Weekly Fishing Report
Ice fishing season appears to be firing on all fronts. Reports are coming in about good lake trout numbers, some big crappie being caught, and quality rainbow trout. The recent sub-zero temperatures allowed for great ice making, which helped hold things together through the warm temps and rain over the weekend. Ice conditions vary, but the common theme is reports of good, clear, black ice. Most reports are that while ice conditions are good, anglers still need to use caution and check as they go.
Dylan at Dag’s Bait and Tackle in Auburn reported that the recent rain didn’t hurt the ice at all. It only knocked down the slush. He noted that anglers want to bring creepers now. He told us that anglers are catching lots of salmon in Thompson and Echo Ponds, but wanted us to remind anglers that taking salmon in Thompson Pond is illegal.
Greg at Jordan’s Store in East Sebago told us that he actually made it out fishing himself last week. He and two friends fished an area of Sebago near Lower Bay and between the three of them they landed 50 lake trout with the biggest being 28”. Greg says that while there is good ice to be found, anglers should still use caution, as a vehicle went through on Sebago and Big Bay is still open water. In other news, Greg reported some nice catches of brook trout, splake, and salmon from Tricky Pond. “We weighed a 4.11 pound brook trout and a 6.88 pound salmon this week, both from Tricky Pond,” Greg reported. He says that while Tricky usually shuts off by now, it has been holding its own.
James Eddy Smelt camps reported that they are still open, “which is good,” because they have removed all the shacks from the Kennebec River. “The fishing has been fairly good. Catches over the weekend were pleasantly consistent. They are still fishing both tides,” they reported.
In Naples, Dave at Naples Bait and Tackle reported that the togue fishing on Sebago has been strong. Some anglers are doing well shallow and others are finding fish in 80’ of water. Airplane Kigs and Swedish Pimples tipped with just about anything are doing well right now, Dave told us. Dave also says that jigging white perch on Long Lake has been good in 30’–35’ of water.
Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide Tim Moore from Tim Moore Outdoors told us that the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee held strong through the recent rains. “There is no snow left on the lake, which makes snow machine travel tough, but the ice thickness ranges anywhere from 9” –16”. If you don’t have a fan-cooled snowmobile I would leave it at home,” Tim said. The lake trout fishing has been good using anything from Leech Flutter Spoons to white tube jigs, and bucktails tipped with sucker meat. Of course, Tim is also finding his share of nice white perch. “Most days, a 1/8 ounce white Clam Blade Spoon tipped with a small piece of worm is the ticket,” Tim told us.
Felix at Suds N’ Soda Sports in Greenland reported that they are selling a lot of sea worms to smelt fishermen, but very few are reporting back. He reported that the local freshwater fishing has been good, and anglers are reporting that they only saw a 2”–3” maximum loss of ice due to the rain in most places. Felix says that anglers are reporting good numbers of black crappie being caught at the Bellamy Reservoir, but nothing very big reported.
At A.J.’s Bait and Tackle in Meredith, Alan said that the fishing and ice conditions are good on Winnipesaukee. “You can pretty much travel anywhere on the lake now, but people should still check for themselves their first time out,” Alan told us. He reported bob houses on the broads and off of Welch Island. Smaller local lakes region ponds are producing fish. Lake Waukewan has been giving up rainbows, and anglers are catching crappie and white perch on Wickwas.
Over in Dover, Chad at Dover Marine/Covered Bridge Sports reported that the fishing has picked up significantly on Willand Pond, with rainbows up to 20” reported and some slab crappies as well. Small shiners are the hot bait for the rainbows and small tungsten jigs for crappie. Chad also reported that some of their customers and friends are reporting catches of up to 30 smelt per tide on the Oyster and Squamsott Rivers, but noted it can be hit or miss and a matter of location. “You know how it is, one shack can be hammering them, and the shack right next to it can catch nothing,” Chad said.
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