Massachusetts Fishing Report – March 16, 2023

Brook Trout

The closer you get to the coast the fortunes keep piling up and it has nothing to do with the “luck of the Irish”! For them the few flakes that fell from the recent storm are but a distant memory and those hatchery trucks keep rolling forward with rainbow and brook trout. Farther west our counterparts could use a break from shoveling and for them, a road trip might be in order.

Massachusetts Fishing Report

Patrons of Belsan Bait and Tackle in Scituate have been making the pilgrimage to Plymouth as well as the Cape to take advantage of freshly stocked trout. I’m not sure what the current Power Bait color du jour is but I’m sure anglers will be touting it as the be all for their success this year. Pete’s pick for a lure is the gold Thomas Whirlfish. Of course, trout worms and small shiners will work also. Conventional fishers just be prepared to get your clock cleaned by fly fishers when a hatch takes place and they have with them the right match. Largemouth bass continue to be a South Shore tackle-testing alternative among the plethora of Pembroke and Kingston cranberry bogs as well as Scituate Reservoir and Aaron River Reservoir.

Andrew Perrin largemouth bass
Andrew Perrin caught this nice South Shore bass with a crawler.

Lisa from Fore River Fishing Tackle in Quincy told me that anglers are making the most out of recent stockings in Houghton’s Pond, Little Pond, and Long Pond. Some however didn’t wait for fresh fish and have been having their way with holdovers that have done some growing since the fall stockings. While it’s not quite spring yet, a few have shaken off the chill and are working stick baits and minnow-style swimmers and catching solid brown trout at dark. Shiners are also working well for Larrys at Ponkapoag Pond, Whitman Pond, and Sunset Lake.

• Visit Trout Stocking Report

With news of stocked trout in Hopkinton Reservoir and Lake Cochituate, Eric of Lunker’s in Ashland had an insider’s perspective on where the rainbows might be stocked in the latter lake since it’s so large. His gut and experience tells him that the middle basin by the boat ramp off of Route 30 could be it! While the shop has no shortage of trout tempters, the large shiners are more appropriate for bass from Heard Pond, Farm Pond and Winthrop Lake.

Captain Dave Panarello with largemouth bass
Captain Dave Panarello has been enjoying a bit of Larry love north of Boston.

“Seventeen!”, was the first word out of Eddie of B&A Bait and Tackle Co. in West Boylston when we spoke! For a few seconds, my mind wandered to the possibility of a 17 pound carp out of Lake Quinsigamond or maybe a 17-pound pike out of Quaboag or even a beast of a wayward laker caught upstream in the Stillwater River. What Eddie was referring to was, as of Wednesday, there were just 17 days until opening day at Wachusett! With the amount of snowfall they got out there, odds are that the trek will be reminiscent of the Chu’ from a bygone era, namely one with some snow and plenty of mud/puddles! The shop has in stock all the preferred colors and sizes of Kastmasters and other reservoir hardware which will be in short supply once the season kicks off. If you’d rather not wait for a solid tug on the line, Comet Pond has given up a number of big browns on shiners with two fish of 24” and 26” in the past week!

Rennie of Bridge Road Bait and Tackle in Salisbury told me that trout have been the target in Stiles Pond and Baldpate Pond. While not stocked yet, the fall stocking has been fortuitous for fishers frequenting Forest Lake in Methuen. Anglers have not only been catching rainbows but some impressive brown trout as well! For a shot at a quality smallmouth bass consider Lake Attitash or – once the river simmers down – the Haverhill stretch of the Merrimack River. Elsewhere while there is still solid ice from the Connecticut River Valley through the Berkshires, unless you’ve been exiled in Ecuador you know pretty well that they got socked with snow. The good news is that after a winter of awesome access to most any hardwater honey hole, even diehards are taking a pass now, so should you be up to it, you’ll have little competition. The only suggestion from those familiar with the conditions is that should you have a set of snow shoes – bring them!

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Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

Thank goodness for trout! As access avails itself Masswildlife will continue to stock throughout the state but for now the ponds of Plymouth checks all the boxes with rainbow trout and even brook trout as best bets. Metrowest also took a trout hit with Houghton’s, Hopkinton and Cochituate freshly loaded with rainbow trout. Some anglers are skipping out on the stocking trout watch/Power Bait obsession and floating shiners for big browns which are held over from last fall’s stocking in Forest Lake and Comet Pond. Should you still be yearning for ice fishing you have two options: head to the Hilltowns or beat it to beyond the border. As for the latter check out our New Hampshire/Maine fishing report.

1 thought on “Massachusetts Fishing Report – March 16, 2023

  1. James Pepe

    How can you possibly have a Massachusetts fishing report without mention of the 2 gems of the state, the Swift and Deerfield Rivers ?

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