Highland Lake (634 acres) is located in the towns of Windham and Fallmouth in Cumberland county (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D3). Unfortunately, the only public access to this beautiful lake is via an unimproved boat launch off Mast Road which only accommodates hand-carried craft. Tom and I go through the effort of hand-carrying my 12-ft aluminum boat and 8 HP engine from the parking area to the water to provide us with mobility and a stable platform to go after largemouth bass this evening. The pond is divided into two basins: the northern part is deep, whereas the southern part is much shallower and weedy. The outlet dam is at the southern-most tip. The pond has a mean and maximum depth of 19 ft and 67 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.
We start fishing at 6:30 pm. The conditions are beautiful: the breeze is light, the sun is setting and the mosquitoes are absent. We cast our lures in and along the abundant lilipads in the vicinity of the boat launch, but don’t elicit a single bite in 30 minutes. We motor on and stop by a large stand of bullrushes. We hear and see lots of bass feeding activity inside the stand; several bass also jump straight out of the water to try to catch dragon flies. I like fishing inside bullrushes because the stems are narrow, long, and grow straight up. As a result, it is easy to wiggle a soft stickbait through this kind of vegetation without getting stuck all the time. Besides, largemouth bass like hiding in the stuff. We’re definitely getting bites! Over the next 45 minutes, I hook and land three largemouths (one of which was rather nice), whereas Tom catches a small one.
It’s getting dark quickly now. We’re staying put for a little longer to do some night fishing using surface lures. The moon is full tonite and provides some visibility on the water. We position the boat about 60 ft away from a submerged flat with bulrushes on top. We cast our plugs towards the rushes and have them make lots of noise and splashing on the retrieve. Tom gets two hits and I get one, but we both miss the fish. It’s tough setting the hook “by ear” only, without a strong visual signal… Then the bite stops. We motor to another area with a 4-10 ft deep rocky shoreline and fish for another 20 minutes with our surface lures but without success. It’s 9 pm and we decide to call it an evening.
The results: I catch 3 largemouth bass and Tom catches one largemouth bass in two and a half hours of fishing.
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