Norton Pond is an 112-acre body of water located in Lincolnville, Waldo County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 14 C3). This pond is accessed via the public boat launch on Norton Pond Road off Maine Street (Route 52). Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. I’m fishing this pond today, even though it is located close to 100 miles from where I live in southern Maine, because the state stocked it exceptionally well in the fall of 2012 with five-pound brood stock rainbow trout. Click here for more details on this topic. I’d love to emulate my luck from two weeks earlier on Knickerbocker Pond when I caught a nice rainbow trout.
I reach the boat launch at the northern end of Norton Pond at 7:10 am and walk obliquely across to fish around a prominent point that juts out into the pond. That area looked interesting when I was studying the pond on Google Maps and using a depth map in preparation for my trip. My strategy today is to place four traps baited with small minnows around this point in 6-12 ft of water and to jig the shallows and deeper water further off-shore in the hope of catching one of those brood stock monsters. Conditions this morning are perfect: the ice is 16” thick but without any snow on top (surprising, given the 24+” snow storm from two weeks ago), the sky is completely overcast, it’s almost wind still, and a low pressure is forecast to move up the coast tomorrow. I’m excited because it doesn’t get better than this! All my holes are drilled and traps are set up by 8:00 am. I start jigging, while keeping a close eye out for flags.
Nothing happens… 9:00 am rolls by, then 10 am, and I haven’t gotten a nibble. I’m getting annoyed! My first flag of the morning finally pops up around 10:30 am. I run like mad towards the trap and am glad to see that the spool is still turning when I reach it. I quickly set the hook and am rewarded by two solid runs. I’m surprised, and disappointed, to bring in a very feisty 13” largemouth bass. I can catch those anywhere… I rebait the trap and go back to jigging. Within 10 minutes, my jig dredges up a 10” crappie right off the bottom in about 35 ft of water. And thus the morning turns into early afternoon. I get another three flags over the next 2.5 hours, none of which yields a fish. I also get no bites after another 2.5 hours of jigging. The fishing action today is just too slow for my taste. I decide to call it quits at 1:30 pm.
My day on Norton Pond has been a real disappointment. Not only did I not hook into rainbow trout, I also did not see any of the brook trout or brown trout that were (lightly) stocked last fall in this pond. I’m just paying my dues to the fish gods today, I suppose. That too is part of the ice fishing deal!
The results: I caught one 13” largemouth bass and one 10” crappy in 5.5 hours of fishing.
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