Ice fishing for smallmouth bass on Crescent Lake in Raymond, Cumberland County, Maine (March 11, 2022)

I love the “vibe” of early-morning fog when ice fishing. It also indicates a total lack of wind!

Crescent Lake covers 716 acres and is located in Raymond, Cumberland County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2). Public access is via the hard-top boat launch located right off Route 85 (Webbs Mill Road) next to the small municipal beach. Plenty of parking is available on the road shoulder next to the launch. However, beware that parking space can be more limited after a snowstorm when the shoulder may be plowed in.

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Ice fishing for smallmouth bass on Panther Pond in Raymond, Cumberland County, Maine (March 18, 2021)

 

The lake is accessed via permissive trespass through this open gate.

 

Panther Pond is a 1,439-acre body of water located in Raymond, Cumberland County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2). Access to the main basin of the lake during the ice-fishing season is via permissive trespass through a small private beach associated with Slovenski Camp. To gain access via this entry point, drive north on Route 121 (Meadow Road) towards the town of Casco and turn right on David Plummer Road (look for the discrete Slovenski Camp sign). Drive down that road for about 600 ft. Beware that this road may be slippery in the winter. The open gate to the beach will be on your left. Drive up further for another 50-100 ft. and park your car in the available open space.

 

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Ice fishing for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass on Panther Pond, Raymond, Maine (February 23, 2019)

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It’s crisp and cold this morning. Time to rise and start ice fishing!

 

It’s the annual winter school vacation, so it’s high time to go camping and fishing with the kids… on the ice! My son Joel and I are eager to make it a success because this will be a new experience for his two boys. The goal is to find a spot on a local lake where we can drive up, pitch the family tent, and be reasonably assured of catching quality fish to keep the two boys engaged and entertained. Previous fishing experiences on Panther Pond in Raymond, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2) has shown us that this body of water supports a serious smallmouth and largemouth bass population of braggin’-size fish (click here, here, and here for examples). My son Joel and I are putting that information to good use.

 

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Ice fishing for white perch on Panther Pond, Raymond, Maine (February 2, 2019)

Panther Pond is a 1,439 acre body of water located in Raymond, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2). One way to reach the ice is to turn right on Meadow Road (Route 121) from Main Street in Raymond (off Route 302, a.k.a. Roosevelt Trail), drive north for 0.5 miles before turning right unto Giselle Lane. Park your vehicle on the side of this road. A short snowmobile trail leads directly to the pond.

Panther Pond is filled with large schools of voracious white perch

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Panther Pond, Raymond, Maine (August 14, 2017)

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The sun is setting and the surface commotion is gone. It’s time for the smallmouth bass to grab dinner before dark!

Catching smallmouth bass in ponds or lakes during high summer in Maine can be a real challenge, even for the experienced angler. The surface water is warm (75° to 80°F), the sun is bright, and the human activity levels can be intense as a result of water skiing, jet skiing, pontoon boating, or power boating. The fish seek shelter 15 to 25 ft below the surface to locate cooler water, hide from the sun, and find respite from all the human commotion above. Unlike the nippier and less hectic spring months, when the smallmouth bass congregate and concentrate in large numbers along bouldery shorelines for the annual spawn, the summer bronzebacks are scattered over a much larger area and in deeper water. That makes them intrinsically more difficult to find and catch.

 

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Ice fishing for yellow perch and pickerel on Panther Pond, Raymond, Maine (January 22, 2017)

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One happy camper!

The boy scout troop to which my nephew Christian belongs is having a winter camp-out at Camp Hinds located on beautiful Panther Pond in Raymond, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2). The boys are sleeping two nights in cabins and spending part of Saturday ice fishing. Previously, the leaders asked for volunteers to bring tip-ups, power augers, baitfish, and other gear to share with the kids. I can’t think of a better way of spending my Saturday morning than to express my love for hard-water angling and help kids get hooked on fishing!

 

 

 

 

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Crescent Lake in Raymond, Maine (June 18, 2016)

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The Crescent Lake boat launch is wide and spacious but comes right off busy Route 85

The Crescent Lake boat launch is wide and spacious but comes right off busy Route 85

Crescent Lake is a 716-acre body of water located in Raymond, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2). It is part of an interconnected waterway consisting of four lakes (namely Raymond Pond, Crescent Lake, Panther Pond, and Sebago Lake) and three streams (namely an unnamed and non-navigable stream connecting Raymond Pond to Crescent Lake, the navigable Tenney River connecting Crescent Lake to Panther Pond, and the navigable Panther Run connecting Panther Pond to Jordan Bay in Sebago Lake). The public access point to Crescent Lake is located at its southern tip next to Route 85. The launch is hard-topped and can accommodate big boats. Parking is on the shoulder of Route 85. However, beware that maneuvering the boat to get it down the ramp occurs on busy Route 85 itself.

 

 

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Brook trout fishing on Panther Run in Raymond, Maine (April 21, 2016)

 

We launch the canoe in the large pool across from the retaining wall

We launch the canoe in the large pool across from the retaining wall

Panther Run (a.k.a. Jordan River) is formed by the outlet of Panther Pond in Raymond, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C2). The river starts at the dam on Mill Street and flows for one or so convoluted mile towards Jordan Bay in Sebago Lake. The big pool along the retaining wall by the dam is an accessible and popular brook trout fishing hole (click here for details). The river in the immediate vicinity of the dam flows briskly in early spring and has a substrate consisting of coarse sand, gravel and cobbles. In fact, the water flow and substrate composition are such that landlocked Atlantic salmon migrate up from Sebago Lake every fall to lay their eggs in this stretch of the river. But don’t be fooled… The character of the river changes dramatically no more than about 1000 ft downstream of the dam: the current slows down considerably, the banks widen up and become severely eroded, the water deepens in many places, and the substrate is made up entirely of fine white sand. The bottom is also carpeted with branches and other woody debris.

 

 

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Lake trout fishing on Sebago Lake, Cumberland County, Maine (November 1, 2015)

The sun playing with shadows and the shoreline of Sebago lake

The sun painting shadows along the shoreline of Sebago lake

Sebago Lake is the Crown Jewel of southern Maine’s lake region. The two key salmonid species in this system are the landlocked Atlantic salmon and the lake trout. My goal this afternoon is to help my 12-year old nephew Christian catch a salmon! I haven’t introduced him yet to salmon fishing, but we’ve talked many times in the past about the exhilaration of hooking one of those beauties: the bite, the fight, the jumps, and the excitement of it all. I’d love for him to make that experience, because he’s more than ready for it. I’ve trained him for a while now to fish with lead core line for white perch and bass. He has clearly shown the tenacity and shear doggedness required to troll the big water for landlocked Atlantic salmon.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Panther Pond, Raymond, Maine (September 5, 2015)

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The fog over Panther Pond is being burned off by the rising sun

The fog over Panther Pond is being burned off by the rising sun

Panther Pond is a 1,439-acre body of water located in Raymond, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C2). Access is via an unimproved dirt launch located right before the outlet dam on Mill Street. This launch, which can accommodate larger power boats, is rather steep with a surface consisting of sand and rocks. It can be useful to use a 4X4 vehicle to launch and retrieve motored vessels from this location. Parking for trailered vehicles is “rough” on the side of the road; space is available for only a handful of cars or trucks. A small parking area is located on the opposite side of the dam but can only hold vehicles without trailers. An alternative access option is to release a boat at the official hard-top launch on the southern tip of Crescent Lake (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2) and navigate into Panther Pond via the Tenney River.

 

 

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