Largemouth bass fishing on Stearns Pond, Sweden, Maine (July 29, 2017)

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View of Stearns Pond from the public access point

Stearns Pond covers 255 acres and is located in Sweden, Oxford County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 E3). To access this pond from Waterford Road (Route 93), drive down Hardscrabble Road and turn left on Wint Road. Drive down this road for 0.25 miles before turning left on Town Landing Road. The public access point to the pond is located at the end of this gravel road. The boat launch is unimproved but consists of firm sand and can easily accommodate small trailered boats. Ample parking is available next to the launch.

The area to the left of the access point represents the only shallows on Stearns Pond with substantial amounts of aquatic vegetation

 

Stearns Pond is a moderately-developed body of water in southern Oxford County. The shoreline is deeply wooded and dotted with discrete camps and houses. Two dozen docks jut into the water. With some exceptions, the substrate consists mostly of boulders and gravel, some of which is covered by a thin layer of muck. The surface water is slightly stained but otherwise clean. Largemouth bass-holding habitat along the shoreline is essentially non-existent, except for the docks and one shallow weedy area by the boat launch. I only locate a few sunken trees. The pond has a maximum and average depth of 47 ft and 27 ft, respectively, making it quite deep. It is clear that the habitat presented by this body of water is more suitable for smallmouth bass. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The bass fishing rules on this pond fall under the general law provisions, namely a daily bag limit of two bass with a minimum length limit of 10”, and with only one of the two bass allowed to exceed 14”.

 

I’ve got Stearns Pond pretty much all to myself this morning

I arrive at the public launch area for Stearns Pond by 10 am and motor off 15 minutes later. Only two other cars are parked by the launch, meaning that I’ll have the pond pretty much all to myself this morning. The weather is perfect, with a hazy sun, air temps in the mid- to high-70’s and a light refreshing breeze out of the north. I’m also pleasantly surprised by how few local boats are buzzing around, given that it is a superb Saturday morning in mid-summer. That suits me just fine! I start by fishing the shallow (< 5 ft) weedy area located just to the left of the public access point. The bottom is carpeted with vegetation and the surface of the water is covered with small patches of tiny lily pads leaves that have these annoying “angel-hair” stems that consistently and insistently wrap themselves around your lures! Regardless, this represents good habitat. I probe the whole area with a plastic frog, a 5” soft stickbait, and a buzzbait but do not generate a single hit in over 30 minutes of non-stop fishing. Mm, that doesn’t sound promising…

 

This largemouth bass is the only fish I caught on Stearns Pond this morning. Notice the large beaver lodge along the shoreline.

I move a couple of 100 ft out to fish a small island surrounded by weedy shallows. Again, no takers. Next, I focus my attention on the western shoreline of the pond where I become fully aware of the total lack of bass holding habitat. One notable exception is an enormous beaver lodge. These structures are well-known largemouth bass magnets (click here and here for examples), and this one is no exception. I catch my one and only fish of the morning right up against the lodge. This trick always works! I move on but am just underwhelmed by the lack of structure. I switch tactic in order to cover more ground more quickly: I tie a 5” floating Rapala and troll over 5-10 ft of water along the shoreline for the next 45 minutes in the hope of scaring up either a smallmouth or largemouth bass. Again, I generate no interest. I switch back to my soft stickbait and toss it underneath and around a dozen docks and their boats. I fail in generating even a single bite using this approach. Clearly, this is not my morning! I leave after 2.5 hours of hard fishing, disappointed that this otherwise pretty pond did not yield its riches. You can’t win them all, I suppose…

 

The results: I landed 1 largemouth bass (16”) in 2.5 hours of frustrating 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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2 thoughts on “Largemouth bass fishing on Stearns Pond, Sweden, Maine (July 29, 2017)

  1. Stan,I fished Stearns Pond only once a few years back with similar results.
    What is interesting is that I bumped into a fellow at work who told me he fished Stearns a lot,and that it had to be fished totally differently?
    He told me that the bass there respond best to minnow or shad type baits,possibly deeper?He did talk of some very large bass present there though so my guess is as good as yours!
    Like you I tend to like to zero in on some obvious bass holding structure,and get a bit dismayed when none is present.
    Take care,Tom.

    • Hi Tom, good to hear from you and thanks for your insights! Hopefully, someone else will be able to take full advantage of this info. It doesn’t surprise me that the bass are deeper in this pond, particularly during the daylight hours, due to the lack of quality holding habitat along the shoreline. I rarely give myself enough time to fully figure out a pond or lake like I’d want to due to my peculiar fishing habits (i.e., identify a target pond, fish it for 2-3 hours max, blog about it, and move on to the next one). Take care. Stan.

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