Three inches of water on top of the ice make for a floating trap and a slushy mess…
Parker Pond covers 166 acres and is located in Casco (Cumberland County), Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B1). I choose to ice fish this body of water today because it is located right next to a major road (Route 121). Southern Maine has been walloped by over 3 ft of snow over the last two weeks. Since I do not own a snow mobile, and hence have to walk everywhere on the ice, I want to fish close to a road. Route 121, which runs along the western shore of Parker Pond, has two 300-ft long “pull-outs” that run parallel to the road (and are typically plowed in the winter) and where anglers can park their cars to gain instant access to the ice. Parker Pond is a shallow body of water with an average and maximum depth of 10 and 19 ft, respectively. It contains your typical collection of “warm-water” species, such as bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch and white perch. The state also frugally stocked the pond last fall with 410 brook trout measuring 12” and 13”, resulting in a stocking rate of between 2 and 3 trout per acre. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.
View south down the middle basin of Moose Pond. I’ve got the place all to myself this morning! The sky is also completely overcast.
Moose Pond covers 1694 acres and is located in Bridgton (Cumberland County) and Denmark (Oxford County), Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 A3). A convenient public access point is available off Route 302 at the northeastern tip of the middle basin of the lake, right before the road crosses the water. Plenty of parking is available along the shoulder of the road. This pond supports a robust landlocked Atlantic salmon fishery which consistently produces 20+ inch fish. This species is the focus of my efforts today. However, ice fishing for salmon can be slow business. The reason is that the state stocks this species at a low rate (typically about one fish per two or three acres of lake) in order to preserve the local rainbow smelt populations, which represent the salmon’s main forage base, and to allow for decent growth. Hence, lots of patience is needed… Keep in mind that because of the popularity of this fishery with the local hard-water angling crowd and the easy access from Route 302, the regulations for Moose Pond during the ice fishing season stipulate a daily bag limit of one landlocked salmon with a minimum length of 16”. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.
Little Sebago Lake covers 1,898 acres and is located in Gray and Windham, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C3). The public access point is reached by driving north on Route 302 in Windham, turning right at the light (by Bob’s Seafood Restaurant) on Anglers Road, driving past Pettingill Pond, turning right on Woodland Road, and then turning right again on Mount Hunger Shore Road. Follow this road until you reach the boat launch. My son Joel and I decide to bring out the “side-by-side” vehicle and our two four-wheelers to give us mobility to bring his family and I out on the lake. We want to fish the south-facing shore of Ridgewood Island, located amongst a set of islands on the largest of the four bays that make up this beautiful lake.