Get ready to go freshwater fishing

What could be better than a day fishing on the water? Find out what you need to plan a great fishing trip.

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.

fishing boy


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
  • Bait

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
  • Mealworms
  • Small pieces of cheese, chicken, hot dogs, or bread
  • Artificial pellets or paste bait

Additional Resources

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
  • Suckers

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.

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