Peaking water temperatures have pushed striped bass out of river systems and staged them just of beaches. Some bass are binging on sand eels making soft plastic stick baits the best choice. That represents a conundrum with the sudden appearance of bluefish which make short work of bait fish and pricey soft plastics alike
New Hampshire Fishing Report
You would think that after dueling with 100 pound Alaskan halibut last week, the species Captain Bob Weathersby of Seacoast NH Sportfishing would be encountering locally would be far smaller – but that has hardly been the case! On his first trip for tuna after returning home his boat was shadowed by a tagged juvenile Great White! Once that critter went on it’s merry way and ten minutes into the water the crew was fast to a 68” bluefin! Shortly after that release they were back in the game and this time hooked and released an 80” fish. While there are still “recreational” tuna around, increasingly giants are making their presence known. The captain is finding that staging mackerel higher in the water column increases the likelihood of hooking a smaller tuna. Inshore striper fishing remains strong with may slot and over slot fish. Live mackerel are the go-to bait and you can get your macks by the Isles of Shoals.
Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters is finding the dog show on Jeffrey’s Ledge so difficult to contend with that he’s been taken to fishing for tuna! Thankfully he’s caught “Charlies” on two out of three trips! His latest success was a 75” fish which fell for a live mackerel. Just prior to the landing, the crew had lost a fish. Obviously should you book Captain Andy odds are that you’ll be going home with tuna!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
We have the first bluefish reports of the year from Brandy of Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard – sort of! She told me that bite-offs have been regularly occurring from boat and from shore but landings are just not happening! Those bluefish encounters as well as striper landings have been coming from Kittery, York Beach and Moody Beach. Beaches are your best bet for consistent striped bass fishing because that’s where the water is coolest. Regarding rivers, tidal rivers are more reliable than those which have a higher percentage of freshwater. Recently Brandy observed a blitz taking place in the Saco River and even though a brace of kayakers were immediately on it, nothing was caught! Most likely the reason was that the prey was sand eels; when bass focus in on sand eels they’ll often ignore all else! That is the time for slim-profiled stick baits! Sea run brown trout and shad are still there for the offing. As for groundfishing, the sweet spot for haddock and pollock has been as deep as 350’ of water. Shallower areas are too often plagued by dogs.
Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters enjoyed a rare guides day off recently and found some good fish around the ledges and beaches in Scarborough. The fish were happy to take Zoom Flukes 7”, and Albie Snax. The bay (Casco Bay) has been fishing well early in the morning, with some solid topwater blitzes. Small spooks like a Jumpin’ minnow and paddle tails as well as Ron-Z’s in pearl have been best. Anglers there are still waiting on the “yellow-eyed devil” to make it’s presence known. If Webhannet’s report has bearing than those folks shouldn’t have to wait much longer!
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
As summer peaks bass begin staging by beaches where more temperature conditions and plenty of bait make for happier fish. York Beach has been good as has Moody Beach with fresh mackerel working well for both. Tidal rivers such as Webhannet have been winners just make sure your packing small soft stick baits should the fish be focused on sand eels. Offshore fishing can be challenging with the preponderance of dogfish lurking among ledges, the exception being tuna fishing which is really ho