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Fishing Mount Desert, Maine: Angling an Acadian Paradise

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Under the summer sun, the idyllic aquatic vista of Maine’s Mount Desert Island can’t help but shine.

Rich, green foliage runs right up to the water, where a glossy, reflective surface disguises the bustling activity below. Rolling mountains in the distance create a sense of immersion—like there’s nothing else but you, the trees and the hours of fishing ahead.

It’s the perfect spot for a summer vacation. Gear up your Robalo and keep reading to learn what it is we love about this dreamy New England gem.

The “desert” of Mount Desert

As you cruise up to Mount Desert Island, you’ll likely have a couple of reactions. First—wow. Few regions showcase the splendor of summertime beauty quite like New England, where the season is imbued with a sense of frenzied excitement, as if to say “get it while it’s hot,” winter will be back soon!

But your second reaction might be one of confusion. Where’s the desert on Mount Desert Island? As it turns out, the beloved island’s name hails from Champlain, the French explorer, who dubbed it “Isle des Monts Desert” or “Island of Barren Mountains,” referencing the rocky hills and crags that jut out into the water. Over time, a simpler “Mount Desert” stuck—but since the name comes from the French, you can pronounce it like you might a sweet “dessert,” and not an arid “desert.”

In any case, the landscape at Mount Desert is a real medley of terrain. Certain landmarks, like the Bass Harbor Head Light, sit atop rustic, rocky bluffs, but even these features are rarely unmarked by the lush, green flourishes of trees.

Angling on Great Long Pond…

One of the choice activities to enjoy on Mount Desert is, of course, fishing, which you can do just about anywhere—including the charming lakes and ponds that are scattered about the island. One particularly popular spot (especially for those who crave a mountain view with their catch of the day) is Great Long Pond, which is essentially a pond only in name—it’s a big space, with lots of surface to explore and enjoy. Soak up views of Mansell Mountain from the east shore, then get out on the water and try your hand at catches like brook trout, chain pickerel, smallmouth bass and many more. Of course, the fishing fun doesn’t necessarily die down here in the winter—it just takes on a new form: ice fishing.

…and your ticket offshore

Don’t forget to explore the fun off the Acadian coast! Bar Harbor is your ticket to the ocean, or simply the cozy confines of Frenchman Bay. It’s a peaceful place to fish, characterized by the charming coastal character of the Harbor and its water-loving culture—but more on that later!

As far as fish go, be on the lookout for species such as mackerel, halibut, tuna, herring and winter flounder… to name just a few.

Exploring the coastal charm of Bar Harbor

When all is said and done for the day (on the water, anyway) make some time to explore the coastal charm of Bar Harbor. This small town is quintessential Maine, a cozy place where you can admire colonial architecture, small shops and restaurants with colorful, old-school facades, as well as stay the night or dig into seafood creations at one of the area’s delicious, no-fuss lobster shacks. Consider it the perfect complement to your time on the water.

Ready to explore? Angling Acadia National Park from the vibrant shores of Mount Desert is a surefire way to spend these long, lazy days of summer. Of course, when you make your way back to the mainland, be sure to stop by Robalo dealer Port Harbor Marine over in Holden, for a local connection to boating, fishing and all things Robalo!


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