Open water may not be your preferred way to fish late January but it’s hard to knock anglers who are catching bass and crappie as they cast. Any hopes to ice fish most big lakes are in “maybe next week” status with most smaller water good to go.
New Hampshire Fishing Report
I was pumped to hear of a glowing fishing report from Joe of Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua until I realized that the double digit bass/crappie outing he was referring to did not take place on ice but rather open water. Mid-January open water in New Hampshire, come on now! Regardless, Round Pond was hot for both species recently as Joe’s son and grandson mopped both species up on coppertreuse Z Man Ned Rigs. The shop is moving shiners as anglers are taking advantage of a rare New England winter when open water options abound! The Nashua and Merrimack Rivers are also two uncommon options this late into the winter with largemouth and smallmouth bass available in both rivers while pike prowl the latter.
The wait continues for ice in on Winnipesaukee according to Jim from The Tackle Shack in Meredith. Surface areas in bays and harbors “shell up” only to be dispatched seemingly the next day due to incessant wind and thaws. However, increasingly the long term forecast is looking favorable for a significant freeze. Meanwhile many smaller water bodies in the Meredith stretch and beyond have good ice, but with no one able to fish the bigger water, expect plenty of company.
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Brady from Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn told me that while anglers wait for larger lakes such as Thompson to lock up they are making due with pike from Sabattus Lake and the Androscoggin River. Pushaw Lake is a good option to take the kiddies out for pickerel and panfish. The same can be said for Sibley Pond. Narrow Pond gets the nod for salmon and brookies. Lake Cobbie is the pick for smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company told me that anglers have been having luck at Lake Ossipee for trout and black bass. Kennebunk Pond is the pick for brown trout. There is a plethora of smaller ponds near the shop with willing warm water species as well as trout. The shop’s protocol is decidedly old school as is the self-serve bait tanks which work on the honor system and offer everything from small to medium to large shiners.
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New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
New Hampshire anglers are enjoying the rare opportunity to fish open water in the Nashua area with cooperative crappie and largemouth bass willing to hit a Ned Rig. The rivers are another option with black bass in the Nashua with pike added to the mix in the later. Pike is also on the agenda for anglers fishing the Androscoggin River as well as Lake Sabattus. Other Maine options are Lake Ossipee and Cobbie for smallmouth and largemouth bass. Kennebunk Pond features brown trout while salmon swim in Narrow Pond.