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

A man fishes from a kayak on an Adirondack lake.

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!

A fisherman stands in a motorboat, reeling in a catch on Lake Champlain.

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.

A hand holds a trout above a net in the waterGet 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.

Aboard a fishing boat, a man displays his large catch on Lake Champlain.

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.

A person stands on the shore with their fishing rod in their hand facing towards the camera on the water

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.

Close up of the reel of a fly rod being held by a fisherman.

Learn more!

For more tips, suggestions, and true adventures of fishing in the Lake Champlain Region, explore these stories:

Five Fishing Facts

No Boat Needed Fishing

Bring the Boat!

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 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.

Mill Brook

Mill Brook is listed one of the top brown trout waters in Essex County by the New York State Department of Conservation.

Getting there

The easiest public access is from the Port...

Location: 
35 dock street, Port Henry, 12974
  
Clear Pond

Clear Pond is as quiet a pond as you will find anywhere, and although many hikers use the trails surrounding the pond, very few access it by boat. Use the area trails to extend your adventure, and...

Location: 
763 Putts Pond Road, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
Boquet River Main Stem

The Main Stem of the Boquet, the steepest river in New York state in terms of vertical drop from its origins to where it empties into Lake Champlain, begins in the upper reaches of Dix Mountain in...

Location: 
length of Essex County, Willsboro, 12996
  
Willsboro Bay

This lovely bay can offer a sheltered area when Lake Champlain is stirred up by wind. A marina with rentals is located on the shore for those who want to get out and fish the center but do not own...

Location: 
Marina Road, Willsboro, 12996
  
Putnam Pond and North Pond

Several trails can be accessed from the shore of the ponds including Treadway Mountain, which is a wonderful hike with outstanding views.

Getting there

From the intersection of...

Location: 
Putts Pond Road, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
Lake Champlain, the lake

Lake Champlain is our own Great Lake: it borders two countries, two states, is 122 miles long, has hundreds miles of shoreline, and is home to over 90 species of fish. It is a four-season...

Location: 
, Westport, 12993
  
Putts Creek

Fishing

This stream boasts great rainbow, brook and brown trout.

Beginning at Penfield Pond in the hamlet of Ironville within the Town of Crown Point, Putts Creek empties into Lake...

Location: 
County Route 2, Crown Point, 12928
  
Black River

Another of those Adirondack brook trout streams that flies under the radar, the Black River receives a good stocking from both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the...

Location: 
4363 Lincoln Pond Road, Elizabethtown, 12932
  
Crane Pond

Crane Pond is a beautiful gem in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. 

How to get there

Take Route 74 from Ticonderoga to Route 9. Follow Route 9 south, toward Schroon Lake. In just over a...

Location: 
763 Putts Pond Road, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
Lincoln Pond

Lincoln Pond is a great fishing spot in the Lake Champlain Region! Cast a line and catch tiger muskellunge, northern pike, bass, panfish, or bullhead. If fishing isn't your thing, it's also a...

Location: 
4363 Lincoln Pond Road, Elizabethtown, 12932
  
Chilson Brook

Just west of the town of Ticonderoga, Chilson Brook is one of those small Adirondack brook trout streams that can easily be overlooked. The state stocks the stream, a tributary of Trout Brook,...

Location: 
County Highway 74, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
The Branch

Simply known as “The Branch,” this tributary of the Boquet River winds its way through the town of Elizabethtown and offers good access for anglers in town.

Getting there

Access is...

Location: 
Footbridge Park, Elizabethtown, 12932
  
Thrall Dam Pond

It may not look like much on the map, but Thrall Dam Pond is a nice little getaway for anglers.

Getting there

Access is via a dirt road off of Route 9, just south of Lewis.

...
Location: 
State Route 9, Lewis, 12950
  
Boquet River North Branch

One of the major tributaries to the Boquet River, the North Branch flows through the towns of Willsboro and Lewis. It begins in small mountain tributaries in the town of Chesterfield. This branch...

Location: 
County Highway 14A, Willsboro, 12996
  
Long Pond

The mountains look down on some incredible fishing in this scenic, and tranquil, location.

Fishing

Long Pond is 400 acres, so there is plenty of room to fish! Species include:...

Location: 
Route 22, Willsboro, 12996
  
Bulwagga Bay

This lovely bay is rumored to be the home of Champ, the Lake Champlain monster because of the many "...

Location: 
Bulwagga Bay Dr, Port Henry, 12974
  
Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake is a beautiful spot that sits right alongside Route 74 between Ticonderoga and Schroon Lake. Visitors can boat, paddle, fish, and even camp at this scenic spot. It is approximately 420-...

Location: 
Route 74, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
Eastern View Outfitters

“Success afield is our business.” Eastern View Outfitters, LLC is a fully licensed and insured outdoor guide service specializing in guided duck & goose hunts, spring turkey hunts, guided...

Location: 
POB 2326
Plattsburgh, Port Henry, 12974
  
F.M.B. Bait and Tackle
Location: 
4133 Main Street, Port Henry, 12974
  
Fins and Grins

Join Captain Bob for world class fishing on Lake Champlain this summer! Specializing in salmon and trout fishing charters, Captain Bob has decades of experience and is an active member of the...

Location: 
23 Lakeshore Road, Westport, 12993