Fishing Report

Click the links below for the most up-to-date fishing news and suggestions from Maine’s fisheries biologists.

Before you head for a day of ice fishing, ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Please enjoy the Maine outdoors safely and responsibly!

Maine's fishing regions

Maine Region ASebago Lake Region

From Fisheries Resource Biologist Nick Kalejs

Outside of some larger rivers, most flowing waters have closed to fishing for the year across the state. However, the fall season can provide some great fishing on lakes and ponds here in southern Maine; often with limited competition from fellow anglers. Our smaller brook trout ponds in southern Oxford County can provide great catch rates in picturesque settings, with many remaining open into the fall (check your lawbooks—most have more restrictive regulations starting October 1). Broken Bridge Pond (Albany) is a good example with a few other opportunities nearby. Alternatively, fall fishing for landlocked salmon on larger waters like Thompson Lake or Kezar Lake can be rewarding. These fish are often at their healthiest and most colorful at this time of year. Again, be sure to note the changing regulations on these high-quality salmon waters.

Fishing tip: As waters cool and mix during the fall season, fish often return to the surface to feed. Pay attention to the surface of ponds to find out what may be making fish rise for a meal.

Reminder: One last plug for awareness of changing seasonal regulations: although rivers, streams, and brooks are now closed under general law, most lakes and ponds remain open in the South Zone. However, be sure to consult the lawbook or the FLOAT tool, as some of them have more restrictive regulations or may even close to fishing in the fall.

Maine Region BBelgrade Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Jason Seiders

Where to fish: October is a great month to fish for trout in central and midcoast Maine. We have several rivers that are heavily stocked with brook trout and brown trout. The waters listed below offer great opportunities to catch some beauties, take in some scenery, and they have great access at multiple road crossings.

  • St. George River
  • Medomak River
  • Pemaquid River
  • Nezinscot River

Fishing tip: If you have questions about fishing regulations you should check out our Fishing Laws Online Angling Tool (FLOAT). You can access FLOAT with your phone or other portable device and have answers at your fingertips. It has an interactive map that allows you to click the area you want to fish and it lists the regulations for you. Check it out!

Reminder: Please be careful and courteous out there. Fall means there could be hunters near your fishing spot, in addition to other anglers. Additionally, we’re fortunate to have hundreds of waters to choose from in this region, and we should remember to treat any access area like the gem it is!  Respect landowners and carry out whatever you carry in.

Maine Region CGrand Lake Region

From Fisheries Resource Biologist Colin Shankland

Where to fish: With the cooler temps and changing leaves of October it’s easy to focus on hunting, but there are still some good fishing opportunities available in Downeast Maine. With the cooler temperatures and shorter days landlocked Atlantic salmon will be moving into the shallows and along shorelines looking to spawn. Not all the salmon waters in the area are open to fall fishing, but a few that are open year-round are Cathance Lake in Cooper, Beech Hill Pond in Otis, and Long Pond in Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island. Also, West Grand Lake and Grand Lake Stream in the town of Grand Lake Stream are open until late October and can provide some fantastic fall fishing.

Fishing tip: When targeting pre-spawn salmon in the fall, try to focus your efforts on shorelines near the mouths of streams. These fish are looking to spawn in moving water and will key in on these areas. Remember that most salmon waters have artificial lure only regulations in place in October so leave your bait bucket at home and tie on your favorite spoon or streamer fly.

Reminder: Fishing regulations in October are often different from what is in effect during the spring and summer so be sure to double check your lawbook or the Fishing Laws Online Angling Tool (FLOAT) before heading out. Also fall weather can change quickly and what started as a calm morning can turn into an unsafe situation in the matter of a few hours. Fall is not the time of year to push it in a small boat and please always wear your life jacket.

Maine Region DRangeley Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Technician Tyler Grant

Where to fish: As I look out the window at the frost on the ground, it seems like fall is here, and many anglers are hanging up the rods and dusting off the hunting gear, but there are some excellent fishing opportunities in Western Maine if you’re still looking to wet a line. For river anglers October is an excellent month.  The fish are wearing their spawning colors, and the cold water means they are on the move.  The Dead River in the Rangeley Lakes Region offers some excellent fishing for both salmon and brook trout, and several sections of it are open to fall fishing.  Near the Rangeley area, the section of the south branch of the Dead River from the Rt 16 bridge in Dallas Plantation to the Langtown Mill bridge in Lang TWP is open to fall fishing under an artificial lure only and catch and release regulation.  This section is stocked each spring and fall with brook trout and provides a fun river fishery that is easy to access. 

Hills Pond is stocked in the spring and fall with brook trout and provides a fast fishery for medium sized trout.  The easy access makes it a great place to bring kids.  Anglers looking to combine a fishing trip with a fall foliage hike should check out the Bald Mountain Pond trail, which is just south of Hills Pond on rt 156.  This advanced 2-mile hike provides a great opportunity to see the Western Mountains in their fall colors.

Fishing Tip: It is fall and the water is cold.  Dressing warmly with thermal bottoms under your waders, a warm hat and fingerless gloves can increase your enjoyment and keep you out fishing longer. 

Reminder: Anglers need to remember that they will be sharing the woods with hunters in the month of October.  Wearing a piece of blaze orange while walking in the woods is a great safety measure whether you are hunting or not. As always consult the lawbook to find those places that are open to fall fishing and pay special attention to the tackle and harvest restrictions.  Most places in Western Maine that are open in October will have an artificial lure only or fly fishing only as well as catch and release regulation.  A great way to see these regulations clearly on a map is with the Fishing Laws Online Angling Tool (FLOAT) available at mefishwildlife.com/float

Maine Region EMoosehead Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Tim Obrey

Where to Fish: The fishing season winds down in October in the Moosehead Lake Region.  There are a few good options for the “last cast.”  The East Outlet is perhaps the best place to fish in the extended fall season. There are salmon and brook trout throughout the river all dressed in their spawning colors.  You can expect some higher flows this fall.  We’ve had plenty of rain and typically the lake is drawn down throughout the month to assist with lake trout spawning in Moosehead Lake.  The West Outlet is a smaller river with a consistent flow of around 200 cfs.  We stock the river with salmon and brook trout, so the fish are there.  Most anglers fish near the parking area on Route 15, but there are plenty of access sites lower in the river along the Somerset Rd.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  The Piscataquis River is stocked each fall with brook trout and the flows and temperatures have been great this month.  Look for some good extended season fishing around the stocking sites in Guilford and Dover-Foxcroft. 

Fishing Tip: Most anglers use flashy flies or lures this time of year. The fish aren’t really feeding much, but instead, they are focused on spawning. They are aggressive and usually hit anything that crosses their path.

Reminder: Please be sure to consult your law book before heading out. Regulations on many of our waters here in Maine change as of October 1. Be prepared for cooler temperatures by dressing in layers and always wearing a life jacket when on the water. Also, don’t forget that you will likely be sharing the woods with hunters this time of year as well. Please be courteous and consider wearing an article of bright clothing for increased visibility.

Maine Region FPenobscot Region

From Fisheries Resource Biologist Kevin Gallant

Where to fish: Fall is in the air, but that doesn’t mean you need to wait until ice forms to find your next catch.  The Penobscot Region has lots of waters that are open to fall fishing.  A variety of waters are open with catch and release restrictions and with the use of artificial lures only.  Those waters include the Pemadumcook Chain of Lakes (T3 & T4 Indian Purchase), Deering Lake (Weston), and Scraggly Lake (T7 R8 WELS).  Millinocket Stream allows a rare opportunity to keep your catch in the fall season.  You can find both brook trout and landlocked salmon there.  For warmwater fish look no further than the Penobscot River.  With the recent rain, water levels are up, and it makes it easier to boat the river looking for smallmouth bass.  Pushaw Lake will also provide some late season warmwater action.

Fishing Tip: Slow your retrieve as the water temperatures continue to drop.  Fish will become sluggish with the cooling temps and will be looking for an easy meal.  You can also try using larger lures to help entice these sluggish fish.

Reminder: Keep a close eye on the rulebook when fishing in the fall.  Lots of waters remain open, however most have either terminal tackle restrictions, or catch and release rules for coldwater gamefish.

Maine Region GFish River Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Frank Frost

Where to fish: As we transition to the hunting seasons, most of northern Maine will opt for the gun sports. For those still wanting to get some fall fishing in there are a few options in Aroostook County.  There are a number of stocked lakes and ponds open to fall fishing (click here for a list) and many of these were recently stocked.  We have opened up a limited number of flowing waters for fall fishing which seem to be in high demand recently.  These waters are places where wild fish preparing for spawning will not be harmed by angling and where population levels are higher than we want.  For some of these places we have allowed harvest during these special seasons.  Here are a couple options for anglers:

  • Fish River Thoroughfares connecting Square, Eagle, and Saint Froid Lakes.  Wild salmon and brook trout.  See rule book for specific rules.
  • Fish River, Fort Kent.  From Fish River Falls downstream to the Saint John River.  Stocked and wild salmon and brook trout.  Open to taking muskellunge.  See rule book for specific rules.  Public access is by trail off the end of Airport Road

These two waters are open under the ALO rule (Artificial Lures Only).  The Thoroughfare water listed above has an allowable harvest on salmon.  Salmon in Eagle Lake remain at a high level despite years of liberal harvest rules.  Anglers are encouraged to harvest their salmon catch if they have a use for the fish.

Fishing tip:  Some anglers believe bright fly and lure patterns work best this time of year, particularly those with bright yellow and red. 

Reminder: Please be sure to consult your law book before heading out. Regulations on many of our waters here in Maine change as of October 1. Be prepared for cooler temperatures by dressing in layers and always wearing a life jacket when on the water. Also, don’t forget that you will likely be sharing the woods with hunters this time of year as well. Please be courteous and consider wearing an article of bright clothing for increased visibility.