“I fish to scratch the surface of those mysteries, for nearness to the beautiful, and to reassure myself the world remains.”

- Carl Safina

Summer is for the fishes! The Lake Champlain Region is a treasure trove for fishing locations. The unique openness of the region offers legendary views to compliment a day of fishing with loved ones or enjoying the peaceful stillness of a solo outing. New to the sport? Here is a guide to help you get hooked on fishing in the Lake Champlain Region! 

What you need

Don't worry, all of this will be explained below! But here is the most general checklist to get you started:

  • State fishing license
  • Gear
  • Location (shore or boat)
  • Patience (arguably the most important part!)
Three women fish from a rocky shore.

State fishing license

If you are sixteen years old or older, getting a state license is the first step to any fishing adventure, whether it is for a day or a season. A NY fishing license has different prices based on age and state residency (with discounts for various qualifying factors). A trip to the DEC website will answer all your NY fishing license questions and meet all your NY fishing license needs, from cost to how to acquire a license, from where you can fish and when, and everything in between!

A man fishes from a pier while looking at mountains in the distance.

Gear

All of your gear can be found at your local fishing tackle or sporting goods store, and Lake Champlain has all the goods you need! Check out Norm's Bait and Tackle in Crown Point, NY where your fishing gear awaits. This shop will even buy your catch, and you can buy fresh fish there as well! If you are near Port Henry, NY, be sure to stop at F.M.B Bait and Tackle to grab some gear before heading out to the water. Here is a list of gear you want to have on hand:

  • Tackle
  • Spinning rod and reel
  • Fishing line
  • Bait
  • Hooks
  • Bobber (plastic or cork)
  • Lures
  • Line cutter

A man fishes from a raft as the sun sets on the mountains.

Location

Boat fishing? Kayak fishing? Shore fishing? The world is your oyster! Decide on what kind of fishing you are looking to do and match your location from there. No boat? No problem! Lake Champlain is filled with shore fishing options. The sights, alone, are sure to please! Check out the shore fishing at the Ticonderoga boat launch, LaChute River boat launch, the Crown Point Campground Fishing Pier, the shoreline at the Crown Point Historic Site, the fishing pier at Port Henry's Powerhouse Park, and the Westport Boat Launch, just to name a few!

An aerial view of Lake Champlain with a bridge in the foreground and mountains in the background.

Patience!

Like I said, this is the most important element of all (well, next to acquiring a license, but you get what I’m trying to say). Fishing is not for those who are looking for a lot of action in a short amount of time. It is all about the long game. You may go hours without making a catch (and, on “those” days that we’ve all had, you could return empty-handed). 

Hikers are often told to “focus on the journey, not the destination” as various unknown factors could force a hiker to turn around before summiting at any given moment, the view from the peak could be completely covered with clouds, or the hike itself could just be a tough day. But a lot happens as hikers travel from point A to point B — and back down to point A. 

So, yes we all fish to, well, catch a fish, but Lake Champlain’s views and peaceful surroundings are just as worth the trip. Bring a chair to sit and take in the surrounding scenery. Grab some binoculars and look at the birds. Find some tasty takeout for lunch or dinner and enjoy your time in the sun. Any catches will just be the icing on the cake after a day of soaking in some Adirondack zen.  

A man fishes from his boat on the water at dusk with mountains in the background.

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. Spend a day outdoors and enjoying the scenery. Afterwards, head into town to have a good meal. When it's time to hang up the lucky hat at the end of the day, check out our fantastic lodging options for a well-deserved rest before heading out for yet another legendary day on the water!