Late-season stocking can help provide ample chances to enjoy having productive fishing days well into November.
A 9-year-old from Orrington holds a small trout he caught on Nov. 4, 2018, at the fourth annual Bangor Municipal Golf Course Kids Fishing Day in Bangor. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

Many outdoor enthusiasts think of deer and ruffed grouse hunting when considering possibilities for the month of November.

However, anglers still have plenty of chances to wet a line, and often may have waters to themselves, when fishing during the fall season.

Late-season stocking by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife can help provide ample chances to enjoy having productive days on the water.

Anglers should note that special regulations are in place when some fish are spawning, so it’s always a good idea to check fishing laws for the area you’re targeting. Remember that the air and the water are much colder, so wearing a life jacket is always the smart choice.

Check out these regional fishing reports prepared by DIF&W biologists and staff members:

Grand Lake Region

From Fisheries Resource Technician Jake Scoville

Where to fish: November usually isn’t revered by Mainers as a month to go fishing, but instead deer hunting is the choice of most outdoorsmen and women. If you tag out early or just get the urge to get your rods out again, there are some hidden gems Down East you should try. If you find yourself looking for a place to fish, I strongly suggest looking for a place to catch brown trout. Brown trout can be overlooked by anglers because they are in fewer waters than salmon and brook trout, and it can be slower fishing for them. In the fall, browns ramp up their activity, and if water temperatures stay in the 50s, these fish can be easily targeted by trolling. With a little effort and patience, anglers can hook some impressive fish.

A few waters I suggest trolling for browns in Washington County include Pennamaquan Lake and Round Lake, both located in Charlotte. Round and Pennamaquan are moderately sized waters that can produce browns in the 2- to 3-pound range. For Hancock County anglers, I suggest fishing Walker Pond in Brooksville. Walker can hold browns that average 15 to 18 inches, but larger fish also are present.

Fishing tip: When trolling for browns in the fall, use bright colors like orange, white and yellow paired with a good amount of flash. The fish can become lethargic and bright lures and flies will catch their attention and make them more likely to strike. Browns also will be attracted to movement of your lure, so using an articulated fly or lure is a great place to start. Also, be sure to be checking water temperatures. If water temps are in the high 50s, you can get away with a little faster trolling speed, but if they start to drop into the lower 50s, slower speeds may be needed to make your lure more appetizing to lethargic fish. My biggest tip for catching browns is to use lures that imitate 2- to 3-inch brown trout!

Reminder: Be sure to check the law book before heading out. Most waters open to fall fishing have catch-and-release regulations while being coupled with artificial-lures-only regulations.

Penobscot Region

From Fisheries Resource Technician Brian Campbell

Where to fish: As fall closes into winter and we prepare for the white stuff, there are still opportunities in Region F for great fishing. One such south zone water that remains open to general law fishing in Region F is Flatiron Pond in T3 R9 NWP (it was recently stocked with brook trout). North zone waters that remain open by special regulation include Millinocket Stream, from Millinocket Lake downstream to the Route 11 bridge in Millinocket; Davis (Wapiti) Pond in T5 R7 WELS; and Norton (Peters) Pond in Brownville. These four waters offer a great chance for fall fishing, and you can keep two trout for eating. Region F also has many waters open in the fall for catch and release, please consult mefishwildlife.com/laws for special regulations for those waters.

Fishing tip: Remember you are sharing the woods with hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. Make sure to wear bright colors for increased visibility.

Reminder: Please always remember to let people know your destination and when you expect to return. This way if something unfortunate was to happen people will know where you were going and be able to come find and help you.

Moosehead Region

From Fisheries Resource Supervisor Tim Obrey

Where to fish: Fishing opportunities in the Moosehead Lake region are limited this time of year. The weather will be turning cold and many of the smaller ponds will have ice before the end of the month. A few hardy anglers may try their luck on the East Outlet or the West Outlet. Remember, the only section of the East Outlet that is open to fishing after Nov. 1 is from the dam down to the yellow posts at the Beach Pool.

Fishing tip: Just like October, anglers may find success using flashy flies or lures this time of year. The fish aren’t really feeding much, but instead are focused on spawning. They tend to be aggressive and usually hit anything that crosses their path.

Reminder: Check the flows on the Brookfield website (safewaters.com) before venturing out. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, which has kept impoundments, including Moosehead Lake, unusually high. You may find river flows above average until we get back down to more normal lake levels. Higher water levels and river flows, combined with cooler temperatures, can mean potentially dangerous conditions for you and those who may accompany you on your next outing. Please be sure to take the necessary precautions. Also, just another reminder that you will likely be sharing the woods with hunters this time of year as well. Please be courteous and consider wearing an article of bright clothing for increased visibility.

Fish River Lakes Region

From Fisheries Resource Biologist Jeremiah Wood

Where to fish: November tends to be a slow fishing month in northern Maine, with most outdoor enthusiasts focusing on deer and upland bird hunting, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity to wet a line doesn’t exist. Waters that support wild populations of trout and salmon have traditionally been closed to fishing during October and November in an effort to protect spawning fish, but fisheries supported by hatchery fish are generally open.

Daigle Pond (Fort Kent area), Hanson Brook Lake (Presque Isle area) and Nickerson Lake (Houlton area) are all good bets this time of year.

Fishing tip: Check the updated stocking report on our website to find out when fish were stocked in the water you’re fishing. Often trout will congregate along the shoreline near stocking sites and are easy to catch within a few days of being stocked. Later, they’ll be more spread out, and it may take a little more effort to find the fish.

Reminder: Most of our waters that provide fall opportunities are open to fishing during October and November, but anglers are restricted to using artificial lures, and all fish must be immediately released alive. In some cases, as when going for bass or muskellunge, however, fish may be kept. Be sure to consult the regulations to avoid any confusion.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...