Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- February 29, 2024

Billy Eicher with big crappie
Billy Eicher took this Balch Pond area slab crappie this week.

If ever there was a time to get while the getting is good, it is now! The combination of a continued thaw, rain and wind has been a virtual battering ram to ice conditions. While smaller ponds may buy you some time, bigger water should be fished now because tomorrow is not promised.

New Hampshire Fishing Report

Joe from Granite State Rod and Reel Repair in Nashua is prepping for open water as ponds in his region are losing ice fast! First up should be Mil Pond, Beaver Pond, Cobetts and Canobie with the last two trout possibilities.
Jim from The Tackle Shack in Meredith is predicting that this will be the last week for Winnipesaukee as it’s losing ice fast. While 19 Mile Bay and 20 Mile reportedly are still sporting 6-8”, the shorelines and pressure ridges are opening up. Even Tim Moore of TimMooreOutdoors is calling it.

The good news is that smaller ponds in the area should hold ice for a bit longer.

Not often do I get to speak from personal experience about New Hampshire but along with buddies Billy Eicher and Steve Langton we found 11” of good ice in the Balch Pond area earlier in the week. Additionally jumbo perch, slab crappie, nice Sallys and solid Larrys were all cooperating! The perch, black bass and pickerel were hanging in less than 10’ of water by a weedbed.

Good ice reports have been coming in from Waukewan, Wicwas, White and Hawkins.

Southern Maine Fishing Report

Maine smallmouth bass
Maine continues to be the New England outlier with good ice and a good Sally bite at Hobbs Pond.

To hear it from Brady of Dag’s Bait & Sportgoods in Auburn, Maine seems like a different world with all kinds of ice fishing possibilities. Despite the spotlight, Sabattus is still kicking out good pike! It’s a whole new world when fishing for those water wolves now; pike spawn as soon as the ice breaks up and just prior they firmly strap on the feedbag! Look for them to be closer to shore than a month ago and very aggressive. It may also be a good time to give smaller trout ponds a look which get ignored once larger lakes ice over. Brady recommends Hall Pond, the Ranges, Otter Ponds and Sand Pond. For black bass check out Cobbosseecontee Lake as well as Hobbs Pond. Moosehead Lake however still remains one of Maine’s best bets for all around cold water species.

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


New Hampshire And Southern Maine Fishing Forecast

For the majority of New England hardwater it’s increasingly looking like last call for hardwater! Winnipesaukee should get first look since it’s not expected to last a full week. Smaller ponds in the area such as Hawkins and Waukewan should still be safe for a while longer. Maine may have game longer still and with pike packing on weight in anticipation of the spawn Sabattus deserves a shot. Trout water such as Sand Pond and Hall have potential, but for diversity of cold water species, Moosehead is money!

1 thought on “Coastal New Hampshire and Maine Fishing Report- February 29, 2024

  1. Jaime Mansfield

    when will you be posting the 2024 striper migration map ?

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