There is no sound quite like the waters of a stream or brook spilling over stones and around the natural outcroppings of its banks. Happened upon during a walk through the woods or across a meadow, these waterways highlight the small wonders they hold within, whether tiny, darting minnows, frogs slipping from bank to water with a splash and a croak, or the varied stones on the river bed itself.
If you follow a stream far enough, it may widen and eventually lead to a larger body of water, whether bay, lake or pond, while the minnows and other small fish turn into trout, bass and even salmon, fish large enough to become “catch” for those who venture out in waders or small craft.
With over 2,500 lakes and ponds and 5,000 streams in Maine, anglers have a lot of choices when looking for that large mouth bass, brook trout, white perch, striper or mackerel. “I think people are going to have some pretty good fishing,” Greg Burr, a regional biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said of the spring fishing season.
Here’s a few local freshwater spots to try in several towns that are open to the public, although the best spots are likely a well-kept secret. Remember, a Maine fishing license is required for all inland fishing and can be purchased online from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife at maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/fishing.htm.
First Pond (or Billings Pond) covers 93 acres, runs 37 feet deep and flows into tidewater at Salt Pond. It is known for great wild brook trout fishing. In 2007, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife purchased a parcel of land for public access.
How to get there: Take South Street (Route 172) heading south. Then, “take the road across the blueberry field. You paddle up the outlet to the pond itself,” Burr said. If you hit the turn off for Route 175, on the left, you’ve gone too far.
Fourth Pond is smaller and home to the occasional brook trout, white perch and eel. It runs nine feet at its deepest. Blue Hill Heritage Trust owns the Kingdom Woods Conservation Area, with a trail leading to the pond.
How to get there: Off of the south side of Kingdom Road, look for a marked parking area and a quarter-mile trail that leads to the north end.
Mill Stream runs through the center of downtown Blue Hill where it empties into Blue Hill Bay. “You can catch some nice brook trout from a bridge,” Burr said, but you may want to follow the stream north to try you fishing luck.
How to get there: Route 15 crosses the stream at its north end, while its south end is right on Main Street.
East Blue Hill
Peters Brook —“That’s a good brook,” said Burr, for brown trout. Blue Hill Heritage Trust owns a small shorefront lot that provides public access to these waters leading into Blue Hill Bay.
How to get there: Take East Blue Hill Road at its junction with Route 172 in Blue Hill for about one-half mile; landing is on the right.
Wight Pond has large areas of shallow, weedy bottom and is good for warm water game fish. With a maximum depth of 21 feet, its 135 acres are home to an alewife run, as well as largemouth bass, chain pickerel, white perch and, in lesser numbers, eel and yellow perch.
How to get there: Take Western County road heading toward Blue Hill. You can see where the outlet crosses on your left.
Pierce Pond is another local favorite, with white perch and bigmouth bass to be found. Its maximum depth runs to 12 feet and it covers 118 acres.
How to get there: Turn onto Pierce Pond road off of Route 199, about two miles past Northern Bay Market heading south.
Camp Stream flows down Kingdom Road and then crosses Route 176 before it hits the Bagaduce River, where it turns to salt water. While the land on either side, and the river bottom, is privately owned, the water is state owned and “traditionally, anglers have access,” said Burr. If the land is posted, Burr advises asking the property owner for permission to cross.
How to get there: Access is from Kingdom Road, which runs between Hinckley Ridge Road in Blue Hill and Route 175 in Penobscot, just before the Sedgwick town border.
Black Stream flows out of Black Pond and into the Bagaduce River. “You may even catch some sea-run brookies down toward the mouth” of the Bagaduce, said Burr.
How to get there: Access from Route 15 heading south toward Caterpillar Hill. “Look for parked cars and paths,” said Burr, to access the stream itself.
Walker Pond. “The brown trout here grow fast and get big,” Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists report on the IFW website. At 697 acres and as deep as 47 feet, small mouth bass may also be found, as well as small-to-medium size white perch.
How to get there: A public access road, opened in 2012, is located off Route 15 in Sedgwick, by Caterpillar Hill.
Snow Brook, in Sedgwick, is another site Burr recommends for trout.
How to get there: Access is just north of Walker Pond, off of Route 15, near where the brook crosses Route 176.
Upper Patten Pond boasts white and yellow perch, which are also found in Lower Patten pond, along with brown trout and smallmouth bass. Both of these ponds spill over into neighboring Ellsworth, and Lower Patten Pond reaches also into Orland. Upper Patten pond is smaller, at 361 acres and a maximum depth of 32 feet. Lower Patten Pond reaches down 87 feet at its deepest and covers 741 acres, with some reports of eels and salmon.
How to get there: Access to Lower Patten Pond is from Patten Pond Road. First turn onto North Bend Road from the Blue Hill-Surry Road.
There is no public access to Upper Patten Pond, which runs in between Surry Road and Acadia Highway (Routes 1 and 3), but you are permitted to walk across undeveloped property to fish, said regional biologist Greg Burr of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
If you’re looking for saltwater fishing, you can try casting off a public dock or access the Blue Hill Bay or Penobscot Bay by boat from public launches. See dock and public boat launch listings in Trails and Landings, Outdoor Handbook, page 9.
To recreationally fish in saltwater, you must register with Maine’s saltwater registry through the Department of Marine Resources if: you do not have a freshwater fishing license; did not check the box on your freshwater license application for saltwater fishing; or you have a lifetime freshwater fishing license. To register online, visit maine.gov/saltwater.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources website has a wealth of information on fishing on mid-coast Maine: maine.gov/ifw/fishing/fishingGuide.htm. For saltwater fishing, in particular, visit maine.gov/dmr/recreational/anglerguide/wheretofish/index.htm.