Massachusetts Fishing

massachusetts state flag







Number of Fish Species (freshwater): 71

Number of Fish Species (saltwater):  141

State Sportfish: Cod

Notable Records:  an 11lb walleye from the Quabbin Reservior, a 35lb northern pike from Brookfield, a 92lb cod from Jeffreys Ledge, a 73lb striped bass from Nauset Beach.

Fishing Regs:  For saltwater regs right click, save link as here (Mass. saltwater regs) or visit site here.  For freshwater fishing regs right click, save link as here (Mass. freshwater regs) or visit the site here.

Fishing License Info:  Saltwater licenses for residents and non-residents 16 and older cost $10.00.  For more saltwater fishing license info. click here and for freshwater license info. click here.

  Residents Non-Residents
Annual $27.50 $37.50
1-day N/A N/A
3-day N/A $23.50


Quickcast:  In lakes, ponds and reservoirs of the Western region of the state fishermen will find largemouth bass (one of the more popular gamefish in the state), chain pickerel, punpkinseed, brown bullhead, and golden shiners.  In other parts of the Western regions one can find perch species, black crappie, rainbow trout, brown trout and bluegill.  In the Central region anglers will find one of the larger water bodies, the Wachusett Reservior.  These waters will typically yield lake trout, rainbows, browns, and landlocked salmon.  Other fish typical of this reservior are smallmouth, largemouth, chain pickerel and various panfish.  In the Northeast region one will find species such as the American eel, alewife, shiners, bluegills, pickerel, bullhead, carp, black crappie, pumpkinseeds and largemouth bass.  Further down the state fishermen will find themselves in the Southern region fishing for smallmouth bass, yellow perch, rainbow trout, chain pickerel, various panfish, pumpkinseeds, brown bullhead, black crappie and occasional tiger muskie.

Perhaps some of the more targeted fish in the fertile waters of the offshore environment are stripers, tuna, cod and sharks.  Cod, in particular, hold a special place in the hearts and history of Massachusetts.  From the motto of the Mass. State House of representatives “Land of the Sacred Cod” to the huge geographical feature known as Cape Cod these fish are highly sought after in Massachusetts and they produce great tasting fillets!  Other fish to be caught offshore (especially bottom fishing) include haddock, red fish, cusk, monk fish, hake, tautog and the occasional halibut.