October 21, 2021: With many Mainers turning to hunting, fishing reports are hard to come by this time of year. Are you still getting out? Chasing the tail end of the fall run? Please share your reports in the comments below!
Far from an any-old-fish-will-do mindset, anglers still fishing for stripers in New Hampshire and Maine are still catching big fish! The big fish category is not just the domain of stripers as a certain charter captain who contributes to this report has found pollock up to 41”.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Brook trout in the Connecticut Lakes Region are all ablaze in spawning colors right now and are aggressive! Tim Moore of Tim Moore Outdoors told me that he’s passing on the crappie-craving-crowds of Lake Winnipesaukee and seeking out slabs in nondescript ponds. His tip is to eschew pressured ponds and lakes and find unheralded water bodies which have under-appreciated populations of crappie and there are more of them than most would realize in New Hampshire. Regarding stripers, friends of Tim’s during a recent three-day stretch caught a bunch of mixed sizes of stripers with most bigger than slot fish! The bass are aggressive now and hitting everything from topwaters to shads. A few best bets are the Portsmouth Coast Guard Station area as well as off Hampton Beach and Rye Beach. Mackerel can be found not far from the shoreline and among the best bait bets for an October cow!
Should you yearn for a 41-incher then I suggest that you jump aboard Adventure and Catch Charters with Captain Andy but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t have stripes, because he’s catching – pollock that big! Dogs are still an issue on top of the ledges of Jeffrey’s so stick to nothing but jigs/teasers!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Scott from Webhannet Bait and Tackle told me that not a morning goes by that he and his wife Brandy don’t marvel at the surface action on the Saco River where they live! Shore anglers, the kayak crew and boaters are all catching striped bass there. In fact the big bass bite has been so good that charter captains who normally have called it a year by now are still at it because the fishing and resulting business is that good! The mackerel Cotton Cordell pencil has been one of the go-to lures for fish of over 40” with Mothers Beach and Gooches Beach standouts. Mackerel have moved into a mile from shore and anglers trolling them around the Saco Bay islands are also catching stripers.
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters told me that the Casco Bay Area is fishing like Blitz City! Although he did mention that Saco Bay southward is a best bet. Most fish are schoolies and are “happy and snappy” thanks to all the small bait which is composed of silversides, sand eels and juvenile herring. Albie Snax, Epoxy Minnows, and Joe Baggs Peanut Jig have been the ticket for plenty of action, and with their single hook designs making for easy releasing!
• Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!
New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
The Coast Guard Station area in Portsmouth has been one of New Hampshire’s best bass bets. Mackerel have moved in close making for fine bait for a fall striped bass in the Saco Bay Area. The beaches off Kennebunk have recently given up cows to surf fishermen casting topwater plugs. Big pollock have moved into the high spots of Jeffrey’s Ledge, but stick to jigs to avoid the curse of the dogfish!