This is one of those rare times when most every week is fishing better than the previous one! Big bass are in residence now and not surprisingly can be found upstream of herring runs. Laker action is picking up in Winnipesaukee while the smallmouth bass bite there and on other nearby water bodies was described to me as “mindless”. It is that easy!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Tim Moore of TimMooreOutdoors told me that trolling for lakers on Lake Winnipesaukee has been better now that the thermocline is setting up. The “narrow” sections between islands, in 40’ depths has been productive with spoons working well. The smallmouth bass fishing on Winnipesaukee is so good it’s almost silly, as is the case with other nearby lakes with soft plastics and topwater lures all producing. Tim did have a thing or two to say about stripers as 30” fish have moved into the upper reaches of the Piscataqua River. Talking to Tim got me reminiscing about two trips I made umpteen years ago to the Lamprey River. The outings were in mid-May and I was invited to fish with Kyle Walsh who was the fishing guru many years ago at Suds ‘N Soda. They were adventures I will never forget! We met just prior to false dawn as my host anticipated the flooding tide to just begin lapping rip-rap just below the dam. On my very first cast with a Yo-Zuri popper I came tight to a lower 30” fish and it only got better! We eventually caught a couple of low 20-pound fish and I left awed how early big fish appeared that far upstream in Great Bay. And best of all, we didn’t so much as touch a herring scale!
Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters wisely took a pass on the ferocious seas of the past weekend. He’s going to make up for it in short order as he has almost non-stop trips planned. While he did not have his usual solid groundfishing report, he did say that horse mackerel were present by Fort Constitution, the 2KR Can and the red nun by Whaleback.
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Southern Maine Fishing Report
Captain Cory from Mainely Blue Charters gave the thumbs up to groundfishing on Jeffrey’s Ledge and Platt’s. Haddock have slid off the edge a bit into the 220-230’ range but the action is still good. Stripers are active throughout estuaries and rivers in the Casco Bay area.
Matt from Saco Bay Tackle Company said that anglers live-lining alewives in the Saco River have been catching big stripers up to 46”. While mackerel are spotty some can be found by Wood Island. Matt suggests that anglers try chunking or live-lining mackerel at the mouth of the Nonesuch River and by boulders on Higgins Beach. Some have been having luck for groundfish as close as Tantas.
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters said that it seems that with every tide more stripers are filling in. Topwater has been terrific as has soft plastics and flies. Reports are all good from Kennebunk to Freeport.
Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle said that several 40” fish have been caught on alewives by the Skelton Dam, that area is obviously a place to be for big bass! Schoolies are plentiful and willing to take a variety of baits in Wells Harbor and the Mousam River. Regarding the Mousam, there have been several flounder caught there, even from upstream locations! The sea run brown trout fishery however just might be the highlight of the report. Mackerel just showed up hot and heavy at the mouth of the Saco River. Dogfish have invaded the groundfish ledges so if you choose to use bait, us it sparingly!
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
For numbers of fish, the schoolie bite is on in Little Bay, Wells Harbor and Casco Bay. Stripers in need of a bigger meal can be found by the Skelton Dam in the Saco River and I suspect the herring runs in Great Bay. Mackerel have just now appeared in good numbers at the mouth of the Piscataqua and Saco Rivers. That’s not to suggest that there are limited freshwater options. Lakers from Winnipesaukee and smallies from Squam Lake are sweet freshwater alternatives and while technically not a freshwater fish, sea run brown trout numbers in the Mousam River seem to be experiencing an uptick in numbers!