Getting Lost Among the Loons on Hermit Lake
The fog of a late spring morning is still thick on the water as I push my Hobie Mirage kayak off
the beach and into Hermit Lake. In the predawn darkness of 4:30 a.m. I can’t see the fish in the
dark water, but past experience tells me they’re out there — largemouth bass, pickerel, perch
and sunfish lurking in the shallows, hiding in the shadows of the overhanging trees, and flitting
among the fallen trees scattered across the floor of this manmade lake.
Located just off Route 132 in Sanbornton and close (but not too close) to I-93, Hermit Lake is
convenient enough to reach but still secluded enough that the boat traffic is minimal — mostly
canoes and kayaks. At this time of day, I usually have the lake to myself as I pedal around the
shore and cast. Yes, pedal, not paddle: the Hobie’s leg-driven MirageDrive not only moves the
boat more efficiently, it also leaves my hands free for fishing — and it doesn’t startle the fish.
I’m a catch-and-release kind of guy, so although there’s plenty of storage onboard the kayak, I’m
happy to spend a few hours on the lake just communing with nature and losing myself in the
quiet rhythm of fishing. On a typical day kayaking, it’s just me, the fish, the passing Canadian
geese and loons, and sometimes my brother for company. I’m not a recluse, but from the first
ice-out to late October, Hermit Lake is my go-to for solitude and sanctuary in the Lakes Region.
In addition to purchasing Hobie kayaks and fishing gear, you can book a guided kayak fishing
trip led by Hope Eagleson through Fay’s Boat Yard. Solo trips are $175 for 4-5 hours of fishing;
two-person trips are $300. To book, call Hope at 603-434-5405, or email