August 10, 2015 UPDATE: One of my blog readers (thanks, Tom) reported that the unnamed forest road into Wards Pond off Route 11 (Sokokis Avenue) was recently posted as “PRIVATE PROPERTY” and is therefore no longer accessible to the public. Feel free to let us know if you can find another drivable way into this pond so that I can share it with everyone. Wards Pond is located off Route 11 in North Limington (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D5). Access to the pond is as follows: drive west on Route 25 (Ossipee Trail), turn right on Route 11 (Sokokis Avenue), drive on Route 11 for 0.7 miles before turning right on an unnamed forest road (right across from Helmlock Lane). This trail, which is rough but passable with a car, reaches the north-western end of the pond after about 0.2 miles. A sandy launch allows access for small trailered boats, as well as hand-carried craft.
This 44-acre pond is a hidden gem in southern Maine. The water has a deeply-stained color. Most of the shoreline is wooded with minimal development. Only two or three camps are visible from the pond. The entire shoreline is ringed by floating and emergent aquatic vegetation. The amount of vegetation is not excessive because the pond rapidly gains depth away from the shore. The maximum depth is 34 ft. The deeper part of the lake is off-limit to fish in the summer, however, because of a severe oxygen deficiency down below. Hence, much of the summer fishing is concentrated along the shoreline.
I reach the pond at 4:45 pm, unload and float my canoe. I concentrate my fishing along the western shore because this part of the pond is already deep in the shadows. I use my trusted 5” Texas-rigged soft stickbait to probe the water in front of the vegetation line. The largemouth bass are not shy this afternoon. I catch my first fish (12”) within five minutes. That gets me going!
I continue fishing the weed line for another 10 minutes and feel that my stickbait has been grabbed by something big which is trying to return into the weeds. I set the hook and a very nice largemouth bass makes a run into the vegetation. I have a hard time pulling him back out towards the canoe but succeed in doing so. Good thing too because this is a nice 19 incher! Now my blood is really churning. I fish for another 45 minutes and catch one more bass, but hook and miss three others. This pond is a keeper but I need to move on to the next one on my list. I will definitely return to Wards Pond in the future and give it the attention it deserves.
The results: Three largemouth bass (largest = 19”) in one hour of fishing.
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