Trolling for salmon and jumping on a headboat for groundfish are two reasons to be grateful that it’s April! It doesn’t stop there however, as black bass are beginning to stir and if you think pike are strictly the playmates of hardwater junkies than you’d be wrong!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Jason from The Tackle Shack in Meredith said that things were looking good for opening day, April 1st, on Lake Winnipesaukee. As of Wednesday most of the big lake was free of ice, especially the west side. Shore anglers will be floating smelt off marina docks for landlocked salmon and rainbow trout. In anticipation of that, the shop is carrying smelt. Tim from TimMooreOutdoors told me that with 75-80 percent of Winnipesaukee free from ice, the best guess is that ice out will be called this Friday! In preparation of that Tim is readying his Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 136 kayak to troll smelt for salmon near river/inlet mouths and marinas. Tim’s tip is to troll those smelt slowly and within 15 feet of the surface. He’s preparing his guide boat for a mid-month launch.
Will from Dover Marine said that he’s been hearing of impressive largemouth bass action from Pawtuckaway Lake. Jerk baits worked with plenty of pause and slowly rolled spinnerbaits have been working. Great Bay has shown some life with white perch/holdover schoolies beginning to stir in the Squamscott River, largemouth bass biting in the Lamprey River and rainbow trout hitting well in the Cocheeco. Most of the headboats from the Eastman Fleet to Gauron’s are setting sail for cod and haddock now when the weather permits.
• Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for New Hampshire
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Peter from Saco Bay Tackle Company tipped me off that the Bunny Clark headboat will be fishing this month with a number of trip options in the offing from day trips to marathons. He would not be surprised if cod were in as close as the Saco Bay islands or just beyond Wells Harbor. Fly fisherman have begun to target sea run brown trout in the Ogunquit River as well as the Mousam River.
Brady from Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn said that the big local draw is trolling for salmon at Sebago! The shop is still carrying smelt with the Crooked River/Songo Locks among the best bets to troll up a salmon. Sabattus is wide open, making conditions perfect for plugging for pike! With so much attention now on salmon, you’re probably going to have much of this big lake all to yourself. The recent rainfall was expected to jettison the last of Thompson Lake ice. As one of the better area salmon water bodies, many are greatly anticipating trolling for smelt there! Brady’s pick of the week is Arrowhead Lake where the bass fishing can be fantastic, even this early in the year!
• Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!
New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
Interest is high for trolling for salmon in Winnipesaukee and Sebago with most preparing to slowly work smelt on top. Warm water species best bets are bass from Pawtuckaway and Arrowhead lakes. No longer are options restricted to freshwater-or-nothing as headboats all along the coast will be putting patrons onto cod and haddock by this weekend!