Fishing in Maine: Best Places to Catch Fish

Maine is as famous for its blueberries as it is for lobsters and fishing.  It doesn’t matter if you are hitting the lakes with a pontoon boat and your favorite fish finder, or if you are doing some fishing off one of the coast lines, Maine offers a variety of excellent fishing spots for both competitive and recreational anglers.

There are number of excellent fishing locations, no matter if you prefer to test your mettle in fresh or saltwater fishing.  Maine is one of the most scenic states in the entire United States and going to any one of the locations we’ve featured here will leave you aching to go back a lot sooner than you planned.

Maine has some of the purest (and largest) bodies of freshwater in the entire United States, and as a result it has some of the best freshwater fishing you can find.  Let’s look at some of the top locations and what you can expect to catch in each location on your next fishing trip.  Both Penobscot and Kennebec fishing areas are home to anadromous fish species, making them great areas for both saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing depending on the time of year.

Let’s jump in and take a look at our favorite 13 locations in more detail.  All of the below locations are brimming with all different types of local fish with and will make for an excellent fishing excursion.


1. Cobbosseecontee Lake:

I,Lmichaud [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Cobbosseecontee Lake offers a number of fishing opportunities for any serious or recreational angler.  It is located in the towns of Litchfield, Manchester, Monmouth, West Gardiner and Winthrop Maine.  You can view the exact location via Google Maps by clicking this link here.

Cobbosseecontee Lake is home to a number of different fish species.  Depending on the time of year, you can find the following species when heading out for an afternoon of fishing:

  • Cobbosseecontee Lake
    Brown Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Rainbow Smelt
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • White Perch
  • Yellow Perch
  • Golden Shiners
  • Emerald Shiners
  • Bullheads
  • Readbreast Sunfish
  • Pumpkinseed Sunfish
  • Black Crappie

While you can catch any of the fish we have listed here, Cobbosseecontee Lake is known for being one of the best fishing lakes in Northeast for Bass fishing.  Anglers come here from all over the country to fish for bass and some of the larger bass caught in the state of Maine have come from this lake.

Typically the best time for bass fishing in Cobbosseecontee is post-spawn for Smallmouth Bass and pre-spawn for Largemouth Bass (typically around mid May to early June).

Some of the best locations on this lake to catch fish are the lily pond (Largemouth Bass) and Horseshoe island (Smallmouth Bass).


2. Megunticook Lake:

Megunticook Lake” (CC BY 2.0) by Fyn Kynd

Megunticook Lake is a unique lake that’s filled with a number of interesting smaller islands.  The lake serves as the town’s public water supply for nearby towns. The lake is located in Knox county and spreads through the towns of Camden, Hope and Lincolnville Maine.  It’s the largest lake in Knox county.  You can visit the exact location via Google maps by clicking here.

Megunticook Lake is also home to a number of different fish species.  The spawn season has a range, but you can expect to find the following fish:

  • Megunticook Lake
    Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Bullheads
  • Crappie
  • Yellow Perch
  • White Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Brown Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Walleye

While you can catch any of these fish on the lake, you are most likely to reel in Smallmouth Bass if you are fishing on Megunticook.  They are quite common as are Brown Trout.

Some of the best times to hit Megunticook will be Pre and Post Spawn, towards the end of May.  Crane Island is a great place to setup your fishing spot for the day on a kayak or a boat.


3. Sebago Lake:

Sebago Lake Maine
Roots of a Tree on a Beach in Sebago Lake, Maine

Sebago Lake offers some amazing fishing for people in southwest Maine.  The lake is close to Naples and is just just an hour outside of Portland, Maine.  You can see the exact location of Sebago lake via Google Maps by clicking here.

Sebago Lake is home to many different types of fish.  Below are some of the most common fish you can expect to find after spending a day on the water:

  • Sebago Lake Maine
    Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Landlocked Salmon
  • Yellow Perch
  • Brown Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Lake Whitefish
  • American Eel
  • Northern Pike

Sebago lake is the second deepest lake in the state, and the basin was formed by glacial movement.  It’s also known as a one of the best places to catch landlocked salmon.  The most popular time to catch salmon is usually in spring, right after the ice melts.

If you aren’t out to catch landlocked salmon, you’ll find Smallmouth bass and plenty of lake trout.  Most lake trout ranges from the 7 to 10 pound range, but there have been trout known to have been taken that are in the 20 pound range on this lake.


4. Rangeley Lake:

Rangeley Lake Maine
Overhead Mountain View of Rangeley Lake, Maine

Rangeley Lake is in Northwest Maine, and only a couple hours from the New Hampshire border.  You can see the exact location of Rangeley lake by clicking here for a location on Google Maps.  Rangeley lake is one of the tributaries out of the Androscoggin River.  There are plenty of access points around the entire lake for people to access and fish.

Rangeley lake is another lake that’s notorious for Landlocked Salmon.  You can also find plenty of Brook Trout and Lake trout when fishing here.  Here is a basic list of the fish you can expect to catch when spending an afternoon at Rangeley Lake:

  • Rangely Lake Maine
    Landlocked Salmon
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Brook Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Bullheads
  • Yellow Perch
  • Lake Whitefish

Rangeley lake also has great fishing opportunities for young anglers.  You can check out the Haley Pond Outlet which is restricted to people under age 16.  There are also live bait restrictions as well.

For the exact location of the Haley Pond outlet, you can also checkout this link here to get your directions via Google Maps.


5. Belgrade Lakes:

Belgrade Lake Maine
By Tichnor Brothers, Publisher [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Belgrade lakes area is actually a chain of lakes near Belgrade, Maine.  The chain consists of East Pond, North Pond, Great Pond, Long Pond, and Messalonskee Lake.  You can see the location here via Google Maps.

The Belgrade lakes chains are all famous fishing locations where you can find several different types of fish.  The most common fish you’ll find here are:

  • Belgrade Lakes
    Northern Pike
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Bullhead
  • Sunfish
  • Black Crappie
  • Landlocked Salmon

You’ll even be known to find a few landlocked salmon in a few of the lake chains.  Some of the lakes are bigger, making for a more vast fishing experience.

For a complete guide of how to fish the Belgrade Lakes chain, SportingJournal has an excellent write up that showcases the best lakes for each type of fish.  Because it’s a chain of lakes, this means you can typically travel from lake to lake with ease and it also means that you should have many different types of fish that you can fish for.


6. Androscoggin Lake:

Androscoggin Lake is a lake in between Leeds and Wayne in the state of Maine.  There are a few campgrounds nearby, and it’s a popular camping and fishing location.  You can view the exact location here via Google Maps.

Androscoggin lake is a decent sized lake with multiple fishing locations for many different types of fish.  Both Wayne and Leeds (nearby towns) are primarily farming and small residential areas.  Both towns have populations of less than 2500 people.  The only public access to the lake is the public boat landing off Route 133 near Wayne.  A robust fishing location, here are some of the fish you can expect to catch at Androscoggin Lake:

  • Androscoggin Lake
    Largemouth Bass
  • Pickerel
  • Brown Trout
  • Yellow Perch
  • White Perch
  • Sunfish
  • American Eel

Androscoggin lake is a relatively shallow lake with the deepest areas coming in right around 40 feet.  It’s 3,826 Acres which lends itself well to plenty of different popular fishing spots.  You’ll need to get there by Kayak or a boat with an extremely low horsepower motor as 15 HP personal watercraft are the maximum allowed on the lake.  It’s a popular location for tandem kayak fishing and for sun bathers alike.

Androscoggin also has plenty of sight-seeing areas with a few islands to check out, including Androscoggin island.


7. Moosehead Lake:

Moosehead Lake
By Dennis Redfield (originally posted to Flickr as Moosehead Lake) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Moosehead lake is in the Maine Highlands and is the largest lake in the state.  It’s a popular fishing location, and there are plenty of different types of fish you can catch here.  You can check out the location of Moosehead lake on google maps here.

Because of the sheer size of Moosehead lake, there are a number of different fish species that you can catch here.  Some of those species include:

  • Moosehead Lake Maine
    Landlocked Salmon (Wild and Stocked)
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Brook Trout (Spring)
  • Northern Pike (Trophy)
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Yellow Perch
  • White Perch

It spans 75,451 acres and is 32 miles long.  It’s 5 miles wide at it’s widest area and has a 350 mile shoreline.  There are few limitations to the type of boat you can use and because the lake is so huge, you’ll have plenty of room to roam.  Moosehead lake used to be an extremely popular place among celebrities looking to get away and have an unforgettable fishing excursion.  During the 1980’s, fishing declined and tourism dropped.

Since then, many different conservation efforts have been undertaken to restore the fish population in the lake and it has once again become a hot spot for anglers across the country.  Outside of being an extremely fun lake to fish, the scenery at Moosehead is second to none and it’s truly one of Maine’s most beautiful and scenic locations.


8. West Grand Lake:

West Grand Lake
Beautiful Afternoon on West Grand Lake in Maine

West Grand Lake is on the eastern side of Maine, closer to New Brunswick.  It’s a popular fishing hot spot and there’s several different types of fish you can catch.  At 14,000 acres, it’s a large lake and is in a picturesque setting amongst the beautiful forest.    You can see the location here on Google maps.

Grand Lake Stream is one of the most popular fishing locations at West Grand Lake.  You’ll need to bring your Ice Auger in the winter because it’s also a popular ice fishing location.  Here are some of the fish you can expect to catch in an expedition to West Grand Lake:

  • West Grand Lake
    Landlocked Salmon
  • Lake Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Lake Whitefish
  • Black Crappie (Spring)
  • Walleye

West Grand Lake Stream offers some of the better fishing in the state and there’s plenty of lodging accommodations for longer fishing excursions.  It’s one of the few major areas in Maine that has held landlocked salmon, especially in Grand Lake Stream.

The lake has a depth of 120+ feet and limited shoreline access.  The lake can be rocky in many locations so if you are using a boat to hit the lake, you’ll want to use one of the two available public boat launches to hit the lake.


9. Kezar Lake:

Kezar Lake is a lake the New Hampshire border.  It’s broken up into sections called Lower Bay, Northwest Cove, Middle Bay, Fox Cove and Upper Bay.  It has a few islands and is a great lake for fishing.  You can find the exact location via Google Maps here.

Kezar lake is a popular fishing location for many different types of fish.  Here are some of the types of fish you can expect to catch on your next Kezar Lake fishing trip:

  • Kezar Lake
    Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • White Perch
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Landlocked Salmon
  • Crappie
  • Walleye

Kezar lake has a small town feel and is a popular location in the summertime.  It’s also an extremely popular camping location for families.  It’s quite a popular place with kayak fisherman and has several places that are well known for longer term fishing trips.

You’ll want to stick with boats that have motors of 10 horsepower or less as anything higher than that is banned on the Five Kezar ponds.  This makes Kayak fishing an excellent choice.


10. China Lake:

China Lake Maine
China Lake Sunset in Maine” (CC BY 2.0) by Anna McDermott

China lake is a lake that’s considered a “well kept secret” among Maine fisherman.  China lake is located in the Mid-Southwestern area of Maine, in between Augusta and Waterville.  You can check out the exact location by visiting Google Maps here.

China lake is becoming a little more well known, and the primary fish you can expect to catch here are both Large and Smallmouth bass.  Here are some of the additional types of fish that China Lake hosts on a regular basis:

  • China Lake
    Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Brook Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Landlocked Salmon
  • White & Yellow Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Golden Shiners

China lake has a maximum depth of 85 feet, giving a wide range of depths to go after when fishing.  China lake is also host to many different fishing tournaments in the region.

China lake has a couple of different boat launches and both are easily accessible.  It’s also home to other outdoor recreation besides fishing.  It’s popular for swimming, hiking, biking and sightseeing along some of Maine’s most beautiful countryside.


11. Allagash River & Waterway:

If you are going to head out on an Allagash River/Waterway fishing trip, you’d better plan your trip well in advance.  The Allagash River is a tributary of the Saint John River, which is an absolutely remote area of Northern Maine.

Allagash Waterway
Unlike other lakes in Maine, Allagash isn’t brimming with dozens of species of fish.  Those that head to Allagash should expect to catch Brown Trout, Lake trout and Whitefish (in the winter).  ith that being said, Allagash is one of the most prolific trout catching areas in all of Maine.  It’s not uncommon to head in for a trip and end up with a dozen trout after just one day.

To get to Allagash, there are only a few routes you can take, so proper research is needed.  It’s even recommended that you look at charter services or a full on Fishing guide if you can afford the services as the regular tour guides are familiar with the additional perils of an Allagash fishing trip.  In the spring/summer, the black flies are especially bad which can deter any dedicated fisherman without the proper preparation.

You can check out how to get to the Allagash waterway by checking out Google Maps here.


12. Kennebec River:

Kennebec River Maine
By Thomsonmg2000 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Kennebec Estuary is an extremely important geographical area for the state of Maine as this is where many several fresh water rivers and run offs empty from the uplands down into the sea.  Many of these fish migrate from saltwater to spawn in freshwater, and these fish are known as anadromous.

Essentially this is where saltwater and freshwater meet, making for some interesting fishing conditions where you can find both saltwater fish and freshwater fish depending on the type of year.  As a result, there are a number of fish you can catch in the Kennebec river, so let’s look at some of the primary freshwater and saltwater species that call this area home.

  • Kennebec River
    Atlantic Sturgeon
  • Shortnose Sturgeon
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • American Shad
  • American Eel
  • River Herring
  • Alewife
  • Tomcod
  • Rainbow Smelt
  • Brook Trout
  • Striped Bass
  • Landlocked Salmon
  • Carp

As you can see, there are many different types of fish you can potentially land fishing in the Kennebec Estuary depending on the time of year.  It’s best to do a little research and make sure you are effectively planning your fishing trip around the types of fish you intend to try and fish for.

There are a few solid resources that can help you effectively plan your next Kennebec fishing trip and we’ve listed those for you below.

If you need directions on how to get to the Kennebec Estuary, you can check out the location via Google maps here.


13. Penobscot River & Bay:

Penobscot River Maine
By Centpacrr (Centpacrr (the uploader)) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Like the Kennebec River, Penobscot also plays host to several types of anadromous fish.  These are saltwater fish that make the Penobscot their home during spawning season in freshwater.  They then return back to saltwater where they live once spawning season is finished.

The Penobscot river runs 109 miles long and it’s the second longest river system in the state when including it’s west and south branches.  The west branches of the river are best from May through September.  There are many different types of fish that call the Penobscot home, so let’s look at the different species you may be able to snag when fishing here.

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Alewife
  • Striped Bass
  • Herring
  • Rainbow Smelt
  • Atlantic Sturgeon
  • American Shad
  • Atlantic Tomcod
  • Shortnose Sturgeon

Penobscot is actually considered one of the best smallmouth bass fishing areas in the entire United States.  There are many different laws and fishing regulations depending on what type of fish you plan to fish for, so it’s important to do your research and plan your fishing trip well in advance.

For the exact location of the Penobscot river, you can check out the link via Google Maps here.  Please note that there are several different sections of fishing on the Penobscot, so do your research as to which part of the river will suit your next excursion.


Wrapping it up:

Maine is a very diverse place that offers many different types of fishing opportunities, no matter what fish you like to catch.  Maine is also home to some of the most beautiful outdoor locations in the entire United States.

If you are a serious angler and haven’t made a trip out to Maine for fresh or saltwater fishing, you are truly missing out.  Not only can you indulge in some of the best lobster in the country, you’ll have the potential to catch some of the most diverse types of fish in the entire US.

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