Fishing Hotspots: 2022 Guide to Wachusett Reservoir Part 2
Updated: Apr 16, 2022
It's official! The Chu' is open for business and I hope everyone who's had the opportunity to visit already had a great trip full of memorable catches, or at least memorable moments. If not, don't be discouraged - 60% of angler trips during the 2017 season (the most recent data available) resulted in skunks. To help you avoid that outcome though, here's part II of the Fishing & Tech's Guide to Fishing at Wachusett Reservoir.
Before we jump in to the good stuff, I just wanted to address some reader feedback to Part I of this series about spot burning. While I understand and respect each individual's right to protect their favorite spots, and certainly do not condone the exploitation and littering of ANY location or body of water, I do believe in sharing information freely to create a more collaborative and communal environment for everyone. Thus, the information I choose to include on this site is done solely in the spirit of helping my fellow angler. Furthermore, it's worth noting that none of the spots that I've included in these posts are secrets - there are certainly other resources out there, including the gate map from DCR, as well as FB groups, apps, magazines, etc. that clearly mark popular, productive spots, the gates, trails, topography, bathymetry and landmarks at the Chu'.
More Productive Hotspots:
#14: This gate has parking either immediately to the right of the gate in a dirt pull-off next to the cemetery, or along the opposite side of the road as long as you respect the no parking signs around the home right there. There's a nice trail to the water and you can either hook left towards Dover Point, or to the right along Scar Hill Bluffs. This entire area is usually great, especially as the water warms up in the late spring/summer - this is due to the fact that you can reach 50-80 feet depths very close to the shoreline @ Dover Point, which you can get to by taking a left when you come down the main trail and and continuing all the way up the shoreline past two rounded bends until you come to a prominent open beachhead on the south side of the peninsula (see map inset). This is a prime spot for lake trout - either soak shiners at the bottom, or use a large spoon like any of these Kastmasters and let it fall all the way to the bottom before you begin your retrieve. Along the way to Dover Point is prime fishing for rainbow trout, lakers (just have to cast out further) and smallmouth bass in certain pockets.
#10: This gate is on a side street off route 70 and it seems like an isolated residential offshoot. The gate is actually located about half way up on the opposite side of the street from the houses. Parking is available along the side of the road near the gate - just be mindful of the people who live there. Once you take the main trail for a few hundred feet, you'll reach a point where you can either go left or right. Take a left and you'll find yourself at an old, out-of-use concrete structure and narrow band of water on the east side of Andrew Harbor. I like the shallow flats here during the summer for bass.
Take a right @ at main fork and you'll need to push your way through some bushes to find the narrow trail that leads you to a rocky outcrop next to a stream inlet to the reservoir. If you carefully navigate this rocky area, there are several solid places to post up and catch everything from jumbo perch to smallmouth/largemouth bass, and more.
You should be able to hear a stream flowing into the reservoir - it's a little tricky to make your way to that confluence, but if you can make it there, it's a great spot, as most places where two bodies of water intersect tend to be.
Quinepoxet River Bridge:
While this isn't technically a gate within Wachusett Reservoir, this is one of my favorite spots that is connected to the Rez. It's a confluence spot for the Quinepoxet River and the Stillwater Basin, both of which flow into the main reservoir. I usually stop here on the way home if I don't have success at my favorite gates - my catch rate here is north of 75%.
I usually set my GPS to: 4 River Rd, West Boylston, MA. If you are coming from the Thomas Basin direction (Old Stone Church), make a left on River street before the bridge and you can park on the right side of the street in several cleared dirt areas.
You can fish on either side of the bridge. On the Quinepoxet river side, you can fish all the way up to the dam and this whole area is rich with trout - brown, brook, rainbow, tiger, etc.- whatever is stocked in the Quinepoxet can end up here.
Also, there's largemouth and pickerel in the weedy areas close to the bridge. Depending on the time of year, you may even find lake trout (e.g. late fall). The Stillwater side tends to be a favorite for salmon, especially when they are migrating from the central reservoir to the rivers to spawn. In terms of what bait to use for salmon, people tend to live and die by nightcrawlers, and shiners on a slip float.
BTW - if you haven't seen the salmon spawning, it's absolutely worth checking out. That topic is best covered in a separate post.