Fishing for lake trout on Lower Wilson Pond in Greenville, Piscataquis County, Maine (May 17, 2021)

 

The boat launch by the dam is spacious.

 

Lower Wilson Pond is a 1,380-acre body of water located just east of the municipal airport in Greenville, Piscataquis County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 41 D3). This lake has two public boat launches. I use the one at the southern tip by the dam off E Road (note: E Road is renamed the Katahdin Iron Works Road a mile or two further east). The hard-top launch is spacious, can accommodate large boats, and offers plenty of parking. The entrance to the launch is clearly marked by a large sign on E Road.

 

 

Lower Wilson Pond consists of the southern lobe of Wilson Pond. This beautiful water body is moderately developed, deeply wooded, and surrounded by several attractive mountains and hills. Its waters are cold, deep, and crystal-clear, and support three salmonid species, namely brook trout (unstocked), landlocked Atlantic salmon (stocked), and lake trout (unstocked). The later consists of a large stunted population which can be harvested under a liberal rule designed explicitly to thin out the herd: the bag limit for lake trout is three fish, with a minimum length limit of 14 inches (!) but only one fish can exceed 18 inches. The daily bag limit on brook trout is two fish with a minimum length of 10 inches; only one fish can exceed 12 inches. The daily bag limit for landlocked salmon is two fish with a minimum length limit of 14 inches. Click here for additional fishing rules. The maximum and mean depths equal 106 ft. and 37 ft., respectively. Click here for a depth map and additional fisheries information.

 

A glorious early-morning view of Lower Wilson Pond

 

I arrive at the boat launch of Lower Wilson Pond at 5:00 am and push off 20 minutes later. It is a glorious early morning with not an atom of wind or nary a cloud in the sky. The surface water temperature comes in at 53°F, which is relatively warm for this early in the season given the size of the lake. I set up to troll for landlocked salmon and lake trout in my 14-ft motorboat using a portable downrigger and lead core line. The former is always set to fish deeper than the latter to avoid tangling the two lines. I place two Mooselook spoons on the downrigger 15 ft. below the surface and use the lead core to fish with three one-hook smelt-imitating streamer flies tied to each other and set 5 to 10 ft. below the surface. I hold the fly fishing rod with the lead core in my hand and constantly “rip” the flies to cause them to move forward erratically in order to attract the attention of my scaly mates down below. I concentrate my attention along the shoreline in water 30 to 50 ft. deep. Note that this kind of fishing absolutely requires using a depth finder to prevent the downrigger weight from hitting the bottom or potentially wedging itself between boulders.

 

That is one underfed lake trout!

 

I get one hit on my lead core line 25 minutes into my trip but the fish fails to hook itself. Damn, there goes an opportunity! Nothing happens for the next hour. I change out my two spoons and three flies midway into the trip. It’s important to take the time to go through this process when nothing is biting because yesterday’s winning lures can easily become today’s losing lures for reasons only understood by the fish. The lack of action is partially relieved by the beautiful landscape, serene surroundings, and a couple of serenading loons. I suddenly get another hit on the lead core and this time the fish is hooked. Yes! It gives a good fight but looks like a long skinny pickerel as it’s darting below the boat. That can’t be… Then I realize what’s going on: I caught a scrawny 18-inch lake trout which is so thin that it looked like a pickerel! This one is clearly severely underfed. I understand now why the bag limit for lake trout is so liberal! I fish for another 20 minutes without further action. I would like to explore more of Lower Wilson Pond but unfortunately have to move on to catch breakfast.

 

The results: I caught a scrawny 18-inch lake trout in two hours of slow 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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