Here's a look at 36 great fishing trips to consider as you plan your 2007 angling adventures. (February 2007)
Twelve new months roll out before anglers in 2007 -- and that means plenty of time to plan new fishing trips.
From rippling brooks to ocean spray, New England has it all.
Thanks to careful management by state biologists, angling for most species keeps getting better each year. And that's enough incentive to think about where you're going to wet your line in 2007!
East Brimfield Reservoir, Mass.
In this 420-acre reservoir, pike reach massive size. Try the old river channel for these large, voracious game fish.
For best results, anglers should wait for the line to stop moving after a flag goes up. Then slowly bring in the slack line. To set the hook, give a short, quick yank.
Play hooked fish gently, letting the line slip through your fingers with minimal tension if the fish runs.
Lake Dunmore, Vt.
In 2005, Lake Dunmore was stocked with 900 yearling landlocked salmon measuring over 11 inches.
For access, take U.S. Route 7 to Salisbury and turn east onto Lake Dunmore Road. Travel east about 1.5 miles and turn right onto West Shore Road. Travel south about .5 miles to the access on the left.
Lake Champlain, Vt.
Once safe ice has formed, lunker togue may be caught off the west shore of Grand Isle and in Converse Bay and Button Bay south to the Champlain Bridge.
Take U.S. Route 2 to Grand Isle. Access is on the left on West Shore Road.
Wassookeag Lake, Maine
In 2005, more than 500 salmon measuring six to 10 inches, along with 3,600 brook trout, were released into this 1,170-acre lake in Dexter. Live bait works best for Wassookeag salmon.
Access is off of Route 7.
Candlewood Lake, Conn.
The 5,420-acre Candlewood Lake is known for giving up lunker-sized walleye.
From Route 684 north, travel to Route 84 east. Take Exit 5. Go forward through the traffic light at the bottom of the hill. At the light by the shopping center, continue straight and bear left. Turn right at the light by the Mobil station on the right. The Squantz Cove ramp will be on your right.
Tiogue Lake, R.I.
In recent years, electro-shocking surveys prove that carp is king in Tiogue. A 10-pounder is considered a small carp here. Try the two large coves on the southern end of the lake.
Take Arnold Road to Crestwood Road, then turn left onto North Glen Drive. The state-owned public access area is at the end.
Long Lake, Maine
Long Lake provides world-class landlocked salmon action. Last year, one lucky angler here may have landed the new world ice-fishing record. The salmon was 30 inches long and weighed 12 pounds, 14 ounces. Once verified, this fish will dethrone the current world-record ice-fishing champ, a 12- pound salmon taken on a tip-up in Long Lake back in 1990.
The preferred bait for Long Lake salmon are smelts on a long leader, fished about 10 feet below the ice. Access may be had in St. Agatha.
Lake Hortonia, Vt.
Lake Hortonia has yielded many record-breaking catches over the years, with pike being the most recent of trophies.
Access to the lake is off Lake Hortonia Road by turning left onto Fishing Access Road. The access area is on the right.
East Twin Lake, Conn.
East Twin has fast become one of the best trophy trout lakes in Connecticut, mostly due to a large population of alewives, protected slot limits and an active trout-stocking program.
Take Twin Lakes Road in Salisbury to reach a marked public access area.
Shelburne Pond, Vt.
State-record bullheads have been pulled from this pond, which is also home to northern pike and plentiful perch.
There's state-owned access to the pond about one mile west of the intersection of Pond Road and Dorset Street, which is about six miles south of Burlington. Bullheads feed mostly at night. Try night crawlers fished just off the bottom.
Barber Pond, R.I.
This 28-acre designated trout area off Route 2 in South Kingstown is a popular fishing spot. There's plenty of good parking and access.
The Ocean State's trout waters are stocked each spring before opening day, but Barber receives additional trout each spring and fall. There's a state-owned ramp, and only electric trolling motors are allowed.
Union River, Maine
When the leaves are as big as a mouse's ear, it's time to wet a line in search of brookies. Each spring, Union River in Ellsworth is stocked with hundreds of trout. Try fishing in Ellsworth below Route 1A and off Infant Street. Access can be had at the town boat launch.
Niantic River, Conn.
Each spring, a species of worm known as Neres succinea comes out of the sand to spawn. Stripers are on hand to take advantage of the buffet!
The Niantic River is one of the best bets for striped bass on Long Island Sound. Try the mouth of the river, fish off the bridge on Route 156, or try the waters where the river meets Niantic Bay. Surf-cast on the beach along the north end of the bay.
Clyde River, Vt.
Last April, this Newport salmon fishery was stocked with 30,000 yearling salmon. Another 49,600 fry were released in May. Access is in East Charleston, adjacent to the bridge on Ten Mile Square Road.
Jeffreys Ledge, N.H.
Anglers lucky enough to have (or have chartered) boats up to the 30-mile trip out to Jeffreys Ledge can look forward to daily catches of 15 haddock or more, and the occasional big cod. Some haddock caught here weigh over 6 pounds, but the average is 3 to 5
pounds. Access is closest from Rye Harbor, off Route 1A.
Jeffreys Ledge, Mass.
Cod are the Bay State's most important party-boat targets. Cod are normally found in deeper waters during winter months, but head inshore in spring. Try sea worms, mackerel, clams, crabs, jigs or strips of fish as bait.
Gloucester, on the southern shore of Cape Ann, is a great starting point. The Ledge is just eight miles from Gloucester Harbor.
Congamond Lakes, Mass.
The three basins that make up these Southwick lakes cover 465 acres and consistently produce good largemouths in any season.
Long Lake provides world-class landlocked salmon action. Last year, one lucky angler here may have landed the new world ice-fishing record. The salmon was 30 inches long and weighed 12 pounds,14 ounces.
This month, use a rubber jig or tubeworm dropped onto guarded nests. North Pond is 46 acres; Middle Pond is 277 acres and South Pond covers 142 acres. North Pond is the deepest, at 40 feet.
Boat access may be had at two paved ramps on Middle Pond. There is no public access on North Pond, but small boats can pass under Grove Road through a culvert.
York Harbor, Maine
York Harbor is a popular destination for anglers in search of stripers. For daytime shore fishing, try Town Docks 01 and 02. Other good shore-fishing sites are the Route 103 bridge and the causeway east of the bridge. Try surf-fishing off Route 1A at Long Sands and Short Sands beaches.
At Cape Neddick, there's plenty of rocky shoreline at Sohier Park and Cape Neddick Light. To the north is Short Sands Beach, another surf-casting opportunity.
Anglers with boats will want to try the waters around Boon Island Light, about seven miles off Cape Neddick.
Long Island Sound, Conn.
For fluke or summer flounder, anglers should try anywhere from 100 feet out to the surf break. The secret is to find a place where the tide and wind provide a fast-moving drift.
Access may be had off East Wharf Road in Madison. Access is also available at Hammonasset Beach State Park on Route 1 and at the town-owned Surf Club on Surf Club Road (off West Wharf Road).
Plymouth Bay, Mass.
Blue marlin are deep-sea treasures that most anglers only dream of, reaching 11 feet in length and exceeding 1,000 pounds! In season from July to September, marlin may be found over offshore canyons and along steep dropoffs.
In Plymouth, launch access may be had off Taylor Avenue (4WD only) and at the Plymouth town wharf.
Johnson's Pond, R.I.
This Coventry pond offers excellent summer largemouth action. Early birds should try the north side of the pond. Cast into the lily pads and fish down to the dam. Cast crankbaits into the rocky areas. At midday, fish the deeper waters with 4-inch plastics.
Access is via Zeke's Bridge, which leads to Big River and portions of Johnson's Pond.
Take Route 3 to Harkney Hill Road to a cement slab launch about two miles ahead on the right.
Merrimack River, N.H.
Reaching up to 60 pounds, the carp is a tremendous fighter and is becoming the rage among European visitors. Use sweet corn or dough baits.
These big fish are sensitive feeders. If they feel any tension, they will immediately refuse the bait, so use a swivel to hold the sinker at least a foot away from the hook.
Access the Merrimack in Allenstown off Main Street by going to the end of Ferry Street. In Boscawen, access is off Route 3. In East Concord, take Route 93 to Exit 16 and go west to West Portsmouth.
Branch River, R.I.
This Burrillville River is a designated trout water, stocked each spring before opening day and again later in the season. The Branch River flows into the Slatersville Reservoir and then to the confluence of the Branch and Blackstone rivers.
Access is via the Victory Highway (Route 102). The Slatersville boat launch is on the left.
Big/Little Squam Lakes, N.H.
Big Squam (6,765 acres) and Little Squam (408 acres) lakes in Holderness are linked by a navigable channel. Both are known for their plentiful, big bass. Access is at the state-owned dual-lane concrete log ramp in the connecting channel off Route 113 in Holderness.
Access for car-top boats is available at the Squam Lakes Association off U.S. Route 3 in Holderness.
Massachusetts Bay, Mass.
These aggressive feeders are normally found just offshore in the tidal rips. Use small baitfish, jigs, spoons, plugs, spinners or flies. Consider using wire or heavy monofilament leaders and watch out for those teeth!
Access is available along the coastline. In Marblehead, launch at the paved ramps at the causeway, or use the access at Riverhead Beach.
Wallis Sands State Beach, N.H.
Try fishing at night, when big stripers move into shallow waters to feed. Rig a lead slip-sinker above a barrel swivel and tie a leader to a circle hook. Circle hooks are easy to use because fish usually hook themselves -- and they prevent gut-hooking.
Access to the state beach's public boat dock and shore fishing may be had at Rye Harbor State Park, off Route 1A in Rye.
Lake St. Catherine, Vt.
Bass in this 904-acre Poultney lake exhibit phenomenal growth rates. Try spinnerbaits and weedless-rigged flukes and soft-plastics. Topwater frogs and rats skipped over the lily pads work well, too.
The lake is about three miles south of Poultney on Vt. Route 30.
Wickwas Lake, N.H.
Quality-sized, 20-inch-plus pickerel are common in 328-acre Wickwas Lake. Aggressively work the decaying deep weedlines with spinnerbaits and stickbaits.
Access to Wickwas Lake may be found in Meredith by following the Meredith Center Road to the Chemung Road.
Massachusetts Bay, Mass.
Pollock feature the fighting ability of a bluefish with the flavor of a cod. Found along the whole coastline, pollock are most plentiful north of Plymouth. The best runs are during May and October.
Cod are the Bay State's most important party-boat targets. Cod are normally found in deeper waters during winter months, but head inshore in spring.
Access in Scituate is at paved ramps at Cole Parkway, Scituate Harbor or a gravel ramp at Driftway Recreation Area.
Seboeis Lake, Maine
Seboeis is open until Nov. 30 for catch-and-release trout, salmon and bass, as well as keeper perch and pickerel. This lake offers warmer habitat, with good perch populations that remain productive through the fall season.
There is a state-owned ramp off Route 11 in Millinocket.
Chauncey Lake, Mass.
The 185-acre Chauncey Lake has been stocked with tiger muskies and pike since 1988. Both species grow to large sizes here, providing challenging angling. Use large baits and lures fished off the edge of the weed beds.
Access is off Lyman Street and at the Westboro Wildlife Management Area for the southern, eastern and northern portions of the lake.
Meddybemps Lake, Maine
General law smallmouth regulations ended Sept. 30, but after Oct. 1, most lakes and ponds are open for catch-and-release trout, salmon, bass and keeper perch and pickerel. Meddybemps offers excellent bass angling for catch-and-release this month, since fish feed heavily before winter.
There is a state-owned access ramp off Cooper Highway.
Snug Harbor, R.I.
Bluefish, considered by many to be the finest fighting fish in the Atlantic, may be caught May through November. These voracious feeders average 4 to 6 pounds, but 11- to 15-pounders are not uncommon around Snug Harbor in fall.
Access to a town-owned ramp is available in South Kingstown off Gooseberry Road.
Winnisquam Lake, N.H.
Winnisquam lake trout average 14 to 19 inches, but the big lake produced a 25-pounder in 2000! Try using a jig rod with small baits in less than 10 feet of water.
Access is through Ahern State Park (open year 'round) on Route 106 in Laconia. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is presently constructing a public-access facility on Water Street, Laconia.
Lake Zoar, Conn.
The 909-acre Lake Zoar gives up good-sized white catfish along with several other warmwater species and the occasional trout.
Access is from Route 84 East, at Exit 14. Head south on Lakeside Road. Turn right on Scout Road at the VFW Hall to the public access area at the end of the road.
Holland Pond, Mass
In 1999, this 65-acre pond was stocked with 12-inch pike. It takes pike five years to reach their minimum legal length of 28 inches. That means it's time to drill some pike-sized auger holes!
Holland Pond, along with the Quinebaug River and Long Pond, comprise East Brimfield Lake in the Old Sturbridge Village area.
Find more about New England fishing and hunting at: NewEnglandGameandFish.com