Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- February 15, 2024

largemouth bass caught through the ice
Sebago may be lacking ice but big bass on smaller ponds are making for a nice consolation prize!

It seems almost counterintuitive to want to fish a lake which hosted a few thousand folks the previous weekend, but now that things have quieted down a bit Lake Winnipesaukee should be primed for continued hot fishing. Farther north in Maine some anglers are content at putting in a full day for just one flag, knowing that at the end of that line there may be an 18 pound pike.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

There was big news from Jim of The Tackle Shack in Meredith as Emerson Aviation on Friday declared “ice-in” as Lake Winnipesaukee was observed to be completely covered in ice. The hope is that with sub-freezing temperatures predicted over the foreseeable future, such spots as The Broads, Long Island, Diamond Island and Welch Island will all be open to ice fishing traffic. For a bead on ice conditions there check in with the shop for current conditions. The quarry in those spots is just as likely to be white perch as it is cusk, lakers and rainbow trout. Tim Moore of TimMooreOutdoors often told me that 30’ of water was the sweet spot with blue/silver Clam Pinhead Jigging Minnows a good choice. In spite of last weekends harsh spotlight, Winnipesaukee is still a best bet because of improving ice which allow heretofore areas to be fished.

Regarding cusk, Lake Francis has been giving up an especially hot cusk bite.

Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua reported that regulars have been on Robinson Pond, catching smallmouth and largemouth bass. For crappie check out Pawtuckaway Lake in Nottingham. Willand Pond should still have a few rainbow trout swimming around in spite of angling attention, while Bow Lake is a best bet for a bronzeback and rainbow combo.


Southern Maine Fishing Report

Brady of Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn told me that several customers have been making the trip to togue-filled East Grand Lake and West Grand Lake! Moosehead is pretty much locked up in its entirety with the bite reported to be good. Closer to the shop, check out Beals Pond in Turner for brook trout. For pike there are numerous options such as Sabattus, the Andro and the Belgrade Lakes.

From Peter of Saco Bay Tackle Company came word that anglers have been fishing for trout from Kennebunk Pond as well as Little Ossipee.

If you are looking for a field trip, one to consider is Sebec Lake in Willimantic. An acquaintance of mine who used to work in a New Hampshire bait shop would occasionally take a togue trip there and when he did couldn’t stop talking about the awesome lake trout fishing. What was most surprising is that the biggest togue they often caught were found in just 8’ of water. Obviously lakers are deepwater fish but if the forage is shallow then that’s where you’ll find them!

Andrew from Saco Bay Tackle Company said that anglers have been slamming bass from Highland Lake! Crystal Lake is another interesting option.

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

 

From Vermont: Fishing for Wild Native Lake Trout

Compliments of Braden and Trevor Woods from Woods2Water Fishing Adventures on YouTube.

wild native vt lake trout
Braden and Trevor Woods found a good early-morning lake trout bite on smaller water in Vermont this week.
These native lake trout may not be giants, but they were not shy about taking XL baits deployed by the Woods brothers.

The warmer weather this year has taken us out of our comfort zone. That being said it’s been a lot of fun exploring new areas, Studying depth maps and diving into the history of Vermonts waterbodies. Yesterday our adventures brought us to a lake neither of us had ever been to before. We rolled into the parking lot while the sun was still in a deep sleep. The dark clouds covered the light of the moon and every star, making it hard to see your hands in front of your face. We carefully studied the depth maps and chose a saddle with ledges on both sides plummeting to deeper water. We trudged our way across the frozen lake, as we got close to the spot our headlamps caught the reflectors on two hard sides parked right on the hump. It was a little discouraging but we got back to work. We pulled the maps back out and chose our next piece of paradise were we would spend the day. We got to setting up just as the sun was starting to light up the world. Before we could finish flags starting popping. At first they had trouble committing to the oversized baits. Eventually We did find a few to play with and we were blown away by the beauty of these fish. They had beautiful coloring and perfectly in tact fins with white tips. A true beauty of nature! Eventually though the strong winds, hunger and the long drive home caught up with us and we started our trek back to the truck. Being our first time at this spot and now that there was light to see, we checked out the bulletin boards at the launch. We were surprised to find out that the beauty of these fish is because they are wild native lake trout making these three the first we’ve ever caught!! The warm weather maybe has been a blessing in disguise, as we have found ourselves delving into our passion for fishing even more than we have in previous years.

New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

Just because the derby is over doesn’t mean you should discount Winnipesaukee! Take advantage of less pressured hardwater which didn’t have ice until the past week. Such areas such as Diamond Island and Welch Island are worth a shot but to be safe first check in with local shops. If something with sharp teeth is more to your liking than give the Belgrade Lakes in Maine a look while Beals Pond in Turner would be better for brook trout. As for togue, Sebec Lake in the Piscataguis Region seems to have all the lakers one could reasonably ask for!

1 thought on “Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- February 15, 2024

  1. Lotta lota

    Drove by Lake Winni (Alton-Gilford), Alton Bay is iced in out to Black Point. What ice was on the Broad is long gone. As is the ice from Belknap Point, Gilford to Sleeper Point, West Alton. My favorite cusk spot is wide open.

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