Weekly Fishing Report: February 20, 2023
Fishing Conditions & Updates for Maine & New Hampshire
Week of February 20, 2023
Well, the ice seems to be hanging in there despite the more spring or fall-like weather. Just when some anglers were starting to look at their winterized boats, a short blast of cold air in the forecast has them sharpening their auger blades. Regardless, we are still hearing of some excellent ice fishing in central and northern Maine and New Hampshire, and northwest Massachusetts. Hopefully the coming arctic air will extend, or even improve, ice conditions. Be safe out there. What ice is available to fish on in central New England isn’t the best ice and brief warm spells will cause week spots. Keep that safety gear handy but enjoy what’s left of this ice fishing season. With any luck, we will see another unpredicted cold spell.
Greg Cutting at Jordan’s Store in Sebago told us that there is still no fishable ice in the Lower Bay of Sebago that he knows about but thinks the coming cold weather could create enough for people to walk out on. He did say that the yellow perch fishing on Hancock Pond has been on fire, although there are a lot of small ones to weed through if you’re looking for a fish fry. “Saturday we caught 275 yellow perch. Most of them were too small to get a fillet, but we caught a bunch up to 10-inches,” he said. Greg says there are also some brown trout cruising the bottom there in 5-0-feet of water. He says normally they find the browns cruising about 10-feet down, but he believes the presence of alewives, which generally hang near bottom, could be pulling the browns down deeper. Greg says small Northland Forage Minnows are a good lure for browns. He says that Tricky Pond has been producing some very nice splake. He saw photos of one that looked to be close to 5-pounds.
Vern at Cobbossee Bait in Winthrop reported a big weekend of ice fishing over the weekend. “We have perfect conditions right now, but there is no snow left on the ice,” he said. Vern says many people fishing Big Cobbossee came back for bait a second time. He says the Moosehead derby was productive and there were some big fish caught. “We had a 6-pound togue brought in that didn’t even place in the derby,” he told us. He says the talk of the town is still Little Cobbossee lake, with great fishing and lots of memories made.
Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide Tim from Tim Moore Outdoors reported that the ice still isn’t great where he guides on Lake Winnipesaukee, but it held up to the most recent warm and rain. “I’m happy to see some cold weather coming. We need it. We currently do not have a very good base of ice and with far less places to fish, that means far more pressure on the few places you can go,” he said. Tim says they are still catching a mix of lake trout, white perch, and smallmouth bass. Many fish are coming on tip ups with live smelt, and for jigging, the Clam 1/8-ounce white and pink Blade Spoon, and the ¼-ounce gold Leech Flutter Spoons are his hot lures.
Lon Berry at Berry’s Bait in New Durham told us the local lakes and ponds have been producing some very nice rainbow trout as of late. “It was a crazy weekend with a lot of people fishing. The white perch and crappie bite has been pretty good on the local ponds and the white perch fishing at 19 Mile Bay has been productive for some,” he said. Lon says there have been a lot of lake trout and rainbow trout caught in Alton Bay as well. He says the hot lures of the week were the Clam Leech Flutter Spoon and the Simcoe Bug.
Mike Crouthamel at Wildlife Sport Outfitters in Manchester said that things were busy over the weekend and the ice north of Manchester is hanging on. “Everything around the shop is a bust, but the areas on Winnipesaukee that are frozen have been producing fish,” he said. Mike said the shop is running low on lures, but they are fully stocked up on all sizes of shiners and just got a load of smelt in.
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