Massachusetts is one of New England’s gems best known for its bass, trout, panfish, and a plethora of coastal fishing. It is amazing how much fishing you can do in this state!
Bass are plentiful in the Taunton River and Warren Reservoir. The Taunton River is a popular location for fly fishing and fishing out of kayaks. The state record largemouth was caught from Sampson Pond and weighted in at over fifteen pounds. Bass fishing does not end once you hit the ocean either, as Massachusetts is home to the striped and white sea bass!
A popular inland fishing site is the Wachusett Reservoir, which is known for both size and an abundance of species. Only coastline fishing is allowed but the Wachusett Reservoir is a great place to angle for panfish, trout, salmon, and both small and largemouth bass. There are also smaller populations of spotted, white, and striped bass within the reservoir.
Lake Cochituate, the Quabbin Reservoir, and the Otis Reservoir all offer a great array of species that include bass, trout, panfish, salmon, crappie, and catfish. The Hamilton Reservoir and Lake Chaubunagungamaug are almost as diverse, but lack the quantities of salmon. Massachusetts has many other kinds of sea life including bluefish, tiger muskellunge and white perch.
Bass and panfish are found throughout the state with such a wide distribution you could say they are everywhere and you would not be half wrong! Many trout are found evenly through the state, too; such as the brook, brown, and rainbow. There are also lake and tiger trout, but not widespread.
Coastal fishing is quite popular, but considering Massachusetts’ ample coastline this is hardly surprising. Coastal fluke fishing is a fantastic way to spend the summer and fall seasons in Massachusetts. Boston Harbor may conjure up images of tea parties, but it’s the flounder that swim those waters now! Boston Harbor, is the east coast’s flounder capital, with Quincy Bay being its most active region.
Of course what would Massachusetts be without the cod? Cape Cod would be in quite a state for one! Stellwagon Bank Catching a cod well over forty pounds is not unusual in Massachusetts’ waterways.
For a different kind of battle with the deep blue try casting for the tuna. Massachusetts’ shores have some incredible tuna fishing; Bluefin are monsters to go up against and they grace the calm bays and inlets around this historical state, along with the smaller, false albacore tuna. The coast is also full of with mackerel, halibut, haddock, herring, sharks, and many more!
Laws can change often so check before you go, but there are less minimum length requirements than in most states (still daily creel limits). Fishing licenses are required by everyone over the age of fifteen. Only annual licenses are offered, but the costs are reasonable. Licensing varies by age, and seniors may apply for a saltwater permit for free while minors can apply for a free freshwater license!
Licenses can be purchased online, by phone, or in person, and they can even be bought as gifts for others. To qualify as a resident you must have lived within the state for six months before applying for a recreational fishing license. Massachusetts has free fishing days every summer if you want to test their waters!
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.