Weekly Fishing Report - 1/27/20

Fishing Conditions & Updates for Maine, New Hampshire & Massachusetts

Week of January 27, 2020

The big talk is of ice conditions this week. Everyone wants to know how the ice is, and every report seems different. Anglers are wise to resume first ice tactics and check as they go. Recent rain and warm temps have made the ice even more inconsistent than it already was. Those who are cautiously checking ice, and finding fishable areas, are doing well fishing. Many anglers feel a lack of fishing pressure is contributing to good bites. Most would love to see more winter-like temperatures though.


Greg at Jordan’s Store in Sebago said, “Well, we had ice.” He said that the recent warm weather had taken away much of the newly formed ice on Sebago, but there was still some ice on Lower Bay. “There were a ton of people on the ice one day and there were a lot of fish around, which is good news.” He was optimistic that cold nights would save the day and allow anglers to get back out there.

James Eddy Smelt Camps in Dresden told us that they are now fishing both tides. “The ice held up real good,” they said when asked about the recent warm spell. They told us that the fishing has been very good and they haven’t received any reports of one tide being favorable over the other.


Patrick and Sarah from Massachusetts had a great day on Lake Winnipesaukee with Tim Moore Outdoors.

Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide Tim from Tim Moore Outdoors was fresh off a guide trip on Lake Winnipesaukee. “We had a lot of rain up here Saturday night, and it made a mess,” he said. Tim says they haven’t lost a lot of the good ice, but it made questionable areas very sketchy. “It’s like first ice all over again. We just keep checking and rechecking,” he told us. He says that after a three-day lull in the action, the fishing has picked back up. Tim says they have been getting a mixed bag of lake trout and white perch and that a surprising number of fish are coming on tip ups baited with live smelt. He says that while he prefers to catch them jigging, he never says no to a tight line for his clients.

Alan Nute at A.J.’s Bait and Tackle in Meredith said that while the fishing has been good for many, the real focus was on the ice conditions. “We’re back to checking as you go,” he said about the ice. Alan was hopeful that the cold nights would firm things up, and he was even mildly optimistic that we may even make a little ice over the next week. He said that he has been receiving many reports of anglers seeing lots of smelt in their holes in Center Harbor, Leavitt Beach, and Meredith Bay. “That will draw some fish in, until all the noise drives the smelt out anyway. Other reports are of good catches of lake trout on his custom perch and red/white bucktails, and cusk on his glow bucktail, all tipped with a strip of sucker meat.

George Taylor at Taylor’s Trading Post in Madbury said that in spite of the bad weather over the weekend, the fishing reports were very good. “Everywhere, everybody got fish. We had one customer who camped out on the ice on the Bellamy overnight and came back three times for bait,” he said. George said the perch and crappie bite was very good locally.

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 reported a quiet weekend due to the weather, but consistent fishing when he gets reports. He says all the local haunts are producing the same cast of characters, a mixed bag of crappie, largemouth bass, and rainbow trout. He commented on the size (or lack of size) of the crappie in the Bellamy Reservoir. “People only want to throw the little ones back, so that’s what is left to catch,” he 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