While visually something worth admiring, some anglers weren’t a fan of the recent Strawberry Moon! Big tides, plenty of weed and a nighttime light show put the bass bite off at night. All was not for naught however as the daytime bite seemed to pick up. After all, the fish have to feed sometime!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
We are pleased to welcome Captain Bob Weathersby of Seacoast NH Sportfishing aboard this column. He is a skilled sportsman and skipper and no doubt provide invaluable insight and information moving forward. Bob said that flounder catches in Rye, Little Harbor and Hampton have slowed as the water temperature has now approached 60 degrees. Striped bass are solid along the coast, with many slot and over fish mixed in amongst the schoolies. The larger fish are favoring the mackerel which are available from the coastal ledges in the early hours, and the Isles of Shoals. The skipper advises the use of readily available pollock if mackerel are scarce. He also knew of a recent occasion where cow stripers and tuna tore into a huge pogy school near the Mass border. As for bluefin, a number were caught over the weekend along the southern portion of Jeffrey’s Ledge. Haddock were the preferred bait! As for now, those fish have moved northward but others will surely follow. Bob also has a bead on where you may be able to catch a halibut!
According to Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters big pollock along with nice haddock have taken up on central Jeffrey’s Ledge between 225’ and 275’ of water with the nod going to the Narrows section! Some of the pollock have been 30” plus specimens! Look for the haddock belly-down to the bottom while the pollock are about 20’ higher in the water column. As for stripers, the Piscataqua River is swarming with them of all sizes!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
While the glowing Strawberry Moon made conditions more challenging, Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters found that it simply put fish on the move with some spots barren and others blazing. With such fussy fish, bait mattered with both live and chunk mackerel among the best in Casco Bay and the Royal River. For fly fishers, crab patterns have been among the best. Some nocturnal anglers have been doing well also with metal lipped swimmers and Slug-Gos doing the trick.
Scott from Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard isn’t given to hyperbole so when he said that striper fishing has been the best in memory, it got my attention! The rivers such as York, Saco, Mousam and Webhannet are all fishing well with mixed sizes of fish cooperating up to the lower 40”! Mackerel have moved in finally with some available just outside of Wells Harbor. Regarding groundfishing the Fingers section of Jeffrey’s Ledge in 200-230’ of water seems to be the sweet spot. Pollock are also cooperating there. A few more sea run brown trout have also been caught in the Ogunquit and Mousam Rivers. Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company said that area beaches are picking up with Pine Point, Biddeford Pool, Ferry Beach and Goose Fare Brook inlet all fishing well. If Zach had to pick one lure it would be the RonZ soft plastic stick bait!
• Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!
New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
With bunker now a factor, keep an eye out for bait balls of this forage off Salisbury or Seabrook and chances are you’ll find the stripers! Farther north, rivers such as the Saco, Mousam and Royal River hold bait and hungry stripers. Some mackerel have appeared in the bays but should you just come up with pollock don’t fret they make a more-than-adequate substitute. Groundfishing remains good on Jeffrey’s ledge with pollock joining the haddock in the Narrows section.