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massachusetts fishing
Massachusetts Fishing Report for December 22, 2016

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When more naughty than nice, kids in these parts used to be scolded with the threat of nothing more than ice water left by old Saint Nick. If that’s the case, then hardwater addicts must have been misbehaving in force since up to a foot of ice awaits if you travel out west.



Central Massachusetts Fishing Report

Many looked at the early season snow of last Saturday with all the enthusiasm of being jostled by a mall full of frenzied shoppers – but not Mike Dumais of Northborough. Dropping flakes coincide with dropping barometric pressure, and attentive fishermen know that’s a reason to expect fish to binge, even when their environment is locked under a 5-inch ceiling of ice! All went as planned as Mike and a pal found a popular place light on anglers and heavy on pike to just under 15 pounds and largemouth bass up to 6! Obviously, selecting big bait is rule number one when it comes to pike, but for over-sized largemouth bass (and even smallies), go large there as well. And, of course, if you can put in a few pre-shoveling hours of fishing as the snow flies, your chances of besting biggies goes up too.

For a shot at a hard-water hog, Eddie of B&A in West Boylston suggests Peter Carr Pond or possibly South Meadow or Mossy Pond in the Clinton/Sterling stretch. Peter Carr is also stocked with trout and you can increase your chances of catching a holdover there if you focus near the railroad bridge. Comet has skimmed over but wait until you see other “scouts” out and about before you venture out there.

Mike Dumais of Northborough iced this big bass as the snow flew last Saturday.

Connecticut Valley Region

My timing was good to call my friend Rodney from Flagg’s in Orange as anglers made their maiden trip to Mattawa just yesterday! With all the trout recently stocked in that place I bet the angler was hopping. While trout are the primary quarry here, this place has some unheralded big perch and bass! If you wanted to be first to fish Clubhouse Pond and Lake Ellis you were off by about a week as patrons of the shop have already been out in both places since last Thursday. These spots have a nice mixture of early ice, trout and bass. For smallies, the nod goes to Clubhouse. You’ll find fresh ice also at Lake Rohunta as well as North and South Spectacle Ponds. Of course your first priority during your first outing on a pond should be safety: fish with a buddy, exercise caution and test sample the ice as you go until you gain familiarity with the conditions. Strapping some ice picks around your shoulders wouldn’t hurt and bringing a rope isn’t a bad idea either.

Massachusetts Western Region

The conditions are especially favorable once you head out toward the western side of Massachusetts. Jim from JCB Bait in Cheshire said that some water bodies in the Hill-towns already were sporting 12″ of ice! As encouraging as that is, what might be even better is the quantity and quality of trout in many of these spots. Anglers are boasting about no-problem limits for rainbows and browns from North Pond, Plainfield Pond and Windsor Pond. Two other colors which are figuring prominently in the enjoyment factor among these high-altitude gems are black and white, as in plenty of black ice and little snow! All that luck is of little wonder with the volume of recent stockings here. Mix up the sizes of your shiners and opt for smalls for the rainbows and mediums for the more voracious brown trout. Big water locations are also locking up such as Lake Buel, Onota, Pontoosuc and Cheshire. Not surprisingly people have already caught pike but there has been no news on big northerns yet.

Massachusetts Northeast Fishing Report

While nearer the coast from the South Shore through Greater Boston has sketchy ice conditions, that all changes once you head up north according to Don from Merrimack Sports. Lake Attitash has about 6″ of ice and they’ve been catching bass. Tewksbury Pond is solid as well, and if you’re more interested in trout, try Round Pond where rainbow trout are the quarry. For a warm water species mixture, check out Lake Cochichewick. The wait is on for the big bait brigade who are dying to tackle the toothies which swim in the quieter stretches of the Shawsheen, Concord and Merrimack Rivers. Pike propagate here because of the vast ribbon of interconnected rivers, which also include the Assabett and Sudbury Rivers. Those nomadic northerns have everything they need here: diversity of habitat, spawning areas and plenty of forage. Now all we need is a sustained chill to lock it all up.

Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

Here’s to the happiest of holidays and the merriest Christmas possible for all the readers of this forecast! Odds are you’ll have a bustling weekend, but I’m hoping you’ll be able to spare a little hardwater “me-time”! Consider the Central Region “Coach Lakes” – South Meadow and Mossy – for a warm-water species grab bag. For possibly even more variety head westward for pike and trout in Pontoosuc or pike and bass from Cheshire. For an aesthetic and angling delight ogle the pleasing view at one of the Hill-town ponds such as Plainfield Pond or North Pond. But don’t get stuck in a daydream for too long, lest you want a rainbow to make off with your bait!


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