Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- March 16, 2023

northern pike

Photo: A northern pike caught by Matt Janiszewski. Photo by Kierran Broatch.

The beauty of March is that we get to pick our passion be it hardwater or increasingly open water options! Combined with many species switching to feed mode, there’s a lot to offer out there.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Right out of the cut-from-the-same-cloth handbook comes word of a banner day for the grandson of Joe of Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua. Junior’s attitude seems to be that if there’s no ice, there is no problem as he tallied a mixed bag of 30 warm water species from Round Pond. KVD Jerkbaits and chatterbaits did most of the damage with 3-4 pound Larrys the highlight. Mill Pond should be next on the list with open water possibilities with Potanipo nipping at it’s heels.

Jim from the The Tackle Shack in Meredith told me that one angler made his way all the way out to the Welch Island/Rattlesnake Island area where he found 3-4” of ice and willing lakers up to 14 pounds. AJ bucktails/sucker strips were the trick for that guy.

largemouth bass
New Hampshire’s Mountain Brook Reservoir and Todd Lake have been solid of largemouth bass.

Tammy from the The Tackle Shack in Newbury told me many have succumbed to ice fishing burnout after a long season, a malady which is quite common this time of the year. That’s a shame because the laker bite remains strong on Lake Sunapee while Little Sunapee has willing trout and warm water species. For an even better chance at warm water species action, check out Mountain Brook Reservoir.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Tiring of talking about others for the fishing report, Brady of Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn this past weekend decided to be in it! Wyman Lake provided a mixed bag of cold water species action for everything from landlocked salmon to splake to jumbo yellow perch. Oddly all the action took place in 10’ of water with smelt the killer bait. Shiners fished in the same hole often came up with nothing while the smelt in no time were slammed. Salmon are notoriously fickle and will focus completely on forage which they are familiar with. While this won’t apply now, consider estuarial mummichogs/killifish for the open water season as a substitute for smelt. Brady agreed when I offered my assessment of this bait as being a salmon killer. Many water bodies have native killifish and salmon recognize them as prey and love them! Flags have been flying in Sabattus as pike move into the shallows in advance of the spawn which will happen just as ice is out.

Peter from Saco Bay Tackle Company didn’t have much to report on when we spoke but he did give hope for the future!

Eastman’s Fleet out of Seabrook New Hampshire will be hauling out for Arcadian redfish beginning on March 25th and once April begins the quarry will be more varied and will include haddock and even cod. The Bunny Clarke out of Ogunquit will set sail on early April and will target the same species. In the blink of an eye the headboat season will be upon us and the salt life will once again be an option!

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Maine!


New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

Open water options in southern New Hampshire are increasingly becoming viable with Round Pond featuring a real warm water species mixed bag! The nighttime freeze at Lake Winnipesaukee should buy a little more time at Nineteen Mile Bay as well as Twenty Mile Bay. Downeast options are chasing flags on Sabattus Lake or heading a bit farther north to Wyman where the salmon and splake are willing!

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