Click the links below for the most up-to-date fishing news and suggestions from Maine’s fisheries biologists.
Before you head for a day of ice fishing, ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Please enjoy the Maine outdoors safely and responsibly!
Sebago Lake Region
From Fisheries Resource Supervisor James Pellerin
Where to fish: Many Maine anglers fully switch over to deer hunting in November and stop thinking of fishing until hard water or the following open water season. However, some continue their pursuit well into November or even beyond and the Sebago Lakes Region is blessed with quite a few late season opportunities. Popular rivers or sections of rivers that offer late season or year-round fishing include: the Mousam, Saco, Presumpscot, Royal, and Androscoggin Rivers. All of these waters have fall stocking programs in place and typically offer some decent opportunities to catch predominantly brook trout and/or brown trout. In addition, most lakes and ponds in the area are open to fishing year-round and many receive fall stockings in October of larger fall yearling fish in the 12-14 inch range. Late season anglers have first crack at these fish! A few popular shore casting spots for trout include the beach at Crystal Lake in Gray and the shallow waters of Middle Range Pond in Poland off Rte. 26. Be sure to check out our stocking report and review it for fall stockings and then plan your next outing. If you hunt, Sundays are open assuming you don’t have too many fall chores left on your to do list!
Fishing tip: In late fall, most of your fishing will be subsurface flies and or lures and trout can be close to shore. Warm water fishing opportunities also exist in the fall but their habits change as the water gets colder, so you may have to fish different areas and deeper than you did earlier in the year.
Reminder: Remember, the water is cold and rivers can be flowing high. Be safe, wear PFDs in any watercraft and wade carefully! Be sure to check the fishing laws for any specific water you want to fish as most streams are closed, some lakes/ponds in the area are closed to fall fishing, and most waters have special restrictions in the fall such as Artificial Lures Only and/or Catch and Release for salmonids.
Belgrade Lakes Region
From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Jason Seiders
Where to fish: November is a great time to hit the following central Maine stocked brook trout ponds. These ponds don’t support wild brook trout, so we stock them on an annual basis to maintain the fishery. These ponds are relatively small and can be fished from shore or from a canoe or kayak. Each of these ponds is open through the end of November, and they are restricted to artificial lures only and catch and release for all trout. It can be well worth the effort! Brook trout become very active this time of year; venturing all around these ponds as the water cools off. Even though they won’t spawn successfully in these waters, the brookies take on the awesome fall coloration and “hook jaw” appearance. Male brook trout can be quite aggressive this time of year, and you could catch some memorable fish in the waters listed below.
- Kimball Pond (Vienna)
- Tyler Pond (Manchester)
- Bowler Pond (Palermo)
- Egypt Pond (Chesterville, Vienna)
Fishing tip: A lot of streams and some ponds close to fishing in the fall due to spawning trout and salmon. It’s important to protect those fish during the spawning season because adding additional stress to these fish, during an already stressful time, can cause a fish to abandon its spawning effort altogether. We do, however, have some flowing waters in central and midcoast Maine that won’t support wild trout populations. We stock those rivers to give anglers spring and fall fishing opportunities, and fall can be especially enjoyable. These areas are usually less crowded in the fall and you probably won’t be swatting many blackflies or mosquitoes! Here are a few river fishing options and the species you’re likely to find:
- St George River (brook trout, brown trout)
- Medomak River (brook trout, brown trout)
- Pemaquid River (brook trout, brown trout)
- Nezinscot River (brook trout, brown trout)
- Megunticook River (rainbow trout)
Reminder: Good luck, stay safe, and wear some orange clothing while you’re fishing because it’s hunting season!
Grand Lake Region
From Fisheries Resource Technician Jake Scoville
Where to fish: The month of November usually isn’t revered by Mainers as a month to go fishing, but instead deer hunting is the choice of most outdoorsmen and women. If you tag out early or just get the urge to get your rods out again, there are some hidden gems in the Downeast region you should try. If you find yourself looking for a place to fish, I strongly suggest looking for a place to catch brown trout. Brown trout can be overlooked by anglers because they are in fewer waters than salmon and brook trout, and it can be slower fishing for them. In the fall, browns will ramp up their activity and if water temperatures stay in the 50’s, these fish can be easily targeted by trolling. With a little effort and patience, anglers can find themselves hooked up into some impressive fish.
A few waters I would suggest trolling for browns in Washington County would be at Pennamaquan Lake and Round Lake, both located in Charlotte. Both Round and Pennamaquan are moderately sized waters that can produce browns in the 2–3-pound range. For Hancock County anglers, I would suggest fishing Walker Pond in Brooksville. Walker can hold browns that average 15-18 inches, but larger fish are also present.
Fishing tip: When trolling for Browns in the fall, try using bright colors like orange, white, and yellow paired with a good amount of flash. The fish can start to be lethargic and bright lures and flies that catch their attention will make them more likely to strike. Browns also will be attracted to movement of your lure, so using an articulated fly or lure is a great place to start. Also, be sure to be checking water temperatures. If water temps are in the high 50’s you can get away with a little faster trolling speed, but if they start to drop into the lower 50’s slower speeds may be needed to make your lure more appetizing to lethargic fish. My biggest tip for catching browns would be to use lures that imitate 2–3-inch brown trout!
Reminder: Be sure to check the law book before heading out for some fall fishing. Most waters open to fall fishing have catch and release regulations while being coupled with ALO (artificial lures only) regulations.
Rangeley Lakes Region
From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Liz Thorndike
Where to fish: Ready or not November is here and as your mind starts to wander to hunting season, lawn chores, snow preparation, or the heartburn of New England sports don’t forget there are still places to fish here in the Western Mountains of Maine. November offers the opportunity to split your day between fishing and hunting so if you enjoy both activities and you find yourself in the Eustis or Rangeley area hunting, consider bringing your fishing rod and take a cast.
Little Jim Pond in King and Bartlett Twp offers the opportunity to catch quality sized brook trout in a remote setting just off the King and Bartlett Road. The 64-acre pond is stocked every fall with brook trout but don’t let the thought of fall fingerlings fool you, there are trout there that if lost at the boat will cause any angler to lose sleep. Little Beaver Pond in Magalloway Plantation is 50 acres and another fun water stocked annually with brook trout. The pond has a nearly undeveloped shoreline and can be seen just over the bank off the Fish Pond Road. Both waters are open to open water fishing through the end of November under fly fishing only and catch and release.
Anglers looking to cast a spinner with the opportunity to catch a variety of fish species should try Mount Blue Pond. Mount Blue Pond in Avon is a favorite for many (biologists included) during both ice and open water seasons, and currently open to fishing through the end of November with artificial lures only and catch and release. The pond was recently stocked with healthy 13+ inch splake but anglers also have the potential to catch brown trout, smallmouth bass, and even white perch. The pond provides ample shoreline habitat and casting opportunity with several coves, points, and islands.
Fishing Tip: As fall is upon us and waters have cooled, fall fishing presents a unique opportunity to target and catch fish at nearly any depth. Many times, trout are cruising the shoreline and can be targeted in shallow water, so when on the water take your time to observe and cast towards shore before paddling and spooking fish.
Reminder: Perhaps November weather is your fishing barrier but it doesn’t have to be. It may be raining or snowing out, your garlic may need planting but if you can’t find yourself on the water then best to dream of fishing days to come – reach for your fly vise, research a new pattern, peruse your favorite sporting goods store for the lure you lost on that hidden log, consider changing your line out for new (no one wants to look like Clark Griswold but with a ball of knotted fishing line instead of holiday lights), or even plan and book that fishing trip you’ve been dreaming of.
From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Tim Obrey
Where to Fish: Fishing opportunities in the Moosehead Lake region are limited this time of year. The weather will be turning cold and many of the smaller ponds will have ice before the end of the month. A few hardy anglers may try their luck on the East Outlet or the West Outlet. Remember, the only section of the East Outlet that is open to fishing after November 1st is from the dam down to the yellow posts at the Beach Pool.
Fishing Tip: Just like October, anglers may find success using flashy flies or lures this time of year. The fish aren’t really feeding much, but instead are focused on their spawning activities. They tend to be aggressive and usually hit anything that crosses their path.
Reminder: Check the flows on the Brookfield website (www.safewaters.com) before venturing out. We’ve had a lot of rain lately which has kept impoundments, including Moosehead Lake, unusually high. You may find river flows above average until we get back down to more normal lake levels. Higher water levels and river flows, combined with cooler temperatures, can mean potentially dangerous conditions for you and those who may accompany you on your next outing. Please be sure to take the necessary precautions. Also, just another reminder that you will likely be sharing the woods with hunters this time of year as well. Please be courteous and consider wearing an article of bright clothing for increased visibility.
From Fisheries Resource Technician Brian Campbell
Where to fish: As fall closes into winter and we prepare for the white stuff, there are still opportunities in Region F for some great fishing. One such South Zone water that remains open to general law fishing in Region F is Flatiron Pond located in T3 R9 NWP (recently stocked with brook trout). North Zone waters which remain open by Special Regulation include Millinocket Stream, from Millinocket Lake downstream to the Route 11 bridge in Millinocket; Davis (Wapiti) Pond located in T5 R7 WELS; and Norton (Peters) Pond located in Brownville. These four waters offer a great chance to get out and do some fall fishing and you can keep two trout for eating. Region F also has many waters that are open in the fall for catch and release, please consult www.mefishwildlife.com/laws for Special Regulations for those bodies of water.
Fishing Tip: Remember you are sharing the woods with hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. Make sure to wear bright colors for increased visibility.
Reminder: Please always remember to let people know your destination and when you are expecting to return. This way if something unfortunate was to happen people will know where you were going and be able to come find you and help you out.
Fish River Lakes Region
From Fisheries Resource Biologist Jeremiah Wood
Where to fish: November tends to be a slow fishing month in northern Maine, with most outdoor enthusiasts focusing on deer and upland bird hunting, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity to wet a line doesn’t exist. Waters that support wild populations of trout and salmon have traditionally been closed to fishing during October and November in an effort to protect spawning fish, but fisheries supported by hatchery fish are generally open.
Daigle Pond (Fort Kent area), Hanson Brook Lake (Presque Isle area) and Nickerson Lake (Houlton area) are all good bets this time of year.
Fishing tip: Check the updated stocking report on our website to find out when fish were stocked in the water you’re fishing. Often trout will congregate along the shoreline near stocking sites and are easy to catch within a few days of being stocked. Later, they’ll be more spread out and it may take a little more effort to find the fish.
Reminder: Most of our waters that provide fall fishing opportunity are open to fishing during the months of October and November, but anglers are restricted to the use of artificial lures only, and all fish caught must be released alive at once. In some cases, as when fishing for bass or muskellunge, however, fish may be kept. Be sure to consult the fishing regulations to avoid any confusion.