Largemouth bass fishing on Travel Pond in Jefferson, Maine (August 8, 2015)

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View along the western shoreline of Travel Pond from the access point by Route 17

View along the western shoreline of Travel Pond from the access point by Route 17

Travel Pond is a 102-acre body of water located in Jefferson, Lincoln County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 C3). The pond can be accessed via an unimproved and muddy launch right off Rockland Road (Route 17). This launch can only accommodate hand-carried craft. Cars can be parked “rough” along the shoulder of Route 17. The pond is surprisingly shallow given its sizeable surface area, with a maximum and mean depth of 6 ft and 5 ft, respectively. The substrate is mostly sandy with a thin layer of organic muck on top. The surface water is rather cloudy and tea colored. The bottom, at least along the western shoreline, is carpeted with aquatic plants which, to my great surprise, do not breach the surface of the water. In fact, given the extreme shallowness of this pond, one would expect it to be covered with stands of lily pads and other emergent vegetation. Yet, none are visible in the lake, except for relatively sparse aquatic vegetation along the shoreline. Besides the luxuriant submerged plant life, the other structural habitat present in this pond is quite limited, consisting of a handful of lay-down trees that poke into the water from the shoreline.

 

 

 

General view of Jefferson Pond along the western shoreline. Notice the total absence of emergent aquatic vegetation.

General view of Jefferson Pond along the western shoreline. Notice the total absence of emergent aquatic vegetation.

 

 

Travel Pond is remarkably undeveloped given its location less than 10 miles from downtown Augusta. About half-a-dozen houses are hidden in the surrounding woods, and only three docks are visible along the entire shoreline. I do not see any power boats either, meaning that fishermen pretty much have the place to themselves. The only fly in this otherwise sweet ointment is Route 17, which serves as a busy corridor connecting the Penobscot Bay region to Augusta. The road traffic is constant, even on a Saturday morning. The din carries over the water, robbing the place of some of its pleasing “remote” feeling. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The bass fishing rules on this pond fall under the general regulations.

 

Christian is mighty pleased to have caught this nice largemouth bass on his buzzbait

Christian is mighty pleased to have caught this nice largemouth bass on his buzzbait

I arrive at Travel Pond at 9:30 am with my 12-year old nephew Christian. The weather is gorgeous: full sunshine embedded in a deep azure blue sky, combined with a light northeast breeze. I decide to first paddle about half-a-mile upwind along the western shoreline towards the outlet (Travel Brook). The goal is to allow the breeze to then slowly push us back towards the access point. That tactic requires upfront work, to the great chagrin of Christian who wants to start fishing right away, but maximizes our fishing time by turning the wind into our ally. The kind of habitat found in this pond is also meant to be fished with a buzzbait (click here for details): the surface of the water, except along the shoreline, is completely weed-free. Yet, the largemouth bass can find an infinite number of hiding places just below in the dense submerged aquatic vegetation which carpets the bottom. The trick to keeping the buzzbait weed-free is to start the retrieve as soon as the lure hits the water to prevent it from sinking and snagging plants below. So, I begin fishing with this lure, whereas Christian uses a 5” soft stickbait. I hook and land two smallish bass within 20 minutes, which convinces my nephew to switch to a buzzbait.

 

 

 

 

 

... and so I'm I since we caught these two fish at the same time

… and so am I since we caught these two fish on the same cast!

The pace picks up as I catch another two bass and Christian lands three bass over the next 40 minutes. Wow, this place is really hot this morning!! The fish are aggressive and hit our buzzbait hard, which makes for fun fishing. One of the bass pounces on my lure no more than 5 ft from the canoe. We also each hook a bass simultaneously, which creates a lot of excitement, commotion and smiles. We’ve fished for about one hour and the wind has blown us back to the access point. We are both very pleased with the nice action this morning. Christian wants to paddle back up towards the outlet for another run, but unfortunately we need to move on to get to the next pond on my list. Travel Pond is a definite keeper and well-worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The results: I caught 4 largemouth bass (largest = 17”) and Christian caught 3 largemouth bass (largest = 16”) in one hour 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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2 thoughts on “Largemouth bass fishing on Travel Pond in Jefferson, Maine (August 8, 2015)

  1. I can’t recall ever fishing at Travel Pond when I lived in Union, but I do remember Turner Pond. It’s a little further north. I boated 34 bass there one day.

    • Thanks for the tip! Turner Pond is not on my current Augusta-area list of ponds I’d like to visit, but it’s been filed for future reference 🙂

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