Fishing Moore Reservoir with VT License: A Comprehensive Guide

Stretching across the Vermont-New Hampshire border, Moore Reservoir offers over 3,500 acres of pristine open water and undeveloped shoreline that makes for a secluded yet rewarding fishing experience. Its cold waters provide excellent habitat for popular sport fish species, but with parts of the lake falling under two different states’ jurisdictions, anglers need to be aware of certain licensing regulations and fishing rules before casting their lines.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to legally and successfully fish Moore Reservoir if you hold a Vermont fishing license. From obtaining proper permits to following state regulations to techniques for catching trophy trout, bass and pike—consider this your one-stop resource for fishing this magnificent boundary waterbody.

Vermont Fishing License Overview

Let’s start by clarifying the licensing requirements for fishing on the Vermont side of Moore Reservoir, which represents the majority of the lake’s area and offers prime access points like the Moore Dam boat launch.

Who Needs a License?

Per Vermont statute, anyone over 15 years old fishing, possessing fish or transporting fish taken from Vermont waters must carry a valid Vermont fishing license. That includes non-resident anglers coming to Moore Reservoir from other states.

The only exception is youth under 16 can fish without a license. Also active military personnel and disabled veterans with a free military license can fish Moore Reservoir without needing other permits.

Purchasing Your Vermont License

You can conveniently purchase annual or short-term Vermont fishing licenses online through Fish & Wildlife’s website or by phone. Just have your prior license number or proof of hunter/boater education on hand.

Licenses are also sold in-person at some town clerk offices, retailers like Walmart, and local bait & tackle shops like Lead & Tackle in Lyndonville.

Vermont vs New Hampshire Regulations

Though Moore Reservoir sits across the VT/NH border, your Vermont license is valid on the entire lake including the New Hampshire side thanks to an interstate reciprocal agreement.

You still must abide by Vermont’s specific fishing regulations and daily limits regardless of which state’s waters you are fishing. We’ll summarize the key rules in the next section.

So in effect, having that Vermont fishing license gives you full access to all of Moore Reservoir without needing duplicate New Hampshire permits!

Moore Reservoir Fishing Rules & Limits

Moore Reservoir is governed by Vermont’s general inland fishing regulations for lakes and ponds unless exceptions are listed below:

Seasonal Restrictions

  • Trout: Open year-round.
  • Bass: Open season is June 16 to November 30. Catch & release only from October 1 to November 30 when bass spawn.
  • Northern pike: Open year-round. No ice fishing allowed.
  • Other species: Follow statewide Vermont seasons.

Daily Limits

  • Trout: No more than 6 fish combined per day.
  • Bass: No more than 6 fish combined per day.
  • Northern pike: No daily limit. Encouraged to keep pike caught as they are invasive.
  • Yellow perch: 50 fish per day.

Minimum Size Limits

  • Trout: None
  • Bass: 10 inches
  • Northern pike: No minimum size
  • Yellow perch: No minimum size

Bait Regulations

Be sure to follow Vermont’s baitfish regulations to prevent spreading invasive species and fish diseases. No live fish, amphibians or reptiles can be used.

You may use worms, salted minnows bought from a Vermont bait shop, smelt taken from Lake Champlain tributaries, other legally acquired dead baitfish, or artificial lures/flies.

Where to Fish on Moore Reservoir

At over 3,500 acres, Moore Reservoir has ample room across its 10 mile length for boats and shore anglers alike. Here are some productive areas to focus your efforts:

Moore Dam & Tailwaters

The dam area offers convenient boat access and stocks hungry planter trout in the rushing tailwaters. Cast spinners, small crankbaits or drift egg sack imitations to entice aggressive browns and rainbows. Or anchor and bottom-bounce nightcrawlers.

Early spring and fall are prime times as spawning salmonids stack up in the cold oxygenated outflow. Just beware fluctuating water levels from dam operations.

Mud Turtle Point & Tom Hill

These shallow weedbeds dropping off to 25+ foot depths hold bass, pike, perch and trout. Work the outside weed edges with stickbaits. Then run spoons, crankbaits and jigs over deeper adjacent structure.

South Bay

This inlet near the state park campground contains warmer, algae-tinged water thanks to shallow depth and smaller feeder streams. Target big pike prowling the lush weeds with spinnerbaits, topwater plugs or large rubber baits.

Cisco Coves (Fall)

In late October, landlocked alewives make their spawning run into the reservoir’s gravel-bottomed coves. Trout gorge on these nutrient-rich baitfish, making for outstanding fall fishing. Work the 10-25 foot depths near inlet streams with stickbaits, spoons and jigs.

Best Baits and Techniques

Moore Reservoir holds good populations of trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch and more. Here are productive methods to catch the most popular species:

Rainbow & Brown Trout

  • Spring: Cast in-line spinners, small crankbaits and drifting nightcrawlers or egg sacks around the dam outflow and tributary mouths as trout migrate upstream.
  • Summer: Troll deep diving crankbaits or bottom bounce nightcrawlers over 20-30 foot basins. Try Cisco Coves, Mud Turtle Point and South Bay drop-offs.
  • Fall: Target the alewife spawning runs with stickbaits, spoons and jigs. Reel slower in the cold water.

Smallmouth Bass

  • Fish rocky points, submerged islands and weed edges with tubes, skirted jigs and wacky rigged sticks. Topwaters can work early and late. Drift live minnows in deeper water.
  • Focus efforts from mid-June through September when bass are most active. But nice sized fish over 3 pounds are possible year-round.

Northern Pike

  • Cast big rubber baits, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits to pike cruising the expansive weedbeds and flats.
  • Try topwaters like prop baits, frogs, mice and buzzbaits when pike hunt the surface vegetation on calm days.
  • Don’t overlook spoons and in-line spinners worked quickly over deep drop-offs.

Yellow Perch

  • Use small jigs tipped with worms, powerbait or spikes. Perch school near old river channels and mid-depth structure.
  • In early spring, target the area around Moore Dam with bait under a slip bobber. Late fall offers fast action jigging deeper basins.

Putting It All Together

As you can see, Moore Reservoir offers quality angling opportunities for both warmwater and coldwater species. Just be sure to acquire the proper Vermont fishing license and follow the regulations outlined above.

Focus efforts near shoreline vegetation, underwater points, and mid-lake structures across depths from 10 to 30+ feet. And make use of natural bait when permitted along with a variety of casting lures.

Early spring and late fall are prime times to catch trout and jumbo perch. While the summer months give your best shot at trophy pike and smallmouth bass. Just be prepared to deal with thunderstorms typical during Vermont’s muggy July afternoons!

For even more Moore Reservoir advice, connect with local experts like guide Mark Beauchesne of First Cast Fishing Charters operating right on the lake. With helpful resources like Mark and this comprehensive overview, you’ll be set to catch fish while enjoying everything this boundary water has to offer.

Just don’t forget that license! The Vermont Warden Service fortunately gives anglers a pass during the state’s Free Fishing Days on the second Saturday in June and last Saturday in January. So if you left your permit at home, be sure to take advantage of those to avoid a fine. Hey, what do you expect when there’s great fishing to be had!

Similar Posts