Smallmouth bass fishing on South Branch Lake, Seboeis Plantation, Maine (September 9, 2017)

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South Branch Lake is accessible via this nice hard-top boat launch

South Branch Lake is a 2,035 acre body of water located in Seboeis Plantation, Penobscot County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 43 E3). The lake can be accessed from an excellent hard-top public boat launch located at the end of Lake Road (off Seboeis Road) at the southern end of the lake. Plenty of parking is available by this access point.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River, Sidney, Maine (August 26, 2017)

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In this blog, I describe how I really enjoyed chasing smallmouth bass in the stretch of the Kennebec River flowing for about 1 mile upstream of the boat launch in Sidney, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 A1). So, I decided to get some more of that action by further exploring the river that flows downstream from the launch. In preparation for this trip, and because the river is an unknown to me, I go on Google Maps the evening before and “fly” over my future fishing grounds looking for potential target areas. And I’m not disappointed! Two sets of structures immediately stand out. The first one are about two dozen small log-driving islands located around one mile downstream of the public access point along the left shoreline of the river. Each island measures about 10 ft by 10 ft and consists of a wooden cribwork filled with large boulders. They were built in the olden days when the Kennebec River was used for driving logs down to the sawmills during the spring snowmelt. Nowadays, they serve as smallmouth bass magnets! The second structure consists of “Seven-Mile Island” located further downstream of the log-driving islands. Both are the focus of our attention this morning.

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River, Sidney, Maine (August 21, 2017)

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The Kennebec River is gorgeous and I have it all to myself this afternoon!

The Kennebec River is an environmental jewel which flows out of Moosehead Lake, winds its way through central Maine and reaches the Atlantic Ocean by Popham Beach. The focus of my attention this afternoon is the 6-mile stretch between Sidney and Waterville. The last time I fished these waters was way back before the removal of Edwards Dam in Augusta in 1999. So, it’s about high time that I return to this gorgeous river and check it out!! An excellent hard-top public boat launch is located at the end of Recreation Drive off West River Road (Route 104) in Sidney (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 A1). Plenty of parking is available for vehicles with trailers.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Panther Pond, Raymond, Maine (August 14, 2017)

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The sun is setting and the surface commotion is gone. It’s time for the smallmouth bass to grab dinner before dark!

Catching smallmouth bass in ponds or lakes during high summer in Maine can be a real challenge, even for the experienced angler. The surface water is warm (75° to 80°F), the sun is bright, and the human activity levels can be intense as a result of water skiing, jet skiing, pontoon boating, or power boating. The fish seek shelter 15 to 25 ft below the surface to locate cooler water, hide from the sun, and find respite from all the human commotion above. Unlike the nippier and less hectic spring months, when the smallmouth bass congregate and concentrate in large numbers along bouldery shorelines for the annual spawn, the summer bronzebacks are scattered over a much larger area and in deeper water. That makes them intrinsically more difficult to find and catch.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River, Lisbon Falls, Maine (July 20, 2017)

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Great smallmouth bass holding habitat downstream of the Route 125 bridge: shallow and deep water, boulders, and multiple current seams.

My 10-year old nephew Matt is visiting from “away” for a couple of days. He has never fished before, but expresses an interest in trying it out. I have to find a fishing spot where he (a) can cast wildly without causing harm or getting snagged, (b) is guaranteed to catch fish regardless of skill level, and (c) can experience the joy of seeing a fish jump out of the water after it’s been hooked. I quickly set my eyes on the half-mile stretch of the Androscoggin River that runs between the boat launch on Route 196 (Lewiston Road) and the hydropower dam in Lisbon Falls located just upstream of the Route 125 bridge over the river. I have fished this short stretch in the past for smallmouth bass and have consistently done well on it. Note that the access point off Route 196 represent a substantial boat launch that can handle larger vessels. The launch also has plenty of parking spaces across the old railroad tracks.

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Penobscot River, Greenbush to Passadumkeag, Maine (July 8, 2017)

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The Penobscot River between Greenbush and Passadumkeag is wide, shallow and dotted with islands

The Penobscot River is the premier river smallmouth bass fishery in Maine, bar none! The stretch flowing between the towns of Greenbush and Passadumkeag (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 35 B5 to D5) represents a gorgeous section of bass real estate. I meet up with my friend Tim at the Greenbush boat launch (which can accommodate large motorized craft) at 9 am. We leave his vehicle behind and drive my car 9.5 miles further north to the boat launch in Passadumkeag (which can also accommodate large motorized craft). We’ll be fishing from my 12 ft/8 HP aluminum boat which I hope will be able to pass through most of the extensive shallow areas that dot this stretch of river. Our goal today is to let the current float us down to the Greenbush boat launch while fishing for smallmouth bass along the way. We expect the trip to take about 5 hours. I have fished the Penobscot River between Old Town and Lincoln on and off for 30+ years but haven’t drifted it the way we’re doing today, so I don’t fully know what to expect. The water level is surprisingly high though given that it’s the beginning of July.

 

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Six tips to catch more smallmouth bass in rivers

River smallmouth bass have predictable habits and behaviors which, if known and understood by the angler, can increase the odds of caching more of these magnificent fighters. Smallmouth bass are not unlike humans: they want to gain maximum benefits with the least amount of effort in the most comfortable way possible. Hence, learning to properly “read” a river in order to locate the places where bass like to congregate will yield more fish.

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Brown trout fishing on the Saco River, Buxton, Maine (October 8, 2016)

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Fall is in the air and trout fishing is back on the agenda!!

Fall is in the air and trout fishing is back on the agenda!!

The Saco River in this part of southern Maine passes through a series of hydroelectric dams on its way to the sea. My target today is a small stretch of river right below the West Buxton dam located in Buxton (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 A5). The reason for selecting this section of water is that it was stocked last week with brown trout and also has flowing water coming through the dam turbines. I’d love for my 13-year old nephew Christian to catch one of those fish. The access point is located off Route 112 (River Road) just below the green bridge that carries the road over the river. Keep in mind that only hand-carried craft can be launched from this point.

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Lewiston, Maine (July 31, 2016)

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The informal put-in off Switzerland Road In Lewiston

The informal put-in off Switzerland Road In Lewiston

This blog is the last in a series of four entries pertaining to smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River flowing through the Lewiston/Auburn metro area (click here, here, and here for the other three related blogs). Today, my focus is on the area right below the Gulf Island Hydropower Dam. This sizable structure is responsible for maintaining Gulf Island Pond, which is the largest reservoir on the Androscoggin River in Maine. I’m not aware of the presence of a public boat launch between the Gulf Island Hydropower Dam and the Deer Run Hydropower Dam located about a mile further downstream. So, I use Google Maps prior to my departure to locate a potential access point for my canoe. To reach this informal put-in, drive north through Lewiston on Routes 11/100/202 and turn left on Switzerland Road. Stay on this road for 1.2 miles (pass the Saint Peters Cemetery). The put-in is on the left across from the first house after the cemetery. You’ve gone too far if you drive underneath the high-voltage power lines or reach Gulf Island Avenue. Note that one cannot drive directly to the dam from this side of the river because Switzerland Avenue turns into a CMP Company private road, which is posted and gated. The put-in is located about 2000 ft downstream of the dam. Parking is along the road shoulder. Note that I did not check for an alternative access point on the other side of the river.

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Auburn, Maine (July 22, 2016)

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The hard-top launch off North River Road in Auburn can accommodate big boats and provides lots of parking space

The hard-top launch off North River Road in Auburn can accommodate big boats and provides lots of parking space.

I discovered fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in the Lewiston/Auburn area over the last month (click here and here for details). I continue my investigation of this fascinating stretch of the river by exploring the section that flows between Great Falls in downtown Lewiston/Auburn and the Deer Rips Hydropower Dam located two miles further upstream. The public put-in is about one quarter mile down North River Road off Center Street in Auburn. This hard-top boat launch is clearly indicated from the road and can accommodate big boats. It also provides ample parking space for multiple vehicles and boat trailers.

 

 

 

 

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