Largemouth bass fishing on South Pond in Buckfield, Maine (September 14, 2013)

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View of South Pond from the rough launch

View of South Pond from the rough launch

South Pond is a 49-acre body of water located in Buckfield, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 C3). Drive east on Route 117 towards Buckfield, pass Sodom Road, and turn right on John Ellingwood Road after another mile or so. Go down this hard-top road for 0.1 mile and take the dirt road on the right (going straight will put you into a municipal parking lot). Drive down this remarkably-straight dirt road for 1.5 miles. The pond and its access point will appear on the right. Another access point is located at the end of the pond further down the dirt road.  Only small hand-carried craft, such as a canoe or kayak, can be launched from either access points. A public boat launch is not available.

 

 

 

View along the eastern shoreline of South Pond

View along the eastern shoreline of South Pond

 

 

South Pond is located in a beautiful setting. The surrounding hills are completely forested. Only a single house is located at the northern end of the pond. The surface water is clean and clear. The substrate is firm, consisting mostly of sand and gravel covered by some organic muck. The aquatic vegetation along the shoreline is relatively sparse but is abundant at both ends of the pond. The maximum depth is 11 ft, with an average depth of 8 ft. General fishing law applies on this pond. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

South Pond is gorgeous and remote, and yet quite accessible

South Pond is gorgeous and remote, and yet quite accessible

My ten-year old nephew Christian and I arrive at the northern access point on South Pond around 3 pm. It’s a nice early-fall feeling day with temps in the high 60’s and sunshine, except for the wicked northwest wind which has been blowing all day due to a cold front that moved through the area the day before. I launch my canoe and we paddle upwind to the northern end of the pond. The goal is to let the wind push us down to the southern end while we fish the eastern shoreline. We use our regular bass lures, consisting of 5” soft stick baits, spinner baits, and buzz baits. We bob along the shoreline, casting our lures at lily pads and other patches of aquatic vegetation. Mmm, where are the bass?? We don’t get a single hit in an hour of hard fishing! We arrive at the southern end of the pond, which is covered by lush aquatic vegetation and looks like prime largemouth bass habitat. But the fish still aren’t biting…

 

This chunky largemouth bass was caught in the shadow line

This chunky largemouth bass was caught in the shadow line

Then it occurs to me. We’ve been fishing all this time in the blazing sunlight along the eastern shoreline, instead of seeking the deep shadow line along the western shoreline. Well, this is a classic beginners’ mistake… Christian insists, and rightly so, that we need to paddle towards the shadow line and make a couple of cast. The results are immediate. He hooks and fights a very nice bass on his third cast with the stickbait, but the fish unhooks before he can land it. About ten minutes go by and it is my turn to hook a bass, but this one doesn’t get away and makes it into the canoe. I’m delighted because we did figure out the pattern, even though it took a little while. We have to move on to the next pond on my list and so we reluctantly paddle back to the car.

 

 

The results: I caught a 17.5” largemouth bass and Christian got skunked in one and a half 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.

 

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