The weather has hardly been an enabler to fishing effort, but with every wave of stripers what’s awaiting for you are swarms of bass! Groundfishing remains a good alternative for harbor flounder and offshore haddock.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Captain Jon Tregea of Sea Run Charters is feeling like one lucky guy since he’s been catching stripers literally in his backyard on Dover Point! Schoolies have worked their way into the Piscataqua with the action really turning on for about an hour before sunset. Jon said that now’s a great time of year to explore the marshes during tide changes. The fish aren’t super picky as long as you get a fly or lure to where they are staging.
And it’s only going to get better as the coming weeks will see a rapid increase in the amount of hungry fish around and this will provide a great opportunity for fly and light tackle anglers to get their fill. The skipper still has openings for early/mid June and It’s an excellent time of year for folks looking to hone their skills catching hungry stripers on fly rods. Small soft plastics are a great choice, but often when fishing from shore Jon finds myself throwing lures like 7/8th ounce epoxy jigs or Daddy Mack’s for their superior casting ability.
With sea temperatures cracking the 50 degree mark, striped bass numbers are swelling throughout Southern Maine according to Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle. There is even talk of keepers from Scarborough Marsh! Most rivers, estuaries and marshes have schoolies now. In addition to small offerings bring along something more substantial such as a 5” shad, spook or swimmer for a chance at a keeper of your own. Some of the better reports have been coming out of the Mousam River area. Jeffrey’s has been hot for haddock with jigs/cod flies tipped with clams doing the trick. Mackerel can now be jigged up just outside of Wells Harbor which begs the question: can stripers big enough to eat one be far behind?
From Captain Luis Tirado of Diamond Pass Outfitters comes news that a good mix of stripers have arrived in Maine with fish ranging from 15” to 30”! Soft plastics such as Dart Spins, Ron Z’s and Hogy Pro Tails have proven to be effective as well as top waters and swimmers. Fly anglers are also finding fish near the bottom, employing sinking lines and flies in the 3” to 5” range. Clousers, deceivers and sand eel patterns will be your best bet. For bait, stick with sandworms and bloodworms. As of now, perennial go to spots such as Scarborough Marsh, Bayview, The Mousam River and York River are generating credible reports. Two hours either side of the tide seem to be fishing best. Shad have arrived but the weather has limited angling effort. Darts and spoons will catch shad, just be sure you keep your offering close to the bottom. Overall the season seems to have kicked off a bit earlier than last year and as soon as we get some prolonged sun, the fishing will explode!
Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont Fishing Forecast
The Piscataqua River is prime right now for fresh striped bass with Little Bay being a best bet. Along the Maine coast, Scarborough Marsh, the Mousam River and York River have plenty of schoolies with the occasional keeper thrown in the mix. Stick to white soft plastics as well as white spooks and swimmers.