Top 5 Best Northeast Fishing Spots

Image credit: Rick Wallace, http://tacklevillage.com/

In addition to being home to fantastic mountain ranges, beautiful coasts, and challenging trails, the Northeast United States offers many wonderful destinations for fishing. While some spots on this list are quite popular, others are more challenging to access, making them perfect destinations for backcountry fishing with a Daggerfish Handreel

Below is our guide to some of the best locations for lake and stream fishing in the Northeast, most of which are less than a day’s travel from many major cities.

1. Cobbosseecontee Lake, Maine

Cobbosseecontee Lake, Maine - Best Northeast Fishing

Cobbosseecontee Lake, also known as the Cobbossee, is one of Maine’s largest lakes. The Cobbossee covers more than 8 square miles, touching the cities of Winthrop, Manchester, West Gardiner, Monmouth, and Litchfield Township.

Although finding fishing spots on this lake is not particularly difficult, it definitely deserves a place on this list, since it’s well-known for its wonderful smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing. In fact, many consider it to be the best bass fishing spot in the Northeast, and perhaps the entire country. If you can, leave the lake shore and get out to Horseshoe Island - it’s an ideal spot for bass fishing. 

Besides bass, the Cobbossee is teeming with:

  • Brown Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Pumpkinseed Sunfish
  • Redbreast Sunfish
  • White Perch
  • Yellow Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Northern Pike
  • Rainbow Smelt
  • Golden Shiners
  • Emerald Shiners
  • Bullheads
  • Black Crappie
  • American Eel

2. Otter Creek, Vermont

Otter Creek -  Vermonts Longest River - Great Fishing Spots in the Northeast

Otter Creek is Vermont’s longest river, flowing 122 miles from the Green Mountain National Forest to Lake Champlain (another of our recommendations). This lengthy river offers a multitude of options of how to fish it- including fly fishing, spinning, and bait casting

There are spots along the entire river that are ideal for trout fishing, and that’s what Otter Creek is best known for. But since it’s fed by both cold and warm tributaries, the lower region of Otter Creek offers more diverse fish species, including:

  • Brown Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Carp
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Yellow Perch
  • White Perch
  • Landlocked Atlantic Salmon
  • Walleye

3. Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont

Lake Champlain, New York and Vermont - How To Find Good Fishing Spots In The Northeast

Lake Champlain, the 8th largest naturally occurring body of water in the United States, is a big target for anglers across the Northeast. But its location (a half-day’s drive from Philadelphia, New York, or Boston), proximity to incredible backpacking in the Adirondack and White Mountains, and wide variety of fish make it worth mentioning on this list.

Lake Champlain has everything adventurous outdoors-people search for: great fishing, remote islands, and even legends of a lake monster (lovingly nicknamed “Champ”). Many anglers recommend hugging the shore, keeping in mind that wetland areas and rocky points often provide the most successful fishing experiences. 

The wide variety of fish species found within the lake include:

  • Northern Pike
  • Bass
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Pickerel
  • Carp
  • Bullhead
  • Yellow Perch
  • White Perch
  • Black Crappie
  • White Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Pumpkinseed Sunfish
  • Smelt
  • Bowfin
  • Sheephead
  • Longnose Gar

4. Kennebago River, Maine

Top 5 Best Northeast Fishing Spots - Kennebago River, Maine

The Kennebago River flows for 30 miles through extremely remote and difficult terrain. The river is often overlooked because it is not exactly easy to access. However, this scenic, beautiful river offers truly remote fishing that makes the trek worthwhile, and a minimalist fishing kit can make this waterway much easier to access.

Because this river is so frequently ignored, it is reported that the fish here grow to incredible sizes - especially in the lower section of the Kennebago River. Some anglers have reported catching landlocked salmon that have grown to be more than 8 pounds, considerably larger than the average one to three pounders most anglers typically come across.

Common fish that are found in the Kennebago River include:

  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

5. Williams River, Vermont

Williams River - Vermont - Northeast Bass and Trout Fishing

The Williams River is a tributary of the Connecticut River that flows for approximately 25 miles through the countryside of Chester and Bartonsville, Vermont.

Due to the relatively small size of the river and difficulty in accessing it, the Williams River is often overlooked. Yet, the Williams supports a large population of fish, and supplies just as much beautiful scenery.

 

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There are a number of deep holes found throughout the river that produce perfect spots for wild fish to occupy. For anglers that do not mind a challenge, this Vermont river provides a wader’s paradise.

The most prevalent fish found in the Williams River are:

  • Brown Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Rainbow Smelt

Honorable Mentions

Tightly packed natural areas and close proximity to major cities make the Northeast a spectacular wilderness destination for millions of people. Spread throughout the region are so many incredible freshwater and saltwater fishing spots that we couldn’t help but mention a few more, including: 

  • Massachusetts Bay, Boston
  • The Androscoggin, New Hampshire
  • Thousand Islands, St. Lawrence River, New York

Whether you’re on a boat trip on a popular lake or backpacking to a remote mountain stream, our goal is to help make fishing a part of your wilderness adventure. Check out our handcrafted ultra-lightweight fishing rods and accessories like our magnetic fly wallet to help you carry everything you need for your next backcountry fishing trip.

Got a favorite fishing hole in the Northeast that we didn’t include on this list? Email us and we’ll incorporate your recommendations into a future version of this article.

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