Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- June 8, 2023

Ben with big striper
Ben took this fine bass while fishing with Diamond Pass Charters.

While the full moon and nasty weather kept most at bay, those who persevered had banner bass outings. Regardless of whether you were next to those shouldering the showers or not, moving foreword you’ll be better served with less river time and more open ocean endeavors. Groundfishing continues to be an attractive alternative with flounder biting and a real mixed bag awaiting those who fish Platt’s Ledge.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Captain Andy from Adventureandcatch Charters told me that slot stripers have been active throughout the Piscataqua River. His go-to bait for them has been mackerel which can be found by the 2KR Can, Hampton Shoals Ledge, the “bubbler” off Hampton and especially by Whaleback. Andy has a full schedule planned over the weekend and should have some solid information next week regarding Platt’s and maybe Jeffrey’s. Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair said that with herring moving out of the runs and moving downstream striper fishing is now better towards the mouth of the Merrimack River and out along Salisbury. Consider the Joppa Flats section on the Newburyport section as well. Daiwa SP Minnows will do the trick but also check out the new breed of flutter spoons when you are fishing in deeper water, these things are doppelgängers for herring in shape, size and flash! The Nashua River remains a strong option for largemouth bass with jigs working well.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

According to Captain Lou Tirado of Diamond Pass Outfitters, while stripers can still be found shadowing river herring, many of the fish are dropping back and following the bait. “Unpredictable” has been the word of the week as anglers fortunate enough to be fishing where the forage is, are catching while others aren’t. Casco Bay to the Yarmouth area has been good with plenty of bird activity pointing the way to action in the harbors and bays. Anglers are reporting sea lice on many of the fish they are catching which indicates that a fresh batch of bass has arrived. Perhaps due to the wild swings in the weather, the bite has been hit or miss, but when it has been good, it’s been really good! When on, in such spots as the Saco River, Gravity Tackle soft plastics, metal lips, pencil poppers and metal have all been working. Lou expects that the smaller tides will allow for a more predictable pattern.

Bite-offs in Maine have anglers harboring thoughts of an early bluefish bite!

In the “strange” category for early June are reports of bite-offs! Could a school of small blues have bypassed much of Massachusetts and wound their way Downeast?

Jim Dix with haddock and cusk
Jim Dix with a double of haddock and cusk caught aboard Touch of Gray Charters.

If you rode out the rains and the winds and passed on the fishing than you had better not read this report from Brandy of Webhannet Bait and Tackle/Boatyard. The hardy who shook off the showers and wind did exceptionally well! On alewives in the Saco River 50” fish, along with 200 fish outings, have been the reality for a few. Shaker Shad baits have been hot for those matching the sand eel “hatch” in the Wells area. Mackerel have been live-lined successfully from the Kennebunkport jetty. Northern Drakes Island has been home to good action for those soaking sandworms for stripers. There have even been flounder reports from the York, Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers. Tuna fishers on Jeffrey’s are encountering plenty of porbeagle sharks.

Jeremy Dix haddock
Not to be outdone, Jeremy Dix also found willing haddock while fishing with Captain Hood!

Captain Paul Hood of Touch of Gray Fishing Charters out of Portland echoed what others were saying about the full moon/fluctuating weather making for an unpredictable pattern. With calmer seas/smaller tides the skipper expects to get onto a mixture of gadoids from shoal bottom on Platt’s Ledge. He did take out a father and son duo consisting of Jeremy Dix and his dad Jim to which they found plenty of action on catch-and-release cod, haddock, whiting, cusk and a few small pollock. Paul told the Dix family to come on back in September when they’ll be able to harvest a few of those cod they found!

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


New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

The mouths of herring runs in Great Bay are simmering down but a few are still at it hoping to swap numbers of stripers for a chance at a cow. Fore pure quantity, the mouths of the Merrimack, Piscataqua, Saco, Mousam and Kennebunk are all better options now than upstream sections. Those yearning for harvesting something for the dinner table should consider flounder from the York River, Mousam River or Kennebunk River. For variety and the thrill of potentially hooking something special check out Platt’s Ledge, and should you find a few cod, save that waypoint for the fall when anglers will be able to keep a few.

1 thought on “Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- June 8, 2023

  1. John Eacrett

    Who allowed the draggers to literally destroy the haddock fishery for the rod and reel anglers? It’s always the rod and reel anglers who take it on the chin.

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