Almost to the tide, waves of bigger and more numerous striped bass are gracing the northern New England shorelines! Mackerel have moved in close in heretofore untold numbers, pogies have made an appearance and with river herring tumbling back to the sea stripers are not lacking forage.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Captain Andy from Adventure and Catch Charters has been in the red and it has nothing to do with his financial standing! He’s found a pile of big redfish as well as haddock in 238’ of water on Jeffrey’s Ledge! Suddenly the struggle to find mackerel seems as if it’s in the rear view mirror as macks have come storming in from the Isles of Shoals to the mouth of the Piscataqua River. If the skipper had to pick one spot for macks it would be York Ledge! Rocky Points bracketing beaches are holding stripers to 38”. Should macks be a tough find, the captain suggests you jig up harbor pollock which flourish around islands and ledge and make for a mighty fine substitute.
According to Captain Bob Weathersby of Seacoast NH Sportfishing, offshore haddock and cusk have been joined by respectable pollock! However, dogfish have invaded the ledges so the skipper recommends you pass on the clams and opt for jig/fly combos. Tuna are pushing northward and increasingly becoming easier to target. Again, be wary of the dog pack; Bob suggests trolling as the antidote with “tricker” spreader bars negating the need for outriggers. Either way, employing a lazy “S” pattern when trolling is a trick the captain uses successfully.
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard told me that each week brings with it bigger fish to Maine! Fish up to 42” have been caught off Marginal Way as well as by the Nubble Lighthouse. Mackerel which have become numerous are the ticket to better bass! Chumming helps draw in the mackerel schools. Surf casters are also getting better fish off Drakes Island Beach. The tube-and-worm remains the go-to offering for rivers such as the York, Saco, Webhannet and Mousam. Pogies have been present from Bibb Rock through Ogunquit. Among the shops hotter lures are SP Minnows and white tandem-hooked 9” Slug-Gos! Parson’s Beach has been the scene of schoolie to slot blitzes.
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters said that things are heating up as “fall back” herring are dropping out from their runs and getting mugged by stripers in rivers. Mackerel are plentiful and pogies have arrived too: it’s pretty obvious that bait is not a problem in Maine! If the skipper had to pick one spot he’d recommend the Scarborough shorelines. The islands of Casco Bay have been known to give up a cow or two also. Don’t discount lures with all that bait around: spooks at low light and bucktails when the sun is up are accounting for plenty of good fish! Anglers trolling the tube-and-worm are loading up on schoolies.
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
Mackerel, which had been a tough catch, are much more numerous and are the key to catching larger linesiders from Hampton Shoal Ledge up to the Casco Bay Islands! Pogies are present also and with such a big bait there is the ever present possibility of culling out a cow. Offshore big redfish and pollock have been invited to the haddock party. If you’re a little too liberal with bait you may be plagued by dogs making a jig/teaser combination a nice alternative!