Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- September 22, 2022

With water temperatures still in the striper-friendly 60-degree range and all that bait, the run should still have a ways to go! If you’re looking for bait, the mackerel resurgence is timely. The latter is a good thing if you set your sights on offshore tuna because the word is that a lot of bait is a necessity!

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Captain Bob Weathersby of Seacoast NH Sportfishing said that coastwide striped bass fishing has improved since the recent storm with mixed sizes of fish cooperating. Peanut bunker have filled the harbors and surface feeds are common. A mackerel fished among the mayhem is a smart technique for plucking out better fish with the Isles of Shoals experiencing an uptick in mack numbers. The bluefin bite remains strong with halfbeaks now a factor. Those speedy acrobatic halfbeaks bring on the predaceous nature of tuna making for explosive feeds and hits! Soaking macks, sea herring or whiting has been the most productive method but be prepared to go through a lot of bait and leaders as there are no shortage of blue, porbeagle and mako sharks around! As for size, Scantum is holding giants while Jeffrey’s Ledge is a better bet for mixed sizes!

Seacoast NH Sportfishing tuna
Aboard Seacoast NH Sportfishing the tuna bite is on!

Jim from The Tackle Shack in Meredith told me that shallow smallmouth bass action has improved in Winnipesaukee as dropping water temperatures have brought them in as close as 10-15’ of water. Lakers are staged under smelt or white perch fry in 60’ of water making them ideal for vertical jigging with Deadly Dicks, Swedish Pimples and Kastmaster XLs working well. Salmon are transitioning towards rivers/tributaries as they prepare for the eventual spawning run.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company told me that the nighttime fishing right now is as good as it gets! Super Strike Needlefish, GT Eels and SP Minnows are accounting for some big bass off Two Lights State Park, the Cape Elizabeth Pool, Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough Marsh. Peanut bunker are lighting the fuse to some impressive surface action in bays and harbors. Wells Harbor has been good for boaters trolling mackerel which can be found near Richmond Island and other islands between Saco Bay and Casco Bay. Rivers which support herring runs, especially after rainfall, are good choices as bass binge on baby herring flushed out by the current. Football tuna are in as close as 2 miles from shore!

Although Captain Lou of Diamond Pass Outfitters has changed his latitude and longitude to more southern environs as he chases funny fish, he’s keeping dibs on Downweast. According to the captain, beaches have been going off in Scarborough and Old Orchard with some pretty good topwater blitzes on peanut bunker. The fish are moving so staying mobile and having binoculars is a must. Casco Bay has been fishing consistently too, with Mackworth Island, and the surrounding area holding fish. There are still plenty of mackerel around also which when thrown in the mix of feeds are a surefire way to cull out a cow that is on the hunt.

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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

The run and fun are in full swing and with mackerel now in abundance, drifting one throughout the Piscataqua River or trolling one off of Salisbury Beach should be productive. Surface feeds throughout the harbors and well into Maine have been the result of a collision of peanut bunker and striped bass. With bluefish have been bidding the area a fond farewell, mackerel have returned to the Isles of Shoals as well as Richmond Island. In addition to great striper bait, a live mackerel is sure to short circuit the tuna search off Scantum and Jeffrey’s Ledge.

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