Top 10 Fishing Spots in Massachusetts

From the rip currents off Cape Ann to the trout streams of the Berkshires, Massachusetts offers outstanding freshwater and saltwater fishing. This definitive guide provides in-depth details on the top 10 destinations to hook trophy bass, trout, tuna,, and more.

You’ll get specifics on proven baits and lures, seasonal patterns, access points, and tips from seasoned local anglers. Whether you’re bait fishing or casting artificials, this insider info will help you land the lunker of a lifetime!

1. Gloucester & Cape Ann

Primary Targets: Striped Bass, Bluefish, Atlantic Mackerel, and and Tuna Top Lures: 6” white or chartreuse swim shads, surface poppers like Atom Popper, needlefish plugs, live eels Best Areas: The rips around Five Pound Island, mouth of Annisquam River
Hot Tip: Fish early morning and late evening around harbor mouth and river channels

Gloucester provides awesome action on stripers, blues,, and more thanks to rip currents and a sandy bottom that aggregates bait. Slow-rolling 6-inch swimbaits along the bottom are deadly for bass, blues,, and mackerel. As the sun goes down, the bite turns on for harbor run stripers crashing bait schools in the harbor mouth and river outlets. Local experts work the channels and structure with surface poppers, needlefish plugs,, and live eels.

2. Cape Cod Canal

Primary Targets: Striped Bass, Bluefish, Tautog, Eels Offerings: Live lining eels, casting plugs like Daiwa SP Minnows, vertical jigging with 3⁄4–1.5 oz bucktails
Pro Advice: Fish the turnover location on a moving tide when bait gets pinned to the walls Seasonality: Spring and fall are are best for stripers and blues; summer is best is best for eels

This famous canal holds bass and blues year-round. The current creates a turnover effect, pinning bait to the walls and drawing voracious gamefish from below. Local anglers target the turnover with live eels, SP Minnow plugs cast against the walls, and heavy bucktails jigged vertically. The action starts as the tide begins flooding or ebbing.

3. Wachusett Reservoir

Primary Targets: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Trout, Salmon, and and Lake Trout Prime Spots: Rocky points, submerged humps and islands between Rt. 140 and the dam Best Lures: Spinnerbaits, square bill crankbaits in craw patterns, 1⁄2 oz football jigs, jerkbaits Insider Tip: Use bright color lures like chartreuse or orange when water clarity is low

In addition to great bass and trout fishing, this reservoir also produces massive lake trout exceeding 20 lbs. Focus on rocky banks, points,, and humps where baitfish gather. Spinnerbaits and shallow-dive crankbaits shine when targeting shoreline structuress. As the sun gets higherer, probe deeper with football jigs and jerkbaits in natural colors. Expect aggressive strikes when you bump the bottom.

4. Westfield River

Primary Targets: Wild Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
Techniques: Quarter-ounce marabou jigs in black or white, Mepps Agilia inline spinners in size #1 or #2, small spoons like Acme Phoebe or Little Cleo
Tip: Use 4-6 lb.. fluorocarbon leaders when water is clear Seasonality: Spring and fall are are best for trout

The Westfield is revered for its trout fishing. For the best action, use use drift jigs, spinners,, and spoons along undercut banks and around downed trees and boulders. Trout cruise these areas,, looking to ambush baitfish and crayfish. Use fine leaders and natural colors when the water is clear. Mornings and evenings typically produce best from spring through fall.

5. Boston Harbor

Primary Species: Striped Bass, Bluefish, Tautog Gear: Light conventional or spinning rods for throwing plugs around docks or structures Top Lures: Hogy 10” sand eel jigs, Savage Gear Sandeel Surface Frogs, Shimano Colt Sniper stickbaits
Areas to Target: Fish pier pilings, seawalls, rock jetties, channel drop-offs

Boston Harbor provides awesome urban fishing just just a short trip from the city. Soak live eels or cast artificial swimbaits, surface plugs,, and jigs around docks, rocky structures,s, and feeder channels throughout the harbor. The many fish pier pilings provide cover to draw stripers and blues. Target the edges of these structures with sand eel jigs and surface lures. For tautog, present crabs or shrimp close to the the harbor bottom around jetties and bridges.

6. Castle Island, South Boston

What to catch: Striped bass, bluefish, flounder, tautog Key areas: Pleasure Bay, shoreline around island Insider tip: Incoming tide pushes baitfish into bay

This iconic 22-acre island offers convenient urban fishing with skyline views. Soak bait or cast lures into Pleasure Bay on an incoming tide. The current pushes baitfish into the bay, drawing hungry stripers and blues.

7. Boston Harbor

Species: Striped bass, bluefish, flounder, tautog
Techniques: Jigging soft plastics, drifting live eels/mackerel, bottom fishing Areas: Harbor islands, channel drop-offs, structure

Launch from downtown to explore the harbor islands and target stripers, blues, and more around rock piles, pier pilings, and ledges. Vertical jigging is deadly when fish are schooled up.

8. Plymouth Harbor

Primary targets: Striped bass, bluefish
Access: Shore fishing, small boats Seasonality: Spring and fall are best

This historic harbor offers protected fishing for stripers and blues. Target the harbor mouth and rocky shoreline from multiple access points in Plymouth.

9. Norton Reservoir

Notable species: Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and tiger muskies
Tips: Fish the shallow upper reservoir for best action

This lesser-known 529-acre reservoir holds good populations of bass, pickerel, and stocked tiger muskies. Focus efforts on the shallower upper basin.

10. Quabbin Reservoir

Species mix: Smallmouth bass, trout, perch, walleye
Key feature: 25-square-mile lesser-fished spot

As the largest water body in Massachusetts, the remote Quabbin offers outstanding fishing for trout, bass, and more with minimal fishing pressure.


From Cape Cod to the Berkshires, Massachusetts offers world-class freshwater and saltwater fishing. Follow this guide to 10 outstanding destinations primed to deliver awesome action and trophy catches. We covered everything from remote ponds to urban harbors, so every angler can plan an epic fishing adventure. Now it’s time to get out on the water and make some memories!

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