Weekly Fishing Report
Fishing Conditions & Updates for Maine, New Hampshire & Massachusetts
Week of January 20, 2020
Cold weather is upon us and ice conditions continue to improve throughout the northern portion of New England. Trout and bass are biting, crappie fishing is good, and white perch catches are coming in double digits. Ice-in was even declared on Lake Winnipesaukee on Sunday, meaning that the entire lake is frozen. Many places still aren’t safe for anglers to venture out onto, but others have been gaining ice daily. What does that mean? It means everyone should use extreme caution whenever they head out onto the ice.
Greg at Jordan’s Store in Sebago told us of some good fishing on local ponds. He had reports of splake from Tricky Pond and some very nice brook trout from Cold Rain Pond. He said that Sebago still wasn’t frozen. “We need some cold weather. The lower Bay froze over twice, but most of the ice either melted or blew out”. Greg is hopeful that this current cold snap will make some ice that will hold…and grow.
James Eddy Smelt Camps in Dresden are still going strong, but they say they still haven’t been able to get camps on upriver for the incoming tides. “The ice upriver has been kind of sketchy,” they told us. They say that overall, night tides are producing the most fish.
Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide Tim from Tim Moore Outdoors was fresh off a busy week of guiding ice anglers on Lake Winnipesaukee. “I was happy to hear that ice-in was declared last Sunday. The broads are frozen, but not safe to fish yet. But this cold weather could make more than an inch of ice in one night, so it might not take long,” he said. Tim says that while he won’t be venturing across the main lake anytime soon, he and his clients have been seeing good catches of white perch and lake trout. “We had a few slow days, but the bite has improved, and so has the ice,” Tim told us.
Roland at Suds N’ Soda Sports in Greenland reported that local ponds were fishing well. He noted the Bellamy Reservoir, Taylor River, and the area of the Lamprey River known as the Moat. He said that the recent snows had slowed things down a bit in the shop. He also told us that there was some ice, and a few shacks, on the Squamscott River and a few people were reporting some okay smelt fishing. Roland said that while Suds isn’t carrying sea worms this winter due to low demand and high dead-loss, many smelt anglers are catching well using earth worms.
Alan Nute at A.J.’s Bait and Tackle in Meredith happily told us that ice-in was declared on Lake Winnipesaukee this past Sunday. “We should make some good ice with sub-zero temperatures and no wind tonight,” he said. Alan expects people to be fishing the broads, at least on foot, by the weekend. He stressed using caution as ice-in does not mean it is safe to travel on. He said that the bays are all fishing good. He noted Alton Bay, Center Harbor, and Melvin Bay all had fishable ice and lots of anglers. He also mentioned that there were some good white perch catches in the area of Spindle Point and Suissevale.
George Taylor at Taylor’s Trading Post in Madbury reported a “soft” weekend, mostly due to the snowstorm on Saturday night. “Most of the local waters are perking well, but the ice is inconsistent, and many people are fishing shallow because of it,” he said. George mentioned that the Bellamy Reservoir had been producing lots of crappie. He said nothing huge, but lots of good eaters.
Chad at Dover Marine/Covered Bridge Sports in Dover told us that there are lots of people out fishing. “The Bellamy has been pretty good for crappie, Willand has been producing its typical mixed bag of everything, Lovell Lake has been producing rainbows and some nice crappies, and a few decent lakers have been caught on Winnipesaukee,” he told us. Chad was also hopeful that the recent cold weather would help tighten things up a bit.
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