Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in Livermore, Maine (September 8, 2018)

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Joey is a happy paddler this morning!

My nephew Joey is visiting Maine from away and asks me if I could take him fishing before he leaves back home. Are you kidding me? That’s like asking a honey bee if it wants to drink sweet nectar out of a fragrant flower!! Of course I’ll take him out and put him on fish. I want the trip to be as successful as possible though. I therefore choose a location on the Androscoggin River where I had tremendous luck catching fat smallmouth bass two weeks ago, namely in front of the Otis hydropower station in Livermore, Androscoggin County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 A5). Click here for directions on how to reach this location. We have about 2 hours to make something happen because Joey needs to be back on time to pack up and get to the airport later on that afternoon

Not bad but I’d like the bass to be a little bigger, please.

We arrive at the put-in on the Androscoggin River at 10:30 am and start making our way towards the hydropower station. I set ourselves up with the lure that worked so well here two weeks ago, namely a 2” Rapala jointed shadrap brown crawdad. We both troll this lure as we paddle upstream, which results in two bass for me and one for him! Well, three bass in less than 10 minutes certainly looks promising, although none of these fish had much size to them. I anchor the canoe about 200 ft in the current below the power station and we start fan casting our lures all around the boat. The activity is steady but the size of the fish leaves to be desired. I caught several serious hogs in this exact spot two weeks ago but they’re not at their post today. We land a total of about 8 bass over the next 45 minutes but they all measure between 12” and 15”. They’re fun to catch but I’d like something bigger.


A gorgeous day on a gorgeous river!

We decide to leave the power station behind us and instead let the current float us downstream towards the Route 4 bridge over the river in search of bigger boys. Keep in mind that the fish in this short stretch of the Androscoggin River have nowhere to go. The river is hemmed in by the dam upstream at the Otis hydropower station and the dam at Livermore Falls located about three quarters of a mile further downstream. I’m actually impressed by what I see as we float down: the current remains quite strong (i.e, the stretch doesn’t turn into a sluggish “reservoir”) and the water is easily 6 or more feet deep. We also continue to catch the smallmouth bass we seek, particularly around the Route 4 bridge, but none are the tanks I was hoping for.


Life is good on a fine late-summer day on the Androscoggin River

On our way back to the take-out, we notice in the distance an odd-looking, brown-colored object frantically floating on the surface. Upon closer inspection, we realize that this object is actually a squirrel which is swimming straight across the Androscoggin River! What in the world is this little creature doing here in the middle of the river? I can’t imagine that the nuts are that much tastier on the other side to make it worth the risk of being swooped up by a passing bald eagle… We provide a paddle for it to climb on board but the offer is refused. We leave the squirrel to its business. All and all, Joey and I really enjoyed each other company and had a grand time catching fish, bonding, and talking about life this morning. We also “double-hooked” on three separate occasions when both him and I fought a fish at the same time. The whole experience was just plain old fun!


The results: I caught 8 smallmouth bass (largest 15”) and Joey caught 10 smallmouth bass (largest 16”) in about 2 hours of fun fishing!


The nuts can’t possibly be THAT much tastier on the other side!!


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3 thoughts on “Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Androscoggin River in Livermore, Maine (September 8, 2018)

  1. Thanks for your lively, regular updates. It makes me feel like I’m on the Andro more than just our two August weeks each year in Maine. One question–is there a reason you don’t use often mention using soft plastics? I’ve caught my biggest Andro bass on rattle tubes.

    I’ve heard anecdotally that Andro fishermen have been catching bass with tubes and other soft plastics trapped in their stomachs, but I’m entirely catch and release (with a few trout exceptions!) and haven’t independently confirmed this.

    I did pick up a couple of the Rapala Shad Raps you mentioned (one in crawdad red and one baby bass green) and am eager to try them on Potomac River smallies here in Virginia.

    Thanks again for your faithful postings and please keep them coming!

    • My “normal” go-to smallmouth bass lure is a 4″ soft stickbait rigged wacky-style. I discovered this summer that the Rapala Shad Raps can seek out fish efficiently, effectively, and deep in the water column. So I’ve been playing around with that lure on the Androscoggin River over the last 2 months or so and have become quite comfortable with it. Temperamentally, I’m not one to spend hours slowly dragging a plastic lure over bottom. It’s just not my thing. I suspect that I may be missing out on some action. Win one here, loose one there, I suppose. Life is good though as long as the fish keep in plopping in the boat! 🙂

  2. i have fished 4 times in my kayak on the andro between lewiston and auburn this year and each time i have seen a squirrel cross in the widest spot. maybe its the same one and likes to swim. only other time i have seen this was 2 in one day on belgrade stream. got about 50 wed. night with major bug hatch on water, baitfish seemed to be feeding on the bugs and casting #4 meppes around them did the trick. just got a dry bag from dick’s that i have been taking pics of my fish with, just need to remember to charge my phone before i go -lol

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