TOP 8 brook trout ponds for the 2013 ice fishing season in South Coastal Maine

For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a brook trout pond as a body of water less than 30 acres in size which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support icefishing.  Such small ponds freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish several weeks before the bigger lakes become accessible.  This provides a real opportunity for hot early-season action for those of us (myself included!) who just can’t wait to catch brookies through the ice.

Keep in mind, though, that these smaller ponds are typically managed as winter “put-and-take” fisheries.  As a result, they get a lot of pressure early in the season and can be largely fished out within a few weeks.  But by then the bigger lakes are frozen over and the action moves elsewhere.

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Top 9 brook trout ponds for the 2013 ice fishing season in Downeast Maine

For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a brook trout pond as a body of water less than 30 acres in size which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support icefishing.  These small ponds freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish several weeks before the bigger lakes become accessible.  This provides a real opportunity for hot early-season action for those of us (myself included!) who just can’t wait to catch brookies through the ice.

Keep in mind, though, that the state typically manages these smaller ponds as winter “put-and-take” fisheries.  As a result, they get a lot of pressure early in the season and may be largely fished out within a few weeks.  But by then the bigger lakes have frozen over and the ice fishing action moves elsewhere.

Downeast Maine covers Hancock and Washington counties.  The TOP 9 brook trout ponds for the 2013 ice fishing season in this area are highlighted below (in alphabetical order).  A pond is considered “top” based on its stocking density: the more trout are stocked per acre, the higher the chances of catching them. Always consult the latest law book about special ice fishing rules that may apply on these ponds.  Note also that the list excludes “kids only” ponds.

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Trout fishing in stocked ponds in Baxter State Park

Baxter State Park is the premier wilderness destination in northern Maine for hiking, fishing, and camping. The park is home to several dozen ponds that support healthy native brook trout populations (click here for details on an awesome trans Baxter State Park hiking and fishing trip).  The State of Maine also stocks hatchery trout every year in seven designated ponds in the Park to improve the fishing experience. These ponds, and their trout stocking rates, are the subject of this blog.

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Trout fishing on Cold Rain Pond, Naples, Maine (November 25, 2012)

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View of Cold Rain Pond from the public access point

Cold Rain Pond is located in Naples (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B5). Access to this pond is as follows: hang a left onto Kimball Corner Road when driving north on Route 114/11 in North Sebago. Turn left on Tiger Hill Road after just over 3 miles. This road is located across from Lake House Road (look for the sculptures of three black bears). The access point to the pond, which is on the left after about 0.5 mile, consists of an unimproved launch which cannot accommodate trailered boats. Be aware that Tiger Hill Road is rough, rutted, and bouldery, and may require a 4X4 vehicle.

 

 

 

 

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Trout fishing on Otter Pond #2, Standish, Maine (November 18, 2012)

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Joel and I decide to again visit Otter Pond #2 in Standish (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D1) after our successful trout fishing experience last week (click here on how to access this 12-acre pond). The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife nicely stocks the pond with a truckload of brook trout each spring and fall. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

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Trout fishing on Otter Pond #2, Standish, Maine (November 11, 2012)

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General view of Otter Pond #2, with the railroad tracks in the background

Otter Pond #2 is located in Standish (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D1). This pond is one of four small ponds located right off Route 35 (Chadbourne Road).  Access to the pond is on foot from the two parking lots located on either side of the bridge over the old railroad tracks. The shortest way in is to walk about a quarter mile on the tracks until the pond appears on the right.  Joel and I instead take the long way in (> 0.5 mile), via the Mountain Division Trail which starts at the largest of the two parking lots. We are wheeling Joel’s canoe, and all our fishing gear, on this nice gravel road which passes next to Otter Pond #2. Our goal today is to troll for trout.

 

 

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Native brook trout fishing in remote ponds in Baxter State Park, Maine

Baxter State Park offers a genuine wilderness setting. Most people know the park for the spectacular Mount Katadhin hike, including the one-of-a-kind Knife’s Edge Trail. Yet Baxter also offers a tremendous variety of outdoors opportunities which I decided to explore in-depth during a five-day hiking/camping/fishing trip with my son Joel in mid-September, 2012. As a serious bonus, the park offers some of the best native brook trout fishing opportunities on unspoiled ponds found anywhere in the state of Maine.

The hike started at Trout Brook Farm, located about 3 miles west of the northern entrance to Baxter State Park at Matagamon Gate (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 A1) and was scheduled to end at the Roaring Brook campground (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 C1). Click here for downloadable maps of the ponds and the hiking trails on this itinerary.

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Trout fishing on Trout Brook in Baxter State Park, Maine (September 18, 2012)


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Trout Brook in late summer, Baxter State Park, Maine

Trout Brook in late summer, Baxter State Park, Maine

Trout Brook flows roughly parallel with the Park Tote Road (a.k.a. Perimeter Road) in the northern part of Baxter State Park. The brook originates in the western reaches of the park and empties into Grand Lake Matagamon to the east. The substrate consists mostly of coarse sand, pebbles, and cobbles interspersed by many large boulders. The water has a slightly stained color but is otherwise clear and clean.

 

 

 

 

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Trout and salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2012)

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Click here for the story of the first two days

It’s day 3 of our annual Pierce Pond fishing expedition. Salvador and I are back on Lower Pierce Pond at 5 am to troll for landlocked salmon and brook trout for 1.5 hrs before breakfast (note: the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks the pond with landlocked salmon in the spring. Check the web site associated with this blog for more stocking details). Even though my fish finder is on, I don’t pay enough attention to the bottom contour and end up wedging my trolling weight in a shallow rock pile. It’s a real mess: the wind blows us off the rock pile, my downrigger is jammed, and our fishing lines are scrambled up. It takes us about 20 minutes to untangle the mess which, to our surprise, yields a 12″ brookie for Salvador. The fish must have taken the Mooselook spoon before we got stuck, but was just too small to trigger the release mechanism on the downrigger. It’s hardly glorious, but Salvador finally caught his first trout!

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Flyfishing for brook trout on Dixon Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2012).

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Dixon Pond is a 17-acre body of water nestled on the flank of Pierce Pond Mountain in Pierce Pond Township (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A1). The pond is remarkably deep for its small size, with a maximum depth of 55 ft. The only way to reach this little jewel is to hike up to it from Pierce Pond via a forest trail. The pond supports a healthy population of native brook trout.

I tie my boat just passed the Caribou Narrows on Middle Pierce Pond and hike the 25-minute to the pond by myself. I love Dixon Pond: its beauty, total isolation, forested surroundings, and fiesty brook trout. The trout don’t get big (the largest one I have caught in this pond over the years was 13″) but eagerly take dry flies. In fact, flyfishing is the only legal way to fish the pond, which suits me just fine.

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