Ice fishing for brook trout on Long Lake in Livermore , Androscoggin County, Maine (March 5, 2022)

Long Lake covers 208 acres and is located in Livermore, Androscoggin County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 A5). Public access is via the boat launch located right off Route 4 (Crash Road). A large and spacious parking area is available next to the launch.

 

 

The eastern shoreline stays in the shadow of the rising morning sun.

 

Long Lake is a moderately developed and pretty body of water. As its name implies, this relatively-small lake is well over 1.5 miles long but only about 1,500 ft. wide. It is also rather shallow for its size, with a maximum and average depth of 18 ft. and 12 ft., respectively. The pond was stocked last fall with 100 12-inch brown trout (about 0.5 fish per acre) and 525 14-inch brook trout (about 2.5 fish per acre). It’s the one-pound brook trout that are of interest to me, even though I don’t expect “fast fishing” this morning given the rather low salmonid stocking densities. Also, I doubt that any of these fish can survive year-over-year because the shallow water of this lake becomes uniformly warm from top to bottom during the summer. The lake also supports smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and white perch, among other fish species. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries-related information. Ice fishing occurs under the general fishing laws.

 

This brookie made my morning, considering that Long Lake had an icefishing derby the weekend before!

 

I arrive at the Long Lake boat launch at 5:45 am, load the equipment on my sled, and start walking across the lake in order to fish the opposite shoreline which will stay in the shadow of the rising morning sun. It’s a nippy -1°F but the lack of wind makes it quite bearable. The air temperature is forecast to quickly rise into the upper 20’s throughout the morning in response to the strong March sun. The six inches of snow on top of the ice make for a hard pull. I reach my fishing spot 15 minutes later out of breath and severely overheated… My strategy this morning is to target brook trout and brown trout by deploying four tip-ups along the shoreline in water 3 to 9 ft. deep with 2-inch shiners placed about half-way down the water column, and drilling jigging holes all around. The ice is a robust but unimpressive 17-inches thick. The flag of the second trap goes up as I’m drilling my third hole. Great, the fish are actively feeding this morning! I run towards the trap but the spool is not turning. Crap! The baitfish is still on but has been partially scaled. I replace it and quickly reset the trap in the hope that the predator is still down there looking for a snack. I get a second flag about 15 minutes later but on the third trap. Wonderful! The spool is again not turning when I reach the hole, and the line is hanging vertically down. I carefully remove the trap, slowly bring up the bait, and immediately set the hook after I feel resistance. I soon bring in a 14-inch smallmouth bass. Aargh! Am I going to be pestered by this non-target species, and was the first flag just a bass flag?

 

A nice and unexpected “by catch”. This fat largemouth bass gave one heck of a fight on the jig!

 

The answer occurs 20 minutes later when the flag of the second trap goes up again. The spool is once more not turning when I reach the hole but the braided line is at an angle. Someone’s definitely down there… I feel resistance as I slowly bring in the baitfish and set the hook on a 14-inch brook trout. Success! A nearby homeowner is on his morning walk and stops by for a friendly chat. He tells me that Long Lake was bursting with anglers last weekend because of a local icefishing derby. OMG, I feel double lucky to have caught this brookie considering the enormous fishing pressure that comes out of derbies. It’s now a little after 7:15 am and I start jigging. My first hole is surprisingly deep (16 ft.) and alerts me that my tip-ups are actually located close to a drop-off, which is good. Within 10 minutes, I get a bite on the jig, set the hook, and immediately feel a tremendous resistance. The fish fights hard, makes several strong runs, and rips line off my reel. My goodness, what have I caught?? It’s actually a very healthy largemouth bass that gave me a nice, hard fight. This one definitely counts. And then the bite stops… I get one more hit on the jig but no more flags over the next 2.5 hours. I call it good at 10 am when the sun has fully emerged from behind the trees and is now flooding the eastern shoreline with its bright light. It really goes to show that getting on the hard water at the crack ‘o dawn is the key to success when it comes to icefishing, even if it means getting out of bed at an ungodly hour. I learned that the hard way over the years…

 

The results: I caught one brook trout (14″), a fat largemouth bass (18″), and a short smallmouth bass (14″) in 4 hours of 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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