New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont Fishing Report – May 5, 2022

schoolie striped bass
If not already here, fresh schoolies are on the way!

With news of the first wave of stripers already well into the North Shore of Massachusetts, if you folks don’t already have them than their arrival could be but a tide away! Freshwater pursuits continue to be weighted towards trout and salmon, although fans of black bass may beg to differ!

New Hampshire Fishing Report

According to Captain Andy from Adventure and Catch Charters you have to “live on the ledge” to catch haddock! The skipper’s finding them in 220’ of water off Jeffrey’s Ledge where it drops from 180 to 325 feet. The good news is that if you find the sweet spot you may limit out. Pollock are present but on the small side but the addition of cusk is making up for the short pollock. Captain Andy keeps his boat in Great Bay Marina and while he hasn’t heard of any stripers there yet he’ll be networking with other captains to give us fresh intel.
Of course the other options are trout and salmon with Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua recommending Beaver River, Skowhegan and the Nissitissit for brook trout. Some are tossing swimbaits into the Nashua River looking to knock off a big pre-spawn bucketmouth!

Winnipesaukee salmon
Winnipesaukee salmon such as this 24” beauty boated while fishing with TimMooreOutdoors are a freshwater best bet!

Tim Moore of TimMooreOutdoors continues to have a better spring than in years for Winnipesaukee salmon. Most charters are landing landlockeds in the 24”, 4 1/2-5 pound category – that’s a trophy fish! Rainbows are random catches while targeting the silver leapers. With ideal water temperatures in the top tier of the water column fish are on the move and so should you while seeking out the salmon. Tim’s using a lot of streamers which should be trolled with purpose. Too often anglers creep along with the streamer giving the salmon too good of a look; 2 1/2 mph is the sweet spot for salmon, the goal being to trigger an impulse strike rather than allow the salmon to discern that your streamer is not a smelt!

Southern Maine Fishing Report

It’s beginning to be that time of the year when the line between holdover striper and fresh fish is beginning to blur! Just ask Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company who is seeing patrons flash pictures of recently caught stripers from Wells, the Scarborough Marsh, the Saco River and at the “narrows” near the Marblehead boat launch! Haddock are now a closer haul and can be found off Tantas Ledge. 200 g OTI small pitch jigs are doing the trick.

Scotty from Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn told me that brooks and streams are teaming with the full gamut of trout thanks to recent stockings! Two that are getting a lot of buzz are the Little Androscoggin River as well as the Nezinscot River. The other interesting option is to target awakening smallmouth and largemouth bass throughout the Androscoggin River. Suspending jerk baits with a sustained pause during the retrieve will work as will jigs/soft plastics. Don’t go light in the leader department in this river: pike are on the prowl here!

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

Should you target striped bass in your usual favorite spring haunts, odds are good that sometime this week you’ll find them! Little Bay is a consistent early season spot as is Wentworth Harbor and Hampton Harbor. Farther north, the Mousam River, Saco River, Spurwink River and Scarborough Marsh will be among the first for fresh stripers. Regarding fresh, if you’re yearning for fresh haddock fillets than steep drop-offs on Jeffrey’s and Platt’s are holding the most haddock. As for sweetwater, Winnipesaukee is growing a bumper crop of big salmon this year just be prepared to be on the move if you want to find them!

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