Fishing for brook trout on Bartlett Pond in Livermore, Androscoggin County, Maine (November 3, 2021)

 

The first brookie of the morning tells me that the fish stocked five days earlier are still schooling in the immediate vicinity of the boat launch located to the left in this picture.

 

Bartlett Pond is a 26-acre body of water located in Livermore, Androscoggin County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 B5). Access to this pond is by the outlet right next to Norlands Road via an unimproved dirt boat ramp that can accommodate small, trailered boats. Limited parking is available along the road shoulder.

 

The spawning colors of male brook trout never disappoint.

 

Bartlett Pond is largely undeveloped and surrounded by woods. If it wasn’t for lightly-traveled Norlands Road, one would think that this pretty pond is located in a more remote corner of Maine. Five days ago, on October 29, the state stocked it with 500 8-inch brookies (19 fish/acre) and 300 14-inch brookies (12 fish/acre!). I’m keenly interested in the latter group because of their highly-favorable stocking density and nice size (about one pound per fish). Besides, the male brook trout are resplendent in their fall spawning colors this time a year and are a real pleasure to contemplate! In the fall, this popular spot is open to fishing from October 1 until November 30 using artificial lures only and with the stipulation that all trout must be released. Also, use or possession of live fish as bait is prohibited at all times, and the pond is also closed to ice fishing. The latter means that all the trout stocked this fall will still be largely available to be caught in the spring. Guess where I’ll be heading again next May! The pond has an average and maximum depth of 12 ft. and 26 ft., respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

A medley of colors. My hands are freezing at this point…

 

I arrive at the access point of Bartlett Pond at 6:45 am and enter the water 10 minutes later in my waders. I’m dressed in multiple layers to stay warm. The air temperature is nippy this morning (27°F) but at least the wind is calm. I only have one and a half hour of fishing time before I need to head back home to start my workday. Based on past experiences, I expect that the recently-stocked trout will be schooling in the general vicinity of the public access point where they were released a few days earlier. I start wading to the right of the launch just in front of the cattails. The substrate is rather soft (always the case with cattails; that’s where they like to grow!) and I have to be careful not to wander off too deep. I use my favorite fall trout fishing gear: an ultra-light rod, a small reel spooled with 6 pound test line, and a #2 bronze Mepps spinner. I cast out the lure, let it sink to the bottom, start the retrieve, and constantly twitch the tip of the rod to cause the spinner to quiver erratically in an attempt to trigger the killer instinct of the fish below. I get my first hookup 15 minutes later as daylight increases with the emerging sun. It’s a nice fat female full of eggs. She gets photographed and quickly released. The action is slow but steady over the next 30 minutes, yielding another three large trout. This is so much fun, except that my hands are frozen by now, as well as several of the guides on my rod. I return to my truck for 10 minutes to thaw out fingers and equipment.

 

More fall colors.

 

After my hands regain feeling again, I re-enter the water by the launch and fan-cast my spinner from left to right. The trout are still congregated down there and the bite is steady. In fact, the activity seems to increase as the sun continues to rise. It’s a little after 8 am now and the bite has become non-stop: every cast generates a hit and every second cast results in a hook-up or a landed fish. This is angling at its absolute best! The activity remains unrelenting but I sadly have to break off and return back home. Boy, I hate to leave now, but I have no choice. I caught ten one-pound trout (and none of the smaller ones) in about 1.5 hours, moving no more than 50 ft. to the right or left of the public access point. All these fish were schooling in the immediate area of where they were released less than a week ago. That’s an important point to keep in mind when fall fishing for brookies stocked in ponds: these fish tend to congregate and stay put in one general location for long periods of time.

 

Fall brook trout fishing can be very rewarding if one is willing to put in the effort!

 

The results: I caught 10 brook trout (largest = 15 inches) in 1.5 hours of great fishing.

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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