Massachusetts

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Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is known as the Bay State, provides excellent opportunities for freshwater, saltwater, shoreline, and boat fishermen to catch haddock, striped bass, bluefish, skates, flounder, and, of course, the official state fish, the cod.

Types of Catch Available

Freshwater

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

Crappie

Crappie

northern pike

Northern Pike

raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout

brown trout

Brown Trout

brook trout

Brook Trout

Carp

bullhead catfish

Bullhead Catfish

Bluegill

Bluegill

American Shad

walleye

Walleye

yellow perch

Yellow Perch

State Fishing Records

Top 10 Fishing Destinations Across Massachusetts 

Salisbury Beach State Reservation

Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury, MA

The reservation opens up to a beautiful ocean beach, and it’s a popular spot for locals to go swimming, boating, horseback riding, paddling, and, of course, fishing! The location provides a plethora of public amenities, such as a boardwalk, picnic area, boat ramp, barbeque grills, and showers.

Atlantic Bonito, Atlantic mackerel, bluefish, little tunny, striped bass, Spanish mackerel, striped bass, winter flounder, and summer flounder (fluke) are some of the species that you can catch at the reservation.


Boston Harbor Islands National Park

Boston Harbor Islands National Park, Boston Harbor, MA

Several decades ago, the waters at Boston Harbor were deemed unsanitary for fishing, but major ecological filtering breakthroughs have made this once-polluted harbor into a premium fishing spot for both day, night, shoreline, and boat anglers.

Striped bass, bluefish, haddock, cod, skate, and flounder gather here by the schools. Enjoy a scenic ferry ride to the islands and enjoy a calm, quiet fishing experience at your destination. If you’re looking to catch striped bass, bunker and herring make excellent striped bass baits.

 Cast your line near cover such as submerged rocks, ledges, covers, and boulders.

Cochituate State Park

Cochituate State Park, Natick, MA

Windsurfers, sailors, paddlers, and fishermen gather at Cochituate State Park to enjoy its beautiful, clear water and tree-covered hills. A wide variety of fish, including largemouth bass, white perch, yellow perch, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, tiger muskellunge, bluegill, northern pike, American eel, swamp darter, golden shiner, carp, chain pickerel, channel catfish, brook trout, and tiger trout swim through the water. Visibility in the water from the surface is about 5 to7 feet. The water depth is between 19 and 30 feet on average, depending on which of the three basins you are fishing in, but the water sinks up to a depth of 69 feet.

The lake has a plentiful supply of trout, as the lake is restocked not once, but twice a year—once in the spring and again in the summer. If northern pike and tiger muskellunge are available, the lake is also restocked with these two fish.

 If you’re interested in catching a pike or muskellunge, the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife has a page dedicated to publishing when these two species are restocked. All three basins have an excellent supply of fish.

Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge

Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, Wasque Reservation, East Beach, Edgartown

The barrier beach on the east shore of the island is a particularly well-known fishing spot. This location is known for its striped bass and bluefish and its beautiful scenery and wildlife. If you travel up to the northern edge of the refuge, between the Gut and Cape Poge Lighthouse, the Cape Poge Elbow is a well-known nesting location for gulls, least terns, oyster catchers, and the endangered piping plover. Cape Poge is famous amongst locals for its lighthouse, which was built over two hundred years ago, in 1801.

 Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge is nearly a 1,000-acree spread of state-preserved land, and the Trustees, U.S. Coast Guard, and the State of Massachusetts work together to preserve and protect the refuge. Some of the species that you can catch at Cape Poge are Atlantic mackerel, black drum, black sea bass, bluefish, striped bass, summer flounder (or fluke), weakfish, and winter flounder.

Chapin Pond

Chapin Pond, Ludlow, MA

Chapin Pond is an excellent spot for anglers who want to snag a largemouth bass, white perch, pumpkinseed, rainbow trout, white perch, yellow perch, bluegill, sunfish, fallfish, rock bass, brown trout, or chain pickerel. The water at the pond is warm, and keeps the cold-blooded fish active and biting. If you’re a boat fisherman, there is a public launch ramp available on the pond.

The best time to go fishing at Chapin pond is 4:00 in the morning, but if you’re not an early morning angler, head down to the lake during lunchtime around 11:00 a.m. Large, fat white grubs are a favorite among largemouth bass. The juicier the grub, the better.


Falls Pond

Falls Pond, North Attleboro, MA

Falls Pond is a large pond that stretches across 112 acres. The basin is relatively shallow, averaging around 13 feet in depth and maxing out at 32 feet in depth. The water level is even lower in the winter months, averaging around 8 feet in depth. The pond bottom is made up of mud and rocks.

 Falls Pond is regularly stocked with trout and largemouth bass, and it’s regarded by locals and tourists as one of the best spots for shore fishing, but boat fishermen have also found great success on the pond. Some of the species that you can catch at Falls Pond are brook trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and yellow trout.

Norton Reservoir

Norton Reservoir, Norton, MA

Grab your cap and boat and come fishing at Norton Reservoir, a sprawling lake that spans over 580 acres! This location is known for its ample population of white perch, but it’s a great place to catch largemouth bass, bullhead catfish, chain pickerel, white perch, yellow perch, calico bass (black crappie and white crappie), northern pike, sunfish, and smallmouth bass.

It’s a very shallow body of water, with an average depth of 4 feet and a maximum depth of 10 feet. If you’re looking to catch perch, try minnows, insect larvae, wax worms, grubs, and night crawlers. Perch are not picky feeders.


Horn Pond

Horn Pond, Woburn, MA

Horn Pond is nestled between Arlington Road and Lake Avenue, and unlike many of the other fishing spots on this list, it has a large population of trout and broodstock salmon. It is a great spot for birdwatching—waterfowl, blue herons, and great horned owls are known to visit the lake.

 The lake has a large variety of species, including brook trout, yellow bullhead, brown bullhead, golden shiner, carp, white sucker, black crappie, chain pickerel, bluegill, killifish, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, brown trout, and yellow perch.

Upper Mystic Lake

Upper Mystic Lake, Winchester, MA

Upper Mystic Lake, just a few miles away from downtown Boston, is an excellent bass fishing spot for both shore and boat anglers. The lake has a whopping average depth of 40 feet, but it can drop to as deep as 80 feet at its deepest point.

The northern half of Upper Mystic Lake is shallow and covered in weeds and lily pads, especially in the summer months, and this provides good cover for the fish swimming below the aquatic foliage. Cast your line near weeds to catch largemouth bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, bluegill, goldfish, gold shiner, carp, white sucker, American eel, and yellow perch.

 Mystic Lake is a good place for a variety of fishing techniques. Anglers have reported successfully catching fish while fly fishing, spinning, baitcasting, and trolling.

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