Top Places for Bass Fishing in Maine

Bass, Bass Fishing, Lunkers, Trophy Bass

Here's what to expect for bass fishing in Maine.

The majority of fishermen release nearly every bass they catch, tossing the smaller ones back to "grow up" and letting the big ones go after a quick photo session. When you use a resource but don't abuse it, the results are predictable: Plenty of big bass to go around and more on the way.

With all this in mind, here's a look at bass management strategies in New England and where avid bass anglers can find the best fishing in their state:

Once a prime destination for trout and salmon anglers, Maine is now a leader in bass fishing adventures in the Northeast. With healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, the Pine Tree State offers some of the best two-species fishing in the East.

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Generally, the best largemouth fishing is in the southern half of the state, while smallmouths abound in the northern portions. Due in part to the recent, unexpected surge in interest in bass fishing in the state, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been quick to protect the resource. The spring bass fishing season is open from April 1 to June 30 using artificial lures only. There is a one-fish daily bag limit and a minimum length of 10 inches during the spring spawning period. These regulations are designed to protect breeding fish while they are on their nests. The MDIFW does very little stocking of black bass and makes every effort to encourage natural reproduction where these fish exist.

Maine's "regular" bass fishing season opens July 1 and closes Sept. 30, with a three fish daily bag limit. All three fish must be over 10 inches but only one may exceed 14 inches. There are no tackle restrictions during this period.

The fall bass fishing season runs from Oct. 1 through March 31 with a one-fish daily bag limit and a 10-inch minimum size restriction. There are some restrictions and limitations on individual waters throughout the state, so anglers are advised to study a copy of the most current open water fishing regulations.

Excellent largemouth bass fishing may be found in southern Maine's warmwater lakes and ponds. The Cobboseecontee lake-and-stream complex south of Augusta off Interstate Route 95 is a good place to start. Great largemouth bass fishing may be had as far north as Stetson Pond in Stetson, where specimens reaching 10 pounds have been reported.

Maine's smallmouth bass fishing is the stuff of legends, with 3- to 5-pound fish being the norm, especially in May, June and early July. All of the state's largest rivers and streams contain populations of smallmouths, but the perennial leaders include the Penobscot, Pleasant and lower Kennebec rivers. Anglers should consider fishing some of the smaller trout streams after they warm up at the end of June because some lunker bronzebacks may be found in the deeper holes and bridge pools throughout the summer.

For more information on Maine's black bass fishery, log onto www.mefishwildlife.com.

Don't forget to share your best bass photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!

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