GLS: Paradise for Smallies
By Steve Takach

In this part of Maine is found what many folks consider the very best smallmouth bass fishing anywhere in the United States. This monumental claim is for Washington County where most of the great fishing is located. And yes, Grand Lake Stream is right in the middle of all this splendid fishermen's paradise.

I can recall many, many moons ago when authors like A.J.McClane wrote about bass fishing here in the town of Grand Lake Stream. I remember that he stayed at Weatherby’s Camps and had Creston MacArthur as his guide. Field & Stream magazine was the outdoor publishing agent where I first read and dreamed about actually enjoying some of that grade A fishing for people like you and me. My dream became a reality in 1958. We finally got to Grand Lake Stream. Of course, I knew nothing about where to fish, and struck out on my own. You guessed it. My wife Pat and I caught smallmouth bass immediately. I never caught fish like that first day’s outing anywhere else. In 1962 we became Grand Lakers. Then we really found out about bass fishing. I became friends with older guides like Walter Brown, Creston MacArthur, Louie Cataldo and Lou Bagley, to mention a few. They all had their favorite spots, and they often gave me some tips to help me get the finest kind of fishing.

Bass fishing has changed over the years. One super spot was a tiny dam where the water flowed from Third Machias Lake into Wabassus Lake. Below that flow not only was there bass, but white perch and even landlocked salmon. But for sure the bass seemed always to be there ready and willing to bite whatever you had to offer.

Bass got over the dam and stocked Third Machias, which had just white perch and pickerel. Boy did the bass take off and the fishing was superb, as it is today.

But now that that tiny dam, which t allowed water from the Machias waterway into the West Grand Lake waterway, is gone so is that super fishing on Wabassus Lake.

Big Lake is a wonderful bass lake. It is always a favorite and has everything a great bass lake needs. Lots of great rocky shallows, deep water, and islands where you can catch some quiet water when the wind is blowing. Always a good choice.

The St. Croix River is another superb waterway for smallmouths. The fish do well enough to keep some guides spending a great deal of time enjoying the action on the river and nowhere else. They are jokingly referred to as " River Rats " by their fishing buddies.

And West Grand Lake, known for its landlocked salmon fishery, is also a bass lake. More and more guides are taking their customers to the north part of the lake. I have seen some fish that anyone would be proud to pose with for that vacation photo in Grand Lake Stream.

These are just a few spots to enjoy smallmouths. Just about every pond, or lake has bass, and some of them are occasionally in the four to five pound range. If you ever want to get into some real fun fishing try the smallmouths around Grand Lake Stream.

Steve Takach is a member of the New England Outdoor Writers, Master Maine Guide pilot, photographer and former sporting camp owner.


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