"Hard to Spell, but Fun to Fish"
By Michael Edwards
Lake Cobbosseecontee is located in Augusta, Maine. Immediately you think Maine -
smallmouth or trout. This lake would surprise you with all of its largemouth bass.
Don't get me wrong, it does have a great smallmouth population, and from what I hear a
decent trout population. But its largemouth population is truly amazing.
This was the second year that I've gone to Cobsy (for short). Both times I've
gone with a great bunch of folks who I do a lot of fishing with in New Hampshire (that's
Gary my tournament partner in the picture to the right). We bring up 6 or 7 bass
boats and about a total of 10 - 12 people. Needless to say, we cover the entire lake
over the course of a four day weekend.
We stay at Lakeside Motel and Marina just off of Route 95. Andy, the owner
is a great guy and the rooms are perfect. The lake is literally just outside your
door and there is a dock system for keeping your boat in the water overnight that rivals
any of the dock systems I've seen down south (that's a big compliment).
There is outside hookups for recharging batteries and Andy has a gas dock
complete with mid octane gas for refueling so you don't ever have to take your boat out of
the water until you leave for home.
Lakeside Marina can be reached at (800)532-6892 or (207)395-6741. Their
PO Box 236, Route 202
East Winthrop, Maine 04343
We spent a long weekend on Cobsy, starting May 21 and ending May25. This is
generally post-spawn for smallies and pre-spawn to spawn for largemouth. Depending
on the year, the exact stage of the spawn can be different. This year, with the
water temperature at 67 degrees, it was post-spawn for the smallmouth and just the very
beginning of the spawn for largemouth.
The entire weekend had consistent weather. It would start out sunny and windy, then
would become overcast and rain from 10 'til 3, then would become sunny and windy
again. This happened every day except Sunday (the day we left early). On
Sunday it stayed sunny. Isn't that always the way?!...
We fish for big largemouth and big smallmouth honors for the weekend. One major rule
is that the big fish must NOT be a spawning fish. This makes it harder to catch the
winning fish and protects the spawning fish from being targeted. All fish are
measured on the boat and immediately released due to the fact that you cannot transport a
live bass unless you are fishing in a registered tournament (always check the rules of a
state before you fish or you could end up with big fines!). We alternate partners
each 1/2 day just to keep people honest (even though we're friends, we are fishermen and
therefore prone to telling little "fibs").
Lures that Worked
Everyone has favorite lures, and many fish were caught on many different lures
during this weekend. But....three lures caught more than sixty percent of the fish.
In order of the number of fish caught, these lures were:
- 3/8 ounce W.Y.D. Jig - Avocado Color (Hy-Tek Lures available through Northern Bass
- Copper 4 inch Kalin's Salty Grub with a 1/8 ounce sinker
- Bomber Long-A stick-bait
The W.Y.D. (Whose Your Daddy) Jig was phenomenal on both the largemouth and
smallmouth. During a couple of days, it was almost as though any piece of cover,
whether it was a tree or weedpatch, produced fish when a W.Y.D. Jig was thrown into
it. The jig had to be avocado in color and had to have an avocado (green) pork
The Copper Kalin's Salty Grub worked incredibly well on points and wind-blown
shorelines in 5 to 15 feet of water. It was textbook smallmouth fishing as the
smallies had finished bedding and were stacked up on the points and shorelines just
outside of the island areas where they had spawned. It was key to find the
shorelines and points that had so much wind that it was almost impossible to hold the boat
in position. This wind seemed to really turn the fish on.
The Bomber Long-A drew some strikes in the windy areas also, but it was harder to hook
the fish on this bait than the Grub. However, the Bomber was awesome in the slack
water just inside the windy points. Here the Grub was not touched by the smallies.
However, the fish would hit the Bomber like no tomorrow in these calm water areas.
I had a couple of smallies come out of nowhere in about 5 feet of water using this
bait in the same area that I had thrown three or four casts with the Grub.
Spinnerbaits didn't seem to work well at all. Crankbaits were also very
unproductive. I was truly amazed each day when we all got back to the rooms to find
that all of the boats ended up catching the vast majority of their fish on the same baits
day after day. After the first day, I didn't throw anything other than the three
baits listed above. Those that tried other baits just kept coming back to these
The only explanation I can offer comes from our after dark discoveries. Each
night the shoreline in front of the motel would come alive with crayfish. They were
in the greenish/brown molting stage. We had one largemouth that was spawning near
the docks. One night we tried a test and were absolutely amazed. We tried to
hook this fish using worms and jigs thrown into its nest to no avail. We then caught
a crayfish and dropped it into the water just above the nest. The crayfish
flicked its tail as it floated down to the bottom and the bass lunged and sucked in the
crayfish so fast it was almost too fast to see! We proceeded to try to catch the
fish again using worms to no avail. Another crayfish.....the bass crushed it in
All we could figure was that the crayfish were so plentiful that that was the bait the
fish were focused on. Therefore, jigs and grubs were good enough imitators of
crayfish so that they caught fish. I think the Bomber Long-A's perfect imitation of
a golden shiner is always a good bet for smallmouth and worked because of its natural
representation of a staple food for smallmouth.
Locations that Caught Fish
I'm going to give spots away, so I apologize to people up front if any of these
spots are considered "honey holes" to some of you.
LARGEMOUTH: Lily Pond can be incredible. Make sure to visit it often as
the bass move in one day, spawn, then wander around for a couple of days before leaving
(remember to leave the actual bedding fish alone).
Farr's Cove is perhaps the best place to catch big largemouth. Jigs used
real slow in the submerged tree stumps is great.
The southeast side of Pinkham Island has a nice weedbed with quite a few
Jock Stream at the southern most end of the lake has some really good
largemouth. Problem is, the bridge is very low and you've got to either partially
sink your boat or remove the windshields in order to get under it.
SMALLMOUTH: Horseshoe Island and its surrounding islands have some of the
best smallmouth on the lake. Particularly the northern islands on their northwest
shores during postspawn. The fish just stack up on these island. The shoreline
just south of Horseshoe island (on the mainland) is
also very good if the wind is blowing hard.
The mostly submerged island just west of Goodwin Island is also very good.
This area has a flat that is about 8 to 12 feet deep with weeds. The flat is
very large but quickly drops into 20-40 feet of water. You will recognize this spot
by looking for the large rock out in the middle of this section of the lake which the
Commarandts (big black fish eating birds) use to rest on.
Wrapping it All Up
I'm sure that I haven't mentioned all of the lures that worked nor do I know
where all of the good fishing spots are. Heck, I haven't said anything about
cold-water species. But, I do hope that my article helps you have a good time on
Cobsy. If your looking for a good vacation lake in the central Maine area, then the
combination of Lakeside Marina and Cobbosseecontee Lake can't be beat!!!
I wasn't with the boats that caught the winning fish, but lunker largemouth was 23
inches and went to Rich Roy and lunker smallmouth was 19 inches and went to Emil
Ouellette. There were a lot of nice fish caught all weekend long.