A week of “opening days” have come and gone with positive salmon reports and haddock headboat trips loaded with anglers. There are alternatives however with less pressured pike in Maine as well as brown trout cooperating in both freshwater and the salt.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Jim from the The Tackle Shack in Meredith told me of a sorrowful tale where a monster salmon won and the angler lost. Off one of the Meredith Harbor docks an experienced angler hooked what he estimated to be a 10 pound landlocked salmon for about 10 minutes only to lose the fish because his net was inadequate! In addition to Meredith, Ellacoya and Center Harbor have all had salmon action. Boaters are catching while trolling orange spoons with black spots as well as smelt. Shore jockeys have been all in with floating live smelt.
I wasn’t surprised to find that Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters was already out poking around for groundfish in spite of it being early April! He’ll be busy with charters beginning this weekend and he expects to spend his time between Platts Ledge and Southern Jeffrey’s Ledge. Preliminary reports have the areas long on haddock and redfish and short of pollock and cod. The latter is disturbing as is what Andy had to say about haddock. Captain Andy is nothing if not a conservationist and doesn’t pull punches. I didn’t know this, but haddock spawn now and the skipper expects many of the haddock harvested over the next two weeks will be full of eggs! Maybe the advancing of the haddock season was not a wise move for the health of the stock! Time will tell, but for the future of groundfishing and the success of businesses which depend on anglers targeting them – we really need a healthy haddock biomass!
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Southern Maine Fishing Report
For a guy like Brady of Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn, for who fishing is like oxygen, to be unsure of the last time he wet a line than you just know something is strange! What is keeping him from casting is that he’s steadfastly trapping smelt which others are using to catch salmon from Lake Auburn, Thompson Lake and Sebago! While salmon are the main focus, anglers fishing for pike in Sabattus, Cobbosseecontee and the Belgrade Lakes are doing well for them as well. Cobbosseecontee is also equally good for black bass and brown trout!
Regarding brown trout, Peter from Saco Bay Tackle Company told me of a friend who recently caught a corker 24” sea run brown trout from the Kennebunk section of the Mousam River! Anglers having the most success for those salters are using Rooster Tails and Mayfly flies. Seals working the Saco River are a surefire indicator that river herring have arrived. Shop salmon sharpies are trolling DB Smelt spoons on top and catching well at Great East Lake as well as the aforementioned Sebago and Thompson.
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
Fishing for landlocked salmon in Lake Winnipesaukee whether off the marina docks with a live smelt or trolling a spoon is the best New Hampshire bet at the moment. The salty option is haddock off of Platt’s Ledge or Jeffrey’s Ledge. Salmon is also the big news in Sebago, Thompson Lake and Great East Lake. The other salmonoid worth noting is brown trout whether it be the “sweet” version in Cobbosseecontee or the “salty” version in the Mousam River!