Weekly Fishing Report
Fishing Conditions & Updates for Maine, New Hampshire & Massachusetts
Water temps are running above average across New England this week as we transition from summer into fall. Hunting seasons have reduced fishing pressure to a mere drop in the bucket compared to just a few weeks ago. The annual striped bass fall run has yet to happen, leaving many chomping at the bit for the greater number of larger fish that usually emerge as they make their way south. Lake trout are still active, salmon are beginning to bronze up, crappie are moving into deeper water, and bass are feeding. We are on the cusk of arguably some of the best fishing of the entire year.
Captain Tim Tower of the Bunny Clark reports still-good ground fishing, but they are still being plagued by dogfish some of the time. Tim is advising anglers to take advantage of the late-season fishing for your chance at bigger fish. They reported decent catches of some nice haddock and pollock up to 21 pounds, cod (released) to 18 pounds, and a huge 23-pound skate, with many pollock doubles. “This is the time of year I would go if I wanted to catch bigger than normal fish or more fish. But that's me,” Tim writes.
Greg at Jordan’s Store in Sebago told us that he is getting reports of lots of baitfish on the surface in somewhat shallow water. He figures they were probably alewives, a sign that fall is coming and fall feeding activity isn’t far away. He told us of some larger native salmon being caught trolling bait, probably around the shoals early in the morning. He also had reports of anglers crushing good numbers of nice salmon in front of the Songo River and big smallmouth coming out of Peabody Pond on bait trolling deep water. Greg wanted to remind anglers that we are coming onto some of the best fishing of the year. “It’s hunting season, which keeps a lot of people off the water right now,” he told us.
Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide Tim Moore from Tim Moore Outdoors tells us that the fishing pressure is dwindling, but the action is heating up. “The early trolling bite has been great for big salmon and rainbows, and then we switch over to the lake trout jig bite. The laker bite hasn’t been stellar this year, but there are a ton of fish down there right now. It’s a blast to watch them chase your jig on the fish finder,” he said. Tim also told us that he is beginning to target, and find, some nice white perch and that the black crappie bite is heating up as well. His fall transition will be from salmon and lake trout on Winnipesaukee to Moore Dam for trophy northern pike in October and November, with some Winnipesaukee trips for giant slab crappie mixed in.
Felix at Suds N’ Soda Sports in Greenland reported that there are still anglers catching some striped bass, but many have packed it up for archery deer and bear seasons. He told us that they are still selling a lot of eels to night anglers, but they are finished selling sea worms for the season. Felix suggests trying to jig mackerel at the 2KR buoy and sticking close to the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor for the best chance at bigger stripers.
In Meredith, Alan Nute at A.J.’s Bait and Tackle told us that things are slowing down, partially due to hunting season and school being back in session, but there are still some very nice salmon being caught on Winnipesaukee. He reported some anglers beginning to catch and eat rock bass, a nuisance fish that is underrated for its fish fry capabilities. Alan suggests exploring some of the lesser-pressured lakes and ponds for better fishing. He had reports of two 6-pound salmon and a 7.5-pound lake trout on Big Danhole Pond, and a 6-pound rainbow from Great East Lake. “You don’t get a lot of fish, but the ones you get are quality,” he said.
Mike at Surfland Bait and Tackle reported a productive weekend of striped bass fishing. He reported many fish taken on topwater lures in the morning and at night from parking lot #6 of the refuge. Far-casting lures such as the Super Strike in white/yellow have been doing well. Small yellow Stillwater poppers have been doing well down near the Captain’s Boat just before daybreak. He also told us of a couple bluefish taken on mackerel near parking lot #3. Mike has been fishing in Salem Harbor where he has been seeing mackerel and huge schools of peanut bunker. “When they decide to go out into the beachfront, it will be fun,” Mike 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