As to what stage we are in for the fall run, a shop owner summed it up with gushing superlatives which prove we have a long ways to go! With a cod season upon us many are all in for brown bombers and catching close to shore.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
From Captain Bob of Seacoast NH Sportfishing comes news that mackerel are back at the Isles of Shoals, but sometimes take some moving around to score. Offshore, while the dogfish are making bottom fishing challenging, the bluefin bite has been awesome. To favor a recreational size fish, keep a live mackerel high in the water column. Southern Jeffreys seems to be holding more recreational-sized bluefin than Scantum. Blue and porbeagle sharks are a daily nuisance on both Ledges.
Tim Moore from Tim Moore Outdoors has been jigging heavy shad while drifting his Old Town kayak throughout the Piscatagua River and catching stripers and black sea bass. The marinas throughout the bays and harbors out through Kittery are holding squid. Beaches now are a best bet for a big bass with a chunk of mackerel a solid bait choice. Cod can be caught as close as the Isles of Shoals.
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Scott Lee of Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard is nothing if not a straight shooter and not one to give in to superlatives. So when he paraphrased one of the shops better anglers as having a striper outing for the ages and described it as the “best” fishing he’s ever had, it bears repeating! The scene of the stellar fishing was Short Sands and according to the shop Savage Sand Eels as well as mackerel chunks have been among the better bass producers. There have even been a couple of 50-pound stripers landed off Kennebunk and even as far north as Brunswick! Moody Beach has been good also! The Saco River and Wells Harbor early in the day look as if there’s a rain shower as bait sprinkles the surface everywhere! Prevalent forage is peanut bunker, silversides and sand eels. As for cod, no problem there as anglers are getting them in close off Bibb Rock, the Flag Pole, the Hump off Wells and Boone Ledge.
According to Captain Lou Tirado of Diamond Pass Outfitters, anglers who are doing best are picking the right “pockets”. The bass are schooled up and feeding voraciously once found. The captain has been randomly running into a good school of healthy 25-30” out in about 40 feet of water about 500 yards off the beach. Beaches worth a go are Old Orchard, Higgins, Biddeford and Parsons. With small bait present, it has been a fly fishers dream with skinny water and hungry bass on top. Top producing lures have been weightless soft plastics fished just under the surface, and small baitfish patterns like the gummy minnow for flies.
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
It may not be Christmas but it could be called that “most wonderful time of the year”! With big bass still well into Maine, don’t even think about moth-balling your gear! Drifting and jigging your way along the Piscatqua River could reward you with a black sea bass as well as a schoolie-to-slot striper! If it appears to be raining in the Saco River and Wells Harbor, don’t reach for the rain coat instead reach for the rod – that’s all bait and all good! Brunswick reports have big bass still in residence which means that the fall run has some legs to it. What isn’t far away is the cod bite with fish feeding among the Isles of Shoals, Bibb Rock, Boone Ledge and the “Hump” just outside of Wells Harbor.