TOP Brook Trout Ponds for the 2016 Spring Fishing Season in Somerset County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Somerset County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2016. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: after all, everything else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of pond, the greater the chances of catching those fish!  Most of these ponds cover less than 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and early June, after which the fishing slows down in response to rising surface water temperatures. All of the ponds described below were stocked last fall but were closed to ice fishing. The stocked trout were all relatively small but had 7 to 8 months to fatten up a bit. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Click here for the latest law book about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds.  Note that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids only” ponds.
The TOP brook trout ponds for the 2016 spring fishing season in Somerset County are listed below in alphabetical order:

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Best ice fishing ponds for catching large trout in Somerset County, Maine (winter of 2016)

This blog highlights the ponds in Somerset County which provide the best odds of catching larger stocked trout during the 2016 ice fishing season. About a dozen and a half ponds open to ice fishing in this county are stocked with trout each fall. Most of these fish are relatively small (7” to 12”), but plentiful, in order to provide fast action. The state also spiced up some of the ponds with larger trout, which are defined here as fish measuring 13” or more, and weighing at least 1 pound.

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TOP brook trout ponds for the 2016 ice fishing season in Somerset County, Maine

The TOP brook trout ponds for the 2016 ice fishing season in Somerset County are highlighted below (in alphabetical order).  A pond is considered “top” based on its stocking density. Simply put, the more trout are packed per acre, the higher the chances of catching them through the ice!

 

For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a brook trout pond as a body of water with a surface area of less than about 100 acres (with some very notable exceptions…) which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support ice fishing.  These ponds tend to freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish well before the bigger lakes become accessible. This provides early-action opportunities for those of us (myself included!) who just can’t wait to get the hard-water fishing season going. Click here for tips to increase your chances of catching more brookies through the ice.

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Brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 25 and 26, 2015)

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Click here for details on the first two days of this awesome trip.

 

Day 3: Monday May 25, 2015

 

Lower Pierce Pond looks gorgeous in the early-morning light

Lower Pierce Pond looks gorgeous in the early-morning light

My alarm goes off at 4:30 am, beckoning me out of bed for another morning troll. I wake up Salvy, who is a trooper this year by deciding to join me at this ungodly hour. Incidentally, we dress up almost like we’re going ice-fishing. The outside temperature is in the low to mid 40’s. We need to seriously layer up because we’re still half asleep, haven’t had breakfast yet or drank any hot beverages (and the Jägermeister shots are dispensed AFTER breakfast, not before!!) and are going to sit motionless in a small boat on a cold lake for the next two hours. We leave the dock at 5 am. The sky is completely overcast but it is fortunately wind still. I cherish these early mornings with my nephew: it gives us a chance to talk about our work, our families, our future plans. But we’re also here for business! We both use two rods: one is connected to a small portable downrigger attached to the side of my boat, while the other consists of a lead core line. Each rod is also fishing two different lures, with the back lure connected to the hook of the front lure by about two ft of monofilament. The down rigger rod uses two spoons (typically some kind of Mooselook and DB smelt) and the lead core rod uses two streamer flies (a combination of the Grey Ghost, Governor Aiken, or Winnipesaukee Smelt). This approach puts a total of eight lures in the water anywhere from 5 ft to 15 ft deep and allows us to cover a lot of terrain. Note that I don’t put the streamer flies on the down rigger. Instead, I like to fish these lures using my lead core line because I can hold the rod and constantly move (“rip”) the line back and forth to provide action and erratic movement to the flies. The spoons, on the other hand, provide their own twisting movement, even when dragged along attached to a 5-lb lead weight. My rod connected to the downrigger starts shaking 20 minutes into the troll. I set the hook and bring in a baby 14” salmon. That, unfortunately, is the only action we see until our return at the dock by 7 am. But at least I won’t be skunked today!

 

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Brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 23 and 24, 2015)

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Middle Pierce Pond in all its glory

Middle Pierce Pond in all its glory

Pierce Pond is a 1,650-acre gem of a lake nestled in the mountains of central Somerset County (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). It consists of three basins (lower, middle and upper) connected by shallow, boulder-infested thoroughfares. The water is crystal clear and its quality is superb. The local brook trout population is entirely native and robust. Trout well into the 3 lbs are not uncommon. The State also stocks landlocked Atlantic salmon, which creates a lively fishery, although those fish rarely exceed 4 lbs, and most stay below 3 lbs. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The fishing rules are strict, as follows: (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing; (b) the pond is open to fishing from May 1 to September 30; (c) only artificial lures are allowed; (d) the daily bag limit on trout is two fish with a minimum length of 10” and only one of which may exceed 12”; and (e) no size or bag limit on lake trout. Click here for more details on the regulations. This water body is completely surrounded by a protected forested watershed. Hence, civilization intrudes minimally. The entire shoreline is deeply wooded and not a single dock or house is visible anywhere, except for Cobb’s Camp where we will be staying for the next four days.  Our hosts provide us with a comfortable log cabin, a warm bed, a flush toilet, a hot shower, a cozy wood stove, and three square meals a day! Our one and only job while in this enchanted place is to fish until we drop dead from exhaustion!

 

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Best ice fishing ponds for catching large trout in Somerset County (winter of 2015)

This blog highlights the ponds in Somerset County where fishermen have the best odds of catching larger stocked trout during the 2015 ice fishing season. About a dozen and a half ponds open to ice fishing were stocked with trout in the fall of 2014 in this county. Most of these fish are relatively small (7” to 12”), but plentiful, in order to provide fast action. The state also spiced up some of the ponds with larger trout, which are defined here as fish measuring 13” or more, and weighing at least 1 pound.

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TOP brook trout ponds for the 2015 ice fishing season in Somerset County, Maine

The TOP brook trout ponds for the 2015 ice fishing season in Somerset County are highlighted below (in alphabetical order).  Only a few water bodies are listed because the vast majority of the smaller ponds in this county are closed to ice fishing. A pond is considered “top” based on its stocking density. Simply put, the more trout are packed per acre, the higher the chances of catching them through the ice!

For the purpose of this blog, I’ll define a brook trout pond as a body of water with a surface area of less than about 100 acres (with some exceptions) which is stocked in the fall with hatchery-reared brook trout to support ice fishing.  These ponds tend to freeze over early in the season and are typically safe to fish well 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.

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Trout and salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 24 to 27, 2014)

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Cobb's Camp, our headquarters for the next four days

Cobb’s Camp, our headquarters for the next four days

This blog continues the story started here. Salvi and Bill arrive at Cobb’s Camp on Lower Pierce Pond on Saturday morning at 11:30 am for our annual, 4-day fly fishing extravaganza. We all love staying at Cobb’s this time of year to take advantage of the may fly hatches which typically peak on this lake during the long Memorial Day weekend. We move in our own log cabin featuring a warm bed, a wood stove, electric power, running water, a hot shower, and a toilet. Not bad for a near-wilderness setting far off in the Maine woods! Our hosts also serve us three square meals, which includes a bagged lunch to take with us on the water.

 

 

 

 

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Fly fishing for trout on Dixon Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 25, 2014)

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The flank of Pierce Pond Mountain plunges into Dixon Pond

The flank of Pierce Pond Mountain plunges into Dixon Pond

Dixon Pond is a completely undeveloped 17-acre pond located within the protected Pierce Pond watershed in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A1). This water body has an average depth of 26 ft and a maximum depth of 55 ft, which is remarkably deep given the relatively small size of the pond. The main reason is that it abuts the flank of Pierce Pond Mountain which plunges into the southwestern end of the pond. Access is via a rough foot trail which roughly parallels the pond’s outlet. The trail starts at the Caribou Narrows, which is one of the two thoroughfares that link Lower to Middle Pierce Pond. It takes about 25 minutes of easy hiking through the woods to reach Dixon.  Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

 

 

 

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Fly fishing for trout on Split Rock Pond, Pierce Pond Township, Maine (May 26, 2014)

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The team strategizing before paddling onto Split Rock Pond...

The team strategizing before paddling onto Split Rock Pond…

Split Rock Pond is a completely undeveloped 6-acre pond nestled on the lower flank of Otter Pond Mountain within the Pierce Pond watershed (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This shallow water body has an average depth of 5 ft and a maximum depth of 15 ft. The bottom consists mostly of soft organic muck and the water is slightly colored. Access to this pond is via unmarked foot trails through the woods. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The fishing rules are strict, as follows: (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing and is open to fishing from May 1 to September 30; (b) fly fishing only, and (c) the daily bag limit on trout is two fish with a minimum length of 10”, only one of which may exceed 12”.  Click here for more details on the regulations.

 

 

 

 

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