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Popular Choices For Great Fishing In Massachusetts

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Guide to fishing in the Bay State

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

  • Lake Cochituate
  • Long Pond
  • Lake Onota
  • Lake Quinsigamond
  • Norton Reservoir
  • Otis Reservoir
  • Quabbin Reservoir
  • Wachusett Reservoir
  • Watuppa Ponds
  • Webster Lake

Massachusetts offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, thanks to its abundance of species and a variety of fishing environments, including warm water fisheries, cold water fisheries, ponds, lakes, and rivers. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, plus the species found in each lake.

When it comes to warm water fisheries, Massachusetts is known for its excellent populations of species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, chain pickerel, and various panfish species. Lakes and ponds throughout the state provide ideal habitats for these warm water species, offering anglers ample opportunities for casting, trolling, and fly fishing.

In contrast, Massachusetts boasts exceptional cold water fisheries, particularly in its rivers and reservoirs. These waters are home to species such as trout, salmon, and various other cold water fish. Trout species commonly found in Massachusetts include rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout, which are stocked in many rivers and lakes, providing exciting angling opportunities.

Ponds, lakes, and rivers in Massachusetts offer abundant fishing options. Whether you prefer the tranquility of a small pond, the vastness of a large lake, or the meandering currents of a river, there's a fishing spot for everyone. Popular fishing locations include Quabbin Reservoir, Connecticut River, Charles River, and the various lakes and ponds scattered across the state.

Massachusetts also has a variety of specialty ponds and reservoirs managed specifically for certain fish species. These include places like Walden Pond, known for its trout fishing, and Lake Sabbatia, which offers excellent fishing for largemouth bass.

Whether you're a beginner angler or an experienced angler seeking a new challenge, Massachusetts provides a wealth of fishing opportunities. From targeting bass in warm water fisheries to chasing trout and salmon in cold water fisheries, the state's diverse ecosystems cater to a wide range of fishing preferences. So grab your fishing gear, explore the state's waterways, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of fishing in Massachusetts.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts has so many lakes and ponds to choose from. Far too many for us to cover here so we are listing the major waters and providing information about MA lake location as well as the major species in each lake. Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, white catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, white perch, yellow perch, Atlantic salmon, chain pickerel, northern pike and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams. In winter, ice fishing is popular on many lakes across the state.

Major Massachusetts Lakes & Species

Massachusetts major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments. Many of these lakes offer fishing boats for rent.

For a detailed list of primary fish species in MA, plus state fish records, see the list below.

Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.

Assawompset Pond is a 2,500-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Lakeville.

Cheshire Reservoir is a 400-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, at Cheshire.

Congamond Lake is a 460-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Southwick.

Great Herring Pond is a 376-acre lake in the southeast corner of the state, 1 mile northwest of Sagamore.

Hamilton Reservoir is a 410-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Holland.

Lake Chaubunagungamaug, aka Webster Lake, is a 1,400-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Webster.

Lake Cochituate is a 610-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Natick.

Lake Garfield is a 260-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at Monterey.

Lake Onota is a 617-acre lake in the northwest part of the state, on the northwest outskirts of Pittsfield.

Lake Rohunta is a 380-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Orange.

Lake Quinsigamond is a 770-acre lake in the central part of the state, in Worcester.

Long Pond is a 1,700-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at East Freetown.

Norton Reservoir is a 530-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Norton.

Otis Reservoir is a 1,200-acre lake in the southwest corner of the state, 5 miles northeast of Sandisfield.

Quabbin Reservoir is a 25,000-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at New Salem.

South Watuppa Pond is a 1,450-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, at Fall River.

Wachusett Reservoir is a 4,100-acre lake in the east-central part of the state, at Clinton.

Wallum Lake is a 322-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, 5 miles southwest of Douglas.

Watuppa Ponds are two lakes covering 1,800 acres lake in the southeast part of the state, at Fall River.

Webster Lake is a 1,440-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at the town of Webster.

Fish Species & State Records in Massachusetts


Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 15 lbs 8 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 8 lbs 2 oz


Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 26 lbs 8 oz

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 3 oz


Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 10 oz*

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 10 oz*




World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 11 lbs 0 oz


Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 13 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 10 lbs 0 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 19 lbs 10 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 25 lbs 7 oz




World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 1 oz

White Perch

White perch

World record: 4.6 lbs

State Record: 3 lbs 8 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 12 oz


Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon

World record: 79 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 10 lbs 12 oz

Other species

Chain Pickerel

Chain pickerel

World record: 9 lbs 6 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 5 oz

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

State Record: 35 lbs 0 oz

Tiger Muskie

Tiger muskie

World record: 51 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 27 lbs 0 oz


Click the images and links above for species details.

Massachusetts Bass
Mike Taylor's nice MA bass.

The Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game has a website filled with regulations and information about fishing in Massachusetts.

Acquire a Massachusetts fishing license here.

Visit the section dedicated to activities for kids in MA, including stories, fish photos and tips for where and how to take a kid fishing in MA. Please send us your recommendations and we will be happy to consider them for publication.

State of MA Fishing Guides

You can find a listing of MA fishing guides here. If you are a fishing guide or know of a good resource, please send us information for consideration.

Bass fishing book

Fish for big bass

Excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities are available to anglers.


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