Visiting Acadia National Park
In July, 2002 I was invited to go with a friend to visit Acadia National
park on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Having heard much about this
small National Park in recent years, it was an offer too tempting to resist.
So, off we went for a week of camping at the Blackwoods Campground,
about 5 miles from Bar Harbor. Prior research on the Web revealed the
freshwater fishing could be expected to be fair to poor, and I certainly
found this to be true. On the other hand, that was far from my
sole reason for visiting Acadia. My other interests included seeing
the beautiful scenery and possibly taking in a hike or two -- these objectives
Some nice features of the park:
Beside the obvious beauty of the area, apparent as soon as you arrive, is
the attention paid to things by the staff of rangers and other people who
work to keep things as close to nature as possible. The facilities
at the campground were, for the most part, kept very clean and neat. In
the evenings, around 9 PM, shows take place in the campground's local ampitheather
that encompass various topics, such as the unseen treasures of the park.
"Unseen Treasures" happened to be the topic the night we attended,
and it was interesting to note the many forms of life (animal and plant)
which abound in the forest and are easy to quickly pass by in pursuit of
the bigger, more obvious things. There are daily programs and even
a free shuttle service to get you where you need to go, either in the park
or surrounding towns. This helps to greatly reduce the amount of automobile
congestion and emissions on the island. Details of what is being offered
are available on the Web. Blackwoods allows reservations, whereas the
campground closer to the ocean is on a first come-first served basis.
My experiences fishing the lakes and ponds
We arrived on a Tuesday afternoon after a really nice
eight hour drive through some fantastic scenery and set up our tents at
Blackwoods. The rain, which looked like it was coming, was nearly
nonexistent through most of the trip. Upon our arrival, we discovered
it had rained earlier in the day, but things were almost completely dried
off before we got there. Once prepared for the evening ahead, we decided
to go into town and search out visitor's fishing licenses. We discovered,
upon visiting town hall, that only residents of the state could purchase
licenses there -- and that we had to go to a local True Value Hardware store
to make our purchase (which, of course, involved an "Agent's Fee"). We
quickly discovered that visitor's licenses were pricey and decided that three
day licenses would suffice, spending some of our time there fishing in saltwater
where there is no need for a license. Late the next morning our journey
to freshwater began, arriving at Seal Cove Pond which proved to be a good
source of small perch and some smallmouth Bass. Paul, my friend who
I went there with, caught two of the nicest smallmouth I've seen anywhere.
We had purchased some nightcrawlers from a local bait shop near Bar
Harbor which proved to be poor quality -- nearly lifeless. They produced
little to nothing. Paul caught his two bass on blue fleck plastic worms,
available at any Wal-Mart store for around 2.50 a bag (FLW brand by Mann's
with salt and garlic added -- consistently good producers). We also
checked out Long Pond, where we discovered a good fishing spot after being
ushered away from a "fish-way" (Rhode Island calls them "Fish Ladders") by
a local who said we'd get in trouble fishing within 150 feet of it (I'm sure
there's some good reason for the law). Floating Rapalas (in the 5s
size range) were good producers of feisty little smallmouths that afternoon.
We visited that spot again while up there and had equally good luck.
Hamilton Pond, supposedly a good spot for pickerel and bass, produced only
a couple of tiny smallmouths. It looks like a hot spot for some nice
lunkers, but we definitely needed a boat to reach them. All in all,
I would have to say the reviews of freshwater fishing in the area which stated
it was fair to poor are entirely accurate -- but the crystal clear water
and beautiful scenery are worth the extra effort it takes to catch one's
limit in the hot summer months.
This Page is still under construction and should
be completed within a few days,
complete with photos and a detailed journal of my experiences in Acadia.
©2002 Dave Willis
All Rights Reserved.