Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in Livermore, Maine (August 25, 2018)

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Tank #1.

I continue exploring the outstanding smallmouth bass fishery on the middle Androscoggin River by fishing downstream of the Otis hydropower station located in Livermore, Androscoggin County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 A5). To reach this spot coming from Livermore Falls, drive over the Route 4 (Bridge Street) bridge across the river, turn right on Godlin Road immediately after crossing the river, drive no more than 200 ft and then hang a right on Spruce Mountain Road. Park your car along the grassy shoulder of the road, across from mailbox #72. The river will be flowing on your right. This access point is not official and requires dragging your canoe or kayak through 75 ft of brush to reach the water. The dam and the power station are about 1000 ft further upstream.

 

Tank #2 was caught inside the tail race. Note the hydropower station in the background.

I arrive at the put-in at 2:30 pm. It’s a lovely late summer afternoon and I feel so alive doing what I love doing best: chasing fish! I actually catch a 15” bass as I’m paddling upstream towards the dam by trolling a surface lure behind my canoe. That’s always a good sign! By the way, I like this tactic (i.e., trolling a lure) whenever I’m fishing from my canoe. Paddling is a relatively slow activity and there isn’t a good reason not to keep a lure wet while navigating to your destination. Remember, the more a lure is in the water, the greater the odds of catching a fish. It’s as simple as that. And more often than not, trolling during otherwise “wasted” paddling time has added to my total catch for the day.

 

Tank #3 was caught downstream from the tail race, which is located to the left of this picture.

No water is tumbling over the dam stretched across the river. Hence the entire Androscoggin River is currently flowing through the turbines in the power house, generating carbon-free electricity. That’s actually kinda cool when you think about it… I start by fishing the large expanse of still water in front of the dam, just for kicks, but with no expectations of catching much. I don’t even get a bite after 15 minutes of casting my 5” floating Rapala all around the shallow bouldery area. This lack of activity is not surprising at all since smallmouth bass will always choose flowing water over non-moving water, if given a chance. That’s just their nature.

 

Tank #4 was the biggest one of them all! Note the dry dam in the background.

I then fish the edges of the powerful current pouring out of the power house in the tail race. Classic “back-eddies” are slowly churning on either side of the roiling water moving downstream out of the turbines. And I start catching several smallmouth bass along the current seams using my 2” deep-diving Rapala jointed shad rap brown crawdad lure. Some of those fish are serious 15” to 17” river bronzebacks that give everything they’ve got when hooked. But I catch most of my bass this afternoon about 100 to 200 ft further downstream from the end of the tail race into the river proper, where the water is still moving at a good clip but a bit slower. The bass are stacked up down there and eagerly go after my crayfish-imitating lure. The best fish of the afternoon is also the last one: an 18” brute which continuously rips lines of my reel and refuses to come to the canoe. Wow, what a way to end the day!

 

This crayfish-imitating crankbait was the key to success this afternoon!

I must say that of all the areas of the middle Androscoggin River which I have explored during the summer of 2018 (click here, here, here, here, and here for details on each location), this spot takes the cake! I caught 16 smallmouth bass in about an hour and a half of superb fishing, and over half of those fish measured 15” or more. I also have no doubt that these waters hold 18” to 20” bronzebacks. I think that the lack of a public boat launch makes this spot more inaccessible and therefore less visible to the angling public. Just make sure to release all these beautiful fish so that they can keep on growing to be caught and released another day. For reference, an 18″ smallmouth bass is around 15 years old… Hence, catching one of these creatures is an honor deserving much respect.

 

The results: I caught 16 smallmouth bass (largest 18”) in 1.5 hours of fantastic 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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5 thoughts on “Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in Livermore, Maine (August 25, 2018)

  1. Do you have a link for the jointed crayfish crankbait? I’ve had good luck with Rapala Crayfish, and especially with Tubes, but I haven’t seen any jointed crayfish at Walmart or even at local tackle shops, the too-few local tackle shops that still exist anyway. Thanks for your reports. I’ve been enjoying them thoroughly.

  2. Thanks so much, Stan! It takes a generous fisherman to share his secrets! (In return, my goto Andro lure is a 3-1/2 inch or 4″ green pumpkin salt tube rigged with a custom rattle jig.) I get my rattle jigs from a Canadian guy named Dominick who sells on eBay. Just go to the below link and click “visit store” on the top right, to see his array of custom jig heads.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/10-pcs-3-16-oz-Gamakatsu-4-0-Rattle-Tube-Jig-Head-60-Degree-Jigs-Lure-Bass/321064797114?hash=item4ac0f403ba:g:hHUAAMXQbjxRCb0W

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