New Hampshire & Maine Fishing Report – May 14, 2015

Fishermen are coiled more tightly than a spring anticipating that first bout with a striped bass, which is probably only days away. Meanwhile, there’s an under-the-radar impressive mixed-groundfish bite off Jeffreys Ledge. For freshwater fortunes, check out the trout among the Great Bay tributaries, as well as black bass in Maine, which are in a pre-spawn feeding frenzy.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Just when you thought it was safe to forget all about groundfishing in the GOM with the cod catastrophe forced upon us, comes an enviable report from Richard Wolfe of SeaWolfe Tackle in New Hampshire. The annual “Kolsman fishing charter” aboard Eastman’s was an unqualified blast. The boat limited out on haddock up to 5 pounds in about 10 minutes and then proceeded to round out patrons’ coolers with a menagerie of pollock, cusk and redfish. And yes, there was some cod “bycatch,” which were gently released to swim back into the brine to hopefully make lots of baby cod – quickly! The hot combination was the SeaWolfe haddock rigs tipped with shrimp. According to Richard, the tackle would not touch bottom for 5 seconds before something inhaled it! If groundfishing has been low on your to-do list thanks to the regulatory imbroglio, you may want to reconsider.

With squid starting to hit in Massachusetts, it shouldn’t be long before the Piscataqua River area gets a little “loligo love!” In preparation of another good year, SeaWolfe tackle has added a glow squid jig to their already sought after lineup. Last year they were in short supply, you may want to stock up now in shops such as Suds ‘N Soda which carry them.

Regarding Suds ‘N Soda, Roland was effusive about the keeper stripers he caught when we spoke. However, he did take a road trip to Plum Island to catch them! The fish hit on the ocean front and walloped anything reminiscent of a sand eel. By the time you read this, stripers may have crossed the border to snack on herring in the tributaries of Great Bay. Best times are a pre-dawn to dusk rising tide and try to time your excursion so you are working structure which impedes the upstream travel of herring. If bass can ball bait up by structure such as the rip-rap at the mouth of the Lamprey River, you’ll smack them!

Chad from Dover Marine said that Winnipesauke has become a more spread out random game as landlocked salmon are cruising among the “Bays and the Broads”. Downriggers or leadcore line are now a must as fish are as deep as 15′. The Winnipesauke winning wares remain the same: smelt, streamers and spoons! Trout fishing remains good in the Isinglass, Cocheco and Lamprey Rivers. For a still water alternative hit Barbados Pond.

Nice haddock taken by Kitty Tyler
This nice haddock taken by Kitty Tyler while aboard Eastmans is proof that the groundfishing is good.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Kenny from Saco Bay Tackle said that the shad are in and the stripers imminent. White/red and yellow/red darts in 1/8th and ¼ ounce sizes are doing the most damage by the Saco River Dam. When asked where the first “scout” stripers will show up, Kenny recommended the Saco River, Spurwink River and Scarborough Marsh. For baits, he felt matching a sand eel was the best bet. Clear Bill Hurley Mole Tails is solid choice as is the Whip-it Eel by Al Gag’s.

Brandy of Webhannet B&T told me of a patron who saw busting fish and diving birds off Wells Beach… could it have been the handiwork of the first stripers of the year? Wishful thinking aside, when they officially show up, they tend to hit the Webhannet River as well as the nearby Mousam River. These will be small fish so show them something manageable such as neutral-colored small Slug-Gos, Fin-S-Fish and the legendary jig/curly-tail grub! The shop will be carrying seaworms beginning this weekend for you of the flounder faithful. Boston Harbor just woke up this week so blackbacks should be biting in your bailiwick soon!

Not all in Maine are holding their breath waiting for stripers according to Dylan of Dag’s. Smallies are now zealously guarding their nests while largemouth bass are feeding aggressively in pre-spawn mode. Shop employee Scotty has been slaying largemouth bass with Yum Little Suzies from Lake Auburn. Another alternative is white perch which are engaged in their own spawning ritual in outlets of may water bodies. Small shiners and worms will work and you can whip your own whiteys at Lake Auburn, Taylor Pond and Lake Sabattus. Salmon are roaming and tougher to get a bead on than immediately after ice-out. Having the utility to adjust presentation depths when trolling is a must. Anglers geared up with leadcore or downriggers and actively searching for the fish are doing best while trolling streamers, smelt, shiners and spoons.

Fishing Forecast

For bragging rights among your friends, be the first to catch that 2015 striper among the tributaries of Great Bay such as the Oyster and Lamprey Rivers, where bass should be prowling for bluebacks any day now. Shad are a lock by the dam in the Saco River where the first stripers should appear shortly. The groundfish game has taken a big hit lately, but the action at Jeffreys Ledge for haddock, cusk, pollock and redfish partially makes up for the GOM cod moratorium. But if sweetwater salmon is more to your liking than try trolling streamers and spoons at Long Lake and re-familiarize yourself with their “silver leaper” nickname.

6 on “New Hampshire & Maine Fishing Report – May 14, 2015

  1. lisa

    17′ carolina skiff, 70 hp engine is looking for skinny water, so. Me. N. NH?????

  2. Benny G

    Just landed a fresh schoolie on the Piscataqua in Kittery. I get bragging rights!

  3. Striperman Kennebec River

    Three of us fished Saco River from Shore caught alittle over 30 schoolies all on jumping minnows. Was a 90 mile trip for us but well worth it.

  4. Bob G

    Bragging rights: I caught some schoolies up to 30″ just north of Wells using a tube and worm and also a pre rigged 12″ sluggo of my yak.

  5. JThibs

    Caught Schoolies Galore Just barley north of Portland, Maine. Biggest was 26″

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *