Fishing for brook trout on Otter Pond #2 in Standish, Cumberland County, Maine (November 7, 2019)


Those colors…!


Otter Pond #2 is a 12-acre body of water located off Route 35 in Standish, Cumberland, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D1). Click here for directions on how to reach this pond. Her and I are old acquaintances, having met many times over the years in the spring, fall, and winter. This pond is heavily stocked with brook trout each fall in anticipation of the busy ice-fishing season. In fact, on October 23, 2019, the state released 600 8” brookies (= 50 trout per acre) and 130 13” brookies (= 11 trout per acre), which add up to a lot of fish! Those bigger fish are the ones calling me in. It’s high time that I pay a visit and check out the place before it starts freezing over.


This female is full of eggs.


This little gem is available for open-water fishing between October 1 and November 30 using artificial lures only (i.e., no live or dead baitfish, no worms, no preserved salmon eggs, etc.) and with the stipulation that all trout caught must be released at once. Click here for additional rules. The pond has a mean and maximum depth of 11 ft and 39 ft, respectively. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.


The bronze-colored #2 Mepps was the secret lure this morning.


The entire shoreline of Otter Pond #2 is accessible by foot. However, hip boots or waders are an absolute must if you want to reach some of the juicier spots strung out along the western and southern shore because the banks in those areas are steep and/or obstructed with bushes and branches. Fortunately, these entanglements go away as soon as one steps in the water. The pond’s substrate along the whole shoreline is carpeted with dead leaves at this time of the year, but is otherwise firm, gravelly, and safe. The easiest access to the water is right by the old railroad tracks that run along the northern shore of the pond. But I avoid that area altogether because the water over there gets deep very quickly and doesn’t seem to hold many trout in the fall. Instead, as soon as I reach the pond when I walk in from the parking lot on Route 35, I turn right and start fishing the western shoreline, working my way all around the pond, if necessary, until I reach the tracks at the other end.


Another big female full of eggs.


I arrive at the parking lot at 6 am, fill out the access permit by the kiosk, and quickly walk down the tracks until I reach the western shore of Otter Pond #2. The weather is wonderful this morning: mostly overcast with a gentle breeze and air temps in the high 30’s. The water temp feels in the mid-40’s. In addition, a low pressure is moving into the Gulf of Maine later on this afternoon, bringing rain, snow, and cold to the region. In my experience, fishing is always better ahead of such conditions! I’m in my hip boots, and use an ultralight spinning rod, six-pound test line, and a bronze #2 Mepps spinner. That’s a deadly combination… I spend the next two hours focusing on a 300-ft stretch of shore where the trout seem to be stacked up and eager to bite. I use two tricks to enhance my odds of catching more fish, namely: (a) let the lure sink close to the bottom where the trout are doing their thing, and (b) repeatedly cast the lure to the same general area after catching a brookie. The reason for the latter is that the fish are spawning and therefore congregate in specific spots. So, where there’s one trout, there’s typically more. Over the next two hours, I land ten brook trout, and hook but miss four more! Of the ten, only one is a 8” fish; all the others measure between 12” and 14”, and all either full of eggs, or releasing sperm. The males also exhibit their brilliant spawning colors. It does not get any better than this. And I have the place all to myself! We are truly lucky to have access to such a fantastic resource.


This male brookie took the cake this morning by his size and heft!


The results: I caught ten brook trout (largest = 14”) in two hours of glorious fishing.


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