Top Ten Places to Fish in Mid-Coast Maine

Mid-Coast Maine, with its rugged coastline, picturesque lakes, and meandering streams, is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. This region offers a diverse range of fishing experiences, from serene freshwater lakes to the vast Atlantic Ocean, catering to anglers of all skill levels. Here are some of the best places to fish in Mid-Coast Maine, each offering its unique charm and bounty.

rockport harbor
 Rockport Harbor Aerial, Rockport ME

1. Rockport Harbor

Better known as a picturesque sailing destination, Rockport Harbor is a surprisingly rich fishing opportunity.  The harbor, noted for its cold temperatures and unusual depth, sees an influx of summer squid, mackerel and pogies. This deepwater harbor, unlike many shallower coastal areas, allows anglers to target striped bass right from the docks or by venturing just a short distance from shore in a boat. The harbor's structure, characterized by submerged ledges and drop-offs, creates ideal conditions for striped bass, which are attracted to these areas in search of baitfish. Striped Bass fishing peaks from late June through the September, offering consistent action for anglers. Additionally, Rockport Harbor becomes a hotspot for squid fishing, particularly in the early summer months. Squid are drawn to the harbor's lights at night, providing an exciting opportunity for anglers to catch these cephalopods from the harbor's piers and docks. The presence of squid not only offers a unique fishing experience but also attracts larger predators, including striped bass, and in recent years, bluefish. Whether casting from the rocky ledges, fishing from the docks, or heading out on a boat, Rockport Harbor offers a diverse fishing experience set against the backdrop of one of Maine's prettiest harbors. Be sure to check out current fishing regulations.

Kennebec River
Kennebec River at Perkins Island Lighthouse

2. Kennebec River

The Kennebec River in Maine is one of the largest, most powerful, most diverse watersheds on the East Coast, and in its Mid-Coast locales, a premier destination for striped bass fishing. The Kennebec is unquestionably the center of gravity for striped bass fishing in Maine from the mouth near Popham Beach northward all the way past where most fisherman would ever think of fishing for them.   From the serene stretches of the upper river near the head of tide downriver to the powerful tidal waters near its mouth, the watershed is miles and miles long encompassing an infinite variety of habitats, including tidal flats, marshes, and deep river channels. The fishing season peaks from late spring through summer, when striped bass migrate into the river in search of cooler waters and abundant baitfish. Anglers have success using a range of techniques, from casting live bait such as mackerel and eels, to employing soft plastics and topwater plugs.  Fly fisherman have a thousand options, from the mudflats in the innumerable coves along the river, to the sandy beaches near Popham Beach State Park.

Lake Megunticook
Lake Megunticook, Camden, ME

3. Lake Megunticook

Lake Megunticook, located in the picturesque town of Camden, Maine, is a cherished destination for anglers seeking both the tranquility of a freshwater lake and the excitement of diverse fishing opportunities. Flanked by the steep cliffs of Camden Hills State Park, this scenic lake offers a peaceful fishing environment with a rich variety of fish species, including rainbow and brook trout, and smallmouth and largemouth bass. The lake's clear, deep waters and varied structure provide ideal habitats for these species, making it a fantastic spot for both trolling and fly fishing. Fishing from a canoe, kayak or float tube makes exploring the lake's many coves and inlets easiest, though there is some access from public access points along the shore. The stunning natural beauty of the area, combined with the excellent fishing prospects, makes Lake Megunticook a must-visit location for anyone looking to cast a line in one of Mid-Coast Maine’s most beautiful settings. 

Ducktrap River
Ducktrap River, Lincolnville, ME

4. Ducktrap River

The Ducktrap River in Lincolnville, Maine, offers a unique and highly prized fishing experience. This small, picturesque river flows through pine forests and thick woods before emptying out into Penobscot Bay, providing a critical habitat for one of the few remaining runs of wild Atlantic salmon in the United States. The river's clear, cold waters and varied structure create an ideal environment for native brook trout. Fishing on the Ducktrap River is a rare opportunity, subject to strict regulations to protect the salmon population, making it a bucket-list destination for conservation-minded anglers. Check out the Ducktrap River Preserve for a great walkable area to fish. The experience of fishing in such a pristine environment, knowing you are casting your line in the same waters as the endangered Atlantic salmon, is humbling and thrilling. The mouth of the Ducktrap where saltwater and freshwater mix, is a smorgasbord of alewives, herring, sturgeon, pogies and mackerel and offers anglers the chance at sea run brook trout and stripers.

Damariscotta River
Damariscotta River, Damariscotta, ME (Google Maps)

5. Damariscotta River

Renowned for its oyster farming, the Damariscotta River in Maine is a popular destination for striped bass fishing, attracting anglers with its rich marine ecosystem. This tidal river with its strong currents and its mix of deep channels, rocky outcrops, and tidal flats, provides ideal habitats for striped bass, especially during the warmer months when these fish migrate into the river in search of baitfish. Anglers can use a range of baits, including live eels, herring, and soft-shell crabs, as well as artificial lures, like topwater plugs and soft plastics to mimic mackerel and pogies. Fly fishing with streamers or clousers that imitate local baitfish can also be highly effective. Striped bass often turn on in low light conditions so the edges of the day or evenings are especially productive.

Lake St. George
Lake St. George, Liberty, ME (Google Maps)

6. Lake St. George

Lake St. George in Liberty, Maine, offers a diverse fishery, including landlocked salmon, brook trout, and smallmouth bass, making it a versatile fishing destination for anglers with varied interests. The clear, cold waters of the lake provide an ideal habitat for these species, ensuring a rewarding fishing experience throughout the year. Boating is the most popular way to access the deeper parts of the lake where salmon and trout tend to congregate, while the lake's rocky shores and docks offer excellent spots for small and largemouth bass and panfish.  Lake St George is what Maine lakes are known for, clean cold water and an abundance of cold water species. Be sure to check out Lake St. George State Park for an easy access point for fishing, camping, and boating.

St. George River Freshwater
St George River in Freshwater Section

7. St. George River (Freshwater) 

The St. George River, as it meanders through the picturesque towns of Appleton and Searsmont in Maine, offers tranquil and fruitful trout fishing opportunities. This section of the river, characterized by its clear, cool waters and diverse aquatic habitats, is a haven for brook and brown trout, especially in the spring and early summer months. The river's flow creates a variety of fishing environments, from gentle, meandering stretches ideal for fly fishing, to more turbulent areas where spin fishing can be highly effective. The surrounding lush landscapes provide not only a beautiful backdrop but also a rich ecosystem that supports an abundance of insects, serving as excellent trout feed. Anglers appreciate the year round fishery, the relative seclusion, and the low fishing pressure. Whether you're a seasoned fly fisherman or someone looking to enjoy a peaceful day by the water, the trout fishing opportunities on the St. George River from Searsmont to Warren promise a rewarding escape into Maine's natural beauty.

St. George River Saltwater
St. George River in Saltwater Section

8. St George River (Below the head of the tide)

The St. George River in Thomaston, Maine, stands out as a unique destination for striped bass fishing in the Midcoast region. Characterized by large mudflats that drain into deeper channels as the river winds its way to the Atlantic, the St George doesn’t see much fishing pressure despite its abundance of bait and striped bass. Long targeted by fly anglers working the flats, the St George offers anglers the chance to sight large bass rooting in the mud for crustaceans. For spin fisherman, sluggos and spooks are the order of the day. The St. George River's rocky shores, secluded coves, tidal flats, and estuarine environments, provide excellent feeding grounds for striped bass, the occasional salter or sea run brown trout, and alewives, pogies and mackerel. Whether casting from the riverbanks, wading in its shallows, or navigating its breadth in a boat, fishermen find the St George offers ample opportunities to engage with its finned friends. 

Weskeag River
Weskeag River, Thomaston, ME

9. Weskeag River

The tidal river in South Thomaston, Maine, is a “locals favorite” for anglers targeting striped bass, beginning as soon as the mosquitos make fishing a blood sport. This very short tidal river, with its unique reversing falls and mix of salt and freshwater, creates an ideal environment for striped bass, attracting them in significant numbers. The changing tides bring in baitfish, which in turn, draw the stripers closer to the river's edges, providing excellent opportunities for both shore and boat anglers. The Weskeag's marshy areas and estuaries are particularly fruitful spots for fly and light tackle fishing.  While locals argue about whether the incoming or outgoing tide is best, there is no question that the tidal falls at the bridge are a chokepoint for moving fish and offering easy access for shore anglers.  As the river widens on its brief way to the Penobscot Bay, seals, birds and mackerel mix with striped bass and the fishing becomes more challenging, rewarding the angler with sea worthy bass.

Grassy Pond
Grassy Pond, Hope ME

10. Grassy Pond

Grassy Pond in Hope, Maine, is a largemouth bass fisherman’s dream, the relatively small pond directly astride Route 17 is a hidden gem within the Midcoast region, known for its healthy population of largemouth bass. The pond's shallow waters and abundant aquatic vegetation provide an ideal habitat for bass, making it a perfect spot for both experienced anglers and those new to bass fishing.  On good days, its nearly a “pitch and catch” fishery with the bass never tiring of smashing topwater offerings. Grassy Pond is challenging to access from shore so a canoe or kayak will make your fishing much productive. Nonetheless, the quality of the fishing makes it a must-visit location, especially for parents looking to get kids hooked on the thrill of bass fishing.

Each of these locations in Mid-Coast Maine offers something special for anglers, from the thrill of catching large striped bass in species rich estuaries, to the tranquility of freshwater fishing on large inland lakes. Whether you're a seasoned fisherman or a novice looking to cast your first line, Mid-Coast Maine's beautiful waters won't disappoint.

Looking for fishing gear? Check out Maine Sport's fishing collection. Shop in-store at our Rockport, ME location for even more gear and expert advice on tackle. Looking for a guide to catch that picture-worthy striper or bass? Look no further than Maine Sport's guided trips led by experienced local guides who are sure to find you the best spots and provide an unforgettable fishing experience.

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