If you could create the perfect fishing conditions, it would probably consist of equal parts wiling fish, no crowds and ideal temperatures. And for the icing on the cake, just maybe a lack of bugs. Well, welcome to October where in many cases the fish outlast the fishermen!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
I have been speaking to the ladies who run Surflandin Newburyport Mass for decades with the obvious intent to gather intel for the Massachusetts report but at about this time I get information about what is happening north of the border. There has been a solid striper bite off the Hampton Beach “wall” with chunk mackerel, worms and Daiwa SP Minnows all working well. One angler who really knows Hampton well picked up 40 fresh mackerel and a flat of seaworms at the shop – I’d say he’s onto something! The Hampton River has been good too as has Rye Harbor. Some have been catching schoolie stripers in the mid-20” range right from their slips in Great Bay Marina. There’s also been blitzing from Salisbury to the mouth of the Piscatagua. Some are also seeing tuna busting bait around the Isle of Shoals. For tuna-grade mackerel check out the Boone Island area. Anglers looking for groundfish have been finding haddock, cusk, hake and redfish off the edges of Jeffrey’s Ledge in water as deep as 275’ of water. The concerning part is the lack of pollock which are usually numerous by now!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
The word from Maine is that the few striped bass fisherman who are still at it are beginning to transition from open water to 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 better spots are the York River, Saco River, Mousam River, Scarborough Marsh and the Spurwink. Another option to consider even when the surf is up is to fish clams! Stirred bottom breaks them up and those bass wind up with a clam brunch!
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters took a reprieve from hunting hardtails in Buzzards Bay to sample the striper fishing locally and found nice blitzes off Old Orchard Beach. He even said that there have been reports of blues by the river mouths. Regarding rivers, those spots with eels for the duration of the run will be your best bet to bag a big bass! That especially applies to rivers with healthy herring runs. With plenty of fish still in the Bath/Harpswell area, now is not the time to sleep in!
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
There appears to be no quit in sight for the stripers, so why should you? Chunkers and those soaking seaworms are still catching off the Hampton Beach wall and many of the bass are big. 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!