New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report – October 8, 2020

Diamond Pass Charters striper
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Charters is finding feeding fish and no crowds!

If you were to concoct the perfect fishing dream, it would probably consist of equal parts wiling fish, no crowds and comfortable conditions. And for the icing on the cake, just maybe a lack of bugs. Well, there’s no need to pinch yourself because you are not dreaming. Welcome to October, where in many cases the fish outlast the fishermen!

New Hampshire Fishing Report

I have been speaking to the fine folks who run Surfland in Newburyport Mass for decades with the obvious intent to gather intel for the Massachusetts report but this week I have news which will hopefully benefit folks north of the border. With bait and gear tough to get, the Granite State gang as well as Down-easterners are heading over the bridge and buying stuff at Surfland. The ladies who work at the shop all tell me that anglers are snapping up bait and gear because there is still plenty of striped bass in residence there! I’ve been hearing of a hot bite off the Hampton Beach “wall” with Daiwa SP Minnows working well. The Hampton River has been drawing raves as has Rye Harbor.

Captain Andy from Adventure and Catch Charters, while a groundfishing maestro, has been catching schoolie stripers in the 23” range right from his slip in the Great Bay Marina. He’s also seeing blitzing as he heads offshore. What he’s also seeing is tuna busting bait around the Isle of Shoals. For mackerel big enough for tuna, chunk bait or worthy enough to make a meal out of he suggests Boone Island. Regarding his groundfishing specialty, Captain Andy has been finding haddock, cusk, hake and redfish off the edges of Jeffrey’s Ledge in water as deep as 275’ of water. What he is not finding is pollock which he’s very concerned about.

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

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company told me that the few striped bass fisherman who are still at it are fishing in estuaries, rivers and marshes and they are still catching plenty of striped bass! Most anglers are opting for bait right now and some of the spots are the York River, Saco River, Mousam River, Scarborough Marsh and the Spurwink. Another option to consider after heaving seas is to fish clams in the middle of a rough surf! Stirred bottom breaks up surf clams and draws in bass looking for a bivalve breakfast.

According to Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters, the action along the Maine coast remains great with plenty of fish in the 22-30” category. As usual the bite is best where you find river herring fry with nights still strong for those willing to adapt. Lou’s optimistic that the run still has legs since he knows of anglers who are still catching in the Bath/Harpswell area.

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

New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

There appears to be no quit in sight for the stripers, so why should you? Chunkers are still catching off the Hampton Beach wall. The Great Bay Marina is still holding respectable schoolies. For a shot at a tuna you shouldn’t have to go far with reports of busting bluefin as close as the Isle of Shoals. Groundfishing remains good on the dropoffs of Jeffrey’s Ledge with haddock the predominant catch. With strong reports of striped bass all the way into the Bath area of Maine, sharpen up those hooks, replace a few leaders and get ready for fine fishing with no crowds!

9 on “New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report – October 8, 2020

  1. Bruce Porter

    Guess all the fish left Northern New England, no report about our lakes or ocean waters for two weeks now. Maybe those of us in Northern New England should get a half off discount from “On The Water” since our water only matters for half of the year.

  2. Smallmouth Squarepants

    Granted, OTW does focus on the salt side, but seeing as most of southern Maine has open season for freshwater year round (not sure about VT and NH tbh), would it kill them to get reports from tackle shops and guides who don’t hyperfocus on the big water?

  3. Jake

    Good comments and funny first statement Bruce. I would like to know where fish bite in the legal FW fisheries in Maine this time of yr, as I usually pack up in October.

    That said, I recall stripe fishing at night in October last year on a warm evening. The pogie and herring schools were all over the surface as usual during the evening and that night on the dropping tide, I fishing my favorite spot, and I saw 5 decent schools go by. The next few days, no more schools in the river.

    It was like they all headed out to sea together that night.

    A night I fondly remembered

    1. Smallmouth Squarepants

      Jake, it depends on what you are wanting to fish for. If you are looking for Brown or Brook Trout, the Kennebec (south of Madison), the Andro, the Presumpscot, and the Mousam all have had fresh stockings (with the Kennebec and Andro having quite a few holdovers and spawning populations). If bass of the Non-Striped variety are what you are looking for, any largemouth holding lake will probably still produce. Smallmouth will probably be way less active. At least 2 more weeks of decent fishing, and then its going to be dropshots and big swimbaits super slow until the ice forms

  4. Jeff

    I’m on the Maine/NH border fryeburg area. Local ponds around here got recent stocking of browns. I’m still after LMB and SMB and the fire bite from a few weeks ago has dropped off significantly but I’m still after it. Hope everybody is getting out as much as possible.

  5. Smallmouth Squarepants

    Oh look, another week with Maine and NH not getting a report. So I’ll give a stunted one. I’ve been having decent luck for largemouth on shallower, somewhat weedy ponds between Southern ME and the Midcoast. Water temps between 48-44. Lipless has been key, but also have seen action on upper-mid sized (6″) and standard paddle tail (3.8-4.8″) swimbaits, Ned rigs, and glidebaits in the 7-8″ class.

  6. Bruce Porter

    Have to wonder if we will get another NORTHERN New England report before the schoolies come back? Ice is perhaps not very solid yet between the snow and rain we got but ……

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