Ice fishing on Long Lake in Naples, Maine (January 20, 2018)

View of Long Lake from Pine Island looking north.

Long Lake covers 4,867 acres and is located in the towns of Naples, Bridgeton, and Harrison in Cumberland County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 AB5). This lake, which is the second-largest body of water in southern Maine, is aptly named as it stretches for 11 miles from north to south. It also has a well-deserved reputation as a “windy” lake on account of its long but narrow morphology and its northwest to southeast orientation which roughly matches the prevailing wind direction. My son Joel and his family are spending the weekend winter camping in their pop-up trailer at the Colonial Mast Campground located next to Mast Cove right off Route 302 about 3 miles north of Naples. He asked me earlier in the week if I wanted to join him and the fam on Saturday morning for some ice fishing.

I haven’t fished Long Lake before and know nothing about it. A bit of on-line research shows that the lake receives a light annual stocking of landlocked Atlantic salmon and brown trout. It is also home to multiple other fish species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, white and yellow perch, and pickerel. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. Note that the ice fishing rules for this lake fall under the general fishing laws. An aerial view of Mast Cove via Google Maps shows the presence of a small wooded island called Pine Island located within walking distance of the camping site. Based on that information, we decide to focus our attention on brown trout along the shoreline of Pine island. We don’t put our hopes too high because this salmonid species is notoriously difficult to catch through the ice, at least compared to brook trout. But, no pain no gain!

That is one big pickerel!

I arrive at the camp side at 7 am. Joel is just getting up and preparing breakfast for the boys. I let them be and head straight out for the island on Long Pond. The ice is a solid 14” thick with 2” of rough snow on top. That makes for easy walking. I set up my four traps baited with small shiners in 4 to 8 ft of water and also begin jigging. Nothing happens over the next hour, which is never a good sign because this is the active early-morning fishing period. I finally get a brief feeding flurry at 9 am which results in three flags and three fish (nothing on the jig, though)…………CONTINUE READING

Courtesy of Stan Pauwels-Follow Stan’s Blog The Amazing Fish-a-Metric

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