Typical of mid-September, anglers are packing away their gear while striped bass continue to pack on weight for the run! Beaches get the nod by day while the quiet of a nightime marsh is likely to be punctured by feeding striped bass! The cod option however is not one to ignore as offshore ledges hold lunkers!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Cod should be nervous with Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters hot on their tails now that a limited harvest is permissible until October 7th! Andy’s not just catching any cod but corker mid-30” specimens. He’s getting them off the southern portion of Jeffrey’s Ledge around The Curl, and inner Pigeon Hill! Look for rock and ledge for the cod while haddock prefer more of a muddy bottom. Some big pollock have been present higher in the water column. As for the dreaded D word – dogfish – yes, you’re likely to encounter a few so be prepared to move if you become plagued.
Peanut bunker throughout the Piscataqua River/Portsmouth area are drawing incoming from mixed sizes of striped bass! Peanut bunker are also the word from Captain Bob Weathersby of Seacoast NH Sportfishing who said that they can be found with prowling stripers in most harbors and lower river stretches. Offshore bluefin fishermen are facing a “shark sandwich” with dogfish deep, and a mix of blue, mako, and porebeagle higher in the water column. Keep a good amount of both live bait and flourocarbon aboard. Scantum, particularly the northeast section, has been yielding some real brutes. Pigeon Hill is a better bet for recreational size tuna. Many sportsman are actually looking forward to the imminent commercial season closure as boat numbers and bad behavior take a lot of the fun away from those savoring a standup challenge!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Scott was at the helm of Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard when we spoke recently and he said that in spite of many boaters and booters dropping out of the game, the fishing remains great! Surface feeds in the Saco River as well as Wells Harbor are commonplace. The bait consists of sand eels, herring fry and peanut bunker so pack small wares with you! Bigger bass are coming from beaches such as Mother’s Beach and Goose Rocks Beach.
Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company told me that anglers targeting beaches are having the most luck. Chunk mackerel off Old Orchard Beach, Biddeford Pool and Huggins Beach are a few standouts. Spurwink River and Scarborough Marsh are also fishing well, especially at night with Slug-Gos accounting for some big fish! Cod are cruising in as close as Tantas Ledge with a few tuna taken there as well.
According to Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters, the night bite in the Scarborough Marsh area has been stellar. Eels, GT Eels and other big stick baits are fishing well on the flats and rocky sections of beaches. With the east wind predicted on Saturday expect bait, bass and weed to be blown back in! Pack some weedless offerings in case things get really messy!
• Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!
New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
If you’re yearning to catch a cod than check out The Curl or inner Pigeon Hill! Some of the specimens there are mid-30” beasts! Tantas Ledge deserves a look also. The edges of Jeffrey’s Ledge hold tuna! Inshore the last east wind triggered a stellar striper bite and expect a repeat with a similar forecast predicted for the weekend. Consider beaches by day, while marshes/estuaries are the deal with eels at night!