Weekly Fishing Report
Fishing Conditions & Updates for Maine, New Hampshire & Massachusetts
Pogies, pogies, and more pogies seems to be the theme for most coastal shops this week. Anglers who wished for more consistent pogies the past few years are getting what they asked for, but it comes with a price. The anglers doing most of the catching are the ones who can spend the most time on the water so as to be there when they get hungry, and anglers finding creative ways to convince stripers to bite when there are an abundance of easy meals to compete with. Freshwater anglers are picking away at trout and salmon with consistency, making the heat a bit more bearable.
Greg from Jordan’s Store in Sebago told us about a brown trout caught in Hancock Pond that weighed over six pounds! Greg has had reports of a lot of big browns coming from Hancock Pond this year. He told us that the fish aren’t that big when they are stocked, so he guesses there must be a year class of fish that have held over well. He attributes their fast growth and large size likely due to the alewives that also reside there. Greg also noted that Hancock Pond is also a great bass fishing pond. He told us that many of the salmon being caught on Sebago lately have been small native fish, but there are plenty of them to go around. “The lake trout fishing just keeps going on,” he told us about Sebago Lake. He expects a few lake trout catches this weekend with the upcoming Standish Fish and Game Club’s lake trout derby. The $40 entry fee is per boat. Interested anglers can contact Scott at 207-615-6996.
Dave Garcia at Naples Bait and Tackle in Naples reported a mildly slow week, but says he is getting reports of good salmon catches on Sebago. He says his reports are coming in that trolling bait, live, pickled, or frozen, in the 20’-25’ range has been the preferred method. “Other than that, it’s mostly bass, pickerel, and white perch that most people are after these days,” he told us.
Maine Guide Dan Legere at the Maine Guide Fly Shop in Greeneville was happy to have beat the heat over the fourth of July, but worries any more heat could affect the fishing. “If this heat keeps up it will be having an effect on fishing overall. For now, there are still plenty of fish in the East Outlet. Caddis hatches are now spotty throughout the day. You find a few hatching or laying eggs here and there. Good hatches come first thing in the morning and late in the day.”
“It’s not uncommon to find 4 or five different species of caddis around. Lately it’s been small brown caddis (West Branch caddis), tan caddis, (Goddard caddis) and tiny black caddis are beginning to show. Skipping caddis about is crucial to enticing fish that aren’t actively feeding and emergers are working as well as dries. One shining star is stonefly hatches are in full swing and fish are beginning to come to bigger stone fly imitations. Bigger fish that are welded to the bottom of the deepest runs that refuse to come to the surface for a tiny caddis will make the trip up for something substantial like a Stimulator, and when they come they mean business so stay focused, cover every inch of water and keep your finger on the trigger because those big fish are only going to grab your fly once. Maybe try dropping a caddis pupa a couple feet behind your big fly. Often a big dry gets a fish’s attention and the pupa gets the fish.”
Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide, Tim Moore of Tim Moore Outdoors was happy to be catching striped bass. “I don’t remember ever seeing the water temps in the Piscataqua River as cool as they are this time in July before,” he told us. Tim says water temperatures are hovering around 55 – 57 degrees, a big surprise given the recent heat wave. Nonetheless, he has been catching stripers from schoolies to smaller keeper-sized fish on 6” paddletail shads, his signature series Nervous Minnow from Daddy Mac Lures, and live mackerel. “When I can get out in my boat and get some live mackerel, I’ve been getting at least three keepers per trip, with a bunch of schoolies mixed in,” he reported. He says he has been focusing on lures when in the calmer waters. He was also happy to report that the lake trout vertical jig bite is starting on Lake Winnipesaukee, as well as some deep-water smallmouth and white perch catches.
In Meredith, Alan Nute of A.J.’s Bait and Tackle said the fishing has been good, but the salmon and lake trout are now congregating around the thermocline, including the rainbow trout. He says he has been getting fish between 30’ and 45’ depending on where you are on the lake. For colors, he suggests whites, pearls, orange/yellow, and an oil slick Top Gun spoon. He says he is also hearing reports of some anglers beginning to troll flies, but he hasn’t yet himself.
Chad at Dover Marine/Covered Bridge Sports in Dover says that the striped bass and tuna fishing has been “on fire.” “There are Pogies everywhere,” he said. Chad says he has had reports of large schools of pogies from Murray’s Rock in Maine to Ipswich Bay, and he says unlike last year, there seem to be stripers under most of them. He wonders if the large amount of pogies have anything to do with anglers catching sharks just a couple of miles off the beaches in Rye and Hampton. On the tuna front, Chad says things are heating up and so far, the prices have been good for anglers who take proper care of their catch. Chad says that the groundfishing has been mostly dogged-out, with dog fish taking over much of the grounds.
Liz at Surfland Bait and Tackle on Plum Island said there were pogies everywhere and there were big bass under most of the schools, but they have so much food they are full most of the time. She said the pogies are bringing whales in close to the beaches. “There’s just acres of pogies.” She said. Liz says chunk mackerel and clams have been good off the jetties. They have weighed in several 8-16 pounders, with some as big as 24 pounds. Some of the big fish are coming in very shallow waters, sometimes in the wash.
Because of inherent time restrictions of gathering fresh, up-to-date information, editing & producing this report in a timely manner, occasional errors or marginal information may slip by us. We try our hardest to provide accurate information. We urge readers to use this report as a tool to increase their fishing pleasure and not to rely on as their sole resource. First or second hand information is offered by fishing guides, commercial fishing charters or party boats, bait & tackle dealers, well-known successful anglers and state & federal fisheries and natural resources enforcement officials. We also welcome and use reports forwarded to us by fishermen that use this report. - Kittery Trading Post Fishing Report Editor