Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon on Long Lake, Naples, Maine (May 3, 2020)

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The sign for the boat launch in downtown Naples off Route 302. Beware that this access is reserved for Naples residents.

 

Long Lake is a 4,867-acre body of water located in the towns of Naples, Bridgton, and Harisson in Cumberland County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 A5). I access the lake this morning via the Naples town beach and boat launch at Kent’s Landing in downtown Naples, right off Route 302. It’s only after I take a picture of the sign by Route 302 and read its fine print that I realize this access is in fact not public but available for use only by “Naples residents and taxpayers”… No one was checking when I arrived at 5:15 this morning and the entrance isn’t gated, so I don’t know how vigorously this rule is enforced during normal operating hours. Two other boat launches are available at Plummer Landing in Bridgton off Route 302, and at the northern tip of the lake off Route 35 in Harrison. The launch at Kent’s Landing in Naples is spacious and improved, and provides ample parking, plus bathroom facilities.

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Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon in Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is a major jewel in the National Park Service crown. It is located on Mount Desert Island along the rugged coast of Downeast Maine in Hancock County. The State stocks four ponds within the boundary of the Park with landlocked Atlantic salmon. These four water bodies are open to year-round fishing. However, keep in mind that these fisheries are highly regulated in order to preserve their exceptional quality, the scenic beauty, and the Park experience. It is greatly recommended to carefully read the latest fishing regulations in order to understand all of the restrictions and limitations that apply to these bodies of water. Click here for more information on buying a Maine fishing license on-line.

Only when the water is relatively cool in the spring can salmon be caught near the surface using dry flies and trolling with live bait, spoons, or wet flies. Most summer visitors to the Park interested in pursuing these magnificent creatures will need to use downriggers or lead-core line in order to place their lures in the deeper, colder waters below the thermocline where the salmon will be hiding. Click here for more information on trolling for landlocked salmon.

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Salmon and trout fishing on North Gorham Pond, Gorham, Maine (April 28, 2013)


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North Gorham Pond is a secret fishing spot …. The pond is created by the dam located on Gorham Road in North Gorham (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D2). Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The “inlet” to this pond is the Presumpscot River, which serves as the outlet to Sebago Lake (actually, the Sebago Lake Basin, to be more precise). The one-mile stretch of the Presumpscot River flowing between the Sebago Lake Basin and the pond is the body of water most heavily stocked with landlocked salmon and trout in the whole state of Maine, bar none! So why bother with North Gorham Pond, which doesn’t even get stocked at all? Two reasons: the river above the falls is fly-fishing only and on a bad day, dozens of people will be fishing it shoulder-to-shoulder. I love fly fishing but hate crowd fishing. But here’s the secret: lots of salmon and trout drop down into the pond and hang around the current by the falls. And the restrictive terminal tackle rule for the Presumscot River upstream of the falls does not apply on the pond!

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Landlocked salmon fishing on Sebago Lake, Maine (April 7, 2013)

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Sebago Lake (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C1) is the largest lake in southern Maine and the second largest one in the state. This body of water is well known throughout the region for its superb landlocked salmon and lake trout fishery. The fishing strategy today is to troll along the northern shore of the lake, between Thompson’s Point and Cub Cove, in the general area of Sebago Lake State Park where the Crooked River enters the lake. The north shore is a popular early-season spot to catch landlocks and lakers: these fish are eagerly chasing after schools of rainbow smelt which are getting organized in that general area to migrate up the Crooked River for their annual spring spawning runs.

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Ice fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon: 11 strategies to catch more of them

Landlocked Atlantic salmon (also known simply as “landlocked salmon” in Maine) are a highly-desirable species to catch while ice fishing because they are great fighters, can grow big, and taste delicious! But it is also a challenge to catch them consistently because they live in large lakes, roam great distances in search of food, are difficult to pinpoint, and are stocked at low levels in order not to deplete their forage base. Follow the strategies below to maximize your chances of hooking one of these magnificent creatures.

 

A beautiful 5.0 lbs landlocked salmon caught on March 11, 2012 by your blog author on Trickey Pond, Naples, Maine.

A beautiful 5.0 lbs landlocked salmon caught on March 11, 2012 by your blog author on Trickey Pond, Naples, Maine.

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Landlocked salmon fishing on Sebago Lake, Cumberland County, Maine (October 8, 2012)

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Sebago Lake (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C1) is considered a prime landlock salmon fishery in southern Maine. The state enhances the natural reproduction that occurs in the Crooked River by stocking the lake with juvenile salmon annually in the spring. I arrive in East Sebago off Route 114 at 9:30 am and am picked up at the shoreline by my sons Joel and Jonathan who have been trolling the area since early morning. They have focused their attention above and around the sunken ridge that lays about 1.5 miles to the east of East Sebago. This ridge rises from >100 ft deep and levels off about 35-40 ft below the surface of the water. It’s a fine morning: cool (lower 40’s), mostly overcast with heazy sunshine, and a gentle southwestern breeze. Rain is forecast for late afternoon. The surface water temperature varies from 59° to 61°F, and the fish finder marks fish 15-30 ft down. We’re using downriggers to troll our lures at these depths. We present spoons of different shapes and colors to figure out what the salmon want today. Jonathan caught an 11” baby salmon on a yellow-colored Mooselook spoon before my arrival. We seriously tease him about it!

 

 

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Tips to catch more landlocked Atlantic salmon when trolling

Many freshwater anglers view the landlocked Atlantic salmon as the King of Fish. And for good reason: pound for pound, no other species has the power, strength, and stamina of this beautiful creature. Seeing a 24” landlock arch high into the air after it is hooked is a heart-stopping experience! This subspecies of Salmo salar is a dwarf variety of the mighty sea-run Atlantic salmon. Even though the landlocked salmon remains relatively small in size, it has lost none of the superb fighting and jumping qualities of its larger anadromous cousin.

Here are some proven tips to increase your chances of catching these magnificent fighters.

 

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Trout and salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 28, 2012)

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Click here for the story of the first two days

It’s day 3 of our annual Pierce Pond fishing expedition. Salvador and I are back on Lower Pierce Pond at 5 am to troll for landlocked salmon and brook trout for 1.5 hrs before breakfast (note: the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks the pond with landlocked salmon in the spring. Check the web site associated with this blog for more stocking details). Even though my fish finder is on, I don’t pay enough attention to the bottom contour and end up wedging my trolling weight in a shallow rock pile. It’s a real mess: the wind blows us off the rock pile, my downrigger is jammed, and our fishing lines are scrambled up. It takes us about 20 minutes to untangle the mess which, to our surprise, yields a 12″ brookie for Salvador. The fish must have taken the Mooselook spoon before we got stuck, but was just too small to trigger the release mechanism on the downrigger. It’s hardly glorious, but Salvador finally caught his first trout!

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Trout and salmon fishing on Pierce Pond, Somerset County, Maine (May 26, 2012).

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Pierce Pond is a magnificent, remote, 1,650 acre (maximum depth = 185 ft) lake located in the shadow of Pierce Pond Mountain deep in Somerset County in southwestern Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). It consists of three basins (Lower, Middle, and Upper Pond) which are connected to each other by shallow thoroughfares. The surrounding watershed is entirely forested and forever protected from future development. The whole shoreline is rugged and undeveloped, except for Cobb’s Camp where we’re staying for four days. Several unimproved access points are located in the lower and upper basins. The state stocks this lake with juvenile landlocked salmon each spring after ice-out. The adult salmon don’t grow particularly big: a 3-pounder is considered a nice fish, whereas a 4-pounder is exceptional. But they are relatively plentiful and do not shy away from sipping flies or pounding on a spoon. The brook trout are all natives and can also reach 3 to 4 pounds.

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Landlocked salmon fishing on Peabody Pond, Sebago, Maine (April 15, 2012)

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Joel and I arrive at Peabody Pond (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B4) at 7:30 this morning to fish for landlocked Atlantic salmon. This 735-acre jewel of a lake (maximum depth = 64 ft) in the town of Sebago is located off Route 107 and is accessed via Peabody Pond Road. The launch ramp is concrete. Plenty of parking is available. Even though Peabody Pond is heavily developed on its western and northern shorelines, it gives the impression of a “remote” lake due to the looming presence of Bald Pate Mountain in the background. It is definitely a pretty setting. The lake is also known to produce high-quality landlocks because it supports a healthy population of rainbow smelt which allows the salmon to grow fast, big, and fat. The fact that the pond is closed to ice fishing also protects the salmon population from excessive fishing pressure in the winter. I landed a five pounder here in 2011 and know of a 6.5 pounder and a 8.0 pounder caught the year before… But I also know from experience that these fish require a lot of work to be caught!

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