Weekly Fishing Report 1/18/21

Fishing Conditions & Updates for Maine & New Hampshire

Week of January 18, 2021

While some are fretting about the recent rain, others are finding their way out onto fishable ice. Extreme caution should still be used as ice conditions took a hit over the weekend. Many shop owners are trying to see a silver lining and guessing that the ice conditions will put pressure on some of the smaller ponds that could use a few fish taken out. Others are worried that the big lakes will go out early. There is still plenty of places to get out, and the fishing has been good in those places. We’ve had great reports of some excellent trout and panfish fishing.


Greg at Jordan’s Store in Sebago told us that ice conditions are still widely variable, especially after last weekend’s rains. “The ponds definitely took a hit. You definitely need to be careful now,” he said. Greg says that while things are way behind on ice, the ponds that are fishing are fishing well. He says that Hancock Pond is producing some very nice brown trout right now. He has seen fish up to just under 7-pounds. Greg said that live bait on Jaw Jackers are very popular for the trout bite right now. He reported a very good crappie bite on most of the local crappie ponds, such as Brown’s Pond and Middle Pond.

Vern at Cobbossee Bait in Winthrop reported that they currently have 4-5” of walking ice on them. The exception was the north end of Cobbossee and the south end of Maranacook Lake, which are still open. “They’ve been catching quite a few salmon and brown trout on Flying Pond in Mount Vernon and brook trout and small salmon in Parker Pond,” he said. For pike anglers, he says that Sabattus Pond has been yielding a few and the south end of Cobbossee had produced a 14-pounder and a 20-pounder landed. Vern says that Little Cobbossee, which he affectionately referred to as The Jewel of the State, had four or five parties fishing on it every day. He says they catch yellow and white perch, crappie, as well as pike and brown trout.


Despite the lack of ice, many anglers are seeing some great catches. Photo courtesy of Tim Moore Outdoors.

Full-time New Hampshire fishing guide Tim from Tim Moore Outdoors was happy to report that he had begun guiding ice anglers on Lake Winnipesaukee. “There isn’t very much ice, which is causing anglers to bunch up on smaller areas, but we managed to do a walk-on trip to kick things off before the rain put things back on hold. I’m happy to see the forecast has some colder weather,” he said. Tim says that his clients caught a mix of white perch, lake trout, smallmouth bass, and rainbow trout. “They must have had a good time. They booked another trip as soon as they got home,” he told us. Tim said that the rainbow actually came on a ¼-ounce gold Leech Flutter Spoon. His tip up fish have all come on live smelt near the bottom.

Lon Berry at Berry’s Bait located behind Johnsons Restaurant in New Durham told us that there were some diminished ice conditions with the weekend rain, but Alton Bay, 19 Mile Bay, and 20 Mile Bay had held up. There were some people fishing Winter Harbor, but it was a mess even before the rain, with several reports of anglers falling through. “We’ve got a full stock of shiners and smelt, big pike shiners, and some suckers coming in this week,” he said. Lon usually keeps track of what was working by how fast it sells, but everything was selling so fast he couldn’t tell us what the hot lure of the week was.

Mike Crouthamel at Wildlife Sport Outfitters in Manchester told us that the setbacks on the Connecticut River are fishing well right now. “I fished a setback on the Connecticut River yesterday and the pike are biting. We had almost 30 flags,” he said. Mike says almost all the setbacks are fishing, and fishing well right now. His words of advice were, if you want big pike you have to fish big bait. He said he was using slightly smaller bait than usual and they were catching pike in the 26-inch range, while others fishing close by were using big bait on bottom and caught a 40-inch pike. He also sad that the local trout bite has been good. He said salmon eggs and Power Eggs have been working very well. He said dillies and minnows have been outfishing shiners on the local ponds. Mike reported that pretty much all the local ponds near him are frozen and fishing. Mike also heard several reports of anglers falling through the ice on Winter Harbor at Lake Winnipesaukee. Mike wanted us to remind anglers that if you see someone fall through, go help. He told us that he knew one angler who fell through and his cries for help were ignored by two nearby fishermen. He luckily managed to get himself out and back to his vehicle.

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