Panther Pond covers 1,439 acres and is located in Raymond, Cumberland County (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2). Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. My 11-year old nephew Christian calls me up in the late morning to ask if I want to go ice fishing with him. I wasn’t planning on it because I’ve been toiling since 6 am to complete a project for work. On the other hand, I’ve been locked up for too long and need to breathe in some fresh air. I tell him that I can spare a few hours to go pickerel fishing with him on Panther Pond. Our target is the large shallow bay just south of the peninsula called Betty’s Neck. The bay, which has a maximum depth of about 4 ft, is a reliable area for catching pickerel, yellow perch, and even an occasional largemouth bass through the ice. Access to the bay is via a snowmobile trail which starts at Giselle Lane, located off Route 121 just before the pond appears on the right (going north).
A splake is a hybrid fish which results from crossing a male brook trout with a female lake trout in the hatchery. These fish are becoming popular because they grow faster than either parent, are relatively easy to catch under the ice, and cannot overrun a pond or lake because they do not reproduce. Around 50 ponds in Maine are managed as splake fisheries. Many of these ponds are open to ice fishing and are stocked with this trout variety in the spring or fall. This blog highlights the ponds (presented in alphabetical order) which provide the best odds of catching splake through the ice.