Fishing Report

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 fishing, ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Please enjoy the Maine outdoors safely and responsibly!

Maine's fishing regions

Maine Region ASebago Lake Region

From Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist Nick Kalejs, 4/25/24

Where to fish: As we move into May and waters begin to warm, anglers in the Sebago Lake Region can look forward to a mix of opportunities for both cold and warm water species. Early season lake fishing for trout and salmon is still going strong, while bass will continue to become more active throughout the month. Many of our lakes allow anglers to target trout and salmon early in the day, and switch to bass as the sun gets high in the sky. Hancock Pond produces quality brown trout and has a strong population of smallmouth bass as well. Little Ossipee Lake is stocked with brook trout, rainbow trout, and landlocked salmon, yet also supports good bass fishing. Finally, Pleasant Lake can also provide a nice mix of sizeable landlocked salmon and good bass action.

Fishing tip: With icy cold water temperatures, it pays to troll slowly. Not only will you catch more fish, but you will also have plenty of time to adjust to the paths of anglers around you.

Reminders: Looking for a new place to fish this season? The Department has some resources on our website that can help anglers find a spot. Check the stocking report regularly, and scope out the area (and special laws on certain waters—don't forget to check before you go!) using the Fishing Laws Online Angling Tool.

Maine Region BBelgrade Lakes Region

From Contract Fisheries Assistant Chris Robinson, 4/23/24

Where to fish: My father always tells me, "When you hear the song of the white-throated sparrow… it's time to go fishing!"

Similar to our migrating songbirds, the smallmouth bass in many of central Maine's waters are cruising the shallows, prospecting for potential nests sites, and ferociously feasting to fuel themselves for the spawn. Flying Pond in Vienna has a perimeter of nearly 9 miles with a large portion of that being prime smallmouth habitat. Boasting high catch rates, Flying Pond is an excellent smallmouth water with 3-4 lbs. bass not uncommon. There are many waters similar to Flying Pond in the region such as: 

  1. Long Pond (Belgrade)
  2. Minnehonk Pond (Mt. Vernon)
  3. Swan Lake (Swanville)
  4. Lake St. George (Liberty)
  5. Bowler Pond (Palermo)
  6. Lake George (Canaan)
  7. Wassookeag Lake (Dexter)

If you prefer fishing for salmon or trout, all the waters listed above are also home to at least one salmonid species stocked every spring and fall as put, grow, and take fisheries.

Kennebec River (Fairfield - Bingham) - The Kennebec River has numerous opportunities to fish for smallmouth bass throughout but is particularly fast below the Shawmut Dam and throughout the Solon and Bingham reaches. As of writing this report, the water is still a little cold for smallmouth bass, but when the water temp increases to around 55-65 °F, the fishing will heat up as well.

Fishing tip: Smallmouth bass spawn between mid-May through mid-June (although it could be earlier given recent trends with our weather). They'll typically be found along the littoral zone of rocky shorelines in depths of 5-15 feet and where the substrate is suitable for nest building (small diameter cobble/gravel). Smallmouth bass are known for their indiscriminate feeding habits, so you're bound to have something in the tackle box they'll gobble up. Keep an eye out for cover such as boulders or woody debris, toss any of your favorite tube jigs, salamanders, or lizards, and be ready to set the hook!

Reminders: As always, check the stocking report for fishing opportunities near you and be sure to pick up this year's law book if you haven't already! Even though the weather is getting warmer, being out on the water can be drastically cooler. Wearing your lifejacket is a good way to stay warm and safe. Go fishing and good luck!

Maine Region CGrand Lake Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Greg Burr, 4/22/24

Where to fish: May is one of the most productive months of the year for catching brook trout and salmon in Downeast Maine.  Lake, pond, river, and stream water temperatures will trend from the low 50's in the beginning of the month, to the mid 60's at the end of the month.  This temperature zone is prime to motivate trout and salmon to be actively feeding on insects, smelts, and minnows on the surface and in the shallows.

Once stream and river water temperatures reach 50 degrees in May, the brook trout action will fast.  Here are the flowing waters I recommend:  Dennys River, Chandler River, Crooked River, Old Stream, Pleasant River, Mopang Stream, West, East, and Middle Branches of the Union River, West Branch of the Narraguagus River, and Bog River.  Also, May is the best time of year to catch large brown trout in the Pennamaquan River below Pennamaquan Lake.

The fishing will also get hot in Grand Lake Stream for landlocked salmon and brook trout as the high April flows that brought in bright salmon from West Grand Lake subside and allow anglers to fly fish the stream and catch fat salmon and newly stocked trout.  Watch the flows at

Warmer weather will dry up woods roads and allow timberland gates to open so that anglers can access lakes and ponds north and just south of Route 9.  Brook trout and salmon waters that I recommend fishing as soon as those gates open are as follows:  Mopang Lake for salmon and splake, Alligator Lake for salmon and brook trout, Upper Lead Mtn. Pond for salmon and brown trout, Monroe Lake and East Monroe Pond for brook trout, Second Lake Old Stream for splake, and Halfmile Pond, Ducktail Pond, and Partridge Pond for brook trout.

May will also bring great landlocked salmon trolling.  The following lakes I predict will produce this spring:  Jordan Pond in Seal Harbor, Long Pond in Mount Desert, Green Lake in Ellsworth, Beech Hill Pond in Otis, Donnell Pond in Franklin, Tunk Lake in T 10 SD, Nashes Lake in Calais, Cathance Lake in Cooper, West Grand Lake in Grand Lake Stream, and Big Lake in Greenlaw Township.

Fishing tip: When trolling streamer flies for landlocked salmon, you can have the best success fishing on a windward shore with plenty of chop.  Then when trolling through these small whitecaps, steer your boat in a snake-like pattern, all the while twitching your streamer with your rod tip.  The erratic motion of your fly moving back and forth will initiate the flight response of a salmon to attack your fish imitation.

Reminders: Anglers wondering what date the American Forest Management gates will open should call 827-3700.

Maine Region DRangeley Lakes Region

From Contract Fisheries Assistant Ashley Houle, 4/25/24

Where to fish: The last of the ice is out on our major lakes in the Rangeley Lakes Region! Smelts have started to run, and the fishing is picking up. The beginning of open water season means the lakes and rivers are running cold and the trout and salmon are opportunistically traveling around and chasing bait. For anglers who don't have access to a boat, fishing from the shore can be productive this time of year. Try targeting main inlet areas and small tributaries with flow. In many of the big lakes the smelts are congregating here, and game fish are close by. Remember to check the law book and plan accordingly as some of these tributaries are fly fishing only. Also be mindful of the extreme weather we have had this year and the impacts on our remote road systems. Keep a map handy in case you need to reroute around roadblocks and pack a spare tire.

For anglers looking to do some trolling, Aziscohos Lake and Mooselookmeguntic Lake are great areas to try. These lakes can provide productive landlocked salmon fishing, especially for those who are interested in harvesting some landlocked salmon. The current regulations on both lakes for salmon have a daily bag limit of 1 salmon over 16 inches and no size or bag limit on salmon under 16 inches. This special regulation is in place to help manage stunted salmon populations.

Anglers who are fishing on Mooselookmeguntic should look out for any salmon or brook trout that are tagged! If you catch a fish with a yellow tag located next to the dorsal fin, please go to the website listed on the tag and report it. This information plays a key role in our management of the fishery and an ongoing research project - your help is greatly appreciated. For more information you can learn about the project from Episode 7 of Fish + Game Changers Podcast.

Fishing tip: If you are spin fishing in and around small tributaries, variations of silver lures, particularly silver and blue, purple, or black can work well. A great go to lure to use is a quarter ounce silver and blue Kastmaster. For those fly fishing, a smelt pattern streamer can do the trick. Keep in mind that changing your retrieval pace and action of your lure or fly can change your luck when fishing, try retrieving your lure slower, dead drifting your streamer or stripping your fly in slower. In cooler water temperatures trout and salmon can be more lethargic so a slower moving target may elicit a bite.

Reminders: Open water fishing season is an exciting time of year, many of us are eager to hit the river and launch our boats. Boat launches, parking lots, and rivers can be busy, but please keep in mind proper boat launch etiquette as well as general fishing etiquette. We are all out for a similar goal…tight lines!

Maine Region EMoosehead Region

May report coming soon!

From Fisheries Resource Technician Stephen Seeback, 3/26/24 

Where to fish: After a slow start and abrupt end to the ice fishing season due to poor ice conditions in the Moosehead Lake region, anglers can't wait to hear the delightful words, "Ice-Out!". Snow melt and spring run-off will begin changing angling opportunities. Many of the ponds and lakes are still covered in ice, but shortly after the ice is out they will produce some of the fastest fishing of the open water season.

Ice-out fishing is a good time to find lake trout, brook trout, and landlocked salmon cruising the shoreline shallows and the mouths of tributaries in search of smelt, as smelt begin to congregate in preparation of their annual spawning runs. Gray Ghost, Black Ghost, Mickey Fin, and a variety of other smelt imitation streamer patterns can be deadly this time of year. Anglers looking to target lake trout should try their luck on Moosehead Lake, First Roach Pond, and Lower Wilson Pond. Landlocked salmon enthusiasts should find good action on Chesuncook Lake, Brassua Lake, Moosehead Lake, Lower Wilson Pond, and First Roach Pond. There also are good opportunities to catch landlocked salmon and brook trout on our local river fisheries at the Roach River, Moose River, East and West Outlets of the Kennebec River, and the West Branch of the Penobscot.

Fishing tip: Once we begin to see an increase in water temperature and a decrease in stream and river flows, we will begin our annual spring stocking of legal-size brook trout. These brook trout are stocked in easily accessible waters throughout the region to create "instant fishing" opportunities. Many of these waters are stocked on more than one occasion to distribute the catch among anglers and to ensure fishing success longer into the season.

List of spring stocked brook trout:

Bennett Pond, Parkman; Big Wood Pond, Jackman; Doe Pond, Monson; Drummond Pond, Abbot (family fishing area); Fitzgerald Pond, Big Moose Township; Gravel Pit Pond, Little Moose Township (family fishing area); Hebron Lake, Monson; Kiwanis Park Pond (Dunham Brook), Dover-Foxcroft (restricted to anglers under 16); Moose River, Jackman; Parlin Pond, Parlin Pond Township; Piscataquis River, Dover-Foxcroft and Guilford; Power Trout Pond, Little Moose Township; Prong Pond, Beaver Cove Township; Sawyer Pond, Greenville; Shadow Pond, Little Moose Township; Shirley Pond, Shirley; Snow's Pond, Dover-Foxcroft; Spectacle Ponds, Monson; West Outlet Kennebec River, Sapling; and Whetstone Pond, Blanchard Township.

Reminders: Many of the season's largest brook trout are caught along the shore as water temperatures begin to increase. Even the most novice angler can find brook trout that will take an assortment of flies, lures, and bait. Make sure to check the fishing law book to determine which fishing gear is allowed on the bodies of water you plan to fish.

Maine Region FPenobscot Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Kevin Dunham, 4/26/24

Where to fish: May is the month of blooming flowers, budding trees, blackflies, and brook trout. Throw in a mess of fiddleheads and you have a true Maine spring. The Penobscot region offers many great spots to pick fiddleheads…but those shall remain secret. We do have a few suggestions to try your luck at catching trout however, and you might just get your fill of blackflies too. 

Most brooks, streams and rivers in our region offer the opportunity to catch brook trout. Some stocked brook trout waters to target in May include: Mattawamkeag River in Haynesville, Seboeis Stream in Seboeis Plt., and Stillwater River (Old Town/Orono) all of which will receive a stocking of brook trout before month's end. Don't overlook Norton Pond (Brownville) or Perch (Mud) Pond in Old Town. These two ponds, more known for warmwater fisheries, are stocked with brook trout each fall when water temperatures cool to offer anglers a coldwater species during the winter ice fishing season. Since not all trout will necessarily be caught during the winter, it is often productive to angle early in the spring for those fall-stocked trout before water temperatures warm. Ponds such as Hay Pond (T6 R8 WELS) and Trout Pond in Grand Falls Township offer some good fishing for native wild brook trout. Lakes such as Cold Stream Pond (Enfield), East Grand Lake (Danforth), Schoodic Lake (Lake View PLT) and West Lake (T03 ND) offer a great chance this month of catching a trout near shore.

Fishing tip: If you are looking to take a youngster out fishing, we have several waters that are open only for persons under 16 years of age or persons holding an eligible complimentary fishing license: Pickerel Pond (T32 MD), Harris Pond (Milo Farm Pond) (Milo), Burlington Fire Pond (Burlington), Edwards Family Kids Fishing Pond (Lincoln), Rocky Brook (Lincoln), Upper Mattagodus Stream south of Rt. 2 (Carroll Plt.) and Cold Stream from the bridge on state route 188 in Enfield downstream to the red markers by the old hatchery fishway (Enfield).  May is a great time to get the kids outside to enjoy the great outdoors as the stocking truck will be visiting all these waters. Check out the latest fish stocking information to find a body of water in your area.

Reminders: Make sure you have plenty of bug repellent and check for ticks. We had a rather mild winter and tick activity is beginning to ramp up in earnest. More importantly this time of year, make sure you wear a flotation device when in or on the water and easily consult the fishing regulations before angling a new water.

Maine Region GFish River Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Frank Fost, 4/25/24

Where to fish: In northern Maine ice outs are happening 1-2 weeks earlier than normal.  By May 1st, most waters should be ice free in Aroostook County.  For anglers travelling to backcountry areas, mainly North Maine Woods, roads continue to improve and are in good condition for this time of year. However, to avoid unnecessary damage to roads, caution is urged for those areas that remain wet. 

The outlook for the upcoming open water season is very good.  After a wet and cool 2023, we expect great numbers of trout and salmon throughout the region.  In addition, there was an abnormally short ice fishing season, due to poor ice conditions, that resulted in very low use on northern Maine waters.  This should result in great numbers of sportfish on popular waters.  One of these is Long Lake, St. Agatha, best known for producing large salmon and brook trout.  While salmon size is currently lower than normal at Long, numbers should be very good this spring producing some fast action.   There are boat launches in Sinclair and St. Agatha. 

Fishing tip: Brook trout fishing in our flowing waters should be excellent this coming season.  Drought years followed by a wet and cool summer in 2023 will result in some great numbers of brook trout in rivers, brooks, and streams.  Northern Maine boasts 7,000 miles of flowing water and most of these see very few anglers.  Anglers should target larger river sections early in the season when larger watercraft can be used to troll.  This is common on the lower Aroostook River in the towns of Washburn, Presque Isle, Caribou and Fort Fairfield, and also on sections of the Fish River downstream of Eagle Lake.  As water flows recede and temperatures increase later this month, smaller brooks and streams will be the waters to target.  There are many opportunities all over Aroostook County for trout fishing in brooks and streams, ranging from easily accessible in Eastern Aroostook to more remote, less accessible ones in the West.  We do expect the peak of brook fishing to be earlier this year due to the abnormally low snowpack. 

Reminders: There were not many rule changes enacted in 2024, so rules should be the same on most of your favorite water this upcoming season. However, anglers should always consult the lawbook before venturing out.  We are still seeking volunteers to record fishing activity on many regional waters, particularly those in more remote areas of North Maine Woods.  If you would like to volunteer your time to assist us in managing fisheries, please contact the regional fisheries supervisor at: