Great smallmouth bass holding habitat downstream of the Route 125 bridge: shallow and deep water, boulders, and multiple current seams.
My 10-year old nephew Matt is visiting from “away” for a couple of days. He has never fished before, but expresses an interest in trying it out. I have to find a fishing spot where he (a) can cast wildly without causing harm or getting snagged, (b) is guaranteed to catch fish regardless of skill level, and (c) can experience the joy of seeing a fish jump out of the water after it’s been hooked. I quickly set my eyes on the half-mile stretch of the Androscoggin River that runs between the boat launch on Route 196 (Lewiston Road) and the hydropower dam in Lisbon Falls located just upstream of the Route 125 bridge over the river. I have fished this short stretch in the past for smallmouth bass and have consistently done well on it. Note that the access point off Route 196 represent a substantial boat launch that can handle larger vessels. The launch also has plenty of parking spaces across the old railroad tracks.
The Penobscot River between Greenbush and Passadumkeag is wide, shallow and dotted with islands
The Penobscot River is the premier river smallmouth bass fishery in Maine, bar none! The stretch flowing between the towns of Greenbush and Passadumkeag (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 35 B5 to D5) represents a gorgeous section of bass real estate. I meet up with my friend Tim at the Greenbush boat launch (which can accommodate large motorized craft) at 9 am. We leave his vehicle behind and drive my car 9.5 miles further north to the boat launch in Passadumkeag (which can also accommodate large motorized craft). We’ll be fishing from my 12 ft/8 HP aluminum boat which I hope will be able to pass through most of the extensive shallow areas that dot this stretch of river. Our goal today is to let the current float us down to the Greenbush boat launch while fishing for smallmouth bass along the way. We expect the trip to take about 5 hours. I have fished the Penobscot River between Old Town and Lincoln on and off for 30+ years but haven’t drifted it the way we’re doing today, so I don’t fully know what to expect. The water level is surprisingly high though given that it’s the beginning of July.
Lake Arrowhead provides hundreds of acres of shallow coves and bays
Lake Arrowhead covers 779 acres and is located in Limerick and Waterboro, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 A2). This lake has two trailerable boat launches. The first one is located off New Dam Road by the dam over which flows the Little Ossippee River. The second one is about two miles further south also off New Dam Road but closer to Chadburne Ridge Road which separates this lake from Little Ossippee Pond. I put my small aluminum craft in the water by the dam. The water is deep enough at this location to dispatch large boats. Plenty of parking is also available next to the launch. I arrive at the launch by 10 am and am greeted by a friendly and chatty boat inspector. The lake has been infested with Eurasian milfoil, an aggressive invasive plant species, for over 20 years. She checks every boat going in and coming out for fragments of this aquatic pest to ensure that the infestation does not spread to other water bodies.Surprisingly, considering it’s the long July 4th weekend, I only see three other cars with trailers parked by the launch.