A Guide for an Epic 2014 Ice Fishing Season in Maine

For fishermen, the new year is about more than resolutions and holiday recovery. January 1 marks day one of fresh starts as well as day one of ice fishing season in the beautiful state of Maine. Frigid temperatures and wintry chills create a new landscape for adventurous fishermen. In Maine, exploring frozen waterways and catching fish beyond an icy surface is more than an outdoorsy past time, it's a passion. Whether the northern New England state is your homeland or you're dreaming of an ice fishing excursion at Moosehead Lake, use the following guide as you plan to take on the ice and bring home a big one.

Maine Fisheries

Ice fishing season starts January 1 and ends March 31. March still offers exciting ice fishing action, but the fishing hotspots will most likely have been exhausted. Don't delay your open water fishing adventures on the expansive Pequawket Lake in Limington or Crystal Lake in Gray. Other top bodies of water for ice fishing, especially for ice fishing derbies, include Moose Pond, Kezar Lake, Little Ossippee Lake and Watchic Pond. Maine.gov highlights the state's nine fishing regions and each region's lakes, ponds and streams offering diverse fishing opportunities.

Experience wild brook trout fishing on the Wassataquoik Stream and the scenic landscape of the Mattawamkeag River in the Katahdin Region. Bring home large landlocked salmon after a day spent exploring the Upper Dam Pool and Kennebago River in the Rangeley Lakes Region. Among these noted fishing spots, Maine has about 6,000 acre-sized lakes and ponds, and nearly 32,000 miles of streams and rivers to discover.

Maine Angler Regulations

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's fishing regulations are implemented to preserve the habitat and protect the sport. Fishing conservation and angler controls intend to protect fish populations and provide anglers with the best fishing experiences. Under Maine's "General Laws," bag limits help provide more equal distribution among fishermen throughout the season, as well as more equal catch of different species. Length limits help reduce high fishing pressure of an entire species. The regulation protects species that are vulnerable or have an endangered future. Artificial Lures Only (ALO) and Fly Fishing Only (FFO) are part of terminal tacking restrictions intended to mitigate hooking injuries, and Catch and Release helps relieve high fishing pressures that can impact a vulnerable population and deplete a fishery.

Fishing Licences & Permits

Ensuring that anglers follow regulations and obtain fishing licenses help protect Maine's natural resources. From boating licenses and vehicle registrations to fishing licenses and tackle regulations, fishing laws are established for fish population conservation. Without abundant and healthy landlocked salmon, brook trout, cusk and togue, an angler's ice fishing game can go extinct; don't be averse to abiding by regulations and obtaining a valid fishing licence for inland water fishing and transportation.

Licenses expire on December 31, of each calendar year, and Maine residents younger than 16 years of age aren't required to have a licence. Visit Maine.gov's Fishing Licenses section for more information about fees and details about various permits. Waste no time, and get your license for an epic 2014 fishing season on MOSES, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's online hunting and fishing licensing system.



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