Exciting spring fishing opportunities abound for anglers in the Down East region. Many lakes and ponds will be ice-free later in April with immediate action for trout and salmon. The following lakes and ponds represent waters recommended to anglers by their regional fisheries biologists of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife: Greg Burr, Joe Overlock, and Rick Jordan during April, May and June.
This week’s focus: Hancock County waters.
Lakewood Pond (Bar Harbor): This small pond, located within Acadia National Park, gets stocked with 600 fall fingerling 6- to 8-inch trout and has very little use in the winter because it’s a mile walk behind a Park gate. The gate is opened by the end of April and allows anglers to drive within 200 feet of the pond. Excellent brook trout fishing can be found here from either the shore or a canoe.
Little Tunk Pond (Sullivan): This pond located at the base of Black Mountain can be accessed by a 10-minute walking trail from the Frenchman’s Bay Conservancy parking area off Route 183. It is stocked with 4,200 fall fingerling 6- to 8-inch trout. It gets very little use in the winter and offers spring anglers excellent fishing from shore or by canoe.
Simmons Pond (Hancock): Located behind a gate until the muddy road dries, this pond offers walk-in access for its early anglers. The five-minute walk from the parking area is worth the trip as this spring-fed kettle hole pond holds stocked trout to sizes of 15-16 inches. It is stocked annually with 525 fall fingerling 6- to 8-inch trout and 100 8- to 10-inch trout in the spring. The pond is closed to ice fishing, so all stocked fish are reserved for open-water anglers. Simmons is an excellent early pond for shore anglers, float tubers, or canoe fishermen.
Upper Hadlock Pond (Northeast Harbor): This pond is one of the first coastal trout ponds to go ice-free. It is not open to ice fishing, so spring, summer and fall anglers get all the benefits, especially in the early spring. The pond is located on the roadside of Route 198 and can be fished very successfully from shore or a small boat. It gets stocked with 1,400 fall fingerling 6- to 8-inch trout as well as 75 fall yearling 12- to 14-inch trout. This is an excellent choice for early spring fly or spin casting or trolling.
Echo Lake (Southwest Harbor): This larger 200-acre trout pond is managed for larger fish. Many brook trout here average between 12 and 14 inches with some attaining sizes of 18 inches. The pond also provides good fishing for landlocked salmon that range in length from 16 to 22 inches. This pond can fished from shore and is just a short walk from Route 102, or anglers can launch boats at the Ike’s Point landing. Most anglers have great success trolling flies or lures. It is stocked with 3,500 fall fingerling 6- to 8-inch and 400 8- to 10-inch trout as well as 75 salmon.
Fox Pond (T10 SD): This picturesque roadside pond located on Route 182 in the Black Woods is one of the area’s most popular trout waters. Most anglers kick back on the shore with their family and throw out worms with great success. Others prefer to fly or spin cast with equal success. Some anglers launch a small boat at the public access and troll and do extremely well. The pond is stocked with lots of trout from its 3,000 6- to 8-inch fall fingerlings and 400 8- to 10-inch spring yearling trout to its 50 10- to 13-inch fall yearling brown trout. This pond produces great fishing for good numbers of brook trout and large brown trout.
Orland River (Orland): This river begins at the base of the Alamoosook Lake dam and is stocked with 600 spring yearling 8- to 10-inch brook trout in May making for terrific fly, spin, or worm fishing opportunities.
Moosehorn Stream (Bucksport): This stream crosses Route 46 and is stocked with 500 8- to 10-inch spring yearling brook trout spread out through a ¼-mile portion of the stream mostly upstream of the Route 46 bridge and off the town of Bucksport streamside property. This is a terrific spot to take a youngster and worm fish either from the shore or from a canoe.
We also recommend the following terrific wild brook trout streams; West Branch of the Union River; Middle Branch of the Union River; Bog River – Eastbrook; Mann Brook – Dedham; Tunk Stream – Unionville; Tannery Brook – Otis; Johnny’s Brook – Franklin, West Branch of the Narraquagus River; Dumb Brook – Mariaville; Beaver Brook – Aurora; Kebo Brook – Bar Harbor and Hothole Brook – Orland.
Long Pond (Mount Desert): This pond is stocked annually with 250 salmon and is producing good numbers of 16- to 19-inch fish. It is one of the first coastal salmon waters to go ice-free in April, and is a good bet for early spring salmon trolling.
Phillips Lake (Dedham): This lake gets very little fishing use in the winter and offers good salmon trolling in May and June. It gets stocked with 350 salmon annually.
Hopkins Pond (Clifton): After its first two initial stockings of salmon, this pond is now producing fish up to 20 inches. Most salmon trollers don’t think of the water but they should. It’s a sleeper and well worth trolling this spring.
Tunk Lake (T10 SD): The traveling conditions were not good this past winter so the use by ice fishermen was low, making more salmon available to open-water anglers. Tunk gets stocked with 350 to 500 salmon each spring and they are growing well. The surface waters are slow to warm up but when they do in the latter part of May anglers should make Tunk one of their spring trolling destinations.
Lower Patten Pond (Surry): This water has been stocked twice in the last two years with large fall yearling browns. They should be growing well and produce a good ice-out fishery for trollers who like run flies or lures just off the drop-offs as soon as the pond sheds its winter coat. Fishing regulations require that all brown trout must be released at this pond.
Walker Pond (Brooksville): If you’re looking for big browns this is the pond. Walker has not been stocked for several years but the brown trout here grow fast and get big. Anglers who don’t mind putting a little more time in trolling off the drop-offs as soon as the ice goes out could potentially land a brown between 4 and 12 pounds.
— Greg Burr, Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist, Jonesboro.