There’s no stopping the migration of striped bass as they push farther up the coast and best of all, it’s only going to get better. While schoolies are fun, targeting herring runs will often yield bigger! Freshwater continues to have its fans thanks to recent brook trout stockings and deep water jigging for lake trout.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua had a banner day recently catching and releasing smallmouth bass at Lake Winnisquam. Crankbaits and his standby – the gold Bomber – were doing the work!
Some of the brookies stocked this week in designated trout ponds are absolute gorgeous fish. Check out recent stockings. Jim from The Tackle Shack in Meredith told me that some are beginning to mix in deep water jigging for lake trout with the salmon obsession! With water temperatures sub-50 degrees the fish are holding in 40-50 feet of water. Swedish Pimples, PK Minnows and Welch Jigs are all catching!
For most, smelt supplies have dried up, but Tim Moore from TimMooreOutdoors stashed dozens of this preferred bait away in his freezer! In addition to sewn-on smelt, Tim has a few other tricks for deploying them for salmon. He also passed along some intel regarding striped bass! Slots have arrived and can be found sniffing around herring runs such as the Lamprey River! For schoolies consider Wentworth Harbor and the Hampton River. The last two should also crank out a few flounder now!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Right on time for the return of striped bass is the report from Brandy of Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard that it’s catching time! With water temperatures still below the comfort level for stripers, sandworms are working best in the Saco River, Mousam River and Ogunquit River. No reports of slots yet mixing it up with the schoolies but that could change on the very next tide! Anglers have also been catching bass off the Camp Ellis jetty. For haddock you may find them a tad closer than Jeffrey’s with favorable reports coming in from the peaks off Cape Porpoise and Tantas.
Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company told me that fish up to 28” have been caught in the Saco River, Scarborough Marsh, the Mousam River, York River and the Spurwink River. Shad are running the Saco River and the groundfishing on Jeffrey’s Ledge has been great with one big exception! It seems that there is a bumper crop of porbeagles out there which are very fond of haddock! A fast retrieve reel sure helps!
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters is also back in the game and his reports from the Casco Bay Area are impressive enough to want you to head over there. Things are popping about a week earlier than last year with rivers, estuaries and marshes fishing best. What’s also working is most anything in white – paddletails, flies and jerk baits, as long as it is whitish.
Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard is just getting off the ground regarding fishing with Scotty and Brandy’s takes ready to be part of the forecast most likely beginning next week!
• Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!
New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
With the weather finally feeling like May and favorable outgoing tides, you owe it to supplement your spring cleaning with some fresh striped bass this weekend. Schoolies are swarming throughout the Great Bay/Piscatagua River watershed with bigger sniffing around herring runs. Shad are on the move in the Saco River but should you throw out a dart don’t be surprised if you hook some bass while you’re at it. Recently stocked trout throughout the Granite State are handsome brookies! Haddock have moved in closer but should you prefer hauling out to Jeffrey’s Ledge be on the lookout for a toothy thief!