Fishing for brook trout on Dutton Pond in Knox, Waldo County, Maine (November 13, 2021)

 

The boat launch is flooded because of the excessive rains from last night

 

Dutton Pond is a 35-acre body of water located in the town of Knox in Waldo County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 14 A3). Access to this pond is via Dutton Pond Road, right off Route 137 (Belfast Road). A rough boat launch is located off Dutton Pond Road and can accommodate small trailered boats. Very limited parking is available at the launch (one, maybe two, vehicles but without trailers). Vehicles with trailers can best be parked by Route 137.

 

Dutton Pond is surprisingly undeveloped, with only two properties visible along its shore. Much of the southern, western, and northern shoreline consists of an extensive bog, which was filled with water during my visit due to a large rainstorm the night before. The surface water of the pond is darkly-stained on account of all the surrounding marsh land. On November 10, 2021, the state stocked 350 8-inch brookies, 200 14-inch brookies, and 50 13-inch brown trout, for a respectable stocking density of 17 trout per acre. My focus this morning is squarely on the larger one-pound brookies, which are a blast to catch using an ultra-light spinning rod teamed up with a bronze-colored #2 Mepps spinner. Dutton Pond is open for angling in the fall under the general fishing laws. This body of water has a mean and maximum depth of 15 ft. and 22 ft., respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

I finally catch my first trout after I moved away from the weedy inshore area around the boat launch into slightly deeper and plant-free waters

 

I arrive at the boat launch by 7 am. The launch area is actually under water because the lake level is so high! The air is a refreshing 36°F but it is wind still and the weather forecast calls for unlimited sunshine. That all works for me. I don my waders, pick up my fishing gear, and walk into the water. It becomes immediately clear that wader fishing isn’t going to work here! Because of the boggy conditions, the substrate has the consistency of pudding, plus the water gets deep very quickly. Also, a luxurious amount of submerged aquatic vegetation grows all around the launch, which makes spinner fishing a real challenge. But I came prepared for such a contingency: I get out of the water, eliminate the waders, and start angling from my canoe instead.

 

This second trout gave a nice hard fight. Notice the bright blue sky and wind-still conditions. That’s a real treat in mid-November!

 

I spend the next one and a half hour systematically fishing the weedy shallows in front of and to the right and left of the boat launch based on the theory that trout stocked in ponds tend to congregate for many days in the general vicinity of their point of release. However, I don’t get a single hit and constantly foul my spinner with aquatic vegetation. This is frustrating; I’m coming up short and need to devise another plan if I’m not to leave skunked this morning. I speculate that the schooling trout would be just as bothered by the abundant aquatic vegetation as I am and that they may have moved a little further off-shore in slightly deeper but plant-free waters. I paddle away from shore to behind the wall of vegetation, but staying well within sight of the boat launch. I finally catch my first trout in 8 ft. of plant-free water within 10 minutes. Great, I may have cracked the nut! I pound the area with renewed hope but only succeed in catching one more trout over the next half an hour. However, this one is a hard-fighting 15-incher which consistently rips line off my reel. What a brawler! Unfortunately, the time has come to move on to my next destination. I was ultimately unable to locate the school of fish, but staying flexible and trying different approaches yielded some results. Plus, the weather is just glorious and I had the pond all too myself. Life is good and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I’ll finish by saying that Dutton Pond is also a great ice-fishing destination for the local hard-water crowd and is well-worth a visit in the winter.

 

The results: I caught two brook trout (largest = 15 inches) in a little over 2 hours of peaceful 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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