Ice fishing for brook trout on Charles Pond in Georgetown, Maine (December 24, 2017)

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This female brookie was still full of eggs

 

Charles Pond covers 14 acres and is located next to Route 127 (Five Islands Road) in Georgetown, Sagadahoc County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 7 D1). I discovered this pond exactly one year ago in December and had a fantastic fishing experience on it then. My buddy Dmitry is from away and is visiting the family for the holidays. He has never ice-fished before and said he wanted to give it a try. I choose this pond, even though it’s a bit out of the way, because it was very well stocked last fall with lots of one-pound brook trout (including 15 fish measuring 19”!) and also provided me with an unforgettable experience last year. I’m hoping to replicate that kind of fishing this time around for Dmitry.

 

Jigging was very productive this morning and required much less effort than tending the traps!!

 

Charles Pond is your typical winter “put-and-take” trout fishery. The pond is very shallow (with a maximum depth of about 6 ft; a depth map is not abvailable) and unable to hold trout year-round. Hence, the expectation is that any fish not caught during the hard-water season or later on in the spring will not survive the hot summer months. It’s also the kind of pond that typically provides fast trout action early in the ice-fishing season but then progressively slows down as more and more of the stocked fish are harvested over time.

 

Look at the gorgeous colors on this beauty!

 

My son Joel, Dmitry, and I leave the house at 6:15 am and carefully drive towards Charles Pond. We experienced significant freezing rain yesterday over southern Maine. The roads this morning are slick and slippery with black ice. However, the views along the way are gorgeous, with the light of the rising sun shining through the ice that coats all the branches of the trees. It is a true winter wonderland! The air temperature when we arrive is quite agreeable, hovering in the high 20’s and expected to rise into the low 30’s later on. The sky is also forecast to become partly sunny. All in all, these conditions are great for introducing our novice angler to the art of hard-water fishing. One other party of two people is deploying their traps as we arrive at 7:30 am. We move past them and set up our operation about halfway up the pond. The ice is a solid 5″ thick and safe. It is also devoid of snow, which always makes for easier fishing.

 

Joel hit the jackpot this morning with this beautiful 16″ brookie!

 

Our plan is to deploy 12 tip-ups and drill several more holes for jigging. We get our first flag as we’re working on trap #5. Great!! The fish are active and biting this morning. It yields a small brookie which is returned back to the water in anticipation of bigger ones to come. The flag action is pretty steady from then on. We get around 20 flags over the next two and a half hours, resulting in seven brook trout, one of which is a gorgeous 16 incher, and five tiny pickerels. At one point, the bite is so active that all three of us are tending our separate flags. But rebaiting the traps takes a lot of running around. I’m not only looking after my traps, but also Dmitry’s, while Joel is happily jigging away. And that’s where the real action is… We jig up a total of eight additional brook trout. In fact, we all have the same experience I had last year on this pond: we see multiple trout swimming right underneath our feet. Unfortunately, unlike last year, the ice is too wet and slushy to lay down flat on our stomachs and look down our fishing holes.

 

All three of us bring back home our two-fish daily bag limit for the frying pan

 

The bite slows down noticeably by 9:30 am and dies out altogether by 10 am, as the sun rises over the tree tops and floods the pond with its bright lite. This pattern is all too familiar with ice fishing, and was entirely expected. We call it good by 10:30 am, thoroughly satisfied with the great fishing we experienced this morning. Dmitry too is delighted to have been successfully involved in a true Maine winter experience! I highly recommend ice fishing Charles Pond early in the hard-water season. Not only are the brook trout fat and is the action fast, but there’s always the possibility of hooking into a 4 lb lunker fish.

 

The results: The three of use landed a total of 15 brook trout measuring between 12” and 16” in 2.5 hours of fantastic 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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