There is No Bad Time to Go Fishing

Maine’s Kennebec Valley has earned its reputation as one of the best areas to fish in the state. The region comprises Somerset County in the North Zone and Kennebec County in the South Zone. Seasons, daily bag, possession, and length limits vary by zone, so check before you go. You can fish the rivers, streams, brooks in both zones and North Zone lakes and ponds from April 1 to September 30. The South Zone is open to ice and open water fishing all year-round. Common species include brown trout, native brook trout, smallmouthed bass, and the Atlantic or landlocked salmon (salmi salad).

The region’s lakes and rivers offer a wide variety of fishing opportunities.

Tournament Worthy Lakes

The Upper Kennebec Valley (Somerset County) boasts an abundance of wild and native coldwater fish like Brook Trout and Togue. The lakes in Kennebec County are known for Bass. In fact, the region hooked three spots on the coveted Bassmaster Magazine Top 100 list: Webber Pond (#17), China Lake (#20), and Great Pond (#21).

Bass Tournaments throughout the region begin in early April and run through October. Some are club member-only, but many are open and require an application and a nominal fee. Some are weigh-in, others are measure and release, while some have options for either. There are also numerous easy-going, family-friendly Fishing Derbies, both open water, and ice.

Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife offers a Fish Stocking Report. This report provides current information on what waters have been, or are being stocked, and with what species.

world class fishing for native brook trout or inland salmon in maine's kennebec valley
Fly fishing along one of the many tributaries that feed into the Kennebec River.

Cast a Fly

The Kennebec River is considered one of the best places to Fly Fish due to the highly reliable tailwater fishery created by several dams that interrupt its flows. In the Upper Kennebec, the brook trout can grow to over 20 inches and weighing up to 5 pounds. All fish found above Solon are wild or native, not stocked. Below Wyman Damn in Moscow, the tailwaters allow for cold-water trout fishing even during the heat of summer. 

The Dead River also offers a wide variety of fishing situations. The water on one part of the river will be completely different from others. Fish for wild brook trout, wild landlocked salmon, stocked brown trout, and even some wild rainbow trout. The section of the river above Grand Falls must be fished from a canoe or larger boat. The area just below the falls to Spencer Stream provides anglers with nearly 15 miles of riffles and pools to explore. 

Ice Fishing on the Lakes of Kennebec Valley
Ice Fishing Shacks dot many of the region’s lakes and ponds once the ice is thick enough.

Ice Fishing 

For many outdoor enthusiasts, ice fishing is part of what makes winter special. Ice fishing begins on January 1 and lasts until March 31. You will need a license, and if you hire a Maine Guide for your fishing excursion, they will provide all your supplies. So bundle up and get ready to discover a new favorite pa

The lakes and ponds begin to freeze up in Maine’s Kennebec Valley ice fishing season begins. But, be aware that ice conditions are constantly changing and can vary daily from one water body to another. Smaller water bodies such as ponds typically freeze first and can be a good option for early winter fishing. After some prolonged cold, larger lakes and rivers are also open up as potential fishing spots. Always check ahead and follow these ice safety tips. 

January is a great time to fish for brook trout while they cruise the shores looking for an easy meal. Try fishing in shallow water areas with a small hook, small bait, and, if possible, near a rocky structure. Using a jig significantly increases your chances of catching lake trout or brook trout off the bottom. Beginners should target warm water species such as bass, pickerel, and perch. You have a better chance of success which always makes for a better experience. 

Make a plan to go your own way—whether Bass, Trout, Ice or Fly fishing you will find it here.

HIRE a Registered Maine Guide

While generations of anglers keep their favorite spots a secret, if you hire a Registered Maine Guide they will lead you to the best fish hideouts. Maine IF&W also offers information for outfitting your adventure from floatplanes to sporting camps. Check out the region’s ultimate resource for bass fishing at Mid-Maine Bass. This site was created by local anglers to help visiting anglers find the best bass fishing in New England.

With over 250 sq. miles of water, nearly 350 surveyed lakes, and all the tributaries that feed the Kennebec River, you are certain to find memorable fishing in Maine’s Kennebec Valley.

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Other Visitor Resources: Mid-MaineBass Fishing | Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife