Acadia National Park: Maine’s One-stop Fishing Spot
Many of us who try to get in as much fishing as possible always run into two primary issues: time and money. Maine’s Acadia National Park could be the answer to that problem. In the park you’ll find freshwater, warm water, and saltwater fishing, all within 47,000 acres. The acreage may sound skimpy compared to other national parks, but this oldest National Park east of the Mississippi is still a whopping 73 square miles.
Founded when Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States, Acadia National Park had a friend in John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who donated significant amounts of money to ensuring the long-term survival of the wilderness park. One of his efforts was the cutting of 44-miles of gravel carriage paths, 17 granite bridges, and two-gate lodges that are still used today. These paths ensure easy movement in and around Acadia, a big time benefit for fishermen in search of a tug at the end of their line.
And the fish will tug away on the lakes, ponds, and in the ocean. Fresh water fishing runs from April through September (check the State of Maine’s Open Water Fishing Regulations for exact dates), and licenses are required for freshwater fishing (but not in the salt). In the spring and in the fall you’ll find the fish on the surface, along edges and drop offs, and in the shallows. As the water temperatures rise in the summer the fish tend to go deep, so down-riggers or sinking lines are ideal. Depending on the size of the pond you’ll find a variety of fish so here’s a quick list of some of the options:
Bubble Pond: Brook trout
Eagle Lake: Landlocked salmon, brook trout, lake trout (also known as togue, the Native American word for lake trout)
Echo Lake: Brook trout, landlocked salmon
Half Moon Pond: Brook trout
Hodgdon Pond: Brown trout, pickerel, smallmouth bass, and perch
Seal Cove Pond: Brown trout, smallmouth bass, sunfish, perch, pickerel
Sargent Drive: Striped bass, bluefish, and mackerel
Frazer Point: Striped bass, bluefish, and mackerel
There are two campgrounds, the Blackwoods Campground that offers different types of camping throughout the season. The campground is open all year, but April through September is the best time for fishing. The Seawall Campground is open from late May through September and offers walk-in sites, drive up sites, and camper and motorhome sites with hookups.
Acadia is near the quaint seaside town of Bar Harbor with restaurants, shops and ice cream, and don’t forget to splurge on a dinner of Maine lobster. The cold water makes for some of the best meals going. Hiking, biking, and swimming are other popular activities, and after one visit to Acadia National Park you’ll find yourself wanting to come back.
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits. When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters. His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.