Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- May 18, 2023

Tony Negron and his son pollock
Special Forces Veteran Tony Negron and his son enjoyed a productive pollock trip while aboard Adventureandcatch Charters!

So far the catching continues to fly in the face of the calendar with slots and even larger fish making their presence known as far up as Portland. Some of the better spots are tributaries of Great Bay as well as Downeast herring runs. Groundfishing on Platt’s remains great and there’s even a fun-to-fish for flatfish on the feed in Southern Maine!

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua told me that his son and grandson had their way recently on slot stripers throughout the Merrimack River. The fish were taking down topwater lures such as the Badonk-A-Donk as well as assorted spooks. Some of these early season migrants are monsters, witness a 42 pounder that Joe saw a picture of! A top trout pick is Forest Lake in Methuen where anglers have been catching nice brookies and rainbows. The Nashua River is well down now from the rage it was earlier and bass are on beds.
Captain Andy of Adventure and Catch Charters said that slot stripers are cooperating throughout the Piscataqua River watershed with the power plant section of the Sagamore Creek getting special mention. The fish are not fussy with white topwaters and soft plastic stick baits all working well. Groundfishing is going like gangbusters on Platt’s with big “Boston bluefish” cooperating. In addition to the big pollock, haddock up to 24” have been part of the haul. The skipper’s hunch is that with warming water temperatures Jeffrey’s Ledge should start holding fish; expect to see his take on that spot next week!

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard did not have to travel far to contribute to this week’s report in fact she just had to glance out the window of the home she and her husband Scott share overlooking the Saco River! Scott tugged in 4 nice ones all on topwater lures in the evening the other night. It’s little wonder that the Saco has stripers since it is “choked” with herring. Just about all the rivers and harbors have some sort of striped bass activity with plenty of slot fish in the mix. A bit of interesting news was the flounder that have been cooperating in the York River. In fact, three different crews caught fish with a number of 15”/16” specimens in the mix! A few mackerel have been caught but none close enough to catch off the jetties.

Zach from Saco Bay Tackle Company told me that the size of the stripers that anglers are catching is extraordinary for this early in the season; in fact he’s even heard of 50” monsters! The hot spots have been the Spurwink, Higgins Beach, the Mousam River and Kennebunk River. Best baits have been white paddletail soft plastics as well as top water lures. Anglers are catching mackerel but they have to head out to the islands in the bay to get them. Some squid have been caught with Kittery and Wells two of the better spots.

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


New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

Herring run rivers such as the Lamprey, Oyster and Saco are best bets for not only volumes of striped bass but a better than average fish! Groundfish remains an attractive option with pollock moving onto Platt’s Ledge. Two more interesting options are flounder in the York River and squid in Kittery!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *