end of the pond, including just downgradient of the access point in the narrow “neck” that leads into the pond, and at the northern end by the inlet. I observe little or no submerged wood, at least along the eastern shoreline where I’m focusing most of my attention this morning. The pond has a maximum and mean depth of 20 ft and 11 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The bass fishing rules fall under the general regulations which are available here.

 

The small island in the "neck" provides interesting largemouth bass habitat.

The small island in the “neck” provides interesting largemouth bass habitat.

I finally make it on to Little Purgatory Pond around 10 am after my initial snafu on Woodbury Pond. I’m afraid that I’ve missed the optimum morning hours due to the unforeseen delay… Even though I’m focusing all my fishing efforts along the eastern side of the pond (i.e., the “shadow” side where the sun comes up in the morning), the trees along that shoreline do not cast much of a shade anymore now that the sun has risen high up in the sky. A strong northeast breeze also complicates boat positioning and frustrates me as my canoe gets blown in various directions. At least is warm and bug free! To facilitate my life, I paddle into the breeze towards the northern end of the pond and then let it slowly push me back. The long “neck” provides interesting habitat, with water depths ranging from 1-3 ft, lots of submerged and emerging aquatic vegetation, and a small island in the middle. I spend about half of my time fishing that whole area using my buzzbait and soft stickbait. I only succeed in catching a tiny largemouth bass, which is too embarrassingly small to warrant a picture… I’m sure that this pond has a healthy bass population worth exploring, but I have to move on and reluctantly paddle back towards my car. However, I am impressed by the avian wildlife I‘ve observed over the last hour: an osprey screeching overhead, a great blue heron gracefully taking off from the shoreline, a kingfisher darting from tree to tree looking for a suitable perch, and a small flock of mallards scampering into the air as I paddle by. Life is good!

 

The results: I caught an 11” largemouth bass in 1 hour of fishing.

Little Purgatory Pond, Litchfield, Maine

 

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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