Maine is a nationally acclaimed bass fishing state. Additionally, Maine is the best east coast state for landlocked salmon. With over two thousand bodies of water and its entire southern shore against the ocean, it is no wonder that anglers from all over flock to Maine.
Known for its bass, Maine has bass tournaments in its excellent bass waters. Anglers come from across the nation to bass fish in Maine’s clear rivers and lakes. Arrowhead Lake is the site of many bass tournaments, perfect for largemouth. For plenty of smallmouth bass visit East Grand Lake.
Brook trout are found in greater numbers in Maine than any other state. Mousam Lake is home to the state’s brook trout record of over nine pounds. Kennebec River provides a great trout fly fishing experience. The Kennebec is suited to bass alike, making it a perfect fly fishing river. Lake trout are increasingly bigger in Thompson Lake, adding to its already impressive smallmouth bass fishing.
For the best trophy salmon in the state you cannot get better than Sebago Lake. In over a hundred years its twenty-two pound record has yet to be broken, and though fishing has changed salmon fishing on Sebago Lake is still excellent. Not only for quantity, but also quality as many salmon are well over three pounds. Sebago Lake is great for smallmouth bass and lake trout as well.
Green Lake is home to native salmon populations, though much of Maine’s salmon comes from stocking. Moosehead Lake is another great salmon fishery, along with great trout. East Grand Lake is an excellent clear water lake for salmon fishing. Salmon fishing tends to be the most productive for Maine in spring.
Maine’s southern shore provides great saltwater fishing. In terms of popular trophy fish the best option is Perkins Cove. Excellent saltwater trophy fishing in this cove includes cod, flounder, haddock, and tuna. In fact, a tuna weighing over a thousand pounds was harpooned in Perkins Cove!
Bass fishing on Maine’s coast is almost as good as inland. Striped bass and black sea bass are two prominent saltwater bass species. The state record sea bass came off the shores of Ogunquit, and good striped bass fishing can be found there. The Kennebec River Watershed and Casco Bay are other great options for striped bass fishing.
Mackerel swim along Maine’s coast during summer and fall. Boothbay Harbor is a fair shot to catch one, as well as a striped bass. Though fierce for their size, Maine mackerel are fairly small and suitable for fishermen at any skill level.
Other coastal Maine fish include herring, bluefish, swordfish, pollock, and even a few shark! Maine’s saltwater fish population is as diverse as the ocean is deep, so do some research before trekking to the Pine Tree State.
Residents over fifteen, and non-residents over thirteen, need a license to fish in Maine. Persons who are developmentally disabled, members of Native American tribes, or resident disabled veterans, are eligible for free licenses. Military personnel are eligible for low cost licenses.
Both residents and non-residents can select one day or annual licensure, while non-residents may purchase three, seven, or fifteen day licenses. Marine licenses are not required, but registering with the Department of Marine Resources’ Saltwater Registry is required.
Head for the bait shop because Maine has two free fishing weekends – one in winter and one in summer!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.