Fishing for brook trout on Crystal Pond in Turner, Androscoggin County, Maine (October 30, 2021)

Crystal Pond, a.k.a. Beals Pond, is a 47-acre body of water located in Turner, Androscoggin County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 C4). This pond is situated right next to busy Route 4 (Auburn Road), which connects the Lewiston/Auburn metro area to Livermore Falls further north. A spacious parking lot is available by the public access point. Keep in mind that only hand-carried craft can be launched from this location because a boat ramp is unavailable. In fact, access to the water is down a half-dozen cement steps.

 

The cement steps by the access point. Notice the aquatic vegetation extending away from the shoreline.

 

Crystal Pond shows moderate development, with most of the houses and camps clustered in the western quadrant, close to Route 4. The surrounding area is wooded. The pond is nicely stocked with brook trout each fall in anticipation of the busy ice-fishing season. Last week, on October 21, the state released 260 7″ brookies (5.5 fish per acre) and 250 14″ brookies (5 fish per acre). The latter are my target this morning because they represent one-pound fish that are so much fun to catch on ultralight spinning gear. Besides, the males are all resplendent in their brilliant fall spawning colors, which is a nice bonus. This body of water is open to fishing under the general fishing laws applicable to the south zone, but engines over 10 horsepower are not allowed. The pond has an average and maximum depth of 16 and 39 ft., making it relatively deep given its small size. Click here for a depth map with more fisheries information.

 

My 13-year old grandson Geovanni and I arrive at the parking lot next to the public access point at 7:45 am. It’s a raw (42°F), overcast, and drizzly morning. A storm is barreling down towards New England and we’re trying to squeeze out some fishing time before the real rains arrive later on today. We layer up with warm clothing and don our waders. I suspect that the recently-stocked trout are schooling in the shallows somewhere within the general vicinity of the access point. We enter the water by the cement steps, go left, and systematically work our way down that shoreline by casting out our #2 bronze Mepps spinners towards the center of the pond, letting them sink down, and slowly retrieving them while constantly twitching the tip of the rod to give the spinner additional action. In my experience, this approach, including the twitching part, is the difference between hooking an occasional brookie and consistently catching multiple fish. Unfortunately, the wading conditions along this section of shoreline are less than ideal: the substrate is soft and muddy (our feet sink in muck 6″ to 12″ deep, occasionally more) and emergent and submerged aquatic plants are abundant both by shore and further away, causing our spinners to constantly foul up with weeds, which is a real pain.

 

We finally found the school of trout in the vicinity of the outlet!

 

We have nothing to show for our efforts 40 minutes later and 600 ft down the shoreline. Clearly, the school of trout are hiding elsewhere. We exit the water, walk back to our starting point, re-enter the water by the cement steps, but turn right this time. We are now wading in the area by the outlet in the southwestern corner of Crystal Pond. The wading conditions over here are no better than before: just as mucky and weedy. Also, Geovanni is quickly losing interest and is getting cold. I’ve got to make something happen fast. I continue casting and finally get a hook-up! The strong fight and brilliant red colors I observe as the fish breaches the surface tells me that I caught one of the 14-inch trout. Great! I bring the fish to me, and slowly struggle out of the water towards shore to allow Geovanni to take a bragging picture. I’m confident that we finally located the school. We cover the area with our spinners for another 30 minutes from various angles and I hook two more 14″ male brook trout. I don’t bother using a net when wader fishing (too much hassle) but regret it today. I bring the fish next to me and pick them up but both unhook as I stumble to get out of the muck and back to shore to take pictures. Oh well, both count. It’s time to move on at this point: Geovanni is done and my hands are freezing. I’m quite happy to have located the school. As is most often the case, the stocked fish were bunched together less than 200 ft. from where they were originally released. In summary, Crystal Pond produced the trout we were looking for, but the wading conditions were tough. Also, the traffic along nearby Route 4 was loud and incessant, which took away from the experience.

 

The results: I caught 3 brook trout (largest = 15 inches) in 1.5 hours of cold and drizzly 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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