Labor Day Weekend – Fishing

After all that learning about fish printing from the NPS workshop, we wanted to catch some small fish to print. A couple of sunfish would do, nothing monumental.

We went up to the general store in downtown Casco, bought a container of worms, and headed down to Parker Pond. We caught a few fish right away, including a small largemouth bass, (not so small, around ten or eleven inches, but not legal size) but I didn’t think we could keep them. A guy in a pickup truck came along and set up to inspect boats for milfoil, a water plant that they’re trying to keep from spreading from lake to lake. We asked him if he could recommend any place we would be able to catch sunfish. He thought for a while and said, “About a quarter of a mile off this road there’s a pond. Drive until you see two red posts with a chain between them, then walk up the snowmobile trail.” Sure enough, we found the spot and started walking. It was rocky going, a place where we would have been happy to have been wearing sturdier shoes with more ankle support. The trail looked as though at some times of the year it was a stream bed. Pretty soon we came to a fork in the trail. I figured that a pond would be at the low point, so we followed the right fork downhill. Yes! There was water, a good-sized pond. Arlene started fishing where the trail first hit the water, and I walked farther along the shore to a more open spot that turned out to be the top of a beaver dam. The water was a little deeper there than where Arlene was. Very quickly I caught two very small fish — but they definitely weren’t bass nor any other fish with game law protection, so we had something to print!

The next day (I’ll get to the printing in another post) we put the canoe on the car and, with Anne, drove over to the Heath to try fishing from the canoe there. We went out to the same section of the pond we had canoed with Judy a few weeks ago.

I held the camera down close to the water to get a dragonfly’s-eye perspective:

Arlene wasn’t confident she could fish from the canoe without hooking Anne or me, so they left the fishing to me. I got another almost-legal sized bass and a couple of smaller fish, but still no sunfish. We successfully released all the fish and went home, very satisfied that we were finally catching things.

Sunday, as it was beginning to get dark, we walked down to the association dock across the street from our driveway and tried a few casts off the dock. Arlene caught a couple of very small fish. It was the first evidence we had that we could ever catch anything from the dock.

So, although there wasn’t much to report in fish big enough to keep or eat, we finally were pulling fish out of the lakes around there. We can only hope we get better with more experience.

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