Interested in going fishing off the coast of Mt Desert Island while visiting Acadia National Park? We recently took a fun family fishing trip in Frenchman Bay. Here we tell you which fishing charter we chose, where it takes you fishing, what fish you might catch, and what to pack so that you can enjoy your time fishing in Maine!
Kids & Charter Fishing
Our boys love to go fishing! But truth be told, we rarely take them fishing. Teaching young kids to fish involves time and patience. Both of which we always seem to be short on thanks to our two toddlers. However, our trip to Maine was the perfect opportunity to take the older boys fishing. Charter fishing, that is. A fishing charter is a great option if your children are interested in learning to fish. The charter does much of the work for you. From operating the boat, finding fish, providing equipment, to helping clean your catch. Which in turn, allows you to actually enjoy fishing with your kids!
Acadian Boat Tours
On our trip, Luke and the boys took a half-day fishing trip through Acadian Boat Tours, the same company we used for a Mt Desert Island Sightseeing and Nature Cruise. The trip was between 3 to 4 hours in length and included all fishing and tackle licences in the fare.
The fishing boat, the Islander, departs from Bar Harbor headed to scenic Frenchman Bay. Depending on the location of fish, you’ll visit either the upper or lower areas of the bay. Along the way, the boat captain and crew provide information about local fishing customs, wildlife and lore. The area is rich with history and the crew knowledgeably share stories about the families that shaped the area around Mount Desert Island.
Although it is a fishing charter, there is a good chance you will see some wildlife during the trip. As Luke and the boys made their way into Frenchman Bay, the crew pointed out a pair of mating eagles. The eagles cautiously observed the boat, fully aware of its nature as a fishing charter, perhaps hoping to take advantage of any fish caught and released.
Once past Bar Island, they began fishing from the boat. The Islander crew make fishing with kids about as easy as it gets. They set up the rods and reels along the rail. Our boys were more than eager to bait their own lines and unhook their catch, the staff will even do this for you if you’re not so inclined. Luke and the kids caught quite a lot of fish during the trip, some that they kept, pollock and mackerel, and some that they had to release, cod (banned) and rockfish (poisonous). The pollock were a decent size for eating. The mackerel were bite-sized, but the boys really wanted to eat them, too. The crew clean and bag your catch, so that you can cook and enjoy them at home.
As with our sightseeing and kayaking trips around Mt Desert Island, we recommend that you dress in layers. Despite ample summer sunshine, it was quite chilly on the water. Thankfully, the boys brought long-sleeve tees. It’s a good idea to pack a sweatshirt or jacket, just in case.