Trout fishing on Otter Pond #2, Standish, Maine (November 10, 2013)

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General view of Otter Pond #2

General view of Otter Pond #2

Otter Pond #2 is a 12-acre body of water located in Standish, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 D1; note that on the Google map above, Otter Pond #2 is the pond just below the one indicated by the red pin). Read this blog for directions on how to access this pond. Otter Pond #2 is a widely popular spot for early ice fishing, but gets little or no pressure in the fall after it is stocked for the winter season. My son Joel and I arrive at the largest of the two parking lots off Route 35 by 8:15 am. As expected, we’re all by ourselves, which suits us just fine. We place his canoe on canoe wheels, load up the car battery, electric trolling engine, and our fishing gear in the boat, and haul everything down the Mountain Division Trail to our destination. I checked the stocking report on-line the day before; the State released a truckload of brookies in this pond last week which should make for good fishing.



I like the weather forecast for this morning: cloudy with a chance of showers and a light breeze, with air temps in the low 40’s. The water temperature comes in at 47°F. We launch the canoe with the idea of applying the fishing strategy which worked so well for us this time last year (click here for details), namely troll with our downriggers along the shoreline with a small trout spoon set about 5 ft deep in less than 10 ft of water. We had luck in the past using small Luhr-Jensen Super Duper spoons this late in the season, but I take no chances today. Instead, I tie three spoons in tandem, separated by about 2 ft of fishing line (and high-quality swivels!): first an Acme Thunderbolt spoon, followed by an Acme Phoebe spoon, and ending with a Super Duper. That approach increases by a factor of three my chances of enticing a trout to strike one of my three lures! Joel uses the same trick.


Joel adjusting his downrigger

Joel adjusting his downrigger

We lower our trolling balls to the pre-set depth and start navigating along the shoreline of Otter Pond #2. We’re at a disadvantage today because my portable fish finder won’t turn on so we’re guessing the depth, based on previous experience on this pond, while trying to avoid hooking into bottom vegetation. Our high expectations are quickly dashed. Twenty five minutes of trolling along the shoreline yields only one 13” brookie. Hardly the bonanza we were hoping for…






This brookie didn't get away

This brookie didn’t get away

We start noticing rises in the middle of the pond; one or two at first, and then dozens. We’re not hallucinating: there’s an actual hatch going on of a small, slender black fly with translucent wings and the trout are all over them!! Of course we didn’t bring our fly fishing equipment. But we change our game plan and troll smack through the middle of pond no more than 2 ft below the water surface hoping to entice the risers. And it works! We catch four or five smaller trout (8”-10”) over the next half hour, until the hatch stops and the fish move down deeper.






Look at those gorgeous spawning colors!

Look at those gorgeous spawning colors!

So we lower our lead balls down to 15-20 ft below the surface and troll at that depth for a while, which results in several more brookies, until that bites stops. Things are quiet for the next 45 minutes. Joel, who always likes to tinker, removes the terminal spoon from his three-spoon rig and replaces it with a #1 Mepps spinner. He lowers the trolling ball and gets two hits and a hook-up on his spinner in the next ten minutes. Weird, but it works! I do the same with a little spinner and catch a 13” trout. When that bite stops, we go back to trolling the shoreline and finish the morning catching our final three brookies.






We cobbled together several different fishing strategies and created a successful trip. The Luhr-Jensen Super Duper spoon, which was a winner last year, turned into a dud this time around; it only caught two fish. Our triple tandem spoon concept worked great, and Joel’s idea of trolling deep with a small spinner was also a winner. This trip once again showed that being flexible and trying new things can be a great strategy for success.


The results: I caught seven brookies (9”-13”) and Joel caught five brookies (9-14”) in 4.5 hours of trolling.


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