Key Species: brown trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, white perch, pickerel
Best Way to Fish: boat, canoe, bank Best Time to Fish: May through September MAG: 13, D-4
Description: Damariscotta Lake has three distinctly different sections: the north, middle, and south basins. The north basin is the deepest, at 114 feet; the middle basin is next at 46 feet; and the south basin is 34 feet deep. Damariscotta Lake State Park is set on the northeastern shore of the north basin. A boat or canoe is recommended, but there is limited fishing from shore in Jefferson, near the mouth of Davis Stream. Campgrounds are located in Jefferson and Warren, and there are motels on U.S. Route 1 between Newcastle and Warren.
Fishing index: North Basin: Early-season trolling near the stream mouth in Jefferson is a good way to take landlocked salmon and brown trout. Use streamer flies, smelt, Flash Kings, or Mooselook Wobblers. Lake trout will be holding in the same area, but in deeper water, further out in the lake. A deep hole just south of the state park produces lake trout in summer. This site produces lake trout weighing 10 pounds and more.
Middle basin: The islands in the center of the middle basin are great spots to cast for smallmouth bass from June through September. Use lead-head jigs with plastic bodies. The sparkle-tail variety, especially yellow ones, are killers on smallmouth. Curly-tail jigs are also highly effective. Muscongus Bay, the lower leg of the middle basin, is also a good smallmouth spot. Smallmouth bass of up to 5 pounds are taken here.
South basin: This shallow, narrow section is known for pickerel and white perch, but it is possible to take brown trout around the several islands. White perch here can weigh more than two pounds. Local white perch addicts use worms, minnows, and night crawlers, slowly drifted on the bottom. This method also takes the occasional brown trout. You can also take white perch here by jigging with small Swedish Pimples or plastic-bodied lead-head jigs. Anglers using bait take pickerel with large shiners suspended by a bobber. Fish any weedy areas along the shoreline for pickerel. Fly fishers also take pickerel by casting colorful streamers and bucktails; Mickey Finn is a choice pattern. Anglers using spinning tackle should use Dardevles, casting toward weedy areas and slowly retrieving the lure. Sometimes pickerel will make furtive slashes at your lure; if you change to a fast retrieve you will often elicit a strike.
Directions: From Waldoboro, drive north on Maine Route 32 toward Jefferson. Watch for a sign for the public boat ramp and Damariscotta Lake State Park on the left. Another boatramp is located on Maine Route 213. This boat ramp is private and a fee is charged.
For more information: Contact the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife office in Augusta.