Ice fishing for brook trout on Big Eddy Pond, Topsham, Sagadahoc County, Maine (December 27, 2021)

The first brookie of the morning told us we were on to something.

 

Big Eddy Pond is a small four-acre body of water located in the back of the Topsham Transfer Station at the end of Townsend Way, off Foreside Road in Topsham, ME. The pond is not shown on the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map. Click here for directions on how to reach this sweet spot.

 

 

This brookie grabbed the baitfish and triggered the flag as soon as the trap was lowered into the water. He couldn’t wait to feed!

 

Big Eddy Pond is high on my list of early ice-fishing ponds which I anxiously want to check out this season. I wader fished it in the fall of 2020 and was quite impressed with the quality of the pond, the quiet surroundings, and the fishing results. In the fall of 2021, the state stuffed this little gem with 500 9-inch brookies, 75 14-inch brookies, and 20 18-inch brookies. Do the math with me for a moment: that yields an astonishing total of 149 brookies per acre! More specifically, it also means an incredible stocking density of five 18-inch brookies per acre which, by my calculations, represents one of the highest stocking densities of brood stock brook trout anywhere in the state of Maine for the 2021-2022 ice fishing season!! You understand now why I’m so eager to get going this morning… Ice fishing at this location takes place under the general fishing laws applicable to the south zone, i.e., up to five tip-ups, bait fish are allowed, and a two-trout limit per person per day. A depth map is not available for this location.

 

This brood stock trout read the memo and made my morning!

 

I reach the small parking lot next to the transfer station at 7:10 am with my 13 year-old grandson Geovanni. The air temperature is in the low 20’s and forecast to rise into the 30’s with bright sunshine later today. We dress up warmly, off-load the equipment, walk to Big Eddy Pond via the local trails, and reach it by 7:30 am. Even though I see signs of prior ice fishing activity, I use my spud to check the thickness of the ice, just to be safe; the ice is a solid 3 to 4 inches, and is covered with two inches of fresh snow. Perfect! We make a run for the southern shoreline which will stay deep in the shadows as the sun rises above the horizon behind the local tree line. I’m also pleasantly surprised that no one else is fishing given that school is out all of this week. In fact, we don’t see another soul until we leave shortly after 10 am. That’s just the way I like it. I fire up the auger for the first time this season and start drilling holes to set up our traps along the shoreline in water 2 to 8 ft deep with 2-inch baitfish placed about halfway down the water column. The first flag pops up as we’re working on the third hole. Great, the fish are active and feeding this morning! I let G handle it and he yelps from excitement when a fat 14-inch brookie flops on the ice.

 

Jigging is very productive this morning but only yields smaller 9-inch brookies. Notice that the shoreline is still in the shadow at about 9:30 am even though the sun has been rising for over two hours and has flooded the rest of the pond with its harsh light.

 

The action over the next hour or so is essentially non-stop. We succeed in setting up three more traps but have to constantly interrupt our work to tend about ten flags, yielding another four 13 to 15-inch brook trout. Boy, this is so much fun! And then the action slows down drastically as the early-morning activity winds down in response to the increasing light levels (click here, here, and here for prior examples). We set up the remaining two traps and also drill a dozen jigging holes. A flag pops up and it is my turn to tend the trap. The line is rapidly spinning off the reel (always a pleasure to see!) when I arrive. I carefully lift the trap out of the hole, allow the line slack to be removed by the swimming fish, and firmly set the hook. It is immediately clear that I’ve caught one of the brood stock fish!! The creature puts up a spirited fight and is scooped out of the water by G. We high-five each other in pure excitement. Ice fishing doesn’t get any better than this. The flag action has now totally died out, but the jigging action is hot! Over the next hour or so, I catch nine brookies and G catches four. Surprisingly, every one of those fish is of the 9-inch variety. It’s like the larger trout from this morning checked out to allow the little guys to feed. Regardless, our morning of ice fishing on Big Eddy Pond was a complete success, particularly catching the large brood stock trout. This fish was quickly released back to the water to be caught by another lucky angler.

 

The results: We landed 19 brook trout (largest was 18″) in 3 hours of awesome ice 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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