New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont Fishing Report – January 6, 2022

There’s big news regarding big water as ice is forming swiftly among sought-after salmonoid lakes. Before those playgrounds have game, there are all sorts of smaller ponds/lakes to check out especially those which have been fortified by fall stockings!

New Hampshire Fishing Report

While optimistic, I didn’t expect Jim from the The Tackle Shack in Meredith to tell of anglers who were already ice fishing Lake Winnipesaukee! While no one has called “Ice In” as of yet, on Wednesday there were reports of 4-5” on many of the coves! Center Harbor as well as the “Grandstand” are all looking good. I’d contact the shop first to verify that patrons are putting boots on that ice before you make haste to go up there but it is looking promising.

Lucas Hennessey pike
Lucas Hennessey with an 18 pound pike taken from Maine recently.

In addition to smaller water bodies such as White Lake, Little Pond, and Little Squam anglers are out and about on the north end of Winnisquam and I have a report of 6” ice on Squam Lake. In anticipation of a lot of angling attention, the shop is carrying everything from smelt to suckers. Smelt currently are the ideal “mediums” which will hook most anything while sucker size runs the gamut from laker/pike bait to smalls.

Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair said that fishers were recently out on a frozen Baboosic Lake in Amherst which is a warm water species favorite. Next on the list to freeze according to Joe is Rocky, Beaver, Potanipo and Mill Pond. Rivers when safe can be especially productive for a panoply of species and with the Nashua River in his neighborhood, Joe will be among the first to signal safe ice when it happens.


Southern Maine Fishing Report

If you’re queasy about safe ice in Southern Maine, Scotty from Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn informed me that anglers have taken to driving their vehicles out on Sabattus already! Word is that the pike bite has been good also! In the “not good” category was the recent account of a gator of a pike gnawing through 30-pound fluorocarbon by the Turner stretch of the Androscoggin River!

Andrew of Sebago Bait has been out and about with jigs on Little Sebago and has had banner days for rainbow trout, brown trout, and especially white perch! In fact with a Smelt Stick – blade/chain/worm combination – he figures he tallied 100 of those scrappy panfish! While the wait is on for Sebago to lock up, Andrew mentioned that one of his favorite quarries from that big lake is black crappie! While not everyone there targets them, the fishing for crappie in Jordan Bay can be quite good and out of the clean Sebago water those critters are tasty! All four of the Otter Ponds have good ice and happy anglers.

Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company told me the shop is now carrying ice fishing bait to meet demand and will soon stock their 24-7 bait dispenser. Timing for this is good since the bite is on for a variety of different trout from Kennebunk Pond, Worthley Pond, Trickey Pond, and Barker Pond. With a little luck, there will soon be Smelt Shack reports!

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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

The first of the year heralded a number of firsts for ice fishers not the least of which is angling prospects on frozen coves of Lake Winnipesaukee! Squam and Winnisquam are also looking promising. Should you want to ease your way into the hardwater season than smaller ponds in Maine that were recently stocked such as the “Ranges”, Little Sebago, and Kennebunk Pond are an easier walk and should still have fast action. If all goes as the weather forecast promises next on the list may be the open sections of Winnipesaukee, Sebago Lake, and just maybe the smelt camps. Regardless, this is a mighty fine way to start!

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