For most outdoorsfolk, as summer closes and fall nears, thoughts of the upcoming hunting season come to mind. However, with the warm temperatures that we are experiencing this month, fishing feels like the right thing to do.

Don’t despair, this part of the state has fishing aplenty and some great hunting to satisfy the cravings of even the most action-seeking sportsman or woman.

Fishing during the summer doldrums can be a difficult. Many species of fish seek the cool, deep waters and don’t offer themselves up for anglers as easily as they do in the spring. By carefully selecting your fishing spots and techniques, you can still catch a few fish and satisfy your desire to get out there one more time.

If I was intent on catching fish that were both willing and plentiful, I would plan a trip to Sabattus Pond. This small lake, located just outside Lewiston, was illegally stocked with Northern pike several years ago and has become a top-notch pike fishery. Three-foot long fish with voracious appetites for live bait and all assortment of hardware make willing targets for determined August anglers.

The pond’s relatively shallow depths are perfect for anglers fishing from small boats or canoes. The shoreline, although dotted with camps, still has plenty of undeveloped frontage where fish can lay relatively undisturbed, snapping at passing bass fry or white perch. Anglers will do well to use weedless spoons for fishing lures that imitate baitfish, while the live-bait crowd can’t go wrong with large shiners or suckers. The distressed shaking of a hooked shiner amongst the lily pads will most likely prove too much of a temptation for any nearby pike, and a strike should not be far along.

Anglers can access Sabattus Pond at the town launch located at Martin’s Point.

If trout are on the menu, expect to work hard this time of year, but several small ponds have been heavily stocked with a variety that provide angling fun in the warmest part of the summer. Crystal Pond, also known as Beals Pond, in Turner is a small, quaint pond located alongside Route 4. The pond has received a variety of trout stockings over the last few years and provides the canoe enthusiast with a nice pond to paddle and fish.

Anglers can launch their small boats just a stone’s throw from the highway and, if it wasn’t for the drone of traffic, be lulled into believing they were on a remote pond in Western Maine. Brown trout top the list of stocked species, but expect to see large and smallmouth bass, white perch and pickerel.

Because of the variety of fish species available, Crystal Pond is a great spot to take the kids. You generally will have the pond to yourself, and summer use by camp owners is minimal, especially during the week. It is only 39-feet at its deepest point, and the shoreline slopes gradually until it drops off. Anchoring at the drop-off and suspending works or small shiners should attract most species of fish.

About seven miles north up Route 4 in Livermore lies Brettun’s Pond. The boat launch is located on the left side of the road and will put the angler into a shallow cove that is a perfect spot for the abundant smallmouth bass population. There are several brooks that enter the pond on the western side that should draw in the stocked brown trout. A ball of night crawlers fished on a spinner rig or a small shiner fished with a bobber may prove to be the undoing of a few plump brownies.

For white perch enthusiasts, Androscoggin Lake in Leeds is a must visit, even in the summer months. Covering nearly 4,000 acres, the lake is big enough to handle summer crowds, but small enough to fish in one day. This month, anglers will find the fish on or near bottom and anchoring in one spot, especially if fish are spotted on a fish finder, is a top tactic for these silvery fish. Most anglers will use small silver jigs or draw a small shiner down to the bottom when after perch. A cooler full of ice is a necessity when the perch are on the bite.

Roland St. Pierre of Auburn frequents Androscoggin Lake in the summer with his grandchildren and their friends. He reports good catches of perch and plenty of happy youngsters on his trips. Anglers can easily access Androscoggin Lake at the state launch on Route 133 in Wayne.

For the hunting crowd, August is the prime time to hone your shooting skills and help the local farmers control their woodchuck populations. While turkey hunting in the spring, I noted a tremendous amount of woodchucks in the fields of South Auburn. One local farmer, Bill Skelton, reported dozens of chuck holes in the field where his wife runs their horses. Woodchuck holes are dangerous for man and beast alike, so most farmers don’t mind a responsible hunter taking careful aim at the pests and eliminating the danger of a person or animal twisting an ankle. Bill shared my concerns, and we laid plans to address the problem together. If you spent any time hunting turkey on any of the farms in the Lewiston/Auburn area, now is the time to pay a visit to the farmer and thank them for their generosity. It is also a good time to offer your services on their woodchuck problem.

With summer coming to a close, a day spent fishing some of the smaller ponds in the region may yield surprising results. A day afield targeting the elusive woodchuck should also prove to be beneficial when deer season rolls in, ensuring steady aim and careful breath control are practiced.

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