Ludlow, MA Fishing: From Mill Town to Streetcar Suburb

Ludlow MA is the mill town of New England and a fishing destination for modest anglers. Know the best spots to cast your rods in Ludlow.

Ludlow, MA Fishing: From Mill Town to Streetcar Suburb
Ludlow, MA Fishing: From Mill Town to Streetcar Suburb
Team Guidesly

January 13, 2022, 6 min read

Updated on January 13, 2022

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In the central east side of Hampden County lies Ludlow—the humble mill town of New England. It is home to the Facing Rock and High Hill Loop, a loop trail for hiking and mountain biking, blessed with fantastic scenery of nature and wildlife. Ludlow is a perfect place for families, a safe environment that offers many recreational activities, and clean parks for active kids. Lupa Zoo is another local gem that presents interactive activities to little kids. With diverse people, including a good Portuguese and Polish population, coming to Ludlow means experiencing a society of many cultures and traditions. Just northeast of Springfield, Ludlow is a destination for people stopping by for the City of Firsts. 

Ludlow was incorporated in 1774, before the American Revolutionary War. Many of its street names were hailed after farming family names as a testament to its long and early history of land cultivation. It began to develop into a mill town before the Civil War, owing to several nearby water sources such as Chicopee River, Higher Brook, Stony Brook, and Broad Brook. In 1868, the largest mill, Ludlow Company, helped the town by contributing a library, playgrounds, schools, housing, and clubhouse for the community of Ludlow. It developed into a streetcar suburb in the 20th century and had access to nearby towns like Springfield from a mill town. In the 1950s, the population of Ludlow started booming along with the construction of Interstate 90. The development of many subdivisions improved the city and aided its growth.

Ludlow is a good fishing destination for modest anglers. Its water bodies that help supply power to run mills are healthy ecosystems for fish that grow to be great games. Chicopee River, a tributary of the Connecticut River in Pioneer Valley that runs for 18 miles, is one of the top fishing spots in Ludlow. Brooks also line the whole town, perfect for daytime fishing. Ponds are scattered around and are well stocked to offer good fishing opportunities any time of the year.

Ludlow Fishing 

man fishing by the green river

The middle section of the Chicopee River, which flows from the west, outlines the southern end of Ludlow. The river is known to be fast-flowing, with a large basin. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and striped bass are the primary games found in the river. A good amount of brown trout, channel catfish, common carp, bluegill, and shad can also be found along its free-flowing water. In the river, fish prefer earthworms, nightcrawlers, and peeled shrimps. Any artificial bait can lure Channel catfish, and spraying scent coating into it is a plus. Homemade baits will also work in the river and encourage a hoard to feed on them simultaneously.

On Ludlow’s southeast end, anglers will find Chicopee River Reservoir, a warm water habitat for various fish species. A steep and paved ramp at Red Bridge gives launching access to all types of boats for drift fishing opportunities in the reservoir. Two miles of wooded shoreline are along the reservoir’s banks for fly fishing. It is near Red Bridge State Park, where people usually stop by for a meal and enjoy the scenery. Kayaking and canoeing are also popular in the park; on the other hand,  fly casting on kayaks has been an alternative to casting on boats. White and yellow perch overpopulates Chicopee River Reservoir, together with some white suckers. The impoundment was stocked with tiger muskies several times in the past and northern pike in 1987 to provide better sport fishing opportunities. When shoreline jigging in the reservoir, use a longer rod to avoid the grubby and muddy water bottom near the shore. Other species to look out for in the reservoir are Brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, pumpkinseed, chain pickerel, and black crappie.

Broad Brook Canal is one of Ludlow’s mills’ power sources and a spot for tranquil fishing to the reservoir's north. It aids the town’s water supply and feeds Springfield Reservoir, and its north segment is known as Jabish Canal. Between Chicopee River Reservoir and Springfield Reservoir sits Alden Pond, where less common species in the area like grass carp, black bullhead, and common dace can be found. 

Northeast of Ludlow is Springfield Reservoir, a relatively quiet place to fish some largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow and white perch, bluegill, and black crappie. Anglers may be thrilled to catch some rock bass that rarely comes out as a surprise.

Even with limited shoreline fishing, Chapin Pond, also known as Haviland Pond, offers a 25-acre area for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, bluegill, pumpkinseed, white perch, trout, and yellow perch fishing. Using live bait is best in the pond, although crickets and worms best catch smaller largemouth bass

Angling is made fun of by the Ludlow Fish and Game Club, where kids can participate in an annual Youth Fishing Derby. Registration is for free, and a casting contest is also held at the event. Kids can fish some brook trout up to 14 inches long in Higher Brook. Other species caught in Higher Brook include smallmouth bass and white sucker


Top 10 Fish Species in Ludlow, MA

The top 10 fish species in Ludlow, MA, are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, brown trout, rainbow trout, chain pickerel, brook trout, channel catfish, and black crappie.

Seasonal Fishing

Fishing in Ludlow is productive year-round, especially in the Chicopee River. In fall and early spring, ponds in Ludlow get annually stocked by trout species. For example, Chapin Pond gets stocked during April and October to allow four-season fishing. May is the best time to catch smallmouth bass in Ludlow. Summer is a good time to fish for different games, although other recreational activities, like kayaking and canoeing, can get overcrowded parks with people. Sunscreen and bug repellents are recommended in every anglers’ pack when fishing during summer. As a precaution, anglers must look up fishing regulations before going out and trying on a Ludlow fishing adventure.

Try Out Sports in Ludlow

1. Book a Fishing Guide

Trying to reel in the satisfaction from angling? Book a fishing guide now and fish anywhere in Ludlow to find what you’re looking for—the catch of a lifetime. Immerse in the sport of fishing and discover that it means much more than just the fish! With the  Chicopee River running through the whole south side of the town, it is best to know where the sweetest spot is that suits your fishing style. Explore the waters of Ludlow with the help of a local guide. 

2. Bring Out Your Inner Wimbledon Champion

Whether you’re no stranger to tennis or new to it and want to try it out, Ludlow Tennis Club is the right sports destination for you. With the help of wonderful people, grab the opportunity to participate and enjoy this fun sport. Since 1990, the club has been determined to make tennis accessible to everyone: no age too high or too low, no person too bad or too good. There’s always a program for everyone’s skill level. It’s never too late to improve your tennis skills. Choose from group or private lessons led by skilled professionals, and become a tennis professional yourself!

3. Go Long in Ludlow Country Club

Ludlow has a perfect place for people that love the sophistication of golf. In 1912, The Ludlow Mills Company executives made a clubhouse for entertaining customers. Nine years later, Ludlow Country Club with a complete course was built, which provides a wonderful golfing experience to members and their family or friends. If you are a local or a visiting golf lover, get golf-suited-up and start playing long in Ludlow Country Club!

Fish in Ludlow and beyond.