With one big lake derby in the rearview mirror and another set to take place in New England, ice fishing is at a fever pitch. Timing is good for all the attention since the fish appear to be in the mood to reciprocate the love.
Fishing Report for New Hampshire
Jason, of the Tackle Shack in Meredith, says right now is among the best times to fish Lake Winnipesaukee since many are recovering from “derby-burnout”! Lakers are making the most news primarily from the southern side of Sebago. Jigs tipped with a fish strip are accounting for a lot of fish. Two alternatives worth considering are Winnisquam and Newfound Lake where a few 7 to 10 pound lakers have been iced! For the most reliable rainbow action, Jason is steering anglers to Waukewan and Winona. It’s a crapshoot where the bite will be best since trout can access both those lakes through the Snake River.
Tim, from Tim Moore Outdoors, says the key to consistently catching everything from white perch to lakers in Winnipesaukee is to find the combination of structure and bait. That structure can be a deep drop-off, a shelf on a flat, or a sharp cut in a contour line. Regardless, good electronics is essential as is the will to experiment between jigs and bait. Tim continues to find the fish inside the bays as opposed to open water.
Will, from Dover Marine, says some real “hawg” largemouth bass have been caught from Willand Pond, in fact he’s heard of two 7.5 pound fish! Anglers are also picking off a few rainbows there. A northern Mass shop has customers who are begging the owner for seaworms since they are catching smelt at the Exeter River! Bellamy Reservoir remains a best bet for crappie.
Fishing Report for Southern Maine
Finally there is some good news coming from the Maine Smelt Camps! In the last week I received two solid reports regarding camps in the Kennebec River. Bakers especially appeared to be productive.
Scottie from Dag’s Bait & Sports Goods, backed up the good smelt reports and also weighed in on good fishing from Sebago in Lower Bay and Jordan Bay. The word is that lakers from 20 to 30 inches have been very cooperative. This is good news for the scads of anglers who are looking forward to the Sebago-based derby this weekend! Regarding big lakes, Moosehead has been good with positive reports coming in regarding lakers and cusk in the Beaver Cove and Sugar Island areas.
Renee and the folks from Sebago Bait have been going flat out due to derby interest. Patrons have been saying good things about The Station and Raymond Beach for lake trout. Should you desire less “company” than consider Moose Pond and Tricky Pond both which are making trout fans happy!
Fishing Forecast for New Hampshire and Maine
With the Winnipesaukee-centered derby old news now, anglers are finding less pressured spots as well as willing fish, especially in the bays. Both lakers and white perch are cooperating. Should you still be in a competitive mood than set your sights on Sebago Lake where the 20th annual Sebago Lake Rotary and Cumberland County Ice Fishing Derby will be based over the weekend. The salmonoids grow big in the aforementioned water bodies thanks to smelt and should you crave some smelt for yourself than reconsider the Kennebec River smelt camps where anglers are grateful for a better-late-than-never smelt bite!