Predicted cooler temperatures should begin bringing striped bass into rivers and estuaries and in some instances that appears to be already happening. For a shot at a big bass, anglers in the know are finding pogies first knowing that it often takes big bait to tempt a big fish!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
According to Captain Bob of Seacoast NH Sportfishing resident stripers seem to be splitting with smaller fish staging in the same areas while increasingly the larger fish are following the ever-present pogy schools. With all that bait it can seem like the fishing version of the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack but if you weigh the bait down below the school or fish it at the edge of the school your odds of hooking something special rise exponentially.
Offshore, respectable-sized whiting have moved onto southern Jeffrey’s Ledge making for on-hand prime bluefin baits, especially since mackerel remain inconsistent. The skipper suggests that TLC be applied to the fragile whiting so deploy them as soon as possible and consider bridling as opposed to impaling – the baits will last longer with less trauma. This also makes for a more natural presentation. With the commercial season ending September 1st, the bite is expected to be stellar after the full moon and with less pressure.
Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters is well suited to his groundfishing passion as it piques his curious nature as to what is swimming down there! One such creature that he’s thrilled to have found is big white hake up to 35”! As he put it, he’s found a “patch” on Jeffrey’s Ledge that is holding these corker hake and he’s not likely to give it up anytime soon! The bad news is that after a brief respite the dogs are back in force! Also he tipped me off to a fellow charter captain – Kyle Basoukas – who has been putting patrons into cows which are feeding on pogies throughout the Piscataqua River watershed!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard told me that in spite of the incessant heat wave big striped bass were still cooperating. One couple was looking to troll up some mackerel by Bib Rock at mid-day when they ran into an epic big bass blitz that hit everything from SP Minnows to Slug-Gos. The gentleman tallied a nice 42” fish but was topped by his significant other who caught one of 47” and this was mid-day during the middle of the heat wave! As for the intended species, they did manage one mackerel! Drakes Island has been good, especially from the jetty. Squid are swarming around lit marinas with bass feeding on them at night. Flounder up to 17” have been caught from the Pepperell Cove Bridge in Kittery. In the unusual category clams fished by Nubble Light have found – tautog! Peter from Saco Bay expects the next hot striper bite to be in rivers/estuaries now that cooler nights are predicted combined with the arrival of peanut bunker. Some of the better bass around have been take off Pine Point, Biddeford Pool and Higgins Beach on GT Eels. One of the areas better guides – Captain Peter Fallon – has also been doing well at night with black Yo-Zuri Mag Darters. When peanut bunker are the forage, stick with the 5/8th ounce version of that striper staple.
According to Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters in spite of the fluctuating weather fishing has remained consistent. There has been reliable fishing in the ledges lately. Live lining mackerel and throwing weightless GT’s in the whitewater has been the most productive. The rivers have been steadily getting better. The water temps are pretty high but the arrival of juvenile herring has the bass feeding at low light. Flies, and Albie Snax have been the best there. Fly casters have been getting fish on the flats but it has been a blind cast to points of interest vs. sight casting. Shrimp flies and buck tail jigs have been the ticket.
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
Piscatagua River pogy schools are holding some of the biggest bass in the region. However with the onset of peanut bunker close to shore blitzes should become the nom. This will dovetail nicely with cooling temperatures which will be a harbinger of better things to come!