Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine (August 22, 2020)

 

The boat launch for our trip is located in the shadow of the historic “Two-Penny Foot Bridge” at the Head of Falls municipal park in Waterville. The dam is about 0.5 mile upstream to the left.

 

For today’s expedition, Giovanni and I are fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River at the dam located upstream of the Ticonic Falls dam in Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 76 [Waterville/Winslow] B2). This spot can only be accessed by putting in a canoe or kayak at the foot of the historic “Two-Cent Footbridge” (also known as the Ticonic Footbridge) located at the Head of Falls municipal park off Front Street in downtown Waterville Keep in mind that this launch is not accessible to trailered boats. The dam is about half a mile further upstream. I fished this spot last year and enjoyed the action and the setting. I hope to repeat that earlier experience today with my grandson.

 

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine (September 2, 2019)

 

View of the boat launch on the Kennebec River in downtown Waterville with the Lockwood Dam turbine house in the background.

 

My goal this morning is to catch smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in the shadow of Lockwood Dam in downtown Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 76 C2). This long but low dam is located about 0.5 miles above the confluence with the Sebasticook River and is the most downstream hydroelectric structure on the Kennebec River. It is also an area I tried, but failed, to reach with my motor boat earlier this summer. To access this spot, drive to 10 Water Street in Waterville (look for the white “Hathaway Creative Center” sign). Turn into the large paved parking lot, drive all the way to the back, and look for the boat launch sign on the right. Beware that only canoes and kayaks can be launched from this location because the access point is blocked by large boulders.

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in Fairfield, Somerset County, Maine (August 24, 2019)

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The blue boat launch sign in front of Shawmut dam. The open yellow gate is visible in the background to the right.

 

I want to check out the smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River in the shadow of the Shawmut Dam located in Fairfield, Somerset County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 21 D3). To reach this spot, drive north out of Fairfield on Route 201 (Skowhegan Road) and turn right on Kennebec Street in Shawmut. Drive all the way down towards the dam and power station located across the railroad tracks. A blue boat-launch sign will direct you to the right through an open yellow gate towards the water. Only canoes and kayaks can be launched from this location due to the shallow water and strong current.

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in Waterville, Maine (August 3, 2019)

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The entrance to the municipal park on Front Street is clearly marked.

 

My goal today is to check out the smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River at the dam located upstream of the Ticonic Falls Dam in Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 76 [Waterville/Winslow] B2). This spot can only be accessed by putting in a hand-carried craft at the foot of the “Two-Cent Footbridge” (also known as the Ticonic Footbridge) located at the Head of Falls municipal park on Front Street in downtown Waterville. The dam I want to check out is about three quarters of a mile further upstream.

 

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in Skowhegan, Maine (July 27, 2019)

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The public boat launch on the Kennebec River downstream of Skowhegan is located off Route 2 right next to the Kennebec Banks Rest Area

 

I continue my investigation of the smallmouth bass fishery on the Kennebec River (click here, here, here, and here for other locations) by targeting the area below the two hydroelectric power dams that girdle the island located in the middle of the river in downtown Skowhegan, Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 80 B1 [Skowhegan]). An overview of the general area via Google Maps prior to my departure indicates that the river between these two dams and the Great Eddy located about 1 mile further downstream has several swift sections which look to be too shallow for use with a motor boat. So, I’ll bring my canoe instead. A more focused look via Google Maps of the river flowing right below the two dams shows what appear to be flat rocky ledges along both shorelines, some of which look accessible from the river-facing section of Water Street (i.e., Patten Court).

 

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kennebec River in Waterville, Maine (July 20, 2019)

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View of the Route 137 bridge over the Kennebec River from the “little gold mine”…

 

For today’s smallmouth bass fishing trip, I target the most downstream of the many hydropower dams on the Kennebec River based on the pattern I developed in previous years on the Androscoggin River (click here, here, and here for examples). This dam is located at the Ticonic Falls in downtown Waterville, just upstream of the confluence with the Sebasticook River (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 76 [Waterville/Winslow] C2). As an important aside, I use two independent sources to pinpoint these types of fishing spots: (a) the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer which shows, among a multitude of different kinds of information, the location of all the public boat launches in the state and (b) Google Maps which allows me to “fly” over the landscape and identify dams or other interesting features well before I set foot on my boat.

 

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Fishing for brown trout on the Kennebec River in Madison, Maine (June 16, 2018)

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A pretty view of the section of the Kennebec River I’m fishing today. The boat launch on the opposite bank is just visible at the top of the picture

The Kennebec River flowing through downtown Madison and Anson in Somerset County (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 20 B4) is held back by the Anson and Abnaki dams, before it becomes free-flowing again. It is the free-flowing stretch of the river below the most downstream of these two dams (i.e., the Abenaki Dam) which is the focus of my attention this afternoon. I access the Madison side of the river by driving north on Route 201A into Madison. About half a mile before reaching downtown, I turn left unto Father Rasle Road, cross the unused railroad tracks, and park my car on the sandy shoulder. The river is flowing to my right down a steep slope. My goal is to drop down to the river, wade upstream, and fish for about half a mile up to the hydroelectric dam.

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River, Vassalboro, Maine (September 13, 2017)

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My focus this afternoon are the dozen or so small log-driving islands located in the Kennebec River just upstream of Sevenmile island. The latter is shown in the background to the left.

 

This blog describes how my son and I enjoyed catching smallmouth bass in the stretch of the Kennebec River flowing for about two mile downstream of the boat launch in Sidney, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 A1). However, during that past fishing trip, we got completely distracted fishing along the way and never reached our intended destination, i.e., Sevenmile Island and its collection of small log-driving islands. I can spare 1.5 hours this evening to complete my original mission. So, I flee the office early to investigate this spot which has been calling me. I arrive at the Sidney boat launch at 5:15 pm and buzz off at 5:30 pm. I have to use all my will power NOT to stop again along the way like we did last time, but instead to keep motoring forward for about 15 minutes until I reach my final destination three miles downstream from the launch.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River, Sidney, Maine (August 26, 2017)

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In this blog, I describe how I really enjoyed chasing smallmouth bass in the stretch of the Kennebec River flowing for about 1 mile upstream of the boat launch in Sidney, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 A1). So, I decided to get some more of that action by further exploring the river that flows downstream from the launch. In preparation for this trip, and because the river is an unknown to me, I go on Google Maps the evening before and “fly” over my future fishing grounds looking for potential target areas. And I’m not disappointed! Two sets of structures immediately stand out. The first one are about two dozen small log-driving islands located around one mile downstream of the public access point along the left shoreline of the river. Each island measures about 10 ft by 10 ft and consists of a wooden cribwork filled with large boulders. They were built in the olden days when the Kennebec River was used for driving logs down to the sawmills during the spring snowmelt. Nowadays, they serve as smallmouth bass magnets! The second structure consists of “Seven-Mile Island” located further downstream of the log-driving islands. Both are the focus of our attention this morning.

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Kennebec River, Sidney, Maine (August 21, 2017)

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The Kennebec River is gorgeous and I have it all to myself this afternoon!

The Kennebec River is an environmental jewel which flows out of Moosehead Lake, winds its way through central Maine and reaches the Atlantic Ocean by Popham Beach. The focus of my attention this afternoon is the 6-mile stretch between Sidney and Waterville. The last time I fished these waters was way back before the removal of Edwards Dam in Augusta in 1999. So, it’s about high time that I return to this gorgeous river and check it out!! An excellent hard-top public boat launch is located at the end of Recreation Drive off West River Road (Route 104) in Sidney (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 A1). Plenty of parking is available for vehicles with trailers.

 

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