It's easy to learn to fish! All you need to get started is some simple gear and a little practice. You need a license to fish in freshwater if you are 15 or older (licenses are free for teens 15-17 and for adults over age 70). Get your fishing license now.
What to bring
New anglers do not need a lot of fancy equipment. We suggest bringing:
- A simple push-button, spin casting rod and reel
- Hooks and bobbers
Types of bait
Some fishing lures can be more costly or trickier to use, so we suggest using bait. If you feel squeamish about wriggling worms, there are plenty of other options. We recommend:
- Garden worms
- Small pieces of cheese, chicken, hot dogs, or bread
- Artificial pellets or paste bait
Where to go
Use the Go Fish MA interactive map to find great fishing spots at lakes, reservoirs, ponds, streams, and rivers where you can enjoy a great day on the water. Locations marked with a gold star indicate easier access. Look for open areas free of overhanging trees or submerged vegetation.
What to catch
Massachusetts offers many freshwater fish species, including:
- Trout and salmon
- Pike and pickerel
- Perch and walleye
- Bass and sunfish
- Catfish and bullheads
We recommend new anglers try fishing in late spring, summer, and early fall. Warm-water fish like sunfish are more active during this time, and they are also easier to catch. Check the regulations for season, size, or catch (creel) limits.
Check the trout stocking report to find more spots to increase your opportunities and test your skills.