Weekly Fishing Report: January 30, 2023
Fishing Conditions & Updates for Maine & New Hampshire
Week of January 30, 2023
Ice conditions are gradually improving, and this round of arctic air should help push things in the right direction. We are hearing reports of a lot of panfish and other warmwater fishing, as well as trout and splake. Most of the fishable ice is in northern New England, with little or no ice in Massachusetts to speak of. It’s still a time to play it extra safe and check the ice for yourself, but with more ice means more opportunities for anglers to spread out. If there is one advantage to late ice, it’s less fishing pressure. Once a lake or pond has enough ice to fish it, the fish are hungry and haven’t been pressured at all.
Greg Cutting at Jordan’s Store in Sebago reported more people fishing in more locations this week. “They’re catching some really nice splake on Tricky Pond. I saw one that was 4.9-pounds,” he said. Greg says another group caught three splake in the same location. He says Hancock Pond is still producing fish, and Sand and Brown’s Pond next to it are producing crappie on small tungsten jigs tipped with soft plastic or small shiners, and Northland Forage Minnows. He says the brook trout are still biting in the Otter Ponds and there has been a good big pickerel bite going at Cold Rain.
Vern at Cobbossee Bait in Winthrop told us that everything in Kennebec County has at least walking ice and there have been a lot more people out fishing lately. “We have snowmobiles on almost every lake in this area. The narrows are producing salmon and brook trout and Little Cobbossee has been producing some pike in a few areas. There are people catching brown trout and brook trout on Maranacook, but I haven’t heard of any salmon or togue yet,” he said. Vern says the Mount Vernon area has equipment (snowmobiles and ice houses) on most waters.
Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide Tim from Tim Moore Outdoors was happy to report that his guiding season has finally begun. “The ice on Winnipesaukee was finally at a place where I felt comfortable taking clients out. The slush is another issue now though. There was a crust on top, but warmer daytime temps have softened it daily, making for soupy conditions. I’m happy to see this cold snap so that things will tighten up,” he said. Tim says there isn’t much ice where he has been guiding, but there has been no shortage of people, especially on the weekends.
Jason MacKenzie at Pawtuckaway Trading Post in Raymond told us that there has been quite a bit more traffic in the store. “We’ve had a little better week here. People are reporting 4 or 5-inches on some areas of Pleasant Lake in Deerfield and there have been some guys heading up to fish Baxter Lake in Rochester, Jackson Lumber Pond in Raymond, as well as parts of Onway Lake,” he said. Jason was selling a lot of Clam Epoxy Drop jigs to panfish anglers. He was optimistic that the coming cold snap would grow some ice and create more opportunities
Mike Crouthamel at Wildlife Sport Outfitters in Manchester reported some okay ice west of Manchester. “We had 6-inches of ice on a pond in Francistown. There isn’t a lot of info coming from anyone around here. Everyone is headed north, but there are a few people fishing Pleasant Lake in Deerfield and Little Massabesic,” he said. Mike didn’t advise trying to walk on anything south of Manchester
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