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Norton Reservoir | Courtesy of Norton Reservoir
Norton Reservoir | Courtesy of Norton Reservoir

The Best Places to Go Fishing in Massachusetts

Picture of Natasha Chang
Updated: 28 July 2017
Whether it’s the powerful time for reflection and meditation or the thrill of a big catch that draws you to this sport, Massachusetts is fortunate to be rich in salt and freshwater sites for any fishing type. So ready your rod and reel, here are the best fishing spots to satisfy your “reel love.”

Myles Standish State Forest

Deemed one of the most important natural habitats in Massachusetts, Myles Standish State Forest is the largest publicly owned recreation area in the southeastern part of the state. It stretches across the southern sections of Plymouth and Carver town, right in the center of cranberry country—just 45 miles (72.4 kilometers) south of Boston. The forest is home to a number of fishing ponds, which include Federal, Charge, Barrett, and College Pond. It’s an area large enough for those anglers who want to make a weekend trip out of it or even explore for a week. With ample game fish up for grabs, this is a popular location to keep you busy.

Myles Standish State Forest, 194 Cranberry Rd, Carver, MA, USA, +1 508 866 2526

The Ipswich River, Ipswich

The Ipswich River is the premier trout fishing location in Northeastern Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game stocks this river with trout every year, so you’ll never leave without catching one. A great spot to make camp is on the pedestrian bridge across the Ipswich River, which features a fish ladder and views of historic buildings in the quaint town of Ipswich.

Ipswich River Association, 143 County Road, Ipswich, MA, USA, +1 978 412 8200

Castle Island, South Boston

Located in South Boston on the shore of Boston Harbor, Castle Island includes many spots for fishing with the view of Fort Independence right behind you. Pleasure Bay is the prime fishing spot on this island, which has two islets that guide fish into the bay from the harbor. This 22-acre recreation site is also one of the best places in Boston to watch a sunrise well worth the early morning.

Castle Island, 2010 William J Day Blvd, Boston, MA, USA, +1 617 727 5290

Norton Reservoir

Even though the reservoir is filled with bass, pickerel, crappie, shiners, and bluegills, the main attraction is the white perch. Norton Reservoir is a beautiful and picturesque spot for fishing on the South Shore within the towns of Norton and Mansfield. Compared to other fishing locations, most of the reservoir is shallow. It’s mostly around four feet (1.2 meters) deep with some areas dropping 10 feet (three meters) deep, which helps boats access the 529-acre reservoir.

Norton Reservoir, MA, USA

Norton Reservoir | Courtesy of Norton Reservoiryy

Norton Reservoir | Courtesy of Norton Reservoir

Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth

This spot is an ideal locale for the whole family to enjoy, whether you fish or not. Plymouth’s rocky coastline provides a different environment for fishing. Anglers can cast their rods from the Plymouth Harbor Jetty to catch some bluefish, while the family can enjoy a beach day with a beautiful sunset view.

Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth, MA, USA

Wachusett Reservoir

Located just 10 minutes from Worcester, the eight-mile-long (12.9 kilometers) fishing spot is the second largest body of water in Massachusetts. This area features a variety of fish, with May and June being the prime time for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Wachusett Reservoir, MA, USA


Martha’s Vineyard

Best known for hosting “Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby,” this Massachusetts island is a hot spot for fishing. With a number of harbor towns and almost 100 miles (160.9 kilometers) of fishable shoreline, plus countless areas to explore by boat, anglers can spend the whole day here and not even scratch the surface of all the locations.

Martha’s Vineyard, MA, USA


Scargo Lake

This 60-acre freshwater kettle pond in Dennis, Massachusetts is a great spot to fish on Cape Cod. Scargo Lake, steeped in local Native American legends, is stocked twice a year with trout. Legend has it that the lake, which is in the shape of a fish, was scooped out with clamshells by handmaidens of Princess Scargo—the daughter of a Sachem (Indian chief). It started as a small pond to keep four baby fish given to her by a young man from another tribe with whom she fell in love. But one day, the princess awoke to find the lake had dried, and all but one fish were dead. So in order to keep the last fish alive, her father built her a lake.

Scargo Lake, MA, USA


Spectacle Pond

Rainbow trout, brook trout, bullhead, brown trout and smallmouth bass all swim in Spectacle Pond. Whether you’re baitcasting, spinning or fly fishing, your chances of getting a bite here are pretty high. MassWildlife even calls this location the “best bet for catching bullheads.” Located just 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) from Forestdale, close to Sandwich, Massachusettes, this is a prime spot for fishermen to spend the day.

Spectacle Pond, Sandwich, MA, USA


Spy Pond, Arlington

Spy Pond is a tranquil destination for fishing and relaxing. A popular location for ice skating in the winter, the pond also attracts people to its fishing area. It’s a great spot to nab some perch and is regularly stocked with tiger muskie fingerlings.

Spy Pond, Arlington, MA, USA