Largemouth bass fishing on Spectacle Pond, Augusta and Vassalboro, Maine (August 21, 2016)

View Map

Only hand-carried crafts have access to Spectacle Pond from the public put-in.

Only hand-carried crafts have access to Spectacle Pond from the public put-in.

Spectacle Pond is a 139-acre body of water located in Augusta and Vassalboro (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 B1). The northern half of this pond is surrounded by the Alonzo Garcelon Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Access is via a rough but drivable gravel road which extends for 1.4 miles through the woods between Church Hill Road and the pond. A small panel labeled “Public Access” located on Church Hill Road, about 1 miles south of Stone Road/Hannaford Hill Road, is the only sign pointing the way to the pond. A large parking area is located at the end of this gravel road. A hard-top launch is not available, however, and only hand-carried craft can be put in the water from this location. I observe an open gate at the beginning of the gravel road, and suspect that it would be unlocked to allow vehicular traffic only after mud season is over in the spring (click here for a similar gate at another wildlife management area).

 

 

 

General view of Spectacle Pond from the put-in area. Note the wind! The peninsula is straight ahead. I'm heading to the right of it to seek shelter and shadow.

General view of Spectacle Pond from the put-in area. Note the wind! The peninsula is straight ahead. I’m heading to the right of it to seek shelter and shadow.

 

 

The shoreline of Spectacle Pond is entirely forested. Not a single house or dock is visible from the put-in. A view of the pond via Google Maps shows the presence of only two houses. I note for the record that motorboats over 10 HP are prohibited on the pond. I’m assuming that this rule applies mainly to the owners of the handful of shore front properties because I’m not aware of a hard-top public launch on this body of water that could accommodate powered boats (but please let me know if I’m wrong!). Also, keep in mind that Spectacle Pond is considered a premier brown trout fishery in the Augusta region. The fishing rules pertaining to this species are strict: a daily bag limit of one brown trout and a minimum length limit of 18”. Other restrictions apply. Click here for more details on the brown trout fishing regulations. The limits on powered boats and the challenging access ensure that the place will be quiet and lightly fished.

 

Gimmie a break!

Gimmie a break!

I arrive at the Spectacle Pond put-in by 11 am. The sun is blazing high up in the blue sky. But a wicked southwest wind is blowing at a steady 20 mph ahead of a low-pressure front announced for later on tonight. The wind is roughing my face as I’m debating if I should even bother paddling out. I’m without a fishing buddy today and would need to load the front of the canoe with several hundred pounds of boulders in order to have any chance of making it to the outlet located over half a mile away upwind at the end of the long peninsula that juts out into the lake. What the hell; I’m here anyway and have easy access to stones, so I may as well bite the bullet and worry about my sore arm muscles tomorrow! The surface water in the pond is crystal clear with visibility down to 20 ft deep. The substrate consists mostly of cobbles and boulders. With some exceptions, the aquatic vegetation along the shoreline is sparse. I did not observe areas of dense lily pads. This set-up would suggest marginal largemouth bass habitat. But the hard bottom and lack of aquatic vegetation is more than made up by an abundance of sunken wood. I’ve reported on this pattern before at other wildlife management areas (click here, here and here for examples): the prolonged absence of human interference means that dead branches and trees that fall in the water are left untouched and accumulate over time. That creates great underwater structure that will hold fish. The pond is also quite deep for its size, with a maximum and mean depth of 100 ft and 31 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

I had a hard time finding the bass today. The crystal clear water and bright sunshine make for tough fishing.

I had a hard time finding the bass today. The crystal clear water and bright sunshine make for tough fishing.

I push off into the wind at 11:20 am and paddle due south towards the outlet located at the end of the peninsula. That area will shield me from the awful wind. Even though the sun is straight up, the tall trees along its shoreline still cast some shadows right up against the bank where I’m hoping to find largemouth bass. Since I have to paddle for a while, I troll with a floating Rapalla in the hope of enticing a fish along the way. A tiny but very gluttonous yellow perch, no bigger than the lure, succeeds in hooking itself. What was this fish thinking?? I fish the shoreline of the peninsula for about 1.5 hours using a buzzbait and 5” soft stickbait. The bite is really slow. The bright sunshine and crystal-clear water are not helping, even with the presence of lay-down wood. In the end, I land two smallish largemouth bass (12” and 14”), one caught around a submerged tree and the other in a little patch of lily pads at the very northern tip of the peninsula. I fished this pond several times years ago for largemouth bass and did much better than today, i.e., more and much bigger fish! I recommend spending time exploring Spectacle Pond, particularly on a quiet summer evening when the largemouth bass move into the shallows to feed.

 

The results: I caught 2 largemouth bass (largest = 14”) in two hours of fishing.

 

Spectacle Pond, Augusta, 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.

 

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

Related Posts:

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

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