Lake Auburn

Key Species: brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, pickerel, white perch

Best Way to Fish: boat, canoe, shore

Best Time to Fish: April through June

MAG: 11, E-4

Description: This cold, deep 2,260-acre reservoir lies on the outskirts of the city of Auburn. Rocky shorelines and water up to 118 feet deep make for good fishing for a variety of species. Even though this lake is found in an urban setting, the shoreline has little development, giving a sense of wildness. A portion of the southern end of the lake is closed to all water-related activities, but the rest of the lake is open to fishing and recreational boating. Swimming is not allowed, so competition from water-skiers is not a problem. This lake is a noted early-season producer. While the northern lakes are still icebound, anglers are catching fish in Lake Auburn. The greater Lewiston-Auburn area offers plenty of motels, and there are campgrounds at Hebron and Monmouth.

Fishing index: In April, anglers seeking white perch of up to two pounds congregate along the shore by the Maine Department of Transportation turnoff along Maine Route 4 in Auburn. Earthworms are the most popular bait. At the same time, other anglers try for lake trout, landlocked salmon, and the occasional brown trout near the turnoff on Lake Shore Drive. Thompson Brook enters the lake here via a culvert, and even if most of the lake still has ice, this section will have open water. Live smelt fished on bottom are the most popular bait at this time.

Once the lake is free of ice, anglers take salmon by trolling with streamer flies such as Jerry’s smelt or gray ghosts. Live smelt, Flash Kings, and Mooselook Wobblers are also effective. Go at a good clip and work the shorelines carefully. Landlocked salmon will be relatively close to shore. You may need to use a sinking fly line if the fish are holding deeper than 10 feet. Good spots to begin are the shorelines along Lake Shore Drive, around Salmon Point, and the western shore along Spring Road.

Smallmouth bass fishing picks up after the landlocked salmon have taken to deeper water, usually sometime in June. The rocky shoreline offers good bass fishing almost anywhere you can legally fish. The bottom of this lake contains great structuredrop-offs, submerged boulders, and lots of declivitiesmaking Lake Auburn a perfect place to drift with small plastic-bodied lead-head jigs. Use ultralight spinning tackle and 4-pound test line. Let the jigs hit bottom, then raise and lower your rod tip. Most bites will occur when you raise the rod, but sometimes a smallmouth bass will hit the jig on the way down, so strike if you see the line stop before you think it should. Fly fishers can take smallmouths by fishing leech patterns with a sinking line. Either cast, drift, or troll, and be sure to give the fly plenty of action by constantly working the rod. Smallmouths will hit poppers and deer-hair bugs in the mornings and evenings, and all day on still, drizzly days.

Directions: In Auburn, head north on Maine Route 4. Look for the Maine Department of Transportation scenic turnoff and boat ramp on the left.

For more information: Contact Dags Bait Shop.

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