Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- May 25, 2023

Touch of Gray Charters monkfish
This beast of a monkfish was recently caught aboard Touch of Gray Charters.

Where you wet a line next may come down to your personal preference more than where the stripers are because right now they are most everywhere! It’s rare that anglers are finding them pushing herring upstream, while at the same time, bays and harbors are also hot. Groundfishing remains great as well with a dizzying variety of willing species cooperating.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Captain Bob from Seacoast NH Sportfishing said that mackerel have moved in closer and there are even pogies off the Granite State shoreline. While there are still a pile off fish chasing herring among the tributaries of Great Bay such as the Lamprey River and Oyster River, there also slot-plus fish all along the coast. Spots worth giving it a go are Salisbury Beach, Wallis Sands Beach as well as the harbors of Hampton and Wentworth. Bob suggests that anglers focus on areas that abut tidal creeks on an outgoing tide; warmer water on the ebb often calls them in.

Sometimes “limiting out” is academic, a case in point is when fishing aboard Captain Andy’s boat of Adventure and Catch Charters. While the skipper’s goal is keep the patrons catching, he’d gladly trade a bunch of smalls for less as long as they are select specimens and that’s precisely what he’s dialed into with the haul consisting of 24” haddock and 30” pollock! Andy’s goal is to elicit “wows” when charters catch a fish. The Fingers have been especially productive with few dogs to muddle up the fishing. Mackerel are in tight and should be looked for in such spots such as the 2KR Can and Hampton Shoals Ledge. Stripers are swarming throughout the Piscatauqua River, with a live mackerel on the line the ticket for anything likely swimming there.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

While I began my conversation with Captain Paul Hood of Touch of Gray Fishing Charters with the typical “what’s hitting”, I quickly felt like pivoting to “what’s not hitting?”! Haddock, hake, redfish, pollock, monkfish and cod were all in play as we talked. While there’s usually no shortage of fish on board the skippers 43’ Torres, Paul prefers to fish respectfully of our resources with jigs with a single hook as opposed to trebles that result in a high mortality rate. Platt’s Ledge has been the captain’s honey hole lately but Jeffrey’s Ledge is also on his agenda. While groundfishing is Paul’s go-to passion, he’s a fan of other fisheries and said that the Kennebunk area by the Clam Shack has been hot for striped bass!

Captain Paul Hood pollock
Captain Paul Hood has found a pile of pollock off Platt’s Ledge.

Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard told me of a 50” beast of a bass a local hotshot caught on a GT Eel at an estuary at night! Anglers fishing at pre-dawn through first light by the dam of the Saco River are catching impressive stripers on topwater lures. The fish are focused on river herring and will aggressively take down a spook or swimmer which mimics a herring. Mackerel can be found among humps about a mile out from shore but it is hoped that imminent warmer water will push them inward. Flounder can be found by Biddeford Pool.

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


New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

It’s very fitting that many of you will have an extra day off this weekend, that gives you another day to sample what’s going on right now! River herring runs in the Lamprey River as well as the Saco River are among the better bets for bass action. The harbors from Portsmouth to Portland are fishing well also as migrating bass stop over for a feast before moving on. Groundfishing is an attractive alternative with every bend in the rod a real whodunit!

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