Drill a hole and drop a line. Sounds simple—and it is. But remember, to properly ice fish, one must stay on top of the ice, not beneath. For tips on keeping safe on ice, see page 12. Also, ice fishing rules and regulations vary pond to pond. For instance, First Pond in Blue Hill (also known as Billings Pond) is closed to ice fishing until January 1, has a daily bag limit of two trout, and each must be more than 12 inches, with only one exceeding 14 inches. The Lily Pond in Deer Isle is closed to ice fishing altogether, while Stonington’s Burntland Pond has no limit on bass. Walker Pond in Brooksville and Sedgwick is open for fishing, except for alewives. To download a complete guide to fishing in Hancock County—or anywhere else in the state—visit Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Service’s fishing website, maine.gov/ifw/fishing.
Just because a pond is open to ice fishing does not mean there is guaranteed public access to the pond for vehicles or even foot traffic—check with the local municipality and/or landowners before crossing private property.
Slim’s Fishing Derby, which raises money for scholarships, will be held on February 18 on Toddy Pond in Orland and Surry. Other fishing derbies around the state are listed on the IFWS website.