New England'™s 2008 Fishing Calendar

New England'™s 2008 Fishing Calendar

Here's a sampling of 36 great trips to get you started on planning your 2008 fishing vacation.(February 2008).

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

No matter how you look at it, New England anglers are lucky! The region boasts the best of all watery worlds -- early-spring brooks, cool summer lakes and productive coastal waters. Some of the country's best wild brook trout habitat may be found in New England.

There are also trophy largemouth bass fisheries and thousands of miles of Atlantic Ocean where big stripers and bluefish abound.

With so many habitats and species to choose from, it would take a lifetime to fish them all! Here's a roundup of best bets to consider as you make your fishing vacation plans for 2008.

JANUARY

Northern Pike

Worden's Pond, R.I.

Worden's Pond is Rhode Island's largest freshwater pond. This South Kingstown water is a hotspot for winter pike in the 10- to 15-pound range. Shiners work here, no matter where you drill your holes.

State-owned access is available on Worden's Pond Road off Route 110.

Rainbow Trout

Granite Lake, N.H.

Granite Lake in Nelson and Stoddard is stocked with rainbow trout. Rainbows may be caught by drilling holes close to shore in two to three feet of water. Use a tip-up baited with a salmon egg or small night crawler. Or fish 30 to 40 feet under the ice with a night crawler or small shiner.

Access is on the southwestern side of the lake on Granite Lake Road, off of Route 9.

Lake Trout

Moosehead Lake, Maine

This big lake is brimming with lake trout in the 14- to 18-inch range, which anglers are being encouraged to keep. Access may be had in several locations. Try Junction Wharf in Greenville Junction or the Kineo boat launch area in Rockwood off routes 6 and 15 out of Greenville.

FEBRUARY

Lake Trout

Seymour Lake, Vt.

Seymour Lake in Morgan is one of the Northeast Kingdom's finest waters for big lake trout. Five-pounders are the norm, and 10-pounders are not unheard of.

Fish deep. Try the southern bend and points along the western shore. Take Route 111 to reach the lake, where state-owned access and parking are available.

Northern Pike

Bantam Lake, Conn.

The 947-acre Bantam Lake in Morris and Litchfield is Connecticut's largest natural lake. Bantam is considered the best lake in the state for taking big pike through the ice.

State-owned access may be had on the southeastern shore. From Route 61, take Route 109 west for 0.9 miles, and then go right onto East Shore Road for 0.5 miles.

Access is on the left. More access may be had along the southwestern shore along Route 209.

Cusk

Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H.

The state record for cusk was broken twice last year by ice-anglers on Lake Winnipesaukee. The previous record had stood for 23 years! Six-pound cusk are common and a few 10- pound fish are taken annually.

The new record is 12.22 pounds so drill those holes wider!

MARCH

Landlocked Salmon

Great Averill Lake, Vt.

Great Averill Lake is home to brown trout, lake trout, brookies and landlocked salmon. Better get there quick, though. Ice-fishing season runs from the third Saturday in January to March 15. The total of trout and salmon taken daily may not exceed two fish.

Largemouth Bass

Glen Charlie Pond, Mass.

For plenty of larger-than-average largemouth bass, 185-acre Glen Charlie is the place to go. Perch, pickerel and other panfish are also plentiful.

Public access is through town-owned land at the gas line crossing two miles north of Route 6.

Brook Trout

Mousam Lake, Maine

This lake in Acton and Shapleigh is one of the region's most heavily stocked brook trout waters. Brood stock and fall yearlings are poured into these waters to allow hardwater anglers to pull some big trout through the ice. (Continued)

State-owned access may be had off Route 109.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

APRIL

Bullheads

Forest Lake, Mass.

A 4-pound, 10-ounce state-record bullhead came out of Forest Lake in April 2005. This Methuen lake has a good population of bullheads that go 10 inches or bigger.

Try using spinning tackle with shiners, liver chunks or night crawlers fished at night on the bottom.

Access is off Bennett Street.

Brook Trout

Hodgdon Mill Pond, Maine

The Hodgdon Mill Pond (or Hodgdon Deadwater) offers great spring fishing for brookies and brown trout. During high flow, fish near the major inlet, South Branch Meduxnekeag River or Stewart Brook, which enters the east side of the pond.

Access is in downtown Hodgdon near the Dairy Bar or off the Horseback Road on the west side of the pond.

Smallmouth Bass

Wyassup Lake, Conn.

This Bass Management Lake in North Stonington offers good fishing for both smallmouth and largemouth bass. A state-owned access area can be found on the western shore.

Take Exit 92 off Interstate Route 95, and then take Route 2 west for 2.5 miles. Take a right onto Wyassup Road, travel three miles and then turn left onto Wyassup Lake Road.

The launch is on the right. State property south of the launch is open for shoreline access.

MAY

Landlocked Salmon

Schoodic Lake, Maine

Schoodic Lake is best known for its popular winter ice-fishing derby, but great fishing may be had here in cool spring waters for landlocked salmon and lake trout. Access may be had at Knight's Landing in Brownville or at an unimproved landing in Lake View Plantation.

White Perch

Lake Garfield, Mass.

Lake Garfield in Monterey is a warmwater angler's paradise and a great place to take youngsters.

Early in the month, white perch action is exceptional. Try small bucktails or slowly drift a worm-spinner combination.

There's a public boat ramp with parking at the western end of the lake off Tyringham Road, but the town closes it to boaters from June 15 to Sept. 6. There's also a commercial boat ramp on the south shore.

Smallmouth Bass

Island Pond, Vt.

Island Pond in Brighton is one of the top smallmouth waters in the Northeast Kingdom.

Follow Route 105, which becomes Derby Street. Travel east 0.5 miles. Turn right onto Pleasant Street. Go 1.5 miles, bearing left to remain on Pleasant Street. Access is about one-quarter mile in on the left.

JUNE

Atlantic Cod

Rock Harbor, Mass.

Rock Harbor in Eastham provides anglers with access to cod, stripers, bluefish, fluke and flounder in Cape Cod Bay. Surf fish with a 12-foot rod, or troll with squid or cut fish baits.

A concrete ramp and plentiful parking off Rock Harbor Road offer access for all types of vessels.

Brown Trout

Webb Lake, Maine

Webb Lake in Weld is well known for its abundant brown trout. Last summer, an angler reported taking a 25-inch, 7-pound brown trout out of Webb. Of the 300-plus browns taken from Webb and recorded in the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife database, the largest measured 24.5 inches and weighed 5.3 pounds!

There's a state-owned boat ramp in Mount Blue State Park.

Stripers

Great Bay, N.H.

Anglers generally have no problem locating schoolie stripers along the stretch of saltwater coastline of Strafford and Rockingham counties.

Some of the bigger fish reported each year are taken near the Isles of Shoals.

Try drifting cut bait (herring or Atlantic mackerel). Or cast an 8-inch imitation minnow into tidal eddies. Troll near Goat Island or Adam's Point. Use a steel leader because bluefish are big, aggressive and have sharp teeth!

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

JULY

Bluefish

Point Judith Harbor, RI

This is a great departure point for the many charters available or to put in your own boat for a day of fighting those aggressive blues.

To reach the public ramp from Route 1, take Old Point Judith Road (Route 108) to Galilee Road. Turn right to reach the landing.

Black Crappies

Balch Pond, N.H.

Balch Pond in Wakefield is the perfect panfish destination. Fish for black crappies around submerged, fallen timber and other structure.

Crappies have soft mouths, so set the hook gently. Small, live shiners or lures that imitate small baitfish will elicit the most attention from hungry crappies.

State-owned access is off Route 153.

Walleyes

Gardner Lake, Conn.

Gardner Lake in Salem, Montville and Bozrah is an excellent walleye water. Recent samplings by state biologists indicated that walleyes here weigh up to 12 pounds and measure up to 30 inches long.

Access may be had at a launch site on the southern shore. From Norwich, take Route 2 west to Route 354. The access road is off Route 354 north of its intersection with Route 82.

AUGUST

Largemouth Bass

Halfmoon Pond, N.H.

Growth rates in this Barnstead pond are excellent: Largemouth bass reach 12 inches in just three years. Diverse fish habitat here means good survival, with exceptional young-of-the-year production and plenty of forage.

Stripers

The Race, Conn.

The waters eight miles southeast of Niantic Bay at the mouth of Long Island Sound are known to hold big stripers all summer long. The biggest stripers are taken here at night.

Access may be had from the Jordon Cove or Niantic River ramps in Waterford.

Strong currents make these challenging waters. Visiting anglers may want to hire a charter boat and leave the tricky navigation to the captain.

Northern Pike

Pontoosuc Lake, Mass.

Pontoosuc Lake in Pittsfield has abundant aquatic vegetation that makes for great pike cover. This lake has been stocked with pike since the 1980s, and now has a naturally reproducing pike population.

Access the southern end of the lake on Hancock Road off Route 7.

SEPTEMBER

Rainbow Trout

Little Androscoggin River, Maine

As water temperatures drop, the fishing action picks up along the Little Androscoggin River.

Stocked rainbow trout move out of their cool summer depths and become easier for anglers to access.

Some holdover rainbows here measure 20-plus inches. State-owned access points are numerous along the river's shores.

Largemouth Bass

Echo Lake, R.I.

Anglers at Echo, also known as the Pascoag Reservoir, report fast action for big largemouth bass. Bass, and golden shiners as forage, have been stocked here for years.

Access may be had via a state-owned boat ramp off Jackson Schoolhouse Road in Glocester.

Brown Trout

Walloomsac River, Vt.

This river, flowing through Bennington, is one of the best urban fisheries in the state. The Walloomsac is stocked annually with browns, brookies and rainbow trout. Fish upstream and downstream from the small park in downtown Bennington where the river passes under Route 7. Or cast into the riffles and pools where the river borders the golf course.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

OCTOBER

Landlocked Salmon

Lake Champlain, Vt.

Lake Champlain is a prime salmon destination. Record-class

landlocks are taken here annually. Great coldwater fisheries may be found off the west shore of Grand Isle and in Converse Bay and Button Bay south to the Champlain Bridge.

Take Route 2 to Grand Isle for access on the left off West Shore Road.

Atlantic Salmon

Carbuncle Pond, R.I.

Carbuncle Pond in Coventry is one of the Ocean State's largest ponds. The pond is often stocked with Atlantic salmon brood stock in the 3- to 5-pound range. Because of the unique characteristics of this 35-acre pond, salmon hold over well here.

Some of the country's best

wild brook trout habitat

may be found in New England.

There's plenty of shoreline access, including a new handicapped-access fishing pier. Take Route 102 to Route 14 and drive 4.5 miles. The access road is on the left.

Brook Trout,

Mud Pond, Maine

Mud Pond in Linneus is one of the Pine Tree State's extended-season waters, providing catch-and-release fishing for brookies, browns, splake and salmon from Oct. 1 through 31 on artificial lures.

Mud Pond is stocked with yearling brook trout each spring. The cold water allows trout to hold over.

The town maintains a gravel parking area and boat launch on the northeast corner of the pond off South Oakfield Road.

NOVEMBER

Rainbow Smelt

Rye Harbor, N.H.

Rye Harbor is known for its steady fall fishing for rainbow smelt. Boat access may be had at the Rye Harbor Marina on Route 1A.

Or try night-fishing under the lights off the commercial pier.

Largemouth Bass

Missisquoi River, Vt.

The stretch of the Missisquoi that flows from Swanton Dam upstream through Swanton to the Highgate Falls Dam is open year 'round for lunker largemouth bass.

This tributary to Lake Champlain is also home to walleyes, pike, bullheads and white perch.

Tautog

Madaket Harbor, Mass.

The rocky Bay State coast is lined with bays, harbors, jetties and breakwaters where tautog abound. Madaket Harbor in Nantucket offers boat launching facilities and shore access. Fish offshore as waters cool in fall. Crabs, clams and other shellfish are popular baits.

DECEMBER

Largemouth Bass

Flat River Reservoir, R.I.

Flat River Reservoir in Coventry, also known as Johnson's Pond, is one of the best bass waters in the state.

The Flat River is rich with forage fish and thus grows some big largemouth bass.

Access is at the intersection of Harkney Hill Road and Hill Farm Road on the southern end of the lake.

Chain Pickerel

Amos Lake, Conn.

Amos Lake in Preston is one of the state's top pickerel waters. Anglers commonly take big fighting fish here. Pickerel running 15 to 22 inches are not uncommon, and smaller pickerel are plentiful. State-owned access is on the western shore.

Take Exit 85 off I-395, and then take Route 164 south 1.5 miles (past the intersection with Route 165). Turn left onto the access road.

Channel Catfish

Wright's Cove, Conn.

Wright's Cove (Pecausett Pond) in Portland is a backwater cove of the Connecticut River. Channel catfish are abundant here, and it's not uncommon to land big cats.

Boat access to the river is through a narrow channel. (Larger boats must wait for high tide.) Try the Haddam Meadows State Park launch or the town launch at the Rocky Hill Ferry.

Find more about New England

fishing and hunting at

NewEnglandGameandFish.com

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