Seasons, Regulations and Records
Regulations are subject to change and should be checked before going fishing. Massachusetts allows fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass year-round with a daily creel limit of five fish over 12 inches. The fishing for bass is best during the warm summer months when water temperature is over 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but spring and fall can be productive as well. The winter is slow, but bass can be caught by the patient angler. The Massachusetts record largemouth bass weighed 15 lbs. 8 ounces and was caught in Sampson Pond in 1975. The state record smallmouth was 8 lbs. 2 ounces and was caught in Wachusett Reservoir in 1991.
The state has numerous lakes and reservoirs with fishing for largemouth bass. Assawompset Pond, Cheshire Reservoir, Hamilton Reservoir, Otis Reservoir, Wachusett Reservoir, Quabbin Reservoir and South Watuppa Pond are popular fisheries in the state. The largemouth bass in Massachusetts has a short growing season and is known for aggressive behavior during the summer months. Bait fisherman can catch the bass with worms, salmon eggs, powerbait and homemade baits, while spin fisherman can have success on top water plugs, spoons, crankbaits and spinners. Large lures fished around submerged logs and weed-beds often catch largemouth bass in Massachusetts. Fly fisherman can also catch largemouth bass with top water poppers and weighted streamers.
Unlike the largemouth bass of Massachusetts, smallmouth bass occupy murky and clear cold water. The smallmouth bass are smaller than the largemouths but are known for making hard runs and acrobatic jumps. Smallmouth bass also have a short growing season and are opportunistic eaters that will attack the same baits, lures and flies that catch largemouth bass. The bass can also tolerate colder water temperatures than largemouth bass and remain active in the spring and fall. Smallmouth bass fishing opportunities can be found at Shaw Pond, Wachusett Reservoir, Goose Pond and Big Alum Pond.