Ice fishing for splake and smallmouth bass on Trickey Pond in Naples, Maine (March 29, 2015)

View Map

Trickey Pond is a 311 acre pristine body of water located next to Route 114 in Naples, Cumberland County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B5). I have fished this pond numerous times in the past (for recent examples, click here and here) and have invariably found it … trickey and unpredictable! The fishing can be really slow but also rewarding for those who are willing to put in the time and learn its secrets. Today is my last day of the 2015 hard water season. The past winter was long, cold, brutal, and snowy. We experienced what folks around here call a good ole Maine winta! I’m fishing this morning for a couple of hours but have also organized a picnic for later on today on this pond with about 25 friends and family members. The purpose of our get-together is to shake off “cabin fever”, celebrate the end of the cold season and welcome in the start of spring.

 

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove
Advertisements

Ice fishing for northern pike on Sabattus Pond in Sabattus, Maine (February 28, 2015)

View Map

General view of Sabattus Pond looking north from Martin Point

General view of Sabattus Pond looking north from Martin Point

Sabattus Pond is a 1962-acre shallow body of water located in the town of Sabattus, Androscoggin County (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 E1). It is an epicenter for northern pike in this part of the state. This ravenous predator was illegally introduced many years ago. It has overrun the pond and spread upstream to Little Sabattus Pond (click here) and downstream into the Androscoggin River via the Sabattus River. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

Ice fishing for splake on Trickey Pond in Naples, Maine (February 21, 2015)

View Map

Trickey Pond is a 311-acre body of water located in Naples, Cumberland County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B5). Access is via the public boat launch located at the southern tip of the lake off Route 114 (Sebago Road). Beware that this access road is unplowed in the winter, and steep. As described here, the pond offers a cornucopia of sport fish species to be caught through the ice, including landlocked salmon, splake, brook trout, and smallmouth bass. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. This blog identifies the pond as the go-to location in southern Maine for catching splake during the 2015 ice fishing season. That is our target species for today. Splake is a trout hybrid created by crossing a female lake trout with a male brook trout. The main advantage is that these fish are sterile. Hence, the metabolic energy that would be spent reproducing is channeled into growing fast and fat!

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

Ice fishing for rainbow trout on Stanley Pond in Hiram, Maine (February 1, 2015)

View Map

Drilling holes on a cold morning

Drilling holes on a cold morning

Stanley Pond is a three-lobed, 137-acre body of water located in Hiram, Oxford County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C2). Public access is via the municipal boat launch located on the lower lobe by the outlet on Tripptown Road (off Route 160). I choose to fish this pond today for two reasons: (a) the blizzard from 4 days ago dumped over 2 ft of drifting snow which greatly limits how far I care to walk in knee-deep snow, and (b) Stanley Pond is a top 2015 winter destination for catching rainbow trout through the ice (click here for details). My son Joel and I ice fished this pond in March 2013 but ended up skunked. However, at that time, Joel obtained good intel from two guys who were catching rainbows nearby us (click here for details). We are now going to put that information to good use. Those two guys were fishing the point of land to the right (looking upgradient) of the outlet area. It is a sweet spot because it is real close to the boat launch, has current associated with the outlet, and has an interesting depth profile close to shore. Also, this area faces west, which means that it stays in the shadow of the rising sun to the east, at least for part of the morning.

 

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

Ice fishing for brook trout on Round Pond, Livermore, Maine (January 24, 2015)

View Map

Joel jigging for trout in deeper water, with the peninsula in the background

Joel jigging for trout in deeper water, with the peninsula in the background

Round Pond is a 161-acre body of water located in Livermore, Androscoggin County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 A5). Public access is via the boat launch off Route 4. I chose this pond based on information provided in this blog: Round Pond is a top 2015 ice fishing destination in Androscoggin County because it was richly stocked with 1-pound brook trout and brown trout in the fall of 2014. This pond also has healthy populations of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike. I have not ice fished it before, so my first task is to identify a promising area to target trout. The ideal location sticks out on a depth map (click here) like a sore thumb: it consists of a rocky peninsula which juts out into the water right across from the boat launch. I study this feature on-line using Google Maps: the satellite photo shows that the point is strewn with large submerged boulders, which provide excellent trout habitat. The depth map also shows deeper water right off the point, which is a plus. This choice spot will be our base of operation this morning, assuming that no one else claims it first! My only reservation is that it faces due east in the direction of the rising sun. A check of the Weather Channel website on-line shows that the sky will be overcast because of an approaching snow storm. Excellent!

 

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

Ice fishing for brook trout on Dutton Pond, Knox, Maine (January 10, 2015)

View Map

Lots of fishing activity on Dutton Pond to my right

Lots of fishing activity on Dutton Pond to my right

I’m visiting Dutton Pond today, hoping to repeat the tremendous fishing I experienced there during the last ice fishing season (click here for details, and to obtain directions and a depth map). As in previous years, the state has nicely stocked this 36-acre body of water with 1-pound and 3-pound brook trout in the fall of 2014, making it an attractive early-season target (click here and here for more details). I get up really early and drive 105 miles (!) one-way to get to this sweet spot. I arrive at 8:15 am, about 30 minutes behind schedule, and am surprised to see around 10 cars and trucks parked alongside Dutton Pond Road. I won’t be fishing alone today…

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

Best ice fishing ponds for catching splake in Maine (winter of 2015)

This blog describes a select group of ponds in Maine that provide the best potential for catching splake through the ice during the winter of 2015. A splake is a “hybrid” fish created by crossing a lake trout with a brook trout. It has the advantage of being sterile, growing fast, and feeding on forage fish shunned by brook trout. Splake are also easier to catch through the ice than rainbow or brown trout. Around 55 ponds in Maine are managed as splake fisheries. Many of these ponds are open to ice fishing and are stocked with this species each spring and/or fall.

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

Best ice fishing ponds for catching rainbow trout in Maine (winter of 2015)

This blog describes a select group of ponds in Maine that provide the best potential for catching rainbow trout through the ice during the winter of 2015. Around 20 ponds, most of them located in southern Maine counties, are managed as rainbow trout fisheries. Many of these ponds are open to ice fishing and are stocked with bows each spring and/or fall.

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

Best ice fishing ponds for catching brown trout in Maine (winter of 2015)

This blog describes a select group of ponds in Maine that provide the best potential for catching brown trout through the ice during the winter of 2015. Around 110 ponds throughout the state are managed as brown trout fisheries. Most of these ponds are open to ice fishing and are stocked with brown trout each spring and/or fall.

I only present ponds that were stocked in 2014 with a minimum of 1 brown trout per acre. As a rough yardstick, the average stocking density for landlocked salmon in Maine ponds and lakes is about 0.3 to 0.5 salmon per acre, which equals 1 salmon every two to three acres.

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

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

This blog highlights the ponds in York 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.

Continue reading

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove