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Assonet, MA Fishing: Tiny Fishing Village, Big Angling Opportunities

Assonet, MA Fishing: Tiny Fishing Village, Big Angling Opportunities
Published: Thursday, September 23rd, 2021
Updated on: Sunday, September 26th, 2021

The small fishing village of Assonet is one of two villages in Freetown, Massachusetts. It is situated on hilly terrain and surrounded by Fall River, East Freetown, and the Assonet River. Its unique name is derived from the local Wampanoag language and has two meanings: “place of rocks” and “song of praise”. 

The area itself was sold by the said tribe to the English in 1659, and from then, Assonet became a small fishing and farming village well into the 18th century. It even became one of the most successful commercial fishing ports in this part of Massachusetts, specializing in trout. 

Today, Assonet is mostly known for its historic district which has earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999. This part of the village encompasses the High Street, a private road, Route 24, and the railroad tracks, with structures that are both locally and nationally significant. A big part of the village also makes up a third of the pristine Freetown-Fall River State Forest, a 5,000-acre forest that’s home to a Wampanoag reservation, miles upon miles of hiking trails and other outdoor recreational facilities, and a part of of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve. 

With many streams and brooks flowing through it and its very location right on the banks of Assonet River, the village of Assonet is a fishing destination that anglers visiting New England should consider adding to their angling itinerary.

Assonet Fishing

Assonet is dotted with lush greenery and pristine waters flowing through it, guaranteeing a productive fishing experience for the freshwater angler looking to add a hidden spot to their bucket list. Its position in southeast Massachusetts also makes it an ideal spot to access some of the nearby fishing spots that are just as rich and teeming with New England catch.

Perhaps the body of water to start within the village is the Assonet River. The river is a major Taunton River tributary. Its mouth is approximately in between Winslow Point in Assonet and Conspiracy Island in nearby Berkley. From here, it flows northeast between the two areas. It runs under Route 24 through the center of the village. One great way to access the Assonet River within Assonet is at Hathaway Park. Located off Water Street, this park has a paved ramp jutting out into the brackish water part of the river. This particular section is rich in white perch and striped bass in schools. Go upstream on a boat or canoe towards the part where the river is fed by Forge Pond and there you can target some largemouth bass. Other fish species that one can find in the Assonet River include brook trout, brown trout, calico bass, bluefish, winter flounder, and bluegill.

Another large area to focus on when looking for bodies of water to fish in Assonet is the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. This state-owned forest holds many bodies of water that provide great fishing. One such water body is the Copicut Reservoir. It is right in the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve area of the park. The area, though, only allows shore fishing. Parking areas for anglers fishing the reservoir are along Copicut Road in North Dartmouth. The water body provides plenty of largemouth and smallmouth bass as well as chain pickerel and yellow perch. Aside from this reservoir, anglers can enjoy fishing at smaller spots within the forest, including Terry Brook, Doctor’s Mill Pond, Ledge Pond, and Rattlesnake Brook. Rattlesnake Brook and Ledge Pond, in particular, are both stocked with brook trout in the spring.

From Assonet, you can easily access the rich Fall River and all the water bodies surrounding it. From the river itself, you can access the South Watuppa Pond, a thousand-acre pond with a public access boat ramp. This body of water receives water from many streams such as North Watuppa Pond, Stony Brook, and Bleacher Ponds. Its waters are quite murky and tea-colored, and in the summer, parts of the pond turn green with algae blooms. Ten miles of the pond’s shoreline is accessible to fishermen on foot. It is perfect for anglers who are bringing in their trucks with boat trailers and kayaks as it has a huge parking lot. And for this reason and for the fact that it offers excellent habitat for smallmouth bass, it has become a favorite site for bass tournaments. It is regularly stocked with tiger muskellunge and is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, white and yellow perch, bluegill, brown bullhead, and black crappie

Another Fall River spot that offers an excellent fishery is Cook Pond off Henry Street. The place was once neglected, but it has since been cleared and cleaned. Now it offers a pier that may be small but is handicap-accessible. It is a great place for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and white perch and is also stocked with tiger muskellunge.

Other water bodies surrounding Fall River that are well worth your time are Sawdy Pond, a warm water body that’s perfect for largemouth bass and pickerel and can be accessed via a dirt ramp on Route 177. Swansea Dam, accessible on Hortonville Road, is another body of water stocked with trout in spring and has sunfish and smallmouth bass. Another Hortonville Road body of water is Cole River, which is also stocked with trout.

Top 10 Fish Species in Assonet, MA

The top 10 fish species to catch in Assonet, MA include striped bass, white perch, brook trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, tiger muskellunge, yellow perch, brown bullhead, and black crappie.

Assonet, MA Fishing: Tiny Fishing Village, Big Angling Opportunities Fish species
Brown Bullhead 
Brown Bullhead  fish

Habitat: Lake, River, Backwater

Weight: 1 - 5 Pounds

Length: 8" - 22"

Chain Pickerel
Chain Pickerel fish

Habitat: Lake, River, Pond, Bogs, Swamps

Weight: 3 - 5 Pounds

Length: 14" - 39"

Smallmouth Bass 
Smallmouth Bass  fish

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 4 Pounds

Length: 12" - 27"

Largemouth Bass
Largemouth Bass fish

Habitat: Lake, Pond, Rivers

Weight: 2 - 22 Pounds

Length: 15" - 32"

White Perch 
White Perch  fish

Habitat: inshore

Weight: 0 - 3 Pounds

Length: 7" - 19"

Striped Bass
Striped Bass fish

Habitat: River, Lake, Onshore, Near shore

Weight: 10 - 81 Pounds

Length: 20" - 55"

American Yellow Perch
American Yellow Perch fish

Habitat: River, Lake, Backcountry

Weight: 1 - 4 Pounds

Length: 1" - 10"

Brook Trout 
Brook Trout  fish

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 10 Pounds

Length: 10" - 34"

Seasonal Fishing

Fishing in Assonet, as in the rest of Massachusetts, can be great all year round, but arguably, the best seasons to come in this part of the US are late spring, summer, and early fall, when the waters are a little warmer. Many water bodies in Assonet in particular are stocked with trout during spring as well as tiger muskellunge during fall.

woman sitting on a wooden ledge facing the lake

Go on a Serene Sojourn in Assonet

Assonet is a small village with plenty to offer any traveler who wants to commune with nature and enjoy a peaceful escape.

1. Book a Fishing Charter

Assonet and the rest of Freetown have plenty of fishing spots and the guidance of a local expert will help you navigate them much more efficiently, guaranteeing not just your catch but your safety as well.

2. Walk Through Time and History

Explore the Assonet Village Historic District on foot and see the many structures that give the village its gravitas. These structures include the Freetown Town Hall, the Guilford H. Hathaway Library, the North Church, and the South Church, all of which were built in the 1800s. 

3. Immerse in the Great Outdoors

No trip to Assonet is complete without a jaunt at the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. This great state-owned property has an accessible location so you won’t have a hard time finding it. It boasts 50 miles of trails and unpaved roads. The trails can either be hiked or biked and are marked for your convenience. In winter, some of the hiking trails become skiing spots, while the unpaved roads can become snowmobile trails. While at the forest, be sure to visit the famous Profile Rock, a curious granite formation that supposedly resembles Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag tribe.