Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- February 22, 2024

John D Silva with largemouth bass
John D Silva with a nice Todd Lake Larry.

If you were to paint the perfect ice fishing picture it would involve a nighttime chill with gentle winds to build ice. Maybe adding to the wish list how about little snow to slow progress? And to add to the blessings perhaps temperatures where the gloves can come off? Well if you take a peak at next weeks forecast, you might say that you’re prayers have been answered!

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Man you folks have it good! On Wednesday I took a trip up north to join my buddy John D Silva to partake of something we don’t have in Greater Boson – ice! It took some doing to set up on Lake Todd – flying flags will do that every time. The 8” of ice was just about perfect to inspire confidence to explore but not so much as to exhaust a couple of guys who are getting up there in age. We caught a nice little mixture of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pickerel and perch and there was that one oh-no moment when John lost a pig of a largemouth holeside. John handled it a lot better than I would have as no doubt my reaction would have cleared any snow still clinging to the trees. En route along Route 89 I was hopelessly distracted from all the frozen water opportunities within view of the road. With plenty of 40 degree temperatures predicted over the next week, it looks as if conditions are only going to get better.
Jim from The Tackle Shack in Meredith told me that anglers were recently out on 19 Mile Bay, 20 Mile Bay, Alton Bay and Gilford Beach. These reports are subject to change continuously so it’s advisable to check with the Tackle Shack before you head out. If in doubt, stick to the big bays mentioned previously, there’s plenty of ice there as well as willing white perch and lakers. The Connecticut Lakes area has plenty of ice with the cusk bite especially good and in surprisingly shallow water.

Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua was as enthusiastic about the ice this week as he’s ben all season! Anglers are getting out in force on Melendy Pond, Pawtuckaway, Bellamy, Cobbett’s and Beaver Pond. As to what the quarry is he listed a “who’s who” of species that swim in New Hampshire from black bass to panfish to trout!

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Brady from Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn told me that he recently found big bait which he’s been trapping, the timing of which couldn’t be better since the pike bite in Messalonskee Lake has been impressive. Another fish that would willingly make a meal out of a big shiner is togue and they are on a tear in Thompson Lake as well as the Greenville section of Moosehead Lake. For the big brookies that swim there, stick to the shallows with trout worms or dillies.

Andrew of Sebago Bait, and buddy with bluegill.
Andrew of Sebago Bait, and buddies, have been enjoying a solid bluegill bite at Highland Lake and Little Sebago!

Andrew of Sebago Bait and Tackle sent me a sobering picture of a landlocked salmon that he harvested which seemed healthy with a nice belly until a peak inside showed that it was chock full of fireworks wrappers! That’s just another reason to never, ever discharge anything over, or into, a water body. That aside, the Larry and bluegill bite has been good at Little Sebago as well as Highland Lake. The saving grace from the lack of ice on Sebago Lake was that the ice fishing derby which used to be based there was still greatly attended with smaller ponds/lakes attracting plenty of attention. Reportedly there was no shortage of fish caught as well.

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


New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

Plenty of ice among most ponds and lakes combined with ideal weather forecasted over the foreseeable future make this a must-fish week! Trout continue to be caught from Cobett’s while Bellamy and Pawtuckaway have been prime for warm water species. Kezar and Todd have been steady as well. As for big water, Winnipesaukee has plenty of ice among the big bays and Moosehead is sporting plenty of frozen water to go along with a solid lake trout/brook trout bite. To continue the “big” thing a little further, should you have the occasion to obtain suckers or big pond shiners consider Messalonskee where pre-spawn pike are on the prowl!

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