The fishing was tough today and most of the bass were on the smaller size
I’m exploring the smallmouth bass fishery on the Stillwater River in Old town, Penobscot County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 33 E4). My goal today is to drift down part of this river while fishing the backside of Orson Island. The Stillwater River represents a side branch of the Penobscot River; these two watercourses split off from each other in Old Town and merge back together again about ten miles further downstream in Orono. This drift trip is also unique in that it starts and end at the same location, and therefore only requires one car. For access to the boat launch, drive north on Stillwater Avenue in Old Town, turn left on Fourth Street, and continue for 0.4 miles all the way to the very end of this street (it’s a dead end). The large and spacious hard-top boat ramp, as well as a grassy picnic area, is on the right, with a huge parking lot to the left.
This boat launch is spacious and provides lots of parking space
I’m exploring the smallmouth bass fishery on the Penobscot River in Old town, Penobscot County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 33 E4). My goal this morning is to fish a 1.5-mile stretch of river that runs between Indian Island and Orson Island. I have no idea what to expect because I have never visited this section of the river before. For access to the boat launch, drive north on Stillwater Avenue in Old Town, turn left on Fourth Street, and continue for 0.4 miles all the way to the very end of this street (it’s a dead end). The large and spacious hard-top boat ramp, as well as a grassy picnic area, is on the right, with a huge parking lot to the left.
The boat launch by Ayers Island is spacious. The fishing hole is located just passed the half-submerged rock visible in the center left of this picture.
I’m exploring the Penobscot River in the vicinity of Ayers Island, in Orono, Penobscot County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 23 A3). My goal this morning is to catch smallmouth bass in the back channel which runs between the mainland and the island, and motor upstream up to the location where the Stillwater River spills over a low dam into the Penobscot River. The outflow of hydrodams represent classic smallmouth bass summer holding habitat (click here, here, here, and here for examples). I don’t know what to expect because I’ve never fished this section of water before. To reach the boat launch, drive down Route 2 north (into Orono), turn right on Island Avenue (just past the Leadbetter’s convenience store) and continue for about 0.1 mile until you hit railroad tracks. Turn right before the tracks and make an immediate left on Union Street. Continue for less than 0.2 miles until you see the access point on the left. The launch is hard-topped and wide, and offers plenty of parking space, as well as a small picnic area.
The central section of the Penobscot River between Orono (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 23 A3) and Medway (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 43 B5) is considered a premier smallmouth bass fishery in the state of Maine, on par with the choiciest locations on the Kennebec River (click here, here, here, and here for details). My focus this morning is on a section of water flowing through the town of Howland below the confluence of the Penobscot River with its smaller cousin, the Piscataquis River. I’m eager to explore this segment because I have never visited or fished it in the past.
Antony’s first-ever river smallie! We celebrated this catch to loud acclaim!
The central portion of the Penobscot River flowing between Orono (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 23 A3) and Medway (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 43 B5) is considered a premier smallmouth bass fishery in the state of Maine, on par with the choiciest locations on the Androscoggin River (click here, here, here, here, and here for examples). The focus of my attention this afternoon is on a section of water flowing through the town of Greenbush. The river in these parts meanders past a dozen or so large wooded sandy islands, which create interesting and diverse habitats that attract large numbers of smallmouth bass.
I’m not finding the depth we need to catch larger fish…
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 🙂
The Pleasant River is a relatively short river which meanders through the towns of Grey and Windham. It joins the Presumpscot River in South Windham, Cumberland County (The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D2). An easy access point is from the bridge on Pope Road (off Routes 4/202). Up to three vehicles can be parked next to the road at that location. I personally like to fish from the bridge all the way up to the Route 302 overpass located about 1.5 miles further upstream. The surrounding woods are surprisingly thick (with local exceptions, including a large cow pasture further upstream), considering that this river flows through a densely-populated area of southern Maine, including behind the Windham high school. I’ve always been surprised by how few people fish this stretch of water in the fall, although the place does get busy on weekends in the spring.
The boat launch for our trip is located in the shadow of the historic “Two-Penny Foot Bridge” at the Head of Falls municipal park in Waterville. The dam is about 0.5 mile upstream to the left.
For today’s expedition, Giovanni and I are fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River at the dam located upstream of the Ticonic Falls dam in Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 76 [Waterville/Winslow] B2). This spot can only be accessed by putting in a canoe or kayak at the foot of the historic “Two-Cent Footbridge” (also known as the Ticonic Footbridge) located at the Head of Falls municipal park off Front Street in downtown Waterville Keep in mind that this launch is not accessible to trailered boats. The dam is about half a mile further upstream. I fished this spot last year and enjoyed the action and the setting. I hope to repeat that earlier experience today with my grandson.
I caught this little guy by the tail. How does that even happen??
I’m taking Giovanni, my 11-year old grandson, out fishing this morning. I want to make sure that he catches plenty of scaly creatures to keep him interested and engaged. So, we’re going to check out the smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River in the shadow of the Shawmut Dam located in Fairfield, Somerset County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 21 D3). I checked this location out last year and did well. I hope to emulate that success this time around. To reach this spot, drive north out of Fairfield on Route 201 (Skowhegan Road) and turn right on Kennebec Street. Drive all the way down towards the dam and power station located across the railroad tracks. A blue boat-launch sign will direct you to the right through an open yellow gate towards the water. Keep in mind that only canoes and kayaks can be launched from this spot due to the shallow water and strong current.
The bite is slow and the bass are rather small, but Giovani has a good time. Note the turbine house to the left, and the dam to the right.
The target of my fishing efforts today is the Androscoggin River flowing just below the Riley Dam Power Plant in Jay, Franklin County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 19 E5). To reach the public access point to the river, drive north into Jay on Route 4/17 and then turn left on Route 140. Drive for exactly 3.2 miles on this road until you reach the unnamed turn-off to the put-in for Riley Dam. That location is clearly marked by a blue sign next to the road. Plenty of parking is available. Keep in mind that this put-in can only accommodate hand-carried craft as it lacks an actual boat launch.