Key Species: smallmouth bass, white perch, pickerel Best Way to Fish: boat, canoe Best Time to Fish: May through September MAG: 36, D-4
Description: This 6,765-acre lake is one of the reasons Maine’s Washington County may rightly be called the smallmouth bass capital of the world. You will need a boat or canoe to fish this lake. Note that Meddybemps Lake is loaded with islands and rocky shoals, making it unwise for boaters to travel at other than slow speeds. The lake has no size or bag limits on bass, except that only one fish may exceed 14 inches. Lodging is available in nearby Baring, Calais, and Pembroke. Camping is available in Pembroke and at nearby Pleasant Lake.
Fishing index: Smallmouth bass fishing is fast and furious for fish weighing about one pound. You can catch them until your arms feel as though they will fall off. Because of the absolute certainty of success, this is an ideal spot to introduce children and beginners to bass fishing. A slot limit has been imposed in hopes of increasing the average size of bass in Meddybemps. Good fishing begins in late May, is best in June, and continues through September. Fish all around the rocky shore and islands. Cast lead-head jigs and plastic baits toward shore and slowly retrieve, giving plenty of action with your rod tip. Fly fishers can use poppers, woolly buggers, and leech patterns.
Look for pickerel in the shallow areas near shore and cast spinners, yellow bucktails, red plastic worms, or Dardevle spoons. In summer, white perch congregate in the deepest section of the lake, the 38-foot hole between Masters Island and Scott Arm. Use worms, small minnows, or lead-head plastic-bodied jigs while drifting in your boat or canoe. Do not be surprised if you take a few smallmouth bass along with the white perch; bass often accompany schools of perch, perhaps hoping to pick off any stragglers or small fish.
Directions: From U.S. Route 1 in Pembroke, head west on Maine Route 214 to Meddybemps Lake. A carry-in state boat ramp is located on the right of Maine Route 214.
For more information: Contact the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in Bangor or Machias.