Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- February 2, 2023
Right up there in the “you can’t have it all” category is this weekends weather forecast. Ideal ice-making temperatures may be hamstrung by wind and lots of it. Hopefully the temps will override the billows making for more clear ice and less – white caps!
New Hampshire Fishing Report
Jim from The Tackle Shack in Meredith told me that the only places on Lake Winnipesaukee with safe ice at the moment are Nineteen Mile Bay and Twenty Mile Bay. The former is even sporting 8-10” of the hard stuff. Just plan on getting there early since with so few alternatives on the big lake the parking area fills up fast! The flip side of that is what a homeowner who has views of Meredith Bay reported, namely – white caps! A sure sign that Waukewan has plenty of ice is the appearance of ad hoc ice fishing rinks on the lake. Authorities wait until there is at last 12” of solid ice before it’s a go so you know it’s solid. Newfound Lake is widely open but there is ice among the coves on the north and south ends. The hope is that the Artic blast will add to this. Hawkins Pond has been good as has Bear Camp Pond in Sandwich. The latter has historically given up big bass including an enormous 8 pound largemouth a few years ago!
Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua told me that his son Trevor tugged in a nice brown trout recently from Pleasant Pond. A few anglers have been catching warm water species out of Potanipo as well as Lees Pond. As for the Nashua River it is perfect for – open water!
Southern Maine Fishing Report
Chris from Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn told me that he’s been hearing some reports of anglers fishing the coves of Thompson Lake for togue and salmon. Long Pond is a better bet as it’s more consistently frozen. Chris has been taking in some crappie fishing from Little Cobbosseecontee and along with his lady friend has been finding slabs up to 16 1/2”! That place also excels in bass and pike.
There’s potentially good news about the smelt camps according to Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company. Some friends of his have already dragged their private Bobhouses onto 4-5” of ice among the estuaries. The word from the actual outfitters is that they are waiting for 7-9” of ice before they fly the open flag! The predicted cold snap is expected to do just that. Elsewhere, Zach has patrons putting in the time for togue, brook trout and salmon on East Grand Lake and doing well. The coves of Sebago have been adding ice and the predicted big chill should only add to it. If pike are your target you can fish Sebago by foot since the fish are held up as shallow as 6’, where you find weeds you’ll find the fish.
• Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!
New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast
Your best bet for a successful outing on Lake Winnipesaukee is a pre-dawn launch onto Nineteen Mile Bay. The early start has nothing to do with fish activity but rather the need to procure a parking spot! Other Granite State options are Waukewan Lake, Hawkins Pond and Bear Camp Pond which grows some impressive black bass. This report has been sorely lacking in smelt intel but that just might change! Private shacks are already perched on good ice in Downeast Maine. Conditions are but a few inches away from the big camps saying “come on down”!
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