Rainbow trout and brown trout fishing on Kennebunk Pond, Lyman, Maine (December 3, 2016)

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The boat launch on Kennebunk Pond is unimproved and sandy.

The “boat launch” on Kennebunk Pond is unimproved and sandy.

Kennebunk Pond is a 224-acre body of water located in Lyman, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 2 B5). A rough and sandy public boat launch is located off Kennebunk Pond Road at the outlet on the eastern side of the pond. Ample parking is available across from the launch. Be aware that this launch is quite shallow, particularly in the fall when the water level in the pond is low. In my opinion, only hand-carried craft or small motor boats can effectively be put in and retrieved from this spot in late fall. Anything bigger would be problematic, and would require a 4X4 vehicle. This pond was stocked last month with a total of 641 brown trout, rainbow trout and brook trout measuring between 12” and 15”. Our goal this morning is to catch some of those fish.

 

 

 

It is cold and windy this morning, but we're dressed for it.

It is cold and windy this morning, but we’re dressed for it.

 

 

My son Joel and I reach the Kennebunk Pond boat launch a little after 8 am. I’m glad to see that we’re the only ones fishing this morning. The sun is out but the air temperature is in the low 30’s. Also, the wind howling in from the northwest creates a biting wind chill in the low 20’s. Once again, we’re dressed like we’re going ice fishing, and we’ll need every layer to stay warm! It is exciting to still be able to troll for trout in early December, but the long-range weather forecast calls for a two-week stretch of consistently cold weather. So, today is our last opportunity for open-water fishing in 2016. With any luck, we’ll be drilling holes through the ice before Christmas! Keep in mind that even though most ponds and lakes in southern Maine remain open to trout fishing until ice-over, certain restrictions apply, such as use of artificial lures only (i.e., no live bait) coupled with catch and release (click here for more details on the fishing rules). Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information pertaining to Kennebunk Pond.

 

My first bow told us to fish our lures shallow. It just took us an hour to figure that out...

My first bow told us to fish our lures shallow. It just took us another hour to figure that out…

We’ll follow our usual trolling strategy of using small portable downriggers and lead core line to place our spoons about halfway down the water column. Today is the first time that I’ve fished Kennebunk Pond, so I keep a close eye on the depth finder as we slowly motor away from the launch. I’m surprised by how shallow the water remains, even quite a ways offshore. We’re also constantly adjusting the depth of our lures in response to the changing water depth, when I hit bottom with the trolling weight and need to check my lures for plants. I do so, cast out again, and futz around with the line clip when my rod suddenly start shaking. Holy mackerel, I’ve caught a fish and we’ve only been out on the water for 15 minutes! It’s a nice 15” rainbow which grabbed the lure right below the surface in about 8 ft of water. Mmm, I’ve seen that pattern before

 

 

 

A nice way to end the 2016 open-water fishing season!

A nice way to end the 2016 open-water fishing season!

It turns out that the bottom contour in Kennebunk Pond in the general vicinity of the boat launch is highly irregular, going from 2 ft deep down to 20 ft, and then back up again in a matter of yards. In fact, the first hour is a total and unmitigated clusterf*ck as we consistently and unexpectedly run into shallow water, hit bottom with the trolling weights, get our lures stuck, and get blown off-course by the wind. But we get four more hits, and I catch another rainbow trout… And the depth finder tells us that the hits are consistently occurring by the drop-offs. Clearly, the fish are there but our approach is wrong. We get rid of the downriggers and lead core line, and instead troll with our lures placed right below the surface. Joel, who’s getting frustrated because his elder is whipping is heiny good this morning, switches out his lures and ties on a yellow and orange-colored DB Smelt. We are now free from constantly working the down riggers and worrying about getting our lures stuck. Instead, we focus exclusively on hitting the ledges. The new approach pays off handsomely, at least for Joel, who picked the winning lure. I get two more hits, but he ends up catching two bows and two browns in less than an hour, leaving me in the dust. Regardless, we’re thrilled to have developed a winning strategy to catch more fish. What a wonderful way to end the 2016 open-water season. See y’all on the ice in a few short weeks.

 

The results: I caught two rainbow trout (largest was 15”) and Joel caught two rainbow trout (largest was 15”) and two brown trout (largest was 13”) in 2.5 hours of fun fishing.

 

Kennebunk Pond, Lyman, Maine

 

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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