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The Insider Guide to Fishing in Massachusetts

Posted by Louis Karpel on
The Insider Guide to Fishing in Massachusetts

Whether you’re just discovering fishing or have been working on your skills for years, Massachusetts has a lot to offer to fishing enthusiasts. 

Nicknamed the Codfish State, Massachusetts’s unique geography boasts of some of the most prolific fishing spots in New England. Both freshwater and saltwater fishing are popular and you can catch a large variety of fish, from lake trout to bluefin tuna. 

Planning a trip to enjoy everything Massachusetts fishing has to offer? Here are ten spots that deserve to be on your itinerary. 

1. Gloucester

Located on Cape Ann right on the Atlantic Coast, Gloucester is one of the best places to fish in Massachusetts. 

You can fish from the shore or from your boat. Fishing is the way of life in Gloucester, and April through October you’ll always find fishermen on the beaches patiently waiting for mackerel, striped bass, and bluefish. If you head to the harbor, lobster is abundant. 

Up for an adventure? Get your boat and go night fishing. You’ll come across cod and haddock and, in the summer, you may even catch bluefin tuna. 

2. Norton Reservoir

Stunning views, an abundance of white perch, and easy boat access — all of this describes the beauty that is the Norton Reservoir. Located on the South Shore close to Mansfield and Norton, this underrated fishing spot in Massachusetts deserves a top place on your list. 

Norton Reservoir offers mostly shallow waters, but some areas get as deep as ten feet. In addition to white perch, you can also catch pickerel, bass, crappie, and bluegills. 

3. Martha’s Vineyard 

Martha’s Vineyard is famous as a vacation spot for the wealthy, but did you know that it also offers some of the best fishing in Massachusetts? 

Located just seven miles off the coast of Cape Cod, you can get to Martha’s Vineyard by boat, ferry, or plane. Once you get to the island, fish from the 100 miles of coastline to catch bonito, bluefish, and black seabass or venture out into the Atlantic. In the deep waters, chase after mahi mahi, bluefin tuna, white marlin, or even shark. 

Once you’re satisfied with your catch, relax in one of the coastal towns on Martha’s Vineyard and enjoy fine dining and unique local atmosphere. 

4. Scargo Lake

Scargo Lake is a prolific Massachusetts fishing spot that comes with a beautiful story about a Native American princess and her suitor. If you like to fish surrounded by a bit of history, this is the place for you. 

The legend has it that before there was a lake, an Indian tribe lived in the area. Princess Scargo, the daughter of the Chief, fell in love with a brave young man from another tribe, who had to leave to fight a battle. As a token of his love, he gave Princess Scargo three small fish and promised to return before they matured. 

Unfortunately, two of the three fish died while Princess Scargo was waiting. To keep the last one alive, the Chief ordered to dig up a lake. Princess Scargo freed the remaining fish there, and its descendants still populate the Scargo Lake today. 

5. Plymouth Harbor 

Plymouth Harbor is one of the best saltwater fishing spots in MA. 

At Plymouth Harbor, you have options. Fish from the rocky shoreline or go out into the harbor for action-packed offshore fishing. You’ll find an abundance of striped bass, haddock, and bluefin tuna, among other fish species. 

After a productive day on the water, head into the city to enjoy its culture, history, and dining. 

6. Hyannis

One of the best fishing spots on Cape Cod, Hyannis is abundant with striped bass in the shallow inshore waters. 

In the mood for more action? Hop on your boat and go out into the ocean to catch some cod, seabass, and pollock. If you’re interested in deep sea fishing, Hyannis has a great supply of bluefin tuna and swordfish as well. 

If you have a few extra days on your fishing trip, venture out to explore Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. 

7. Myles Standish State Forest 

Myles Standish State Forest is the largest public recreation area in southeastern Massachusetts and offers multiple fishing ponds for anglers to choose from. 

Located less than 50 miles outside of Boston, Myles Standish State Forest is rich with largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and pickerel. In the spring and fall the Fearing Pond is stocked with trout. 

Some of the most popular fishing spots include Charge, College, and Federal ponds. Come here for an unforgettable weekend getaway with family and friends. 

8. Castle Island

A popular fishing destination, Castle Island features a convenient fishing pier, an abundance of bluefish, and stunning sunrises. Cunner and flounder are also plentiful here. 

In contrast with other Massachusetts fishing spots on this list, Castle Island is an urban fishery. It’s located in Boston and offers the perfect opportunity to combine fishing with sightseeing in the city. 

9. Wachusetts Reservoir 

Located just outside Worcester, Wachusetts Reservoir is a great place for bass fishing, with largemouth and smallmouth bass abound here. 

The reservoir is a large body of water and there are multiple fishing spots that you could try out. Wachusetts Reservoir is great for families and offers you the much-needed peace & quiet. 

10. Spectacle Pond

Located just outside of Forestdale and Sandwich, Spectacle Pond is a 108-acre pond with excellent transparency, a boat ramp, and favorable fly fishing conditions. One of the best freshwater fishing spots in Massachusetts, it’s a fantastic place to relax for a day or two. 

You can find all kinds of trout, yellow perch, and largemouth and smallmouth bass here. 

Best Fishing in Massachusetts: Final Thoughts

Massachusetts offers some of the best fishing in New England and there are multiple freshwater and saltwater spots that are worth visiting. 

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