Fall wader fishing for trout in southern and central Maine

My blog readers know that fishing can be turned into a non-stop four-season activity in Maine, with ice fishing in the winter, trolling or fly fishing for salmonids in the spring, bass fishing on lakes and rivers in the summer, and trolling for salmonids in the fall. However, the kind of open-water fishing described above requires specific equipment, such as a canoe or motor boat, electronics, downriggers, lead core line, and the like. That can quickly become overwhelming and expensive.

 

 

Some of you asked if I could highlight places in southern and central Maine where one could fish for trout in the fall but without the need for expensive gear. I therefore decided to research and write this blog for you. The only piece of “fancy” equipment required is a pair of waders, available on-line or at your local sports equipment store for less than a $100. Also needed is the drive required to get out of bed at the crack of dawn to spend time immersed in ice-cold water under freezing-cold conditions to pursue a true passion 🙂

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Eight easy steps to sow a baitfish

Your blog author with a nice brown trout caught at the end of the summer on a sown smelt

Trolling with sown bait is a time-honored Maine tradition for catching salmonids. This highly-effective approach can be used with both fresh bait or dead preserved (e.g., frozen, salted, pickled) bait.

 

Live bait, and smelt in particular, are difficult or impossible to find at your local bait dealer in the summer. The alternative when trolling for salmonids in the summer, therefore, is to use either dead baitfish or lures (e.g., spoons or streamer flies). A dead sown baitfish, if prepared as described in this blog, will provide a much more realistic profile than an artificial lure. Don’t get me wrong here: I’m not implying that artificials don’t work, far from it. After all, I’ve caught way too many salmon and trout trolling with spoons and streamer flies over the years. What I am saying though is that a baitfish, even dead, is more natural-looking than an artificial lure and therefore increases the odds of catching the fish we so desire. I suspect the major reason that the Maine fishing rules only allow for artificial lures when fishing for salmonids in ponds and lakes in southern Maine after October 1 when those fish are getting ready to spawn is because the real thing is so much better at fooling them than artificial lures.

 

Personally, I prefer using a sliding minnow rig if my baitfish is alive. The reason is that a live baitfish will remain alive for a long time on the sliding minnow rig, and will therefore really look and swim like the real thing down below. On the other hand, one just can’t sow a live baitfish as described below and expect it to stay alive for long! So, my preference is to use the sliding minnow rig with live bait and the sowing technique with the stiffer dead bait.

 

Finally, over half a dozen different techniques have been developed to sow a baitfish. Each one gets to the end results slightly differently. The approach I discuss below was taught to me by a Maine old-timer. I find it quick and extremely easy to implement, and simple to teach. So, here it goes.

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in York County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in York County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of pond, the greater the chances of catching those fish! All of these ponds cover less than 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the fishing slows down in response to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

Some ponds were stocked last fall but were closed to ice fishing. Others are stocked once early in the spring or may be stocked several times in April and May. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds. The one exception is Round Pond in Lyman, which is a “kids-only” pond for ice fishing, but is open to the general public during the open-water season. Hence, it is included below.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout for this spring in York County are listed below in alphabetical order

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in Washington County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Washington County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of pond, the greater the chances of catching those fish! Most of these ponds cover less than 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the fishing slows down in response to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

All of the ponds discussed below are closed to ice fishing. Most were stocked last fall, whereas a few are also stocked in the spring. Fish that were released last fall will therefore have had 7 to 8 months to fatten up a bit. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout for this spring in Washington County are listed below in alphabetical order:

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in Somerset County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Somerset County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of pond, the greater the chances of catching those fish! Most of these ponds cover less than 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the fishing slows down in response to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

All of the ponds described below were stocked last fall but were closed to ice fishing. The stocked trout were all relatively small but had 7 to 8 months to fatten up a bit. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, minimum size limits, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout this spring in Somerset County are listed below in alphabetical order:

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in Piscataquis County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Piscataquis County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of pond, the greater the chances of catching those fish! Many of the ponds cover less than 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the fishing slows down in response to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

Most of these ponds were stocked last fall but were closed to ice fishing. As a result, their trout will have had another 7 or 8 months to put on some weight. The rest are stocked once early in the spring or may be stocked several times in April and May. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, use of live bait fish, minimum size limits for keeper fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout for this spring in Piscataquis County are listed below in alphabetical order:

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in Oxford County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Oxford County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of water, the greater the chances of catching those fish! Most of the target ponds are below 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the bite slows down due to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

Most of the ponds described below were stocked last fall but are closed to ice fishing. Hence, those stocked trout have had at least 6-7 months to fatten up since their release. Other ponds are stocked once early in the spring or may be stocked several times in April and May. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, minimum size limits, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout for this spring in Oxford County are listed below in alphabetical order:

 

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in Lincoln County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Lincoln County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of water, the greater the chances of catching those fish! Most of these ponds are less than 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the bite slows down due to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

All of these ponds are closed to ice fishing and are stocked once in the spring. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special trout fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, minimum size limits, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine use, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout for this spring in Lincoln County are listed below in alphabetical order.

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in Kennebec County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Kennebec County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of water, the greater the chances of catching those fish! Most of the target ponds are below 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the bite slows down due to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, minimum size limits, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” ponds.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout this spring in Kennebec County are listed below in alphabetical order:

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The TOP Ponds Stocked with Brook Trout for the Spring of 2017 in Hancock County, Maine

This blog identifies the TOP ponds in Hancock County, Maine that provide the best odds of catching brook trout during the spring of 2017. A pond is considered TOP due to its trout stocking density: all else being equal, the more brook trout that are stocked per acre of water, the greater the chances of catching those fish! Most of the target ponds are below 50 acres and are therefore relatively small. Trout activity typically peaks between late April and mid-June, after which the bite slows down due to rising surface water temperatures. Check out this blog on trolling techniques for catching trout.

 

All of the ponds described below were stocked last fall but are closed to ice fishing. Hence, those trout have had an additional 6-7 months to fatten up a bit. Several of the ponds are further spiced up with an additional stocking in the spring. More details are provided in the stocking reports compiled by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It is recommended to check the regulations about special fishing rules that may apply on these ponds, such as daily bag limits, minimum keeper size, use of live bait fish, artificial lure requirements, limits on outboard engine size, etc. Note also that the list of TOP brook trout ponds excludes “kids-only” pond.

 

The TOP ponds stocked with brook trout for this spring in Hancock County are listed below in alphabetical order:

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