Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Stillwater River in Old Town, Penobscot County, Maine (September 12, 2021)

 

The fishing was tough today and most of the bass were on the smaller size

 

I’m exploring the smallmouth bass fishery on the Stillwater River in Old town, Penobscot County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 33 E4). My goal today is to drift down part of this river while fishing the backside of Orson Island. The Stillwater River represents a side branch of the Penobscot River; these two watercourses split off from each other in Old Town and merge back together again about ten miles further downstream in Orono. This drift trip is also unique in that it starts and end at the same location, and therefore only requires one car. For access to the boat launch, drive north on Stillwater Avenue in Old Town, turn left on Fourth Street, and continue for 0.4 miles all the way to the very end of this street (it’s a dead end). The large and spacious hard-top boat ramp, as well as a grassy picnic area, is on the right, with a huge parking lot to the left.

 

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Penobscot River in Old Town, Penobscot County, Maine (August 28, 2021)

 

This boat launch is spacious and provides lots of parking space

 

I’m exploring the smallmouth bass fishery on the Penobscot River in Old town, Penobscot County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 33 E4). My goal this morning is to fish a 1.5-mile stretch of river that runs between Indian Island and Orson Island. I have no idea what to expect because I have never visited this section of the river before. For access to the boat launch, drive north on Stillwater Avenue in Old Town, turn left on Fourth Street, and continue for 0.4 miles all the way to the very end of this street (it’s a dead end). The large and spacious hard-top boat ramp, as well as a grassy picnic area, is on the right, with a huge parking lot to the left.

 

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Penobscot River in Orono, Penobscot County, Maine (August 28, 2021)

The boat launch by Ayers Island is spacious. The fishing hole is located just passed the half-submerged rock visible in the center left of this picture.

 

I’m exploring the Penobscot River in the vicinity of Ayers Island, in Orono, Penobscot County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 23 A3). My goal this morning is to catch smallmouth bass in the back channel which runs between the mainland and the island, and motor upstream up to the location where the Stillwater River spills over a low dam into the Penobscot River. The outflow of hydrodams represent classic smallmouth bass summer holding habitat (click here, here, here, and here for examples). I don’t know what to expect because I’ve never fished this section of water before. To reach the boat launch, drive down Route 2 north (into Orono), turn right on Island Avenue (just past the Leadbetter’s convenience store) and continue for about 0.1 mile until you hit railroad tracks. Turn right before the tracks and make an immediate left on Union Street. Continue for less than 0.2 miles until you see the access point on the left. The launch is hard-topped and wide, and offers plenty of parking space, as well as a small picnic area.

 

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Penobscot River in Howland, Penobscot County, Maine (July 10, 2021)

 

You have reached your destination!

 

The central section of the Penobscot River between Orono (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 23 A3) and Medway (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 43 B5) is considered a premier smallmouth bass fishery in the state of Maine, on par with the choiciest locations on the Kennebec River (click here, here, here, and here for details). My focus this morning is on a section of water flowing through the town of Howland below the confluence of the Penobscot River with its smaller cousin, the Piscataquis River. I’m eager to explore this segment because I have never visited or fished it in the past.

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Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Penobscot River in Greenbush, Penobscot County, Maine (June 27, 2021)

 

Antony’s first-ever river smallie! We celebrated this catch to loud acclaim!

 

The central portion of the Penobscot River flowing between Orono (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 23 A3) and Medway (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 43 B5) is considered a premier smallmouth bass fishery in the state of Maine, on par with the choiciest locations on the Androscoggin River (click here, here, here, here, and here for examples). The focus of my attention this afternoon is on a section of water flowing through the town of Greenbush. The river in these parts meanders past a dozen or so large wooded sandy islands, which create interesting and diverse habitats that attract large numbers of smallmouth bass.

 

I’m not finding the depth we need to catch larger fish…

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on the Penobscot River, Greenbush to Passadumkeag, Maine (July 8, 2017)

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The Penobscot River between Greenbush and Passadumkeag is wide, shallow and dotted with islands

The Penobscot River is the premier river smallmouth bass fishery in Maine, bar none! The stretch flowing between the towns of Greenbush and Passadumkeag (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 35 B5 to D5) represents a gorgeous section of bass real estate. I meet up with my friend Tim at the Greenbush boat launch (which can accommodate large motorized craft) at 9 am. We leave his vehicle behind and drive my car 9.5 miles further north to the boat launch in Passadumkeag (which can also accommodate large motorized craft). We’ll be fishing from my 12 ft/8 HP aluminum boat which I hope will be able to pass through most of the extensive shallow areas that dot this stretch of river. Our goal today is to let the current float us down to the Greenbush boat launch while fishing for smallmouth bass along the way. We expect the trip to take about 5 hours. I have fished the Penobscot River between Old Town and Lincoln on and off for 30+ years but haven’t drifted it the way we’re doing today, so I don’t fully know what to expect. The water level is surprisingly high though given that it’s the beginning of July.

 

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