Largemouth bass fishing on Lower Range Pond, Poland, Maine (August 26, 2016)

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The extensive shallow weedy area on Lower Range Pond looking towards Route 26 in the background

The extensive shallow weedy area on Lower Range Pond by the campground

Lower Range Pond is a 290-acre body of water located in Poland, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 A3). An excellent hard-top boat launch is located in Range Pond State Park off Plains Road on the eastern side of the lake. Users must pay an access fee to enter the park and use this launch. I also note here that, as per the fishing rules, motor boats over 10 horsepower are not allowed on this pond. That means no speed boats or jet skis or other loud commotion on the water. I access the pond this morning via the Poland Spring campground (right off Route 26) where my son and his family are spending a few days camping before the kids head back to school again.

 

 

 

 

 

Joel horses a largemouth bass through the aquatic vegetation

Joel horses a largemouth bass through the aquatic vegetation

 

 

I meet up with Joel at the campground a little after 6:30 am and we paddle off in my trusted canoe by 7 am. We are enjoying a nice and quiet father-son morning on the water. All the campers are still sound asleep, the state park across the lake hasn’t opened yet, and it’s early on a Friday morning. So, we have Lower Range Pond all to ourselves. There’s little or no wind and the sun is rising in a cloudless blue sky, which is forecast to shade over later this morning. From the camp ground beach where we launch the canoe, we veer immediately to the right in order to fish the extensive weedy shallows that extend from the island south towards Route 26. That whole area is no more than 2 ft deep and contains lots of floating and emergent aquatic vegetation. The water here and elsewhere on the pond is crystal clear. Overall, the maximum and mean depth in Lower Range Pond equals 41 ft and 15 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

The bass-holding habitat along the eastern shoreline of Lower Range Pond is rather sparse

The bass-holding habitat along the eastern shoreline of Lower Range Pond is rather sparse

We spend 45 minutes fishing the shallows with 5” soft stickbaits. I’d love to use a buzzbait but the lure constantly fouls up with aquatic plants and quickly becomes ineffective. Joel lands two smallish largemouth bass and I haven’t gotten a single bite yet. We’re both underwhelmed with the lack of activity in these shallows, which should be full of feeding bass this early in the morning.  Instead, we paddle across the pond to fish its eastern shoreline which is still deep into the shadow of the rising sun. The available largemouth bass holding habitat along that entire shoreline, however, is quite sparse. The water gains depth quickly away from shore. We observe very little submerged wood, whereas the amount of aquatic vegetation is thin and scattered. The bottom consists of sand, gravel and cobbles. We make one funny observation: the half dozen pontoon boats attached to their docks all have 9.9 HP engines, no matter the size of the boat!

 

 

Unfortunately, the largemouth bass we caught on Lower Range Pond didn't get much bigger than this specimen

Unfortunately, all the largemouth bass we caught this morning didn’t get much bigger than this specimen

We slowly paddle along the eastern shoreline casting into whatever structure we encounter. The skirt around my buzzbait suddenly unravels, making the lure useless. Shoot, and I left my spare buzzbaits back at home. I tie on a spinnerbait, which I haven’t fished with for quite a while. I catch two bass with it in the next 15 minutes. Great! This lure still does its tricks. We have now reached the northern end of the pond. Joel has caught a total of four largemouth bass to my three. However, all these fish are on the small size, none exceeding 14”. It’s time for me to head back home and for Joel to get back to camp. We both tie a floating Rapalla on our lines and troll the lures back to the campground beach. Unfortunately, neither one appeals to any fish… Overall, I found this morning’s efforts to be rather frustrating. We both caught bass but none had any size. The largemouth bass habitat in the main part of the lake was also marginal at best. However, as always, Joel and I enjoyed each other company. We enthusiastically shared past fishing stories and talked excitedly about upcoming fishing trips!

 

 

The results: I caught 3 largemouth bass (largest =14”) and Joel caught four largemouth bass (largest 14”) in two hours of 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.

 

Joel and I enjoyed a pleasant quiet morning on the water. Priceless!

Joel and I enjoyed a pleasant quiet morning on the water. Priceless!

 

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