Fishing for brook trout in North Otter Pond in Bowtown Township, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2021)

 

View of North Otter Pond from the public access point

 

North Otter Pond covers 71 acres and is located in Bowtown Township in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This pond can be reached as follows: from North New Portland (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 E2), drive north on Long Falls Dam Road for about 23 miles and turn right on Carrying Place Road at the sign for Cobb’s Camps. Drive down this gravel road for 10.1 miles until the Yield traffic sign and turn left on Bowtown Road (note: Google Maps calls this road “Otter Pond Road”). Pass Harrison Camp on the left, cross Pierce Pond Stream and drive for another 3 miles or so. Turn left on a short dirt road which dead-ends in the woods. The pond and its unofficial public access point are visible through the trees. Both Carrying Place Road and Bowtown Road are gravel logging roads which are drivable by regular cars but can be rough during mud season in early spring. It took us about one hour to cover the 15 miles or so from the turn-off on Long Falls Dam Road to the pond. Hence, this pond is reachable by car even though it is rather remote. A boat launch is not available and only hand-carried craft can be placed in the water from the rough access point at the southern tip of the pond.

 

 

Geovanni caught this brookie within 15 minutes of fishing. The strong breeze pushed us into the shoreline.

 

North Otter Pond is a pretty body of water located in the shadow of Otter Pond Mountain just to the east of Pierce Pond. The surrounding watershed is completely undeveloped and wooded, except for the Otter Ponds Cabins, a sports camp located at the northern tip of the pond. The surface water is slightly tea colored and feels relatively warm (mid 60’s), which is borderline for catching trout close to the surface. The eastern shoreline contains the deeper water with a substrate consisting mainly of boulders and cobbles, whereas sections of the western shoreline are shallower and muddier. Of the two, the former definitively represents the more interesting part to explore. The state stocks this body of water annually in the fall with about 3000 seven-inch brook trout, yielding a respectable stocking density of 42 fish per acre. Fishing does not fall under Maine’s Special Fishing Laws, indicating that it occurs under the General Fishing Laws applicable to the North Region of the state. The pond as a maximum and mean depth of 16 ft. and 7 ft., respectively, making it relatively shallow. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

Another view of North Otter Pond, looking south.

 

I arrive at the North Otter Pond access point with my 12-year-old grandson Geovanni at 2:45 pm. We have less than two hours to figure out this water body and try to catch trout. The wind blows strongly from the northeast, which will complicate our efforts. The strategy for this afternoon is to explore this pretty place in my canoe by trolling upwind along the eastern shoreline and downwind along the western shoreline. We place our ultralight spinning rods between our legs and use one of my favorite trout trolling lures, namely a copper-colored 2-inch ACME Phoebe spoon. We also pinch a large splitshot about 4 ft. up on the line to place the lure about a foot or so below the surface. We start paddling upwind about 50 ft offshore (5-7 ft. deep?). Within 15 minutes, G screams that he has a fish on his line. Great! I love it when he has action and gets excited about it. He fights the fish expertly and nets a beautiful 13″ brookie. His day, and mine, is made. The fish gets photographed and released back to its habitat.

 

It’s not much of a fish, but at least I’m not leaving skunked!

 

We get no more action for the next 1.5 hours, just a lot of paddling… We troll up to the north end of the pond, down the western shoreline, along the southern end by the outlet, and back up the eastern shore up to the cabins. G is complaining that his arms are getting tired from all the paddling, so its time to call it good. We let the wind push us back to the launch site all the while trolling along the bouldery eastern shoreline. Ten minutes from the take-out point, I joke with G that I better catch a fish just about now because otherwise I’m going home skunked. Within 30 seconds, a small brookie grabs my lure. We both get a good laugh out of this last-minute catch which saves me from ignominy!

 

The results: We landed two brookies (largest = 13 inches) after two and a half hours of trolling.

Was the information in this blog useful? I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to discuss your fishing experiences at this location.

 

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