Freshwater bass are transitioning from beds to binge mode to make up for spent calories. Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits have been working well. While schoolie stripers can be found most anywhere, slot fish are most prevalent in rivers which support herring runs. Groundfishing has been good with willing haddock and even a few halibut!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Ki from Dover Marine told me that of some solid largemouth bass fishing in Swains Lake with the bass favorable towards chatterbaits and spinnerbaits. Among the tributaries of Great Bay, the white perch run has petered out in the Squamscott/Exeter Rivers while slot and bigger stripers have sniffed out the herring in other tributaries such as the Lamprey and Oyster. While the shop does not sell sandworms, anglers are successfully targeting flounder in Wentworth and Rye Harbors with Berkeley Gulp sandworms and bloodworms.
Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua tipped me off to some impressive brook trout fishing in the Skowhegan River. Regarding rivers, the Nashua and Merrimack are fishing well for bass with Pop Rs and Whopper Ploppers accounting for a lot of fish.
According to Captain Andy, of Adventure & Catch Charters, haddock are cooperating with few dogs showing! Big pollock have arrived as well at Jeffrey’s Ledge. Finding the right bottom substrate matters: haddock are in the “mud” while cusk/pollock/redfish are more likely encountered on ledge. As for stripers, the Piscatagua River is loaded with 25-28” fish, in fact Andy’s been catching right from his slip in Great Bay Marina!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Peter from Saco Bay Tackle Company said that stripers so far are topping out at 35” with the herring run in the Saco River attracting some of the better fish. There has even been some topwater action off beaches in Wells and Kennebunk.
According to Captain Lou from Diamond Pass Outfitters, anglers are seeing more fresh fish almost by the tide! Topwater feeds in the Casco Bay area have been described as epic! Twenty to twenty seven inch fish are making perfect follies for fly fishers. Forage has been as small as 2” so bring along some small stuff. The same cannot be said for the river herring which are making for a big meal for some of the better bass. Mackerel have appeared inshore which is often the trigger to bringing the bass out of the rivers and towards ocean fronts.
From Brandy and Scott of Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard comes news of thick schools of stripers from York to Saco. The fish are mostly schoolie to slot size fish. As is usually the case this time of the year, rivers are all the rage but Drakes Island has featured some surface action. Clams, worms, Slug-Gos and Storm Shads have been the most effective. When there’s a break in the beast of an east wind, haddock are plentiful with 250’ the sweet spot; redfish are cooperating over ledge and there was even a few nice halibut caught!
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
The Piscataqua River is holding plenty of stripers up to slot size with some anglers even catching quality fish from their slips in the marinas! Herring runs such as in the Lamprey River and Saco River will continue to lure in the larger linesiders until alewife/blueback numbers dwindle by the end of the month. There are some signs that mackerel are moving in which should give anglers an open water option to supplement rivers, marshes and estuaries.