Weekly Fishing Report

August 8, 2017

Conditions seem to be ideal for fishing for small “eating-sized” fish such as flounder and mackerel, with quite a mix of both schoolie and larger stripers in the surf & shoreline and offshore in deeper water.

We’re also getting reports of tuna, offshore for the big ones and some small tuna in more shallow depths.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: In Great Bay, there’s been quite a few schoolie-stripers being caught and the fly fishing fraternity is having a good time catching and releasing these hungry fish. The news is that the mouth of Little Bay around Adams Point and the nearby shoreline at Great Bay are holding a lot of baitfish that have attracted a lot of schoolie stripers but also there’s been an occasional keeper-sized striper in the mix.

The stripers that have been concentrating at the mouth of the Piscataqua River and along the nearby shoreline are almost schoolie-sized fish but those boat and shore anglers that are using whole live mackerel for bait are catching some real quality fish, up to the twenty pound range. The mackerel schools seem to have stayed on the coastal shore, giving live bait anglers the opportunity to catch their own live bait and not having to power out to deeper water for the stripers. Although, there’s been good news about both stripers and bluefish out around the Isles of Shoals and southward down the Massachusetts coastline and into the Merrimack River mouth as well as moving up into the more inland parts of the river.

Tuna fishermen have been having some good luck on mixed sizes of fish, with a lot of the fish being schoolie size, but there’s been plenty of surprise catches of big fish. Best luck has been bait fishing with both live and chunk mackerel.

Flounder catches seem to be tailing off but there’s still enough of them to make it worthwhile to fish the traditional flounder grounds, with Maine’s Pepperell Cove being one area where consistent catches of flounder have been reported. The outlet at Rye Harbor has been producing some good flounder catches and the Hampton River outlet as well as up into the harbor has also been producing fish.

Jason MacKenzie at Suds-n-Soda Sports noted that he’s seen the early season flounder fishing extending more into the summer than usual.

“We get quite a few flounder anglers in here after bait because not many places handle the live seaworms that flounder really go for. Although they will take a small chunk of clam, the seaworms will out-catch the clams by quite a margin.”

“Also, we are a good source of info for them as we always ask where their best luck has been after asking them permission to pass this word around. This has proven to be a successful way of spreading the word without putting pressure on some of our customers “secret” spots.”

Jason also mentioned that lots of his bait customers have been concentrating on catching mackerel to use for striper and tuna bait so he’s been moving a lot of ground chum. Mackerel are really attracted to ground chum, even if it’s ground mackerel!

Yesterday we had the chance to talk with George Taylor at Taylor’s Bait and Tackle Shop in Madbury. “We’ve been seeing more and more trout fishermen, especially those that are devoted to fly fishing, targeting the late season.  They’ve been finding fly hatches and having great fishing in some of the sections of the Isinglass River as well as both Lucas and Stonehouse Ponds.”

“We also have a big following of striper bait-anglers that mostly like to fish the bridges at night but also they fish both shorelines and bridges during the daylight hours. The Bellamy River Bridge is a favorite both day and night and the General Sullivan Bridge seems to be a nighttime success.”

“Fishing with both chunks and fillets of mackerel or other baitfish work well as do the swimming plugs, especially the surface ones that create quite a wake on the surface that will produce some exciting hits from both stripers and an occasional bluefish.”

“Our dedicated flounder fishermen seem to stick by their favorite spots. One of them is the outlet of the Hampton River. Another is the lower end of the Merrimack River and its outlet. Quite a few of our flounder anglers will launch their boats at either the Eliot (Maine) boat launch or the Peirce Island (Portsmouth) boat ramp and will fish the lower Piscataqua River as well as the shoreline areas at the mouth of the river.”

“There are still quite a few fly fishing addicts that will fish the depths of Stonehouse Pond as well as Lucas Pond. There’s also the chance of picking up a holdover trout from the Isinglass River’s deeper holes. Also, Willand Pond in Rollinsford has deep water that holds over some exceptional trout. We’ve had reports of fish that were measured in pounds and not inches being taken out of this tiny pond and there were enough witnesses to believe that the reports were true!”

Alan Nute at AJ’s Bait and Tackle in the Lake Winnipesaukee area says: It’s been good. It seems to be the year of the small flies with a few big ones being caught on what seems to be a trend of using small flies—streamers in size four and six and even smaller.”
“Small streamers such as the Marvels and Demons seem to be working best, probably because they are imitating the small shiners that the salmon and trout are keying in on. The lakes are still producing well into the warmer times but the rivers have slowed down quite a bit as the water flows diminish and water temperature rises.”
“Every day even the smallmouths (bass) seem to be dropping deeper into the colder water. Lately the best action has been around 30 feet depths and even some reported smallies are being caught in deeper water.”

 “For those that are still after the glamour fish—the landlocked salmon and big lake trout, there’s been quite a bit of success. There’s been some big lake trout and salmon of five pounds or more taken right off Shep Brown’s Boat House. It’s really starting to happen! (He’s talking about the annual summertime fishing routine where the fish are concentrated at certain deep structure with consistency.)

MAINE: Dave Garcia and his fishing buddy love to fish Long Lake in the Sebago area. “from five to eight in the morning, my buddy and I caught a half bucketful of white perch. We were slow trolling small lures such as the Speedy Shiners (1/6th ounce) in the fluorescent red and copper finish using four colors of leadcore line in six to ten feet of water.”
“We’ve also been having some good action on lake trout at Sebago Lake catching fish in the five to six pound range. Mostly throw-back fish in the slot limit as well as lots of small salmon. The bag limit has been increased to two fish.”

Dave asked us to provided info about the Sebago Lakes Annual Lake Trout Derby. This year’s event will be held on September 9 & 10, with the entry forms available at both Naples Bait and Jordan’s Store.
This event is sponsored by Sebago Anglers.com (online) and hosted by Point Sebago Resort. Kittery Trading Post is providing several cash awards.

Greg Cutting at Jordan’s Store in East Sebago reports that right now the hot spot for both landlocked salmon and trout is the drop-off structure at the mouth of the Songo River where schools of baitfish have been attracting lots of salmon in the 21-24 inch long size! One boat had taken six huge fish in two days of fishing there.

Other than there, much of the action is found in the 100–130 feet of water depths. Lots of lake trout us under keeper size at 32 inches with the legal keeper length being 33 inches!

In the Rangeley Lakes Region, Kim at River’s Edge Sports in Oquossoc reports that the rivers continue to produce some good action on both salmon and brook trout.
“The thermocline is at about 42–43 feet down. With the rivers still flowing with good amount of current. You’ll want to fish just a couple of feet above or below the thermocline.”

He also reported that there had been some big brookies taken from Cupsuptic Lake nearby. They drop down from the river and continue down into Rangeley Lake. Good fishing has been at the 70–80 foot depths fishing down from 25 to 45 feet with leadcore line of downriggers. Both bait and lures have been productive.

 “If you’re an early riser, you’ll want to try trolling streamer flies very early in the morning. Best luck has been keeping the flies down about five to eight feet below the surface of the water.”

MASSACHUSETTS:  We dropped into Kay Moulton’s Surfland Sports Shop on Plum Island. She and her daughter Martha were holding fort there and we had a nice reunion, with all of us being happy to be able to get together after a long winter! They reported that the shore fishing had really picked up in the last few days with the “Surf Guys” catching bluefish up to fifteen pounds
“Lots of bass in the eight to twelve pound range and lots of baitfish, mostly pogies but there’s been a lot of mackerel schooling right offshore as well”

“The Salisbury Beach pogies seemed to have moved offshore a bit but the mackerel have moved in closer—lots of undersized stripers along the beach. The boat guys are doing well on bigger fish in the Salisbury Drift. The mackerel are in close, right along the beaches.
Pete Santini at Fishing FINatics in Everett was out fishing with his famous tube-n-worm rigs in the Boston Harbor when we called. The word was that they had been having some fantastic fishing on both schoolie-sized stripers with a good bunch of bigger fish in the mix. The word was that no one particular color had been dominant with whatever you were trolling seemed to be the right color.




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