Well-Fed Lake Trout (Wachusett Reservoir Fishing Report)

April 23, 2013 by

What a difference four years makes.

In April of 2009, Jimmy Fee and I met OTW contributor Ron Powers at Wachusett Reservoir in West Boylston, Massachusetts to sample the early-season lake trout fishing. The fishing was good, but the lake trout we caught were alarmingly thin – a condition that Ron attributed to a lack of suitable forage.

Wachusett Lake Trout 2009

A lake trout caught at Wachusett Reservoir in April 2009. Note the large head and skinny body.

In spring 2013, Ron predicted that a rebound in the smelt population, a schooling baitfish that is a favored prey of many gamefish but particularly trout and salmon, would improve the fishery and produce some lakers with broader shoulders and bigger bellies.

Jimmy and I met Ron Powers back at “The ‘Chu” almost exactly 4 years later and connected with a few of the Reservoir’s lake trout, which were cruising the shorelines in the clear, cold water. One fish hit a live shiner fished on the bottom, while 4 others struck casting spoons in the 2/5- to 3/4-ounce size range.

We didn’t connect with one of the double-digit lunkers that undoubtedly live in the lake, but the lakers we did catch were strong, chunky fish that were clearly feeding well – a welcome change from the emaciated fish we saw in 2009.

Wachusett Lake Trout Fishing 1

Wachusett Lake Trout Fishing 2

Wachusett Lake Trout Fishing

Wachusett Lake Trout Fishing

 Wachusett Reservoir is an incredible freshwater fishing resource for the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Because it is the primary water supply for Boston, there is no boating, wading, or ice-fishing allowed, but approximately 80% of the 37-mile shoreline is open to angling from early April through November 30 (dependent on ice conditions). The result of this limited access and high-quality habitat is a fishery that has produced state records for brown trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass and white perch, even though more than 1.5 million people live within a 25-mile radius.


Wachusett Reservoir is an incredible freshwater fishing resource for the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Because it is the primary water supply for Boston, there is no boating, wading, or ice-fishing allowed, but approximately 80% of the 37-mile shoreline is open to angling from early April through November 30 (dependent on ice conditions). The result of this limited access and high-quality habitat is a fishery that has produced state records for brown trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass and white perch, even though more than 1.5 million people live within a 25-mile radius. For regular updates and fishing reports from Wachusett Reservoir, check out the weekly Fishing Forecast.

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  1. Ron says:

    Just got a call from Eddie of B&A in West Boylston – a nicely proportioned 10-2 forkie was taken yesterday evening from the ‘Chu. I know the guy who caught it and while I couldn’t divulge the location with a clear conscience I can say that it was from a less than 10 minute walk! As for bait, he hasn’t bought a shiner in years; you guessed it a yellow perch. Big bait, big fish baby!

  2. Beautiful fish and photos. The lakers don’t seem to come in close to shore in such numbers at Round Valley Reservoir, NJ. I have no idea why not.

  3. Pingback: Sweetwater Surfcasting (Wachusett Reservoir Lake Trout Report)