Fishing for Smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in Brunswick, Maine (September 1, 2018)

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The turn-off is in front of this sign next to mailbox #822 on River Road.

My goal this afternoon is to fish the Androscoggin River below the dam and hydropower station located in Brunswick, Maine, across the river from Pejepscot (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 6 B2). Note that I am not talking about the “head of tide” dam/power station located in downtown Brunswick (see The Atlas and Gazetteer map 78 B2, just upstream of the route 24/201 bridge over the river). For the record, I did fish that latter spot this morning and only caught 4 scrawny smallmouth bass in 1.5 hours of intense fishing in what otherwise looked like an ideal location. I suspect that the twice-a-day brackish conditions in this section of the river are less suitable to sustain a healthy and robust bass population. Hence, I didn’t bothered writing a blog about this tidal location.

It’s challenging enough to safely bring the canoe down the wooden slide, but quite another deal to haul the thing back up these steps!!

To reach this afternoon’s target, drive down River Road, which connects Route 1 in downtown Brunswick to Route 125, and turn unto a dirt road by mailbox #822. This turnoff is also indicated by a white sign that reads “Pejepscot Fishing Park”. Drive down this dirt road for 0.4 miles until it ends by the river. The actual put-it is another 300 ft or so further down a trail that runs next to a chain-linked fence which, I presume, was built by the power-station owners to keep people away from the dam. I also run into an unpleasant surprise. To reach the water from the trail requires going down a metal stair with 24 steps! Sh*t! I’m by myself and won’t have any help dragging my canoe back up those stairs. I’ll worry about it after I’m done fishing. The steps are flanked by a convenient wooden “canoe slide” which I use to let gravity carefully pull my canoe down to the foot of the stairs. Then there’s another 5-ft drop below these steps to reach the water.


The put-in is rough. The dam and power station are to the left of this picture.

I’m quite impressed by what I see once I reach the shore of the Androscoggin River. Water is spilling over a section of the dam closest to the power station. The current is strong in the middle of the river channel but then quickly slows down on either side. It definitely has the look and feel of great smallmouth bass habitat, quite similar to what I have observed this summer further upstream on this awesome river (click here, here, and here for examples). I’m anxious to get going and hook into some serious bass! I paddle out and place my canoe about 100 ft in front of the dam in 15 ft of water facing the current that spills over the dam. I use the killer lure which has worked so well for me in this kind of river habitat: a 2” Rapala jointed shadrap brown crawdad. However, my high expectations are quickly dashed… 30+ minutes and five dozen casts later, I’ve caught a grand total of two pathetic 10” bass! What’s going on here?


One of only two smallmouth bass that wasn’t a little nothing.

I paddle to the opposite shoreline but notice that the water over there flows over a wide and shallow bedrock ledge that runs all along that bank. Casting the crawdad into the deeper, more-turbulent waters away from shore yields several more little bass. I finally switch my lure for a larger, deeper-diving crayfish-imitating crankbait in the hope of mixing things up a bit and quickly hook two half-way decent bass back to back. OK, perhaps I’m on to something now! But no, the next several bass after that are all 10” or 11” little dinks. Enough already. I let the current drift me quite a ways downstream from the dam all the while casting out my lure. But the pattern repeats itself over and over: all the remaining fish I catch are the same-sized little nothings as before. Although I must say that I wonder how these little guys can possibly get their mouths around that big crankbait! Desperate gluttony, I suppose… All in all, though, this location was greatly disappointing, and simply did not live up to its apparent potential. In fact, upon further reflection, I’m not sure that I’d recommend fishing there due to the paucity of decent-sized smallmouth bass and the challenging access and egress conditions for those using hand-carried craft.


Don’t tell me that this water doesn’t look like prime smallmouth bass habitat!

The results: I caught 12 mostly tiny smallmouth bass (largest fish = 15”) in 1.5 hours of disappointing 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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3 thoughts on “Fishing for Smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in Brunswick, Maine (September 1, 2018)

  1. these blogs on the Androscoggin are very helpful. I have also been exploring the river via kayak this summer fishing for smallmouth. Lots of small fish which I am beginning to understand due to your explanations. One question re cutting your anchor rope due to getting the anchor stuck in the rocks. This has happened to me so I am curious what kind of anchor do you use and how do you minimize getting stuck?

  2. You should have gone to the Mill St boat landing further down stream. I’ve caught numerous smallies 12-14 inches and some great bucket mouths in stretch. Largest one last year (2018) weighed in at 6.3 pounds. They’re stocking in with alewives this year though so I don’t know what the long term affect will be on bass.

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