New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont Fishing Report – July 21, 2022

Stephen Wadsack
Stephen Wadsack landed this fine fly caught striper on a herring pattern while fishing aboard Diamond Pass Charters.

Those favoriting artificials are doing best for bass at low light while day will still produce but it takes live or chunk mackerel/pogies to up the odds. For a shot at something unusual consider summertime shad off Webhannet or for real bragging rights a sea run brown!

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Captain Bob of Seacoast NH Sportfishing has been among the missing in this column because he took a long busman’s holiday and found some impressive “flounder” as in 100+ pound halibut off of the Alaskan coast! It’s amazing that there is such a thriving fishery off the opposite coast. Now that he’s back on planet earth he’s finding that the striper fishing remains consistently good in part to moderate ocean temperatures. The preferred bait – mackerel – has been generally available on inshore ledges with chum the key. A few starting points in your mack acquisition attempts might be the 2KR Can as well as Hampton Shoal Ledge. Tuna fishing is stellar with the caveat being there is little demand for giants since market has been flooded. Should you catch a major Charlie, ensure you “swim” the giant for quite a while to ensure it’s survival upon release. Smaller “rec” tuna are taking mackerel, especially one deployed near the surface.
Captain Andy from Adventure and Catch Charters, as usual, is working hard to put his patrons into pollock, haddock, cusk and redfish but the dogs are so pervasive it’s harder than usual. The skipper knows the bottom as well as groundfishing like few others and feels that the virtual elimination of bottom predators of dogfish “pups” – cod and wolffish – has resulted in an unnatural balance of species making conditions perfect for the proliferation of these pests. One can only wonder how long it will be before the dogs take over inshore fisheries as well. Meanwhile your best bet to haul in a few haddock and other gadoids is by the lower portion of The Curl as well as The Fingers with the sweet spot being drifting in 170’ of water! Pollock cause less dogfish headaches since they are higher in the water column, about 25’! Squid seekers check out the Piscataqua River which is loaded with them.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard told me of three sea run browns that were recently caught! One was in Ogunquit, another in Kennebunkport and the third right in Webhannet. Anglers mimicking sand eels with slim-profiled stick baits are doing the best. Anglers have been having macks chopped off their Sabiki rigs which is a sure indication that there is a bluefish presence in the Parson’s Beach area. That same spot has been good for stripers of mixed sizes. Pogy schools off the Piscataqua River, York Beach and south of Ogunquit are holding some of the bigger bass in Maine! Regarding offshore, in addition to the usual contingent of haddock, cusk, whiting, redfish and pollock there have been a few halibut taken from Southern Jeffrey’s Ledge. For a shot at one of these major flatfish opt for a chunk, fillet or even whole mackerel, sea herring or whiting as opposed to clam or squid bait.

Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters is keeping a low profile during the day but a high one at low light! Now that we are in the heat of the summer stripers are most active in the Casco Bay Area near dark. The word is that they are still getting some excellent surface feeds in the morning around river mouths and rock piles with a good outgoing tide. Once that sun comes up the fish go deep and seek out cooler water where there is structure from which to ambush prey. Live lined mackerel and pogies have been productive and as the day moves on, switching over to chunks and clam have been the best bet. The old faithful tube and worm has been producing good numbers, but with the fuel price and the price of worms it has become a “break glass in case of emergency” option. The sight fishing on the flats has been decent: crabs and shrimp patterns have been the ticket. Back Bays have been the most consistent for blitzes.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!


New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

Squid numbers are up with docks, marinas and bridges throughout the Piscatagua River holding them. Pogy schools from Portsmouth through Parson’s Beach remain a best bet for catching cows. Back bays are the spots to be if you’re looking for surface fees while just off the coast of Casco Bay the catching is good for live/chunk mackerel.

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