Herring runs continue to hold nice bass but with the appearance of mackerel and pogies along the ocean front some of the better fish are now being taken from beaches. Flounder fishing in Maine is better than it has been in years with haddock and redfish from Jeffrey’s an attractive offshore option!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters has been limiting out his crew on haddock on Jeffrey’s Ledge in 185’ to 220’ of water. Some of the haddock are impressive 22-24” specimens! The same spots are also producing pollock. The skipper turned the tables on an 8’, 300 pound ground-fish-gobbling porbeagle recently! Andy’s no stranger to catching these beasts but this time decided to selectively harvest one and he said that the steaks were scrumptious. Stripers are swarming throughout the Piscataqua River with most fish falling just below slot size. Mackerel can be found out front by the 2KR Can and Hampton Shoal Ledge.
Ki from Dover Marine told me that the Route 4 Bridge area has been hot with fish up to 32” hitting spooks. A few pogy schools have been spotted off Salisbury and Rye but no word on obvious predation. As for sweetwater, Sallys are completely finished with spawning while Larrys are still on their beds in mid-to-upper New Hampshire. Regarding smallies, Ki spoke glowingly about Umbagog Lake.
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Mackerel invading Saco Bay has been a game changer for boaters looking for striped bass. Wood Island has been productive for macks with Biddeford Pool and Pine Point all good for trolling. Herring are still running strong in the Saco River making this place among the better bets for a solid striper. A few pods of pogies have been swimming off the Maine coast.
Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard checked off all the boxes on this weeks report! There have been fish of over 40” caught off Mother’s Beach on Cotton Cordell Pencil Poppers. In the Webhannet River surface feeds have been common but the fish can be fussy as they sip very tiny bait: maybe immature sand eels? I’m sure a fly fisher who is adept at matching the hatch would clean up! The salt pond by Mile Road has been ushering in schoolie-to-slot stripers during high stages of the flood. A few youngsters have been working Slug-Gos in the Saco River in the evening and hammering striped bass. The Mousam has been impressive also! It’s been a good year for flounder so far with the York River and the backside of Drakes Island among the best. Haddock and redfish have been falling for white and pink cod flies with clams. Dogs are not a problem at the moment making bait a sensible option. Sea run brown trout have been spotted in the Ogunquit and Mousam Rivers but there is no word on any being caught yet.
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters said that the better bass are being caught either following river herring in the runs or on live mackerel among rocky/ledgy structure. Estuarine action can be maddening as the fish key in on small bait making streamers the ideal offering. The overall trend seems to be topwater plugs such as Yo-Zuri’s Hydro Pencil at first light while later in the morning jigs/soft plastics rule!
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
With the arrival of 40” stripers it may be time to search out pogy schools off beaches such as Salisbury Beach, Rye Beach and Mother’s Beach. Herring runs such as the one in the Saco River will continue to hold stripers until the run withers; anglers tossing alewife-colored Slug-Gos should continue to catch as long as the herring are present. Spooks have been the ticket from false dawn through early morning off Mothers Beach, the Mousam River and Casco Bay. Flounder fishing remains steady as does haddock fishing on Jeffrey’s with clams the killer bait since dogs have not been a pest.