Sturbridge, MA Fishing: Unspoiled and Preserved

A place between two low hills, that is what Sturbridge was once known for. Learn more about Sturbridge and its fisheries for your next trip!

Sturbridge, MA Fishing: Unspoiled and Preserved
Sturbridge, MA Fishing: Unspoiled and Preserved
Team Guidesly

June 2, 2022, 7 min read

Updated on May 30, 2022

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Sturbridge sits on the map resembling the letter V in the alphabet in the central south of Massachusetts. It is full of recreational activities for everyone, supported by its parks, greeneries, ponds, woodlands, and trails. Its surrounding areas are also filled with many nature-indulging locations outside the city; the booming city is part of southern Worcester County. It has a wide range of entertainment options to suit any visitor. Food and brewery are some of the most popular things that locals are proud of in Sturbridge. Located at the crossroads of New England, this city is accessible from many places. Sturbridge is a bright place to live, work, study, play, and travel.

Sturbridge was once known as Tantiusques by the Native Americans, which means "place between two low hills" in Nipmuc. Around 1640, the place was identified to have valuable graphite that could be mined. Years passed, and the General Court agreed that this rough land could indeed be formed, which led to the incorporation of Sturbridge in 1738. The city’s early settlers constructed small sawmills and grist mills along the Quinebaug River until larger factories were built after the industrial revolution. Today, Sturbridge appears to be a lot like how it used to look in the 1800s. The city is timid and unspoiled, with its greens intact and its citizens striving to keep Sturbridge peaceful and preserved.

The city of Sturbridge is spotted with ponds and lakes. In and around the city, rivers, streams, brooks, and creeks flow in a criss-cross. Freshwater fishing is excellent here, giving a good fishing experience to many locals and visitors alike. Since Sturbridge is easy to travel to and from other places, its strategic location makes other fishing spots easily accessible.

Sturbridge Fishing

angler fishing in grassland

Sturbridge has many fishing spots to offer people who come to visit. Its locals know how woodland trails in the city have some of the best-hidden streams, creeks, brooks, and small natural ponds to fish from. Cedar Pond and Quinebaug River Reservoir are located in the center. East Brimfield Lake, Long Pond, and Big Alum Pond are to the west. Fish Pond is to the north, and Walker Pond is to the northeast. Hamant Brook is located in the city's south, and Reservoir and Leadmine Pond are located in the city's southwest. The Quinebaug River, the town's most prominent and historically significant river, runs through the heart of the city. Sturbridge fishing opportunities are plentiful and are not limited to these bodies of water.

One of the most popular fishing spots for locals who grew up in Sturbridge is Big Alum Pond. The lake is 200 acres in size with an average depth of 23 feet and a maximum of 45 feet. The pond’s shoreline is developed with summer cottages and a paved boat ramp and parking lot on the south end. Many private homes around the pond make shoreline fishing access very limited. However, boat fishing is possible and very productive. Water skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming are other recreational activities that can be done here, especially in summer. Anglers can come to Big Alum Pond and find it productive any time of the year. Games found in the pond include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, chain pickerel, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, pumpkinseed, rainbow trout, brown trout, tiger trout, and banded killifish. The most popular fishing techniques used in the lake are fly fishing, drift fishing, trolling, and spinning.

In the northeast of Sturbridge, Walker Pond is located. The Pond is within the 1,400-acre Wells State Woodland Park. With a maximum depth of 16 feet and a sizable area of 104 acres, it provides a good amount of fishing activity apart from the surrounding woodland’s enjoyable recreation. The surrounding area is partially developed with year-round homes, with a gravel boat ramp for launching access. Aquatic vegetation is also dense in the lake. The western shore of Wells State Park offers good fly fishing shoreline access to all anglers. Fish species available for sportfishing include largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, white perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, white suckers, golden shiner, and bridled shiners. Walker Pond is a popular spot for ice fishing in winter. However, as in all ponds, be careful and make sure that the ice is thick enough before heading out.

East Brimfield Reservoir is found west of Sturbridge. Its size is 243 acres, boasting 420 acres and the 177-acre Long Pond to its north. The two connected lakes provide serious and competitive fishing action but are also favorite spots of casual and beginner anglers. Weed vegetation is abundant in the river, and although it can pose some fishing difficulties, game can also be found lurking under the weed beds for cover. Anglers come to the reservoir and pond to catch largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, white perch, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, yellow bullheads, golden shiners, bridled shiners, tiger muskies, brown trout, and killifish. The lakes are also stocked with northern pike on an interval basis. These northern pike grow to be massive and draw anglers who love to go ice fishing in winter.

In the southwest, anglers may find Leadmine Pond quiet but attractive. This 53-acre pond may only be average, but its depth reaches about 46-50 feet. Its shoreline is highly developed with summer homes. The pond has scant aquatic vegetation with patches of lily pads. Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, rainbow trout, brook trout, yellow perch, white perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, white sucker, and golden shiner are among the games to expect when coming here to fish. 


Top 10 Fish Species in Sturbridge, MA

The top 10 fish species in Sturbridge, MA, are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, bluegill, yellow perch, brown trout, chain pickerel, pumpkinseed, and redbreast sunfish.

Seasonal Fishing

Sturbridge allows year-round fishing opportunities. The ponds and lakes within the city’s perimeters are annually stocked with rainbow trout and brown trout each spring to ensure productive sport fishing and balance the aquatic activities in the lake. 

Big Alum Pond attracts anglers who seek trout action from mid-April to early June. But it is important to note that trout fishing in the pond is at its peak in spring and fall.

Ice fishing in Sturbridge is active during winter, especially in East Brimfield Reservoir, Long Pond, and Walker Pond. Anglers must note no more than five bait can be put into an ice hole at a time in Massachusetts.

Sturbridge is Glowing in Nature and History

1. Book a Fishing Guide

When you come to Sturbridge on your next fishing trip, do not forget to book a local guide to get to know the fishing spots, regulations, and maybe even traditions in the place! Get a fishing guide and quickly learn more about the topography of the water bodies in the city. Book today!

2. Tantiusques—the Place Between Two Low Hills

For an immersive experience involving history and nature, come to the Tantiusques, a historic site of notably defunct graphite mines in Sturbridge registered with the National Register of Historic Places. It features a 57-acre open reservation area owned by The Trustees of Reservations. The reservation is surrounded by untouched forests filled with oak-hickory, red maple, and mountain laurel. The etymology of Tantiusques is derived from the Nipmuc word that means “the place between two low hills." The Nipmuc tribe used to make ceremonial paint using the graphite here. Another attraction in Tantiusques is the remnants of a 19th-century house belonging to a mixed African American and Native American mine worker. Discover history in this magnificent reserved area when you come to Sturbridge!

3. Leadmine Mountain Conservation Area Trail

If you are after a relaxing physical action after days worth of meaningful fishing, Leadmine Mountain Conservation Area is for you. Trekking in tranquil woodlands along a pond trail and finding the hidden turquoise pond gem is nothing but a calm and wonderful experience! Hike at your own pace, and bask in the serenity among the Leadmine woods. This pond is uniquely glowing in shades of aqua and emerald. This beauty is hard to miss, so make sure you drop by, and you will not be disappointed!

Fish in Sturbridge and beyond.