Post Content

Bob Greco

Bob Greco

Chief of Staff, Department of Fish & Game (DFG)

View Bob's Bio

ice fishing

With the arrival of cold weather, I recently checked in with MassWildlife district supervisors, fisheries biologists and other staff for their recommendations about hot spots for ice fishing in Massachusetts. They gave me many great suggestions to share. The photo is from Barton's Cove in Gill and pictured in the center in the waders is MassWildlife's aquatic resources education program coordinator Jim Lagacy.

Ice fishing in western Massachusetts is sometimes possible by December 1st and usually underway by mid-December. In central Massachusetts, things cool down (or heat up, depending on how you look at it) a week or two later.

Of course, anyone who chooses to go ice fishing should be careful about ice safety and check individual ponds before venturing out. See Marion Larson’s blog post about ice safety and if you are new to the sport, check out my post about ice fishing tips for beginners.

Here are recommendations for ponds in western and central Massachusetts with a bit of information about the fish that are most popular with ice anglers.

Comprehensive fisheries information for each water body.  

Western District

  • Onota Lake, Pittsfield: broodstock Atlantic salmon, trout, northern pike
  • Pontoosuc Lake, Pittsfield: northern pike, tiger muskie, largemouth bass, chain pickerel
  • Stockbridge Bowl, Stockbridge: broodstock Atlantic salmon, trout, chain pickerel

Connecticut Valley District

  • Lake Mattawa, Orange; broodstock Atlantic salmon, trout, yellow perch
  • Lake Rohunta, Orange: largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch
  • Lake Congamond, Southwick: broodstock Atlantic salmon, trout, chain pickerel, perch
  • Fivemile Pond, Springfield: broodstock Atlantic salmon, trout, largemouth bass
  • Oxbow Pond, Easthampton: largemouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, white perch

Central District

  • Quaboag Pond, Brookfield: northern pike, largemouth bass, chain pickerel
  • Comet Pond, Hubbardston: broodstock Atlantic salmon, trout
  • Bare Hill Pond, Harvard: largemouth bass, yellow perch, chain pickerel

MassWildlife’s Angler Education Program typically offers a few ice fishing programs per year, so stay tuned to our website to find these offerings. Also, if you check in with your local sporting shop/bait and tackle store, you can find postings for ice fishing derbies which can be a fun way to experience ice fishing.

I’m going to follow up with a blog about eastern Massachusetts in a couple of weeks.

Written By:

Recent Posts

A Whale of a License Plate posted on Jul 28

A Whale of a License Plate

Wish your license plate was more identifiable? Want to save whales? Well, there is a way to achieve both of these at once. Perhaps the old saying about hitting two birds with one stone should be “do two cool things with one easy payment to the   …Continue Reading A Whale of a License Plate

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster posted on Jul 23

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster

Everything that you have been told about lobsters is a lie. Okay, maybe not everything. But despite the popularity of the lobster industry (and it’s a very popular industry—bringing in over $53 million dollars in Massachusetts alone), many popular beliefs about the lobster’s existence are   …Continue Reading Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster

Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown posted on Jul 21

Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown

The town of Watertown, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be opening a Braille Trail and a Sensory Garden, one of the few parks of its kind. Breaking ground on July 21st, this project hopes to be completed by late   …Continue Reading Braille Trail Coming Soon to Watertown