World class fishing
The sea-cret is out. The Lake Champlain Region is home to some of the best fishing around. From deep corners of Lake Champlain to secluded ponds to trout streams, wherever you choose to drop a line, there is a waterway ripe for whichever species you prefer to fish. You don’t want to be a fish out of water, so read on to learn all our region has to offer!
Lake Champlain is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country! Check out these numbers for a glimpse of why Lake Champlain's fishing opportunities are never-ending:
- 500 miles of shoreline
- Depths of up to 400 feet
- 80 species of fish
- 120 miles long
- And 70 islands
Record breaking fish
Just beside the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Champlain is home to some seriously big fish! In fact, the lake holds New York State records for several fish species.
Don't let the big lake fool you, it's not the only place to fish in this legendary region. The Champlain Valley is home to countless streams, rivers, and other lakes or ponds with fantastic fishing, and there's plenty of access to all of them! Check out our numerous boat launches or get an experienced guide to give you some local insight.
Best in class for bass
Lake Champlain is consistently ranked by Bassmaster as one of the top bass fisheries in the nation for the scenery and quality of fishing — including ranking top 5 in the country! But if you speak with any of the pro anglers, they might give it first!
The best largemouth territory is roughly defined by the Champlain Bridge. The shallows south of the bridge are full of tournament winning bass. Launch your boat right in the middle of the action from either the Port Henry or Ticonderoga state launch sites. Rumor has it that 15 and 20 pounders are swimming around down there.
Get hooked on trout fishing
Lake Champlain also has plenty of territory for fish species that patrol deeper waters, most notably lake trout and landlocked salmon. As the water warms, these fish move to deeper water. Shoreline, dock, and pier fishermen often have success in very early spring, before the water warms up. During warm-water summer months, locals recommend you head north of Westport where the water deepens.
If this is unfamiliar territory, no worries. Hire a local guide to cut your learning curve, or launch your own boat in Westport, Willsboro, or Port Douglas. All three launches will get you to laker habitat quickly.
For stream fisherman looking for the other trout species, the region's numerous streams are stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout by both the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Essex County Fish Hatchery. Many waterways in the region also hold wild trout, adding to the challenge.
Big fish, small pond
While Lake Champlain is the most obvious spot on the map, don't overlook other hot spots, where the waters are smaller and quieter. We love to fish the Boquet River, LaChute River, Putt’s Creek, the Ausable River, and Ensign and Bartlett ponds in Moriah, and other smaller ponds and lakes with wild settings.
The tiger muskellunge of Lincoln Pond can be just as illusive as Lake Champlain's lake monster, Champ. They're a prize to catch too! From the shore, or from a boat, the smaller bodies of water in the Lake Champlain Region have rewarding fishing and a wide variety of species.
Local fishing guides
Our local bait and tackle shops are ready and willing to help anyone see the action. Stop by and discuss your target species for the insider’s scoop, the best bait or lure, and some target locations for that particular fish. Here you may find many local sport fishermen sharing stories and acting as ambassadors of the sport. Or, if you really want to accelerate the learning curve, you can connect with one of our experienced fishing guides. They'll point you to the right spots, tell you which lure or bait to use, and you'll have great fishing your entire stay.
Lord of the flies
You don’t need a boat to cast a line in the Lake Champlain Region! Sure, you can fish from shore at many of the lakes and ponds, but for a real adventure, don’t pass up an opportunity to drop a fly in the famous Boquet River. The trout fishing is exceptional, but the real excitement comes in the spring and fall, when landlocked salmon run.
The landlocked salmon have been here since the Ice Age, becoming trapped inland as the glaciers melted. The population has been thriving since then.
And that’s good for anglers! The best salmon fishing in the spring is below Willsboro with fall runs extending farther upriver.
For more tips, suggestions, and true adventures of fishing in the Lake Champlain Region, explore these stories:
Take time to explore
Put it all together and it's no surprise that anglers flock to the Lake Champlain Region each year. You'll want to spend more than a day checking out our wide variety of first-class fishing sites. When it's time to hang up the lucky hat at the end of the day, check out our fantastic lodging options.
Leave No Trace and Love Your ADK
The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks.
The Adirondacks are massive, legendary, and wild. Let's keep them that way! Learn your Leave No Trace ethics before you go out, and protect the waters that make this place great.
For anglers, that means taking care to not introduce harmful or non-native species to waters, packing out unused bait, and washing equipment between fishing trips.