New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report – October 1, 2020

While striped bass chasing can be all encompassing, there are other options worth considering and foremost of that is groundfishing. The grab bag of species one captain has found among an offshore ledge is amazing and so is the cooler of fillets patrons are bringing home.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

According to Andy from Adventure & Catch Charters his previous top-of-Jeffrey’s Ledge honey hole blew up with the blow and is now plagued with dog fish. When asked if it was strictly a bait thing, the captain said it did not matter nothing he dropped could get past the dogs. Rather than punt, he hit Platts Bank and found a veritable gadoid Garden of Eden with big cod, limits of haddock and a plethora of species including pollock, cusk and redfish. While the GOM cod season is now closed, for hire boats can still keep one cod per person up until October 7th and that is certainly a good thing considering the size of some of the cod that the skipper has found! On the way out to the groundfish grounds, Andy is encountering plenty of stripers up to 33” not far form his slip in Great Bay Marina. Forage is small, so tailor your wares to the prey and you’ll fare better.

Captain Andy of Adventureandcatch Charters cod
Captain Andy of Adventureandcatch Charters is really dialed into the cod!

Now that the trout/salmon season has ended in Winnipesaukee, it is prime time to take advantage of less crowds and terrific warm water species fishing.

According to Al from AJs Bait in Meredith you could have Cumming’s Cove and Blackeys Cove all to yourself save some hungry white perch and crappie! Smallies can be found at the edge of drop offs with jigs, soft plastics and crankbaits all working well.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for New Hampshire

Southern Maine Fishing Report

While the days (and nights) of being able to catch striped bass are coming to an end, the end is thankfully not here yet according to Captain Lou Tirado of Diamond Pass Outfitters. Schoolies continue to swarm the rivers as well as beach fronts. With all the bait, especially in the rivers, there is little wonder. The predominant prey remains young herring, making lures/flies in the 2-5” size just about perfect! Should you have a stash of “serpents” the estuarial eel night bite remains really good with the average size striper better than day fishermen are finding. For a chance at one last cow before the curtain call consider casting a metal lip swimmer among the wash in close to the shore/islands. Pass on random casts and key in on obvious structure as well as upwellings. The tube-and-worm has been terrific for daytime trolling among the rivers. If you’re looking for mackerel for bait or simply for fun there are plenty in the Hussey Sound and surrounding areas. For a taste of something a bit exotic, hire Lou to show you the ropes on how to catch a sea run brown trout! If ever there was an inshore catch worthy of bragging rights than these beauties are it! As for trends, Lou believes that numbers are improving!

sea run brown trout on the fly
One of Captain Lou Tirado’s fly-caught sea run brown trout!

Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company said that with so many outdoorsmen turning to hunting, odds are good that you’ll have your favorite spot and favorite striped fish all to yourselves. Inlets, rivers, marshes, estuaries you name it – inshore is where it’s at! The York, Spurwink, Saco, Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers all have been productive. While smaller offerings have resulted in more fish, a few are sticking to nights with larger soft plastics such as black/purple – blurple – Hogys moping up on the larger linesiders. Mackerel can be caught near the Saco Bay islands while for groundfish try Tantas Ledge.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!

New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

It’s a pleasant problem to have, as outdoorsman are torn between wringing the striper season for all it’s worth or giving groundfish a go! Should you pick the former than stick to Great Bay as well as the Saco and Kennebunk Rivers for striped bass. Platts Bank however is chock full of an assortment of groundfish and should you enlist the services of a for hire outfit you can keep a cod until October 7th! The other option is Winnipesaukee warm water species such as white perch which are shadowing shoals of smelt in many of the bays.

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