driftboatfishing FISHINGSometimes when you go fishing in western Maine it’s fun to actually catch a fish. Other times casting a line in the open air in the middle of a smooth lake or along the banks of a rushing river surrounded by beautiful scenery makes for time well spent.

There is no doubt that Maine’s 6,000 lakes and ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams have created an exciting environment for fishermen. Many towns became popular tourist areas when word got out that nearby waterways offered excellent fishing. For years men, women and families have planned their vacations around camps and lodges where fishing was a major attraction.

Whether you’ve just discovered the thrill of fishing or are an experienced angler the waters of western Maine hold a promise of an eventful vacation.

Depending on the time you visit you have a variety of fish species to challenge you. Early in the season and during ice fishing months cold water game fish, such as brook trout, landlocked salmon, rainbow trout, cusk and rainbow smelt will be running.

Later, warm water game fish make their appearance. These include large and small mouth bass, northern pike, chain pickerel, white and yellow perch and redbreast sunfish.

The season for open water fishing starts April 1 and continues through the end of September, sometime longer for certain species.

Unless you are an experienced fisherman it’s best to consult with a professional guide to help you use your time and resources to best advantage. A guide will also assure that you comply with limits and other state fishing regulations. You can also get the latest information about conditions, gear, bait and “hot” spots for landing your prize catch at any number of tackle shops located around popular fishing areas.

Maine residents and visitors are required to have a current license. Some are good for the entire season, and others for specific periods of time. You can obtain them at many sporting good and convenience stores, outfitters and information centers. You can also apply for a license on line at Another valuable resource that will help make you fishing experience in western Maine as rewarding as possible is the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. They can be reached at (207) 287-8003.