WOODS ‘N’ WATER: In the Northwest corner, a golden pond

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: In the Northwest corner, a golden pond


I’m often asked what’s my favorite body of fresh water to fish.

While I have many favorites, the one that tops the list (although it has been a while since I have gone there) is Hatch Pond in the town of Kent.

I happened on it a number of years ago from an article I read and decided to give it a try. It was one of my better outdoor moves.

Located on South Kent Road, it is a natural drainage. There is a single track railroad running alongside it that only finds occasional use. In fact, on one of my trips there I had a chance to watch a whitetailed deer walking on the tracks.

At that time, I used to park alongside the tracks and put my cartop boat into Hatch Pond, but there is a state-owned boat launch area on the southern end.

Hatch Pond is quite weedy, especially on the boat launch end, but once you get into the pond itself the going is pretty good.

When you are on Hatch Pond you almost feel you could be on some remote lake in northern New England. Although South Kent Road runs alongside the entire eastern side of the pond, there is very little traffic. On the west side looms a wooded mountainside consisting of 2,324 acres of mostly undeveloped woods and wetlands, with some agricultural development, according to my copy of “A Fisheries Guide to Lakes and Ponds of Connecticut.”

On the north side of Hatch are a couple of cabins when I was there last. On one of my trips I was amazed to see a float plane tethered in front of one of the cabins and wished I was there when it took off.

There is an 8 mile-an-hour speed limit on Hatch, and when I fished it there was very little boat activity on it.

Like I said, it has been a number of years since I last fished it, but the memories of that peaceful pond are still with me, and isn’t that what going into the outdoors is all about? Making memories?

I was after the black crappie (calico bass) and bluegills that were among the freshwater species that inhabit Hatch Pond. Black crappie, yellow perch and LARGE sunfish are the main species at Hatch, although it does have some largemouth bass and bullheads.

It took me a while to figure out what worked best when I fished Hatch Pond. Once I did, I was rewarded with some nice catches of crappie and bluegills. Both the crappies and bluegills were good sized, with the crappie going 12 inches or better and the bluegills 8-9 inches.

I used an electric trolling motor and a fishing rod with a very limber tip. The reason for this is that when the crappie hit while I was trolling a small jig like the Charlie Brewer Slider Grub, it was not a violent strike like a bluegill or bass. Instead, when the crappie took the lure, the tip of the rod would bend and then you would set the hook.

One of the things about fishing Hatch Pond, along with its serene location, I almost always came away with enough crappie and bluegill fillets for a nice fish fry.

And if you are one of those who turn their noses up at a fish fry made up of some freshwater fish like crappie and bluegills as well as yellow and white perch, you don’t know what you are missing.

Of course, having the opportunity to see whitetail deer and hear a wild turkey gobble are simply an added bonus to fishing Hatch Pond. It really is a shame that there are so many unnoticed bodies of water here in Connecticut that have the ability to make any fishermen’s day.

I also found that slow-trolling with an electric motor works very well for catching the crappie, and hooking up with a nine-inch bluegill is always a pleasant surprise.

I did icefish it a couple of times in the winter, but it was nowhere as productive as when I was on the water trolling. If you get a chance, why not give Hatch Pond a try?

My kind of dog

One of my favorite outdoor reads is the New York Outdoor News. It is mostly about hunting and fishing in New York State, but they also have some interesting tidbits on other states, like this one I just had to share with you.

According to the article, a Great Pyrenees sheep dog is recovering from a tussle with a pack of coyotes in Decatur, Georgia after killing eight coyotes when the animals threatened sheep on his farm.

The sheep dog is only 21-months old, but weighs 85 pounds and is very protective of the flock of sheep he watches.

The dog, named “Casper,” suffered injuries to his tail and ears, according to the article. Casper jumped the fence and attacked a pack of 11 coyotes, biting their heads and throwing their bodies over his shoulder.

The owner is unsure if the animals attacked first or if Casper thought they were threatening his partner “Daisy,” who was pregnant with eight puppies.

That is one brave dog!

CT bear solution?

There still isn’t one, regardless of the nonsense that our legislators try to feed us. Why not feed it to the bears?

Oops, I forgot feeding the black bears in Connecticut is against the law, and this is going to help keep their numbers down and protect those whose homes have been invaded by hungry black bears.

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving this great country of ours.