Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- September 14, 2023

The Michno’s and Fitzpatrick’s with tuna
The Michno’s and Fitzpatrick’s tag-teamed this tuna while aboard Adventureandcatch Charters!

It’s hard to recall one fish making such a difference but anglers are really appreciating the one cod bag limit in the GOM and adjacent state waters. Several “runs” begin in September including blues, stripers and tuna and all are showing a need to feed.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Captain Andy from Adventure and Catch Charters has been catching “Charlie” so often he’s making it look like child’s play. The skipper has been slaying both giants and recreational fish on Scantum with baits staged as deep as 150’ getting the most action. He’s also finding plenty of cod, pollock and intermittent haddock as well. When there’s the occasional break in the downpours mackerel can be found close to the mouth of the Piscatagua River but more reliably by the Isles of Shoals. Herring fry are continuing their seaward migration from tributary nurseries sparking occasional surface feeds.

John and Nolan Reardon with bluefin tuna
The father/son team of John and Nolan Reardon teamed up to tackle this nice tuna while fishing aboard Seacoast NH Sportfishing with Captain Bob Weathersby.

According to Captain Bob Weathersby of Seacoast NH Sportfishing, striped bass continue to be available along the coast – along with the occasional bluefish – but the real cow fest in recent days has been at Boone Island in Maine. 30”- 50”+ fish have been blitzing small mackerel! While inconsistent along the coast due to recent rains, macks are readily available at the Shoals – along with bluefish size oceanic bonito! Bluefin are continuing to traverse Scantum Ledge, keying in on the now abundant herring. Watch for whales, and then stick with the bait schools below. Size is skewing towards giants, with the occasional ‘rec-sized’ specimen mixed in.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

If you need to get up to speed on how special cod have always been in these parts, a trip aboard Captain Paul Hood’s Touch of Gray Fishing Charters should do it! He’s putting patrons into beautiful “white bellies” as opposed to resident red “rock”cod which can be wormy.

Touch of Gray Charters cod
The cod craze is at a fever pitch aboard Touch of Gray Charters.

Some of these brown bombers have been topping 30”! The skipper only employs Nomad jigs with a single hook, not wanting to snag and mortally would fish that should be released! In spite of using clams/teasers paired with the jigs, dogfish have only been intermittent. Jeffrey’s Ledge continues to be Paul’s go-to spot with drifting between 250 and 330 feet – shoals to dropoffs – working d the best. During a recent trip, the crew of 10 left with 15 bags of fillets consisting of cod, haddock, pollock and white hake! If you’re experience with “deep sea” fishing boats has been less than fruitful then consider Touch of Gray. Earlier this week he had a 4 man crew aboard his boat with two expressing frustration from catching little more than the skunk when aboard other boats. Word has it that they left weary from reeling them in and then hauling out a big bag of fillets!

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


New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

Boone Island has been booming for big bass which are snacking on tinker mackerel. Rivers such as the Piscatagua and Saco should not be ignored as river herring fry move out to the sea with striped bass there to greet them. A few bluefish are still cruising the coast with trolling plugs accounting for toothies off Salisbury Beach. Cod fever continues with transition areas from shoal water to drop-offs on Jeffrey’s Ledge accounting for haddock, pollock and hake as well. Scantum has been sizzling for tuna with sea herring the draw that is keeping Charlie in check!

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