Smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River in Lisbon, Maine (June 23, 2013)


View Larger Map

General view of the rapids on the Androscoggin River about 0.5 miles upstream of the Sabattus River boat launch

General view of the rapids on the Androscoggin River about 0.5 miles upstream of the Sabattus River boat launch

I’m fishing a set of rapids on the Androscoggin River with my ten-year old nephew Christian this afternoon. These rapids are found about 0.5 miles upstream of the boat launch located on the Sabattus River where it flows into the Androscoggin River off Route 196 (and just upstream of the old railroad bridge) in Lisbon. We arrive at 4 pm and quickly launch my boat. The water level is quite low and the boat launch isn’t very steep. I’ve got to go way into the water before my small boat floats off the trailer. This could be an issue for more substantial craft.

 

 

 

 

A wider view of the rapids

A wider view of the rapids. It doesn’t look like much, but the current is fierce further out in the middle of the river.

 

This section of the Androscoggin River is a favorite of canoers and kayakers because of the long set of rapids. I carefully motor my way upstream. I’m cautious because this stretch contains several large, barely-submerged boulders along the way that could bust a propeller in no time. The current is quite strong, even against the river bank. But the water along the shoreline within 300 ft of the falls (on the right side looking upstream) is actually quiescent. That’s the general area we’re fishing this afternoon. The weather is mostly overcast and unsettled but I hope to put in a couple of hours before it starts raining. There’s a fresh breeze that keeps the mugginess at bay.

 

 

Christian tries his luck from a large rock

Christian tries his luck from a large rock

The rapids represent perfect smallmouth bass river habitat. The flowing water is chaotic, consisting of swift currents, deeper pools, turbulence, back eddies, and numerous seams. The water depth varies from 2 to about 6 ft. The substrate consists of an amalgam of large boulders and rocks haphazardly piled up on top of each other. The smallmouths love to hide in this stuff out of the current to pounce on unsuspecting prey that are washed down, or on lures…

 

 

 

 

Gluttony = something this small swallowing a lure that big!

Gluttony = something this small swallowing a lure that big!

My experience with this particular section of the Androscoggin River is that the smallmouths can be numerous but are typically on the small size (8” to 14” max). I have no doubt that northern pike haunt this location as well, although I have not caught one here yet. I did catch a 33 inch pike years ago at the next set of rapids located a ways further upstream. We start by tossing 4” soft stickbaits in and around the current. We quickly get hits but can’t set the hook, most probably because the biters are small and unable to swallow our bait. But we both land several larger fish in due time. I catch a smallmouth on a plastic crayfish but quickly give up on that idea after loosing two lures after they wedge in between rocks on the bottom. I also cast a spinner bait out in the hope of enticing a pike strike, but with no luck.

 

 

 

 

One happy fisherman with his catch

One happy fisherman with his catch

The bite slows down noticeable after about an hour. I think that the ruckus created by Christian moving around in the boat and accidentally dropping things has spooked the fish. We move further downstream a bit or away from the shoreline, but that too doesn’t improve the situation. We hear thunder in the distance and notice a menacing cloud deck building up overhead. To Christian’s chagrin, I decide to call it a day and motor back to the boat launch. It starts raining on the way in and the skies open up 20 minutes later while driving on our way home. Calling it quits when we did was a good decision!

 

 

 

The result: I landed 4 smallmouth bass (largest 12”) and Christian landed 5 smallmouth bass (largest =13”) in 2 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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ><« ({(« º >

Related Posts:



Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.