maine fishing charter

Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, on the coast of Maine

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Fishing in Maine

Maine shares a border with New Hampshire to the south and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick to the north. It is also the easternmost state on the US mainland and has almost 230 miles of coastline and nearly 3500 miles of Atlantic tidal shoreline, more than any other state including east coast Florida.

Famous for its rugged and rocky coast dotted with lighthouses, fishing villages, coves and thousands of small islands, in addition to its over 6000 lakes & ponds and more than 5000 rivers and streams spanning some 37,000 miles (59,546 km), Maine offers one of the most compelling fishing environments to be found anywhere in North America.

Anglers residing in or those visiting the state of Maine enjoy a clear bonus when they want to go fishing. They get to make use of the streams, lakes, and waters of the inland area; but also they get to participate in deep-sea and coastal fishing thanks to the close-by the Atlantic Ocean.

Finding a fishing charter in Maine or a good fishing guide is easy and should help your odds of pulling in the big one, and make it easier to have a great time on your angling adventure.

Maine Saltwater Fishing 

maine fishing trip destination

Shoreline of Acadia National Park

Inshore saltwater fishermen can expect to catch such favorites as Bluefish, Mackerel, Winter Flounder, Atlantic Salmon (currently protected by the Atlantic Salmon Recovery Program) and Tautog but Striped Bass will still be the most targeted sport fish along Maine’s coastline.

Caught from “schoolie” (14 – 26 inches) size to well over 40 inches and frequently weighing more than 40 lbs, many consider the Striper New England’s top saltwater sport fish (state Striped Bass record is 67 lbs – set in 1978 on Sheepscot River) for its size, power and toughness.

They normally arrive in Maine’s southern coastal waters in mid-May and run and continue further up the coast feeding on herring, marine worms, Pogies (Menhaden) and other baitfish.

All of these, of course, make great baits for the Maine angler going after that big bruiser, but other effective tackle and techniques include topwater plugs and various plastic swimbaits fished early morning or evening. Circle hooks are increasingly popular because they reduce the chances of gut-hooking the fish.

Small live mackerel, or even cut chunks, on a circle hook, are almost guaranteed to produce strikes. Fly fishing for Striped Bass in very shallow water is another popular technique in Maine. Again, a local saltwater guide who is familiar with the region and can take you to where the Stripers are being caught is money well-spent.

Moving deeper offshore, either on one of the charter fishing boats or the party boats out of the many top Maine fishing towns along the coast such as Portland, York Harbor, Kennebunkport, the Saco River/Saco Bay and Boothbay offers even more opportunities.

Here, you’ll not only hit waters teaming with big Blues and Stripers but also rich in Haddock, Pollock, Mako Shark, Cod Fish in the 20-25 lb category, Redfish, Wolf Fish, Bluefin Tuna and even the occasional Atlantic Halibut.

Fishing Maine’s Lakes, Rivers and Streams

maine fishing camps: brown trout

As stated earlier, there is no shortage of outstanding inland fishing in Maine given the great number of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in the state.  Starting in Maine’s most northern region we have Aroostook County, Maine’s largest county in area (6,829 sq mi/17,687 sq km).

Aroostook which is derived from a Native American word meaning “beautiful river” is larger than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. It is also the location of some of the best fishing found in Maine as well as North America.

The Fish River watershed in the northern part of the county, with its 8 major lakes and over 50 miles of river, is a prime location for Trout and Salmon. Maine Muskie fishing improving in its St. John and St. Francis Rivers. Fish Lake, one of the major lakes in the upper river drainage is popular for its abundant and big Brook Trout.

The Aroostook River is about 100 miles long and has numerous boat launches and easy-access roads for the fly fishermen who venture here to fish the river and as well as its many brooks and creeks for Trout and Salmon.

Grand Stream Lake in Penobscot County with its crystal clear waters has been a popular fly fishing destination since the mid-1800s. From early May into the fall Season it is very productive for landlocked salmon fly fishing.

It is also a premier location for Smallmouth Bass and native Brook Trout- so much so In fact,  it is listed in Trout Unlimited’s Guide to America’s 100 Best Trout Streams. This is s must-fish spot if you are ever in Maine.

Moosehead Lake is the largest natural lake entirely within the borders of one state in the continental United States. It is approximately 75,000 acres in size with over 400 miles of shoreline (640 km) and home to over 80 small islands.

Moosehead was an extremely popular vacation and angling destination at the turn of the 20th century with “sporting camps” springing up in and around the lake area to accommodate the ever-increasing numbers of wealthy vacationers and anglers who flocked to the lake.

The fish were so abundant during the times that the daily limit per person per day of 50 lbs was not very difficult to reach on a good day.

Today, due to overfishing and environmental factors, the days of the easy catch are gone but the fishing on Moosehead Lake is still very productive and diverse. The angler can still catch plenty of landlocked Salmon, Smallmouth, wild Lake Trout and Brook Trout in Moosehead and its tributaries, with the action at times fast and furious.

A small sample of the great variety of Maine fish species – Freshwater & Saltwater:

Pumpkin Sunfish

Winter Flounder

Atlantic Halibut

Yellow Perch

Atlantic Sturgeon

American Shad

Brook Trout

White Sucker


In addition to those highlighted here, there are numerous other great fishing spots in Maine – here are just a few:

Alamoosook Lake, Bald Mountain Pond, Belfast Bay, Carrabassett River, Clary Lake, Dexter Pond, Estes Lake, Fore River, Harrington Bay, Johns Bay, Kennebec River, Loon Lake, Monhegan Island, Ogunquit River, Penobscot Bay, Pleasant River, Salmon Lake, Tacoma Lakes, Trickey Pond, Worthley Pond, Wyman Lake, York River and so many more great locations.

Maine Recreational Fishing Resources:

Fly Fishing Reports