This was a great place to go kayaking. The lake has a difficult boat launch so I bet that keeps the weekend warriors mostly out. The shore overall is lightly developed but there still were plenty of houses with docks and boats. Many small islands dot mid western shore. The fishing was just okay. There were a ton of young smallies but only found one of good size and one of okay size. The locals appear to take all the salmon and trout so good luck finding those.
This place is beautiful so it will be worth going back to see if I can find larger bass. If nothing else, there’s great scenery and you could swim from your kayak.
It was a beautiful morning to go kayaking. The launch has ample parking and is made for carry in boats only. The ramp dumps out into a very shallow section of the lake and there’s a narrow path to Belgrade stream on the south west side of the lake.
The south west shore line is not heavily developed so the views are nice. The shallow waters make it great for birds. There was a family of loons, one appeared to be learning to fly, or it just liked to practice the almost take off. A couple osprey went fishing.
In total I spent five hours on the lake and I only made it to the first island. I stopped and had a snack and it was incredible. By kayak, this lake would take days to explore. If you want to see the other side of the lake, don’t worry you don’t have to plan an over night trip, just launch from the real boat launch on the other side of the lake.
This place is definitely worth another visit. There’s so much to explore.
Launch Date: 08/01/2019
Launch Site: Kayak Launch [Turner Boat Launch]
Lake Info: [No Survey Map] Park Info: [Guide Map]
Fish: Small Mouth Bass, Large Mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Perch
The section of the Androscoggin river that runs along the Riverlands State Park is also known as Gulf Island Pond which exists due to a big hydro electric dam past the south end of the state park.
There was no shortage of wildlife during my visit. An osprey was fishing, loons were diving down, and the fish were biting. I caught my first ever Northern Pike. Don’t let the slow moving water fool you, this is very much a river and use river fishing tactics. There are day use picnic areas as well as designated camp sites. All in all, this is a very cool place to spend a day. Though, be aware, don’t eat the fish and don’t swim. It’s likely that the toxic past of this river still exists within the sediment.
This section of river only exists as the beautiful landscape that we see today due to the result of huge clean up effort. A fellow boater gave me this description of how the river used to look:
The river was covered with orange foam a foot high. The river banks looked like they were hit with agent orange. Everything along the shore was dead.
Launch Date: 07/31/2019
Launch Site: Kayak Launch [Google Maps]
Lake Info: [Depth Map]
Fish: Large mouth bass, crappie, perch
Estes Lake, more like a big long pond, is a beautiful paddle. The lake exists due to a dam on the Mousam river. Large sections of the shore are completely undeveloped which allows for beautiful scenery. The official parking for the kayak launch is 1/4 mile down the road. Come with a buddy, come early, or come prepared to get some exercise hauling your boat and gear.
The fishing for my trip wasn’t great. I passed so many places that looked like perfect for large mouth bass and I didn’t see any. I had an aggressive black crappie early on and then nothing until I found a creek chub. I suggest, if you’re there in late July, go closer to the dam. I stayed above the Apache campground and although beautiful, it lacked fish.
Launch Date: 07/05/2019
Launch Site: Kayak Launch [Google Maps]
Lake Info: [Depth Map]
Fish: Small Mouth Bass and likely Trout
Dundee Pond is lightly developed and there’s no public boat launch which makes this location a perfect paddle. The kayak launch is on the Presumpscot river just below the dam at the Windham road bridge.
Fishing was sparse but, man was the lake beautiful. Since casting wasn’t working I spent most of the time trolling and that allowed me to take in the sights. Nesting bald eagles, swimming loons, and lots of sun. The water is clear and next time I’ll go for a swim.
Unless you want to hear crowds of people and screaming kids, it’s best to avoid the Dundee Park beach on the north side. The rest of the lake is amazing. This is a place worth several visits.
We went for a late afternoon paddle on Androscoggin Lake to relax and so I could do some fishin’. First thing we noticed is there’s no where next to the boat ramp to park. It’s all private yacht club parking. There is a parking lot for a park just up the road which we used. I was a little uneasy because the park itself is for “town residents” only, but it doesn’t say the parking is for residents only.
Once we got on the water, the lake is beautiful. The wind was ripping so we spent most of our time a cove for shelter. The wind kept the air cool while the sun was hot.
This is not a very deep lake, maxes out just under 40′ and there’s a lot of 10′ or less areas. This lake seems ideal for large mouth bass. Due to the wind we didn’t get to see a lot of the lake.
The fishing was good, we found lots of panfish which kept me entertained, and made me wish I had my fly rod. Oswin got to see fish up close for the first time. She was very curious.
All in all, this was a great trip. You can’t beat enjoying the sun from a kayak on the water. Due to the limited launch opportunities and questionable legal parking, I won’t be in a hurry to go back here. Luckily Maine has many other lakes to check out.
Not a huge body of water by any means but this place sure is beautiful. The entire shore line is undeveloped except for the little damn and boat launch.
Mind the indentations on the boat launch, my kayak cart got stuck in every single one.
The main area is large and open with a relatively clean bottom. The surrounding shallow estuary is socked in with the invasive species Myriophyllum, aka Milfoil [plants that people put in their aquarium]. The water in the estuary is still 4+ feet deep but completely covered so you’d never know and as a result unfishable.
For a Sunday I was expecting anywhere I went to be busy. Luckily for me, when I arrived there was only one other boat on the water. For three hours it was just the two of us. Several different cars arrived at the launch without boats for a short period then left [I was happy to find that my car was not broken into].
There are no official motor restrictions, so maybe I was just lucky, or due to the size of the pond, people are not racing around the pond in their bass boats. Kayaks or Jon boats are perfect here.
For fishing, I didn’t catch a lot of fish. I would have had a higher fish count if I brought my 4 weight fly rod to go after the black crappie and blue gill. I did get one good sized bass which completely made up for the long hours of no action. Even on a hot day [high of 90 degrees], the big bass are looking up for an easy frog meal.
All things considering this is a place I absolutely would come back to.
The state park is not friendly to the early morning kayaker. Before 9am the only way to launch is to park at the dam and walk a quarter mile down to the waters edge. Once you get there you’ll have to portage over large orange bumpers which indicate to boats the dam outlet.
Despite being denied access due to the limited launch options at 6:30 in the morning, this lake is beautiful. Next time I’ll come on a cooler day when I won’t mind dragging my boat all the way back up the dam road.
This was another strike against the usefulness of a New Hampshire state park pass as an early morning kayaker.
Kayak failure to launch. Don’t listen to the NHFG page, the pond is surrounded by a campground. Outside of May – October maybe there’s access, but during the summer there’s only access to hikers and campers. Here’s the trail map for more info.
Due to Beaver Pond, in Bear Brook State Park, being accessible only to patrons of the campground, at least at 6:30 am, I opted to check out Onway Lake as it was on the way home.
First take away is that parking is limited. The launch area is a narrow path with a paved road that goes straight into the water. Dirt patches on the side are for cars, watch out for rocks on the stops closer to the water.
Once on the water this lake is beautiful. Lots and lots of water lilies and birds.
Along the Dearborn Estate Easement is a large mash. While I was fishing just outside the water lilies, a great blue heron was stalking prey from the shore.
For a developed lake this is a rather nice place to go for a quiet paddle. There are no motor restrictions as I found when a water skier was slalom skiing what I can only guess were buoys for a sea plane?
Since this location was not the original plan I wasn’t able to stay out as long as I would have liked and I will be coming back.