Best Ice Fishing Spots in Barnstable, Massachusetts

Just because there are snowflakes swirling around in the Massachusetts skies, it doesn't mean that it's time to put the fishing gear away. Even when there is a nip in the air and frost on the bait bucket, there are still plenty of places to go both fresh and salt water fishing within the state's borders.

Ice fishing.

Personally, I like Barnstable. If you do decide to visit, here are a few things you should know:

License Fees

A saltwater fishing license is $10. Keep in mind, however, that you'll also need to purchase a Highly Migratory Species permit from the federal government if you plan on setting your sights on swordfish, sharks, tuna or billfish.

Furthermore, if you want to snag a few tasty crusteaons, you'll need to fork over an extra $60 first for an out-of-state lobster permit. Prices for non-resident, freshwater fishing licenses start at $24. I should also note that as of 2012 the state had reciprocity fishing license agreements with New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Licenses may be purchased online or through a designated vendor. You can also download maps of area fishing spots off the state's Department of Fish and Game website.

Barnstable's Best Fishing Spots

The 654-acre Wequaquet Lake is located in the Centerville section of Barnstable and offers some of the best opportunities to catch chain pickerel, northern pike, yellow perch, largemouth bass, and more. You have the option of fishing from the shore or by boat if the ice isn't right. There are boat ramps on both Shootflying Hill and Huckins Neck Road.

A good place to stay is the Captain David Kelley House on Main Street. It's a gorgeous bed and breakfast that housed many an 18th-century sea captain. Rates vary by room type and include a hot breakfast.

While in the area, you may want to book a saltwater charter with the Aquarius. She's usually docked in Barnstable Harbor and will take you to where the big fish hangout. The company also has a great program with The Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern. The ship's staff will clean your catch and then turn it over to the restaurant's chefs. The chefs will then prepare it for you however you like. That way, at the end of the day, all you'll need to do is order a good bottle of wine, sit back, and enjoy your dinner. A four-hour charter will cost you $575.

My family enjoys winter sports and travels extensively.

More from this contributor:

Top 5 Massachusetts Ski Areas for Vertical Drops

Top 5 Places to Go Snow Tubing in Massachusetts

Top 5 Places to Go Ice Skating in Massachusetts

How to Clean, Gut, Skin and Fillet Fresh Flat Fish

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Updated Friday, Feb 3, 2012