Largemouth bass fishing on Little Watchic Pond in Standish, Maine (August 5, 2016)

View Map

The muddy access point at the southern end of the southern arm of Little Watchic Pond can only accommodate hand-carried craft

The muddy access point at the southern end of the southern arm of Little Watchic Pond can only accommodate hand-carried craft

Little Watchic Pond is a 55-acre body of water located in Standish, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D5). Click here for directions on how to access this pond. I haven’t fished it for several years now and am eager to give it a try again. In the past, I rarely had to share this water with other anglers, which is surprising given its close proximity to several towns in the surrounding area. I guess that may be due to its hidden nature and its relative inaccessibility. However, the place can get noisy if people are target shooting in the nearby gravel pit. Also, years ago, two guys placed a long line of buoys to create a water skiing obstacle course in the southern arm. I’m actually surprised to observe upon arrival today that the buoys are still there! Given the small size of the pond, the water gets noisy and wavy when these two do their practice runs. Fortunately for me, no one is shooting or water skiing when I reach my destination.

 

 

 

 

 

The entire shoreline of Little Watchic Pond is surrounded by a dense belt of aquatic vegetation

The entire shoreline of Little Watchic Pond is surrounded by a dense belt of aquatic vegetation

 

 

I arrive at Little Watchic Pond around 5 pm. I put in my canoe at the rough access point located at the southern tip of the southern arm of the pond facing towards Middle Road. I leave my car in the woods. Only hand-carried craft can be put in the water at this muddy spot. Motorized craft can be launched from another rough access point reached via the gated road off Middle Road that leads to the gravel pit (click here for details). I don’t know (and unfortunately forgot to check…) what the current status is of this access point. I did note driving in that the gate was closed and posted, which it hadn’t been in the past. Anyway, Little Watchic Pond is pretty, small and easily fished from a boat in an afternoon. The most striking feature is that its shoreline is completely ringed by a 10- to 40-ft wide band of dense waterlilies. That is in addition to an abundance of other emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation. The water is darkly stained and is also oxygen deficient at depth during the summer. This lack of oxygen forces the fish to remain in the top layer of the water column. The pond has a maximum and average depth of 22 and 9 ft, respectively, making it fairly shallow. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

This little guy was caught in the pocket of shallow open water against the shoreline shown in the back of this picture

This little guy was caught in the pocket of shallow open water located against the shoreline shown in the back of this picture. The presence of shadow is a great bonus!

I want to focus my fishing efforts this afternoon on the west-facing shoreline of the southern arm of Little Watchic Pond. This shoreline is already in the shadow of the slowly setting sun when I arrive. I always aim to fish in the shadows whenever possible because fish avoid bright lights. The sky is blue and the air temperature is in the comfortable low 80’s when I push off at 5:15 pm. However, the wind is howling in from the southwest, which conveniently pushes me down the shoreline. In the past, I’ve had luck catching largemouth bass in this pond by running a noisy buzzbait right on the surface along the outer edges of the wall of waterlily leaves. But not today… I haven’t gotten a single bite on this lure by the time the wind has blown me down to the end of the southern arm and into the bright sunshine. Shoot, there goes my plan… There’s no point paddling back upwind into the southern arm to fish the shadow side again. Instead, I’m staying in this part of the pond which is shielded from the wind but is fully exposed to the bright sun. So, I switch my lure to a weedless soft stickbait to fish inside the dense lilypads.

 

It's a challenge, but fun, to catch largemouth bass using a soft stickbait as a surface lure!

It’s a challenge, but fun, to catch largemouth bass using a soft stickbait as a surface lure!

The new strategy is to use the soft stickbait as a kind of surface lure by casting it towards shore and then quickly retrieving it over the floating vegetation back towards the canoe (click here and here for past examples of this technique). The trick is not to bring the lure in too fast but also to avoid letting it sink in the water column because then it inevitable snarls up with the aquatic vegetation. Bass, which are hiding from the sun in the shallow water underneath the lilypad leaves, will follow the lure and blow right to the surface to try to catch their next meal. The major problem with this approach is that the hooking rate tends to be dismal because either the bass misses the lure altogether due to the speed of retrieval and the presence of the dense vegetation or because the fish immediately wrapped itself in the vegetation if it does succeed in grabbing the lure. Over the next two hours, I hook and land three smallish largemouth bass (12”-14”) and miss half-a-dozen more, one of which was a big boy which I simply could not horse out of the tangled plant mess before it unhooked itself. Regardless, I had a great time making new fishing memories on Little Watchic Pond this afternoon!

 

The results: I caught 3 largemouth bass (largest = 14”) during two and a half hours of fun fishing.

 

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.

 

The wind has settled down with the setting sun

The wind has settled down with the setting sun

                                                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ><« ({(« º >

Related Posts:

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Largemouth bass fishing on Little Watchic Pond in Standish, Maine (August 5, 2016)

  1. What a coincidence. I was just planning to check out the access location for this place. I’ve never fished it, but have been intrigued since your last post a few years ago. re: the “muddy” access you mentioned: Can you drive to it, or do you have to portage from Middle Road? If you can drive, where does the road connect to Middle Road?

  2. Hi Jack. You can drive to within about 200 ft of the muddy launch where I put in on Little Watchic Pond last week. Check the link in that blog for details on how to get there from Middle Road. Let me know if it’s not clear. Best of luck. There’s some biguns in that pond!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *