Key Species: pickerel, white and yellow perch, brook trout
Best Way to Fish: canoe, bank
Best Time to Fish: May through September
MAG: 14, A-4
Description: Goose River, from the Belfast canoe launch on Maine Route 141 upstream to Smith’s Pond, is about four miles long as the crow flies and at least twice that given all the twists, turns, and oxbows. A canoe is the best way to fish this river, but some fishing is possible from shore, especially by the Smart Road bridge. Wading is not possible; most of the river is too deep, and the bottom is covered in deep mud.
Goose River is a great spot for a leisurely day or half-day trip. Although the river is hardly a mile from the road on either side, it retains a truly wild aspect. In spring, waterfowl nest along the shore. Migrating warblers, red-winged blackbirds, and untold numbers of frogs unite in song, providing the angler with a relaxing natural concert. Families with children will also appreciate this river’s unspoiled, soothing atmosphere. U.S. Route 1 in Belfast and Searsport is lined with motels, and there is a campground on U.S. Route 1 in Searsport.
Fishing index: Pickerel abound along the edges of the river’s channel. Above Upper Mason Pond, the river has one riffly section, a good place to seek brook trout in late April and May. The section of river near the bridge on the Smart Road is also a good bet for brook trout. The rest of the river, all the way to Smith’s Pond, is slow and fairly deep, with schools of yellow and white perch, plus lots of pickerel. Cast upstream as you paddle upstream, and troll on the way back. At night, local anglers fishing from shore catch large bullheads from the deep holes near the Smart Road bridge.
Directions: From Belfast, head north on U.S. Route 1 and turn left on Maine Route 141 immediately after crossing the bridge over the Passagassawaukeag River. Head north on Maine Route 141. After about 1.2 miles you will see a small parking area by the river and a sign for the Belfast canoe launching area. This launch offers the easiest river access and plenty of parking space. The Smart Road bridge is an alternative launch site but has little space for parking.
For more information: Both bait and advice are available from The Outdoor Sportsman and Ed’s Bait Shop. Ed is a storehouse of knowledge, so do pick his brain!