Far from the end, from the perspective of at least one report, it looks as if the big bass run just might be in its infancy! Sweetwater beckons also, with black crappie and black bass among the standout species.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
It looks as if the striped bass in New Hampshire have outlasted anglers! From my end, reports have been nil but with impressive news tricking in from Maine, you folks should keep taking in those tides. Salmon and laker fishing is prohibited in Lake Winnipesaukee now that it’s October, but Tim Moore, of Tim Moore Outdoors fame, is still finding fish although he just switched over to crappie for the remainder of the month. The fish are settling into basins where they will last throughout the fall/winter. Tim’s been finding real slabs of over 14” which can’t pass up 1/16 ounce jigs embellished with Bobby Garland baby shads. Smaller water now has hungry warm water species with Kingston Lake and Bellamy Reservoir standouts.
Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair told me of an accomplished angler who hung a huge 9-10 hawg of a largemouth bass locally on a 7 1/2” red shad Culprit worm. Far from an aberration, this guy caught a 9-2 a while ago on the very same lure! Black bass best bets according to Joe are Greenfield State Park and the Nashua River section by the Power Plant/Golf Course area. He’s also hearing of pike throughout the Merrimack, Concord and Assabet rivers. Some anglers are making the to Forest Lake in Methuen which has been freshly stocked with rainbow trout.
Southern Maine Fishing Report
I didn’t expect such a positive report from Brandy of Webhannet Bait and Tackle this late in the year, but I’m pleased to pass along the good news! While angling activity has plummeted, the few that are still at it are catching huge stripers! One angler took a 49” fish on a mackerel chunk in Saco Bay. Surf fisherman chunking mackerel and slinging serpents and GT Eels are catching 40” plus fish from the beachfronts. As to where, the word is that the fish are on the move and it has become the ultimate crap shoot where they will be found next. I guess it’s just another example of there being no substitute for time on the water. Peanut bunker are still in abundance and have been taking hits from schoolie to slot stripers in the Webhannet River as well as Wells Harbor. Good-size mackerel have moved in close and can occasionally be jigged up off jetties. Pollock have joined haddock on the shallows of Jeffrey’s Ledge.
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters told me that the striper action remains terrific. There’s a real mixture of striped bass sizes out there with anglers opting for larger baits, such as eels and big soft plastic stick baits, catching better fish. The feeling is that with the new moon and bigger tides, the flats should continue to be good. The skipper did hint that Long Sands could be hot.
• Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!
New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
With ideal water temperatures and plenty of bait around, in all probability the “run” still has legs. Soak a mackerel chunk or toss a big soft plastic into the horizon off Wallis Sands Beach, Rye or Hampton for a chance at an October cow. Mackerel have moved into Saco Bay as well as Wells Harbor and with the pile of peanut bunker still present, you could do a lot worse than to wet a line there!