Kids ice fishing for brook trout on Round Pond in Lyman, Maine (January 30, 2016)

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Christian and Antony are both jigging for trout

Christian and Geovanni are both jigging for trout

Round Pond is a small 6-acre body of water located in Lyman, York County (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 B5). The pond is found at the intersection of Route 35 (Goodwins Mills Road) and Mast Road on property belonging to the York County Fish and Game Club. (YCF&GC; click here for details). Public access is through the gate by the small parking area off Mast Road. Note that Round Pond is a “KIDS ONLY” pond, but only during the hard-water season. It is fishable through the ice under Special Regulation code S-9 (i.e., open to fishing only to persons under 16 years old; restricted to two lines per person; daily bag limit for trout is two fish). The pond, which has a mean and maximum depth of 14 ft and 36 ft, respectively, sits in a distinct bowl surrounded by woods. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The only human structure visible from the ice is the YCF&GC club house sitting on top of the hill on the southern end. The state stocks this pond each fall with an abundance of brookies to create fast fishing action on the ice for kids.


Christian jigs up a small brook trout

Christian jigs up a small brook trout



I made plans with my son Joel to pick him and his two boys (7-year old Giovanni and 5-year old Antony) up at his house at 7 am. My 13-year old nephew Christian is also joining us. Joel calls me up at 6:15 am to tell me that his boys will be ready but that he isn’t feeling well and needs to bail out. I’ll be on my own this morning. We reach Round Pond at 8 am and quickly make our way on the ice. The boys are boisterous and excited. It’s their second ice fishing trip this season. The air temperature is an agreeable 25°F and is expected to climb into the upper 30’s later on today in response to a bright sunshine. To my relief, the snow on top of the ice has all melted away and refrozen, making it easy for the little guys to run around and keep their feet dry. My plan is to fish the eastern (shadow) shoreline, but that spot is already claimed when we arrive, so we set up camp along the southern shoreline. I trust/hope that my auger will not act up like it did the last two fishing trips. The engine fires up smoothly after two pulls but stalls after drilling the third hole in 6” of ice. It then steadfastly refuses to come back to life again. ARGH!!! It needs to go back to the shop! I walk over to my neighbor on the eastern shoreline to ask if he could drill me a couple of holes. He informs me that he’s already leaving because his girl caught her limit of two trout in less than 20 minutes. So, he invites me to use his spot and also drills a few more holes for me. That’s the right spirit.


Antony gives it a shot, but jigging isn't his thing yet...

Antony gives it a shot, but jigging isn’t his thing yet…

Our six traps are deployed by 8:40 am along the eastern shoreline in 6 to 8 ft of water. I’ve baited them with small 2” shiners placed 1 to 3 ft below the ice. The first flag pops up soon after, and the action is non-stop over the next hour. Boy, could I use Joel’s help right now! I’m constantly running between the traps to help tend flags, check bait, unhook fish, put on new hooks, and referee quarrels among the boys as to whose turn it is to bring in the next trout! All of this frenzy yields six brookies measuring between 7” and 10”. One story stands out. Giovanni brings in what appears to be a hefty fish. He pulls on the line quite hard upon feeling resistance, thereby causing the line to break. It turns out that the “resistance” was because a brookie had buried itself into aquatic vegetation on the bottom, and that vegetation was being dragged towards the hole. I put my hand in the hole after the line breakage to remove the plants when, to everyone’s surprise and great acclaim, I bring up the trout which was still entangled in the vegetation!




These six brookies are coming home for lunch!

These six brookies are coming home for lunch!

Meanwhile, Christian wants to try his luck jigging. So, I remove one of the traps and I set him up with a jigging rod and my new trout lure (click here for details). He lands three brookies in 20 minutes, which causes Giovanni to also want to jig. I remove a second trap and set him up with another jigging rod. However, Giovanni has never jigged before so I explain the concept to him and let him loose. He actually observes several trout through the crystal-clear water taking jabs at his lure but he fails to hook any. He loves this experience but soon loses interest, drops the rod and starts running around with his brother. It is now well past 9:30 am and the sun has risen above the surrounding woods, thereby shedding a harsh light on our fishing spot. Not surprisingly, the bite slows down dramatically in response to the increased light levels. Joel calls me at 9:45 am to let me know that he’s about to leave home to join us. I tell him not to bother because we’ll be heading out in about 30 minutes anyway. We get another three flags and land three trout during that period, but by then the two smaller boys have lost focus. Regardless, we had a marvelous time and are bringing six brookies home for lunch. Joel meets us at my place for a delicious trout fry with the boys and to hear all about the exciting fishing memories we made this morning!


The results: Each kid caught 3 to 4 small brook trout in 2.5 hours of fast and fun fishing.


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