While for many, striped bass remain hit or miss, another quarry will soon take center stage for two weeks – cod! While the “for hire” season has already started, the average angler gets a crack at it in less than a week and many are chomping at the bit!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
If ever there was a Captain who is in sync with the whereabouts of cod, than Captain Andy from Adventure & Catch Charters is it. Prior to the open season, he was finding beautiful “brown bombers” up to 31” relatively close to shore! One spot he mentioned as a potentially productive for cod is Tantas Ledge. The flats on both Southern and Northern Jeffrey’s Ledge have been barren while the drop-offs from 168-350 feet are loaded with a groundfish grab bag including haddock, pollock and huge silver hake (up to 35”!). Should you make a run out there bring your tuna gear as the skipper is reporting mixed sizes of tuna busting bait. Regarding stripers, you’ll find them at the current seams in the Piscataqua River. Look for current and relatively quiet water adjacent to the flow. Captain Andy has been treating patrons to slot-sized stripers in combination with a groundfish excursion.
Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair said that black bass are the primary target among most of his customers. With such extraordinarily low water levels, ingress/egress can pose a challenge on water bodies but he’s hearing of action from Robbins Pond, Mill Pond, Potanipo Pond, Pawtuckaway Pond and Bow Lake. Ordinarily topwater baits would be good now but with water temperatures still very warm the best action is centered around soft plastics and jigs still!
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Southern Maine Fishng Report
Andy from Saco Bay Tackle Company said that rock-fishing has been productive for chunkers from Two Lights Park and Biddeford Pool. Try tossing a Sabiki rig there first you may be surprised with live mackerel. Boaters are finding macks by Richmond Island and Wood Island. Those same boaters tossing the mackerel up against the white water of shoreline or island structure are finding striped bass. Estuaries should start heating up for eel fishermen working those places at night. Peanut bunker are present, especially near the Saco River, making shad baits the perfect offering. The anticipation of the cod season is building with Andy recommending Tantas Ledge as a good bet.
According to Captain Lou Tirado of Diamond Pass Outfitters, the striper status quo remains pleasantly the same. Early risers are treated to some really good topwater shows, especially among rivers and estuaries in the Casco Bay area. First light has been fantastic with topwater plugs, unweighted soft plastics and flies all working. Some of the skipper’s favorites are Cordell and Gibbs pencils as well as Hogy Pro Tails and Albie Snax. For flies, his choice is the Bonito Bunny. During daytime look among rocks or ledges. Fish get a better look at an offering when the sun’s up so live mackerel or chunks will work best. Night stalkers are killing it in estuaries with eels, eel-skin plugs and Gravity Tackle Eels. Anxious to get on the Vineyard this weekend though. I guess the theme is consistent. The fish are happy in the rivers that n the early morning and are putting on some really good shows on top. The fish are most concentrated during low light while during the day they spread out.
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
For fast-paced striper action, it’s hard to top the rivers at first light, be it the Piscataqua, or the Saco or whatever you select. For bigger bass, try those same spots at night with an eel or eel-imitator. With the slight liberalization of cod regs, some can’t wait to catch/keep a cod with Tantas Ledge a best bet for inshore.