Largemouth bass fishing on Big Clemons Pond in Hiram, Maine (August 23, 2014)

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View of Big Clemons Pond from the public access point

View of Big Clemons Pond from the public access point

Big Clemons Pond is an 85-acre body of water located in Hiram, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C2). From Hiram, drive north on Routes 5/113 (Pequawket Trail). After about 2 miles, turn left on Notch Road. Drive 2.5 miles down this road and turn right on Clemons Cove Road. The access point is 0.2 miles on the left, immediately past “Neighbors Way”. Note that both The Maine Gazetteer and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife indicate the presence of a hard-surface boat launch at this location. What I found was a public launch area that can only accommodate small hand-carried craft, such as a kayak or canoe; a couple of cars can be parked on the grass on the side. I suspect that the actual boat launch is located nearby but that I missed it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Burnt Meadow Mountains overlook Big Clemons Pond

The Burnt Meadow Mountains overlook Big Clemons Pond

 

 

Big Clemons Pond does not have specific fishing rules for bass. In other words, the pond is open year-round to bass fishing, with no size or bag limit. Clearly, the State is trying to thin out the local bass population residing in this water body. The pond also supports a managed brook trout population which is maintained via an annual spring and fall stocking program. Beware that specific rules also apply to this fishery. Click here for more details on the bass and trout regulations. The pond has a maximum depth of 44 ft and an average depth of 12 ft. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information.

 

The bass holding habitat along the eastern shoreline of Big Clemons Pond is sparse

The bass holding habitat along the eastern shoreline of Big Clemons Pond is sparse

Big Clemons Pond is located in pleasant surroundings. This corner of southern Oxford County is wooded and rural, with the Burnt Meadow Mountains looking down on the scenery from the northwest. The lake is moderately developed. Most of the waterfront properties are located off Notch Road along the eastern shoreline. The western shoreline appears mostly devoid of houses. The southern end of the pond abuts a large open meadow where a small stream connects to Little Clemons Pond. The surface water is transparent. The substrate along the shoreline consists mostly of sand and small gravel. I get the impression that this water body is clean and pristine.

 

 

 

 

 

Good largemouth bass habitat can be found along the southern shore of Big Clemons Pond

Good largemouth bass habitat can be found along the southern shore of Big Clemons Pond

I reach the access point on Big Clemons Pond with my 11-year old nephew Christian at around 10:30 am. The sky is mostly overcast, the air temperature is in the upper 70’s, and a gentle breeze blows in from the south. We place my canoe in the water and paddle to our left to start fishing. It becomes quickly obvious that this side of the pond has little or no bass holding habitat, except for some shore docks and nearby floating docks. We see no aquatic vegetation, submerged wood, boulders, or other natural habitat. We also haven’t gotten a single bite in 45 minutes. We paddle to the southern end of the pond and find what we’re looking for: shallows (1-5 ft) with bass holding habitat consisting mostly of emergent pickerel weeds/arrowheads interspersed with a few lily pads. I scour the area with a noisy buzzbait, whereas Christian uses a 5″ soft stickbait. I suddenly get a tremendous hit when a very large bass (I estimate about 21”) pounces on my lure, makes one big jump, and immediately rips line off my reel in order to bury itself in a nearby patch of vegetation. I desperately try to horse it out of the plant stems but I’m too late: The lure gets tangled in the tough stems and the bass quickly unhooks. Sh*t!! That was a nice fish which got away. We continue fishing the area for another 30 minutes, but without eliciting another bite. We leave shortly afterwards, somewhat disappointed by the lack of action, but glad to have enjoyed the quite surroundings.

 

The results: Both Christian and I were skunked after 1.5 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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