Whipping winds and roaring seas may have put a hold on all things open ocean but the striped bass bite in rivers more than made up for it. Now that relative tranquility is back in order the bet is that the open ocean will be game on for fall-run striped bass!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair said that in spite of the drought the boat launch section of the Nashua River has been giving up some real nice smallies. He did want me to pass along a word of caution because the water table is so low because of lack of rain. Subsurface ledge and rocks have become omnipresent so take it slow. While most angers are tossing Senko-type lures out there, Joe’s choice for a trophy would be a tube bait! Those things mimic a crayfish and in the world of the smallie, crayfish are what’s for dinner! Not surprisingly, Joes’ grandson Trevor just notched his personal best smallie – a 5.2 pounder – on a tube bait. The shop just received a shipment in of the hotly sought after olive Al Gag’s Whip-it-Fish! These things imitate the popular forage which stripers are feeding on in the Merrimack and Piscatagua Rivers, namely herring fry and to some degree peanut bunker!
Captain Andy of Adventureandcatch Charters report will be posted tomorrow morning!
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Southern Maine Fishing Report
The heavy winds and surf may have kept most at bay but not Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters who simply took his game to the rivers. Fishing in the Saco has been fantastic with fish feeding on top and pushing what looked to be small herring. Prior to the pounding seas, the catching had been good in Casco Bay around Mackworth Island and Cow Island with similar sized bait as in the rivers making 4-6” lures the key. Lou’s tip of the week was to employ epoxy minnows and to wake them just below the surface!
From Brandy of Webhannet Bait and Tackle came word of worms working well off the Wells wall. Tinker mackerel have been prevalent and are making terrific bait. Stripers have been blitzing in the rivers and bays and it is not just the handiwork of schoolies as 35-40” fish are still being caught! With gentle weather predicted over the next few days, kayakers, surf anglers and boaters should all be catching plenty of stripers!
Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company echoed what most everyone has said – the rivers have been where it’s at! In addition to the Saco, he’s been hearing good reports from the Mousam, York and Kennebunk River. Some shop regulars have been doing well by trolling the tube-and-worm as well as umbrella rigs. Mackerel numbers are spotty but can be found by the Saco Bay islands with chumming/trolling helping in obtaining bait. Look for an open ocean bite now that the surf has quieted.
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
Thanks to the rivers anglers not wanting to sit the fall run out have been catching plenty of stripers! Universally small artificials are working best considering that the primary forage is consisting of river herring fry. Some however have been shaking things up with umbrella rigs as well as the tube-and-worm working quite well. Speaking of tubes, another sort of “tube” has been deadly for black bass in the Merrimack and Nashua Rivers, especially for smallies sniffing around for a crayfish snack! Don’t discount soaking a mackerel chunk off a beach at dusk right now, those cows which are migrating southward are bound to cruise on by and they are hungry!