Largemouth bass fishing on Moose Pond in Bridgeton, Maine (July 19, 2014)

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View of the shoreline in the Upper Basin

View of the shoreline in the Upper Basin

Moose Pond is a 1,694-acre body of water which straddles the towns of Denmark and Sweden in Oxford County, and Bridgeton in Cumberland County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer Map 4 A&B3). An excellent hard-top boat launch is located on Route 302 on the eastern end of the causeway. A second hard-top boat launch (which I did not visit) is located at the southern end of the lake off Denmark Road in Denmark, less than a mile north of Route 160 (a.k.a. West Main Street; see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B3). I also noticed what appears to be a dirt launch for canoes and kayaks facing the Upper Basin on the wooded island which links to Route 302 about halfway down the causeway.  Moose Pond is a highly-popular regional destination for both open-water fishing in the spring, summer, and fall and for ice fishing in the winter. It consistently yields serious lake trout and landlocked salmon every year, particularly through the ice, but also during spring trolling. The largemouth and smallmouth bass populations are robust enough to support tournament fishing.

 

 

 

Peaceful and quiet...

Peaceful and quiet…

 

 

Moose Pond consists of three main basins. The shallow and weedy Upper Basin is located to the north of Route 302, and is the target of my attention this afternoon. The Upper basin has a maximum depth of around 20 ft, but is considerably shallower on average. In fact, the upper two thirds are quite weedy and are no more than about 5 ft deep. The fishing rules for bass on the entire lake fall under the General Law provisions. Note that the fishing rules pertaining to the taking of salmonids are quite strict. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

This shoreline has different kinds of largemouth bass habitat

This shoreline has different kinds of largemouth bass habitat

I reach the Route 302 boat launch with my nephew Christian at 2:30 pm. The weather is rather gloomy and overcast, but the temps are in the high 70’s. Before I can launch, my trailer and boat receive a thorough courtesy check to remove any plant fragments. One cannot be careful enough about accidentally introducing Eurasian milfoil, an obnoxious invasive plant pest which has spread rapidly in ponds and lakes throughout southern and central Maine. A two-inch fragment is all that it takes to start a new invasion. Once introduced, this species quickly overtakes shallow areas and is nearly impossible to eradicate. Property values along the shoreline plummet, water sport activities get impeded, and fishing goes down the tubes. Fortunately, my boat passes inspection! I only have about two hours of fishing time this afternoon. So, I focus my efforts on the shoreline in the Upper Basin facing the causeway. To reach this area, I motor alongside the causeway for about two thirds of the way and then turn right to cross underneath Route 302.

 

 

 

Moose Pond, Bridgeton, MaineThe habitat in this small portion of Upper Pond is actually quite nice: the water is from 1 to about 7 ft deep; the shoreline is bouldery and contains patches of aquatic vegetation, overhanging trees, and sunken wood. The area of Upper Pond right across from the boat launch consists of an expansive area of lilypads and other aquatic vegetation. The only drawback with this otherwise desirable general location is the constant din of traffic driving up and down nearby Route 302. Avoiding that nuisance requires moving northward deeper into the Upper Basin. The northern half of the Upper Basin is also much less build up. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to wander off and therefore stick to my original plan. Christian and I start fishing the shoreline with an assortment of lures: soft stickbaits, torpedoes, Rapallas, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits. All our efforts after 1.5 hours of non-stop fishing produces one lousy pickerel… We decide to troll our way back to the boat launch using a Rapalla (me) and a stickbait (Christian). I miss two hits but Christian lands a 13” largemouth. He’s thrilled because he beat uncle Stan today! And I’m happy that he did too!

 

 

The results: Christian caught one 13-inch largemouth bass (13”) and a small pickerel; I got skunked!

 

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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