Ice fishing for brook trout on Littlefield Pond, Sanford, Maine (January 28, 2017)

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The larger baitfish targets bass, while the smaller baitfish targets brook trout

Littlefield Pond covers 19 acres and is located in Sanford, York County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 C3). The public access point is on Emmons Road (off Littlefield Road) right before the two signs that state “Private Road”. Parking is on the shoulders. Emmons Road is a drivable dirt road but I do not know how well it is plowed after a snow storm. I have no problem driving on it today because it hasn’t snowed significantly over the last two weeks and the temperatures have been rather mild lately. Hence, the road is largely snow-free and parking is not an issue. Earlier in the week, while planning for this weekend fishing trip, my eight-year old grandson Giovanni confided that he really wanted to ice fish for “eating fish”, i.e., trout. I decide to give him his wish by selecting a pond which was well stocked with brook trout last fall.

 

 

 

Anthony is licking his lips in anticipation of nibbling on this little guy!

 

 

This blog identifies Littlefield Pond as a top ice-fishing destination in York County for catching brook trout during the winter of 2017. However, the vast majority of these stocked fish measure only between 7” and 9”. I’m hoping that the lack of size will be made up by quantity and flag action… I arrive at the pond by 8:30 am with Giovanni, his younger brother Anthony and my nephew Christian. The boys are quite excited about this morning’s adventure because the two older ones brought their remote-controlled cars with them to buzz around the ice. Fortunately, the relatively warm weather has melted all the old snow, turning the surface into a smooth, but not glare, arena. The pond itself is actually quite pretty. Surprisingly, given its close proximity to Sanford, only a single house is visible from the ice which makes for a nice “remote” feeling. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

The boys are horsing around on the ice. This picture was taken at 11:30 am. Note that the east-facing shoreline is still largely in the shadows even that late in the morning.

Today’s weather forecast calls for partially sunny skies with temps in the low to mid 30’s. I am surprised upon walking on the ice by the viciousness of the wind which is howling in from the northwest. Good thing it’s not freezing because it would make it too cold for the kids. We walk straight across to the eastern side of Littlefield Pond in order to fish the shoreline in the shadow of the rising sun. I have my work cut out this morning. The kids immediately start playing with their remote-controlled cars and leave it to me to deploy my 15 tip-ups. Over the next hour and a half, I string 12 traps in 4 to 9 ft of water right along the shoreline baited with small 2”-2.5” baitfish to target brook trout, and place three more traps in the middle of the pond over 15 ft of water with larger 4” baitfish placed 2 ft off the bottom to entice members of the resident largemouth bass population. The ice thickness is an unimpressive 11”.

 

 

Mission accomplished! Giovanni is coming home with “eating fish”!!

The action starts within 20 minutes at one of the shallow traps and continues on and off over the next three hours. The first four flags come out of a single hole and yield two brookies. As per Tip #12, I remove outlying inactive traps and redeploy them around this honey hole until all 15 traps, including the three off-shore bass traps which haven’t done a thing, are all clustered by 10:30 am in a small area along the shoreline. The strategy, while exhausting, works because this more focused approach generates an additional 8 flags and four more brookies. As anticipated, all the trout are small but definitely of “eating” size! The boys lose focus during periods of slow flag action. Their remote-control cars quickly run out of juice and they entertain themselves by running in the woods and building a fire on the ice. The trout stop feeding by 11:30 am and haven’t triggered a single flag by 12:30 pm. That is the signal to break up camp and head back home. We get together in the evening to munch on the trout the boys caught this morning and to retell their adventures on and off the ice. Isn’t that what life should be all about?

 

 

The results: The boys landed six small brookies in four hours of fun 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 “Ice fishing for brook trout on Littlefield Pond, Sanford, Maine (January 28, 2017)

  1. Great blog entry. Thanks for sharing, and congrats to the young ones who caught their share of “eating fish.” I miss having the opportunity to ice fish, living in Virginia. But I appreicate the opportunity to live vicariously through your adventures.

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