Fishing in East Grand Lake, Maine
East Grand Lake is one of the largest and most pristine lakes in Maine, with a surface area of 16,000 acres and a maximum depth of 128 feet. It is located on the border between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and forests. East Grand Lake is a popular destination for anglers who seek a variety of fish species, including smallmouth bass, landlocked salmon, lake trout, brook trout, white perch, yellow perch, chain pickerel and more.
Fish Species and Seasons
East Grand Lake is widely acclaimed for its excellent fishing opportunities for smallmouth bass and landlocked salmon¹. Smallmouth bass can be caught year-round, but the best time is from late May to early October. They can grow up to six pounds and are often found in rocky coves, weed beds and drop-offs². Landlocked salmon are also available throughout the year, but the peak season is from mid-May to mid-June and from mid-September to mid-October. They can weigh up to eight pounds and are usually caught by trolling or fly fishing near the surface². Other fish species that can be found in East Grand Lake are listed in the table below.
|Fish Species||Season||Average Weight||Notes|
|Lake trout||Year-round||3-5 lbs||Prefer deep and cold water; best caught by jigging or trolling|
|Brook trout||Year-round||1-2 lbs||Found in tributaries and shallow areas; best caught by fly fishing or spinning|
|White perch||Year-round||1-2 lbs||Abundant in the lake; best caught by bottom fishing or jigging|
|Yellow perch||Year-round||0.5-1 lb||Abundant in the lake; best caught by bottom fishing or jigging|
|Chain pickerel||Year-round||2-4 lbs||Found in weedy areas; best caught by spinning or casting|
|Redbreast sunfish||Spring-Summer||0.25-0.5 lb||Found in shallow areas; best caught by fly fishing or bobber fishing|
|Rainbow smelt||Spring-Fall||0.25-0.5 lb||Found near the surface; best caught by dip netting or jigging|
|Whitefish||Fall-Winter||1-3 lbs||Found in deep water; best caught by ice fishing or jigging|
Permits and Regulations
To fish in East Grand Lake, you need a valid Maine fishing license, which can be purchased online or at local vendors. The license fees vary depending on your age, residency and duration. For example, a resident adult annual license costs $25, while a non-resident adult 7-day license costs $43. You also need to follow the general fishing laws and regulations of Maine, as well as the special rules for East Grand Lake. Some of these rules are:
- The daily bag limit for landlocked salmon is one fish, with a minimum length of 14 inches.
- The daily bag limit for lake trout is two fish, with a minimum length of 18 inches.
- The daily bag limit for brook trout is five fish, with a minimum length of 6 inches.
- The daily bag limit for smallmouth bass is three fish, with a minimum length of 12 inches.
- The use of live fish as bait is prohibited.
- The use of more than two lines per person is prohibited.
For more information on the fishing laws and regulations of Maine, please visit https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/laws-rules/index.html³.
Lake Characteristics and Statistics
East Grand Lake is part of the Chiputneticook Lakes system, which drains into the St. Croix River and eventually into the Bay of Fundy. The lake has a complex shape with many islands, bays and peninsulas. It has a shoreline length of 78 miles and an average depth of 35 feet. The water quality is high and clear, with a pH level of 6.8 and a dissolved oxygen level of 9.6 mg/L. The lake temperature varies from about 70°F in summer to 48°F in winter at the surface, and from 48°F to 39°F at 110 feet deep.
Some of the lake characteristics and statistics are summarized in the table below.
|Dissolved oxygen level||9.6||mg/L|
Fishing Tips and Techniques
Fishing in East Grand Lake can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it also requires some knowledge and skills to be successful. Here are some tips and techniques that can help you catch more fish in East Grand Lake:
- Use a map or a fish finder to locate the best fishing spots, such as islands, points, drop-offs, shoals and weed beds.
- Use the appropriate tackle and bait for the fish species you are targeting. For example, use light to medium spinning rods and reels with 6 to 10 pound test line for smallmouth bass and salmon, and use heavier rods and reels with 12 to 20 pound test line for lake trout and pickerel. For bait, use live or artificial worms, minnows, crayfish, leeches, spoons, spinners, plugs, jigs or flies.
- Vary your fishing methods depending on the season, weather and water conditions. For example, in spring and fall, fish near the surface or in shallow areas where the water is warmer and more oxygenated. In summer and winter, fish deeper or in cooler areas where the fish are more active. In sunny and calm days, fish early or late in the day when the fish are less wary. In cloudy and windy days, fish anytime of the day when the fish are more aggressive.
- Practice catch and release whenever possible to conserve the fish population and ensure a sustainable fishery. Use barbless hooks or pinch the barbs with pliers to minimize injury to the fish. Handle the fish gently and quickly with wet hands or a rubber net. Release the fish as soon as possible by holding it in the water until it swims away.
Lodging on East Grand Lake
If you are looking for a place to stay while fishing on East Grand Lake, you have several options to choose from. Whether you prefer a cozy cabin, a spacious cottage, a comfortable lodge or a scenic campground, you can find the perfect lodging for your needs and budget. Here are some of the lodging options available on East Grand Lake:
|Lodge Name||Rooms||Type of Lodging||Location and Address|
|Rideout’s Lodge||14 cabins and 2 suites||Lodge with full-service dining room, boat rentals and guide service||On the western shore of East Grand Lake at 6 Waterfront Drive, Weston, ME 04424|
|Greenland Cove Campground||50 campsites and 4 cabins||Campground with water and electric hookups, boat launch and dock, store and laundry facilities||On the southern end of East Grand Lake at 82 Greenland Cove Road, Danforth, ME 04424|
|Greenland Cove Cabins||5 cabins||Cabins with full kitchens, bathrooms and fireplaces, boat launch and dock||On the southern end of East Grand Lake at 90 Greenland Cove Road, Danforth, ME 04424|
|Cowgers’ Lakefront Cabins||7 cabins||Cabins with full kitchens, bathrooms and screened porches or decks, boat launch and dock||On the western shore of East Grand Lake at 146 Cowger Lane, Danforth, ME 04424|
|First Settler’s Lodge||8 rooms and 2 suites||Lodge with restaurant, bar and gift shop, overlooking Baskahegan Stream and Baskahegan Lake||Near the northern end of East Grand Lake at 341 US Route 1, Weston, ME 04424|
(1) GRAND LAKE, EAST – Maine. https://www.maine.gov/ifw/docs/lake-survey-maps/aroostook/grand_lake_east.pdf.
(2) Grand Lake Stream at Grand Lake Stream, Maine – USGS Water Data for the …. https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/01019000/.
(3) East Grand Lake Weather Center – Lakes Online. http://eastgrand.lakesonline.com/Weather/.
(4) GRAND LAKE, EAST – Maine. https://www11.maine.gov/ifw/docs/lake-survey-maps/aroostook/grand_lake_east.pdf.