Rising water temperatures are making river runs less successful than beachfronts or rocky shorelines. The exception being rivers which hold herring runs as fry begin tumbling down. Groundfishing remains an attractive alternative with a grab bag of species cooperating on Jeffrey’s Ledge.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
From Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters comes news that the stripers are thick in the Piscataqua River. Down by the “old prison” the size on average is 30” while farther upstream in Great Bay and Little Bay the fish tend to be smaller – 23-27” – with the odd larger mixing in with the smaller fish. For a variety and steady action it’s hard to top the haddock fishing on Jeffrey’s Ledge. Haddock, however, are just the start with 28” cusk at The Curl as well as limits – for groups of 5 at that! Andy is really dialed in as he’s been finding haddock up to 28”,pollock up to 35” as well as the previously mentioned cusk. The downside is the dreaded dogfish! There’s just no escaping those critters, especially if you choose bait on the flats.
On the other hand according to Jon Tregea of Sea Run Charters the open ocean is fishing better than the river now that water temperatures are peaking. You’re best bet for a memorable bass is to procure pogies or top off the livewell with tinkers and hit the rocks or beaches. Mackerel can found by the 2KR Can or Hampton Shoal Ledge among other areas. For those who are well-versed in the tuna game there are no shortage of them out there. Begin your search as soon as you clear the Isle of Shoals.
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Southern Maine Fishng Report
Not to be outdone by the sea run brown trout caught in Oguinquit two weeks ago, Captain Lou Tirado, of Diamond Pass Outfitters, scouted around and found his own salters. The skipper’s duping them on flies too! In addition to the Ogunquit River, the Mousam River has a population of sea run brown trout. This is the antithesis of a put-and-take trout fishery, where the results are not guaranteed but the potential payoff – very high. Lou’s home waters in Casco Bay are fishing well with river herring runs providing the fuel for striper-on-bait feeds. Poppers and spooks in bone and blue/white have been effective. As the day waxes, the fish become followers rather than feeders. The antidote according to Lou has been to switch over to a subsurface presentation such as soft plastic and of course a live mackerel! Off the rocks the fish tend to be bigger with mackerel and pogies working well. A few blues have been encountered. As for the larger toothies, the offshore shark game is on!
Ryan from Webhannet Bait and Tackle said that while pogies may be prevalent, some are finding a live mackerel fished around the pogy schools is the quickest way to pull out a cow from all that prey. Chumming helps and so does trolling when it comes to acquiring mackerel. For a location, he suggests the Boone Island area. Biddeford Pool, Moody Beach and Drakes Island are the picks of the week for stripers. While few blues have actually been caught anglers are increasingly getting bitten off around the pogy schools! Flounder at the mouths of the rivers remains a pleasant surprise this year and the edges of Jeffrey’s Ledge are fishing well for haddock with a nice ratio of keepers to shorts!
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
For a productive outing on the Piscatagua River, the sight of the Old Prison is a good start. A live mackerel preferably trolled by rocky sections of Seabrook and Rye should work, especially if you are in the vicinity of a pogy school. Other choices are sea run brown trout from Ogunquit or the Mousam River. Something can be said for the great groundfishing on The Curl section of Jeffrey’s Ledge, where in addition to limits of haddock, hits are bound to come from a list of suspects, including cusk, pollock and hake.