New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report – June 28, 2018

Scott Parker with a 40″ striper taken on live mackerel with Seacoast NH Sportfishing of Rye NH. It was one of 25 released on Sunday, June 23.

As befitting the quintessential American holiday, there will be fireworks this week but thanks to better bass fishing they may not be reserved for just the skies!

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Captain Jon Tregea of Sea Run Charters had a dizzying fishing schedule during the past week which speaks highly about the local fishing opportunities. First up was putting a charter which simply wanted action into non-stop surface feeds primarily at the mouth of the Oyster River. Paddletail shad baits were what those schoolies wanted! Fresh from getting word that the squid were in among the lit areas of the Piscataqua River, he employed pink Slug-Gos and crushed calamari-craving cows among fish-holding rips at low light. A mackerel run revealed few mackerel but plenty of pollock. The keeper-plus stripers looking for a snack among the Little Bay Bridge in the Piscataqua River proved impossible to ignore those pollock!

Chad from Dover Marine said that there have been bass up to 40” pulled out of the Piscataqua River on mackerel and pollock. He also heard a lot about striper success in Little Bay. Wallis Sands Beach as well as Rye Beach are now featuring a chunk/bait-from-shore bite. The only tuna word he knows of is that the “stick boats” are now getting them. Anglers looking for mackerel are increasingly jigging up squid close to the coast.

Jason from Suds ‘N Soda said that he’s selling a lot of eels to anglers fishing the night shift in Hampton River and the Piscataqua River. Mackerel and pollock trolled in deep water over humps towards the Isle of Shoals are catching some of the nicer bass off New Hampshire, up to 44”, 32 pounds! As for lures, the Daddy Mac RD Bomb is killing it and hard to keep in stock, according to Jason.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Josh Thelin of All Points Fly Shop and Outfitter said that with the volume of dropback shad and river herring withering, there is less forage to keep stripers in the rivers making the mouths of rivers and rocky outcroppings better bets now in Casco Bay. He also has heard unconfirmed reports of pogies just beyond the New Hampshire/Maine border. While there have been better years for mackerel, a bumper crop of pollock are making for an interesting substitute! Most rockpiles and patches of bubbleweed harbor pollock which make for excellent big bass bait. I’m sure it won’t take much prodding to get Josh to come up with an ersatz fly which will fool those fish keying in on the pollock.

Brandy from Webhannet told me that bigger bass up to 48” long are now in residence! Not surprisingly that big fish fell for an eel. Those looking for mackerel are coming up with a rack of pollock for their jigging efforts. And all indications are that the bass don’t mind! There have even been a few bluefish caught off Parson’s Beach. Last year, Southern Maine sizzled because of big schools of pogies and there are already sightings off Newcastle. While few fish for them, flounder continue to surprise anglers fishing for bass with worms. There is one couple however who actually focus on flounder off Ogunquit and do very well. The “bycatching” of flounder is taking place off Camp Ellis, York and Kennebunk! Haddock have moved off from the closer-to-shore Tantas Ledge, however there are limits to be had among Jeffrey’s Ledge.

Fishing Forecast

Reports of squid among lit piers and bridges in the Piscatagua River changes things completely since stripers find them simply irresistible! Target rips in Little Bay and Great Bay with pink stick baits under low light conditions for a shot at a solid striper! There are rumblings of pogies already in Maine which last year resulted in stellar striped bass fishing! It’s no surprise that finding this big bass bait usually means you’ll find the big bass. What is surprising is reports of the first bluefish already of southern Maine!

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