Fishing In Maine

Photo Credit: Dave Conley

With 3,478 miles of tidal shoreline, 6,000 lakes and ponds, and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams throughout the state, Maine is an incredible fishing destination. Cast a fly-line into a secluded pond in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, or troll for bluefish as ocean waves lap the side of your boat. Whatever type of fishing experience you’re looking for, Maine has something here for you.

Maine’s lakes and streams are home to an abundance of species of freshwater fish, including brook trout, landlocked salmon, togue, bass, and perch.

If you’re looking for brook trout, Maine is the place to come. 95% of all the remaining brook trout in North America are found in Maine. Late spring and fall are the best times of year to catch these beautiful charr. Fun to catch on a fly line, you can spend a glorious day wading into small streams or casting for these beautiful fish from your boat.

Maine is a great place to find other species of trout as well. Brown trout and rainbow trout are most abundant in the southern part of the state, in the numerous lakes where they are stocked. They are also found in two of Maine’s largest rivers, the Kennebec and Penobscot, a perfect opportunity if you’re looking for a river fly-fishing experience. Lake trout, also known as togue, can be found throughout the state. Among the longest-lived and largest freshwater game fish, togue can reach a length of 30 inches and weigh up to 10 pounds, making them a desirable trophy fish.

Landlocked salmon can be found in over a hundred lakes throughout the state. Several of these, Sebago, West Grand, Sebec, and Green Lake, host original, native landlocked salmon populations, while many other lakes are stocked to provide good fishing. These silvery fish are often 16-18” long and over a pound.

Maine is nationally known for its excellent bass fishing. Largemouth bass are often found lurking along the weedy shores of shallow lakes and ponds, while smallmouths tend to hide along the rocky shorelines of clear ponds and rivers. 

The lakes and ponds of Maine are home to both yellow and white perch. These smaller, spiny fish are great for family fishing trips, or for any first-time fisherman.  

In winter, find a guide and head out on the “hard water” for some ice fishing!  Ice fishing is a great sport that is especially well-suited for families with children to experience. Guides usually bring shelters, heaters, food, and all the necessary fishing gear to make your trip successful. There’s nothing like watching the flag on your trap go off and pulling a fish up through the hole!

Maine’s rocky coasts and tidal waters offer a variety of fishing options, from mackerel and stripers to tuna and bluefish. Stripers (Striped bass) spend time along the Maine coast in the spring and fall. You are likely to find these fish in the early morning or evening when the light is low. These fish can be caught with flies, lures, or live bait, and can grow to as large as 20 pounds.

Mackerel provide a great “can’t fail” fishing experience. Living in Maine waters from May to October, they can be found along the coast almost anywhere where the water is more than 10 feet deep. These small fish are a great option for beginning fishermen, as well as those who are just looking for a day of fun catching lots of fish.

Blue fish arrive in coastal Maine waters south of Penobscot Bay in mid-summer. A fierce, fighting fish, they will eagerly grab your bait or lure, and put up an exhilarating struggle as you reel them into your boat. 

For the ultimate deep-sea sport fishing experience in Maine, go on a tuna fishing adventure. Tuna can grow to be huge trophy fish; a record-breaking tuna caught in Maine weighed over 800 lbs!