Maine's Kennebec Valley

explore world-class fishing

Casual or competitive, it is always a great day fishing in Maine’s Kennebec Valley.


Bass Fishing Tournaments

the perfect spot awaits

With over 250 square miles of water, nearly 350 surveyed lakes, and the many tributaries that feed the Kennebec River, everyone is sure to find some of the best fishing in the state in Maine’s Kennebec Valley. 

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, and 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, smallmouth Bass, and the Atlantic or landlocked salmon (salmi salad).

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 so well known for Bass that the region hooked three spots on the coveted Bassmaster Magazine Top Bass Lakes in the Northeast 2022 list: China Lake (#15), Great Pond (#16), and Cobbosseecontee Lake (#19). Each has hosted a national-level bass fishing tournament.

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, open water, and ice.

Tournament Bass fishing on the lakes of Maine's Kennebec Valley
Stocking trout in the lakes and streams of Maine's Kennebec Valley

Taking stock

The region offers an extensive intact population of wild, native brook trout. Luckily, Trout Unlimited protects the trout fisheries in the Kennebec and Dead Rivers, five miles of Cold Stream, and seven undeveloped ponds that make up its headwaters. Additionally, Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issues a Fish Stocking Report with information on what bodies of water have been or are going to be stocked. Species include brown trout, native brook trout, small-mouthed Bass, and the Atlantic or landlocked salmon.

take to the ice

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. 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. 

cast a fly

Fly fishing on the lakes and waterways of the Upper Kennebec Valley area is well-known and extremely popular due to the highly reliable tailwater fishery created by several dams that interrupt the rivers’ flow. 

On the Upper Kennebec River, the brook trout can grow to over 20 inches and weigh up to 5 pounds. All fish found above Solon are wild or native, not stocked. Indian Pond offers prime spring fishing, including brook trout and salmon. When the water starts to warm, the fish head to Harris Dam. Anglers will find good-sized fish up for a fight between the dam and the gorge. Below Wyman Damn in Moscow, the tailwaters allow cold-water trout fishing even during the summer heat. 

The Dead River also offers a wide variety of fishing situations, with water on one part of the river completely different from others. Fish the river for wild brook trout, wild landlocked salmon, stocked brown trout, and even some wild rainbow trout. The waters above Grand Falls require 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. 

Fall Fly Fishing along the rivers of Maine's Kennebec Valley
Scroll to Top