Fishing for brook trout on Upper Hinkley Pond in South Portland, Cumberland County, Maine (November 21, 2020)

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General view of Upper Hinkley Pond. The retaining wall and the dam are all the way in the background. We fished the shoreline shown on the right-hand side in this picture.


Upper Hinkley Pond is a small, 3-acre shallow reservoir formed by the impoundment of Kimball Brook. It is found in Hinkley Park off Highland Avenue in South Portland, Cumberland County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 3 A4 or map 73 G4). This beautiful little pond is located only 10 minutes from downtown Portland! The park offers ample parking. Keep in mind that Hinkley Park is a popular area for local people to walk their dogs and that some of their canines may pay you a visit. Beware also that the first pond you encounter when entering the park is Lower Hinkley Pond. This body of water is set aside for “kids only” fishing and therefore cannot be fished by anglers over 16 years old. Just walk uphill for a couple of minutes and the upper pond will soon emerge.



I love catching the one-pound males in brilliant spawning colors!


The State stocked Upper Hinkley Pond on November 12, 2020 with 220 9″ and 50 13″ brook trout in anticipation of the upcoming ice-fishing season. It’s the larger one-pounders that are of great interest to me this morning, particularly since they were stocked at a very generous density of about 17 fish/acre! As per the Maine fishing laws, this pond is available for open-water fishing from October 1 through November 30 using artificial lures only and with the stipulation that all trout must be released at once. A depth map is not available but previous ice-fishing experiences show that this pond has a maximum depth of about 9 ft close to the dam.


Putting Geovanni on fish is always goal #1!


I drive into the Hinkley Park parking lot off Highland Avenue at 8:15 am accompanied by my 12 year-old grandson Geovanni. We’re in for a gorgeous morning: air temps in the lower 50’s, little or no wind, and a bright blue sky. Not bad for the end of November! Those conditions are perfect for wader fishing which is what we’re doing this morning. Waders provide great flexibility, even though this pond can also easily be fished from shore without waders. Geovanni is still on a steep learning curve when it comes to consistently catching fall trout using spinners. His cast is perfect at this point, but it’s the retrieve that needs improving. The trick is to let the lure (always a #2 Mepps for me) sink to the bottom, give it a little jerk to get it to start spinning, and then slowly reeling it in while staying close to the substrate where the trout swim, and constantly twitching the tip of the ultra-light rod during the retrieve to impart a sudden fluttering of the blade which triggers the hunter-killer instinct of the fish.


It just doesn’t get old!


We start casting by the retaining wall and the dam, and slowly work our way up the left shore (looking upstream). We find nooks and crannies to sneak in and out of the water. This shoreline has a bunch of alder trees leaning at an angle into the water, so it’s easier to come in and out of the water instead of wading parallel to the shoreline, as I would typically do. We’ve been fishing for about 20 minutes and have yet to get a bite. Soon after, I hook my first brook trout of the morning, and I’m glad to feel that it’s a one-pounder. Great! I recast multiple times in the same general location and start hooking and landing several more 13″ brookies. I’m on to something! I invite Geovanni to fish from my spot and I go about 20 ft further up. Geovanni casts and recasts but can’t seem to generate any bites. Meanwhile, I’m back on my game and start hooking and landing brookies again. I’m having a blast but am more concerned with Geovanni catching something. He’s getting frustrated by his lack of success and with my constant hook-ups. Finally, after I’ve caught nine brookies, he squeals that he’s caught a big one too. The fish gods have looked down kindly on him! I heave a silent sigh of relief and walk over to him to celebrate his catch. His smile and excitement say it all. He’s relishing the moment. I go back to fishing at my spot and land three more trout. The bite suddenly stops, and by then Geovanni is also distracted. It’s time to call it quits. Our morning was successful: nine of the 12 brook trout I caught were one-pounders, and Geovanni didn’t leave skunked. Mission accomplished!


Behold the beauty of a male brook trout in all of its glorious fall colors!


The results: I caught 12 brook trout (nine of them 13″) and Geovanni caught one 13″ brook trout in 1.5 hours of fast and furious 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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4 thoughts on “Fishing for brook trout on Upper Hinkley Pond in South Portland, Cumberland County, Maine (November 21, 2020)

  1. I was having trouble linking to the map, so I went to Google maps separately. There was a note on the map that Upper Hinkley Pond is permanently closed. If this is not true, don’t tell them to correct it. It’ll keep the crowds out.

    • I don’t know where Google Maps gets its information from, but rest assured that the pond was stocked by the state this fall in anticipation of the upcoming ice-fishing season. So, Upper Hinkley is open for business.

  2. Thanks so much for this. After checking out the stocking report I planned on bringing my son here tomorrow! This fishing report came at such a perfect time and gave me all the information I needed. Thanks again , Brett

    • I’m glad that this blog hit the target for you! If you haven’t done so yet, feel free to sign up on my website to get notified of future fishing blog. Tight lines.

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