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N.H. Weekly Fishing Report - June 3, 2010

Take Me Fishing!

FREE FISHING DAY is this Saturday, June 5! It’s a great day to take a buddy fishing - enjoy. (Click for details.)

Stocking report 5/24 - 5/28:

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North Country

Weather has been hot and so has the fishing in multiple stocked waterbodies in the North Country. Try your luck at Cedar Pond. Despite the August-like water levels, shaded brooks and spring-fed ponds remain productive. Check out some of your local beaver flowages. Beavers make lots of small pool habitats that brookies love. So get off your couch and take a kid fishing! – Dianne Timmins, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Lakes Region

Large lake surface temps are at or near 70 degrees F now, look for salmon down 25 feet at least, during early morning trolling. A report from a friend of mine that fishes Winnipesaukee reveals that the salmon fishing has slowed, he is catching 3 or 4 salmon in the morning, down from the numbers he had seen earlier. He related that the water temp was 55 degrees, 35 feet down. Lake trout are still caught for those that seek them out, fishing much deeper (50 feet) than for salmon. On Winnisquam, I saw some white perch cruising the shoreline in 6 feet of water, all nice fish 12-14 inches in length. Try trolling a worm and spinner (these rigs are sold with the spinner attached to a snelled hook) along the shoreline in 5-15 feet of water, later in the afternoon. Find a school and you're in for some great (and tasty) action! Some bass have left their nests, while many continue to guard eggs/fry. There seems to be quite a few bass cruising the shorelines, they could be non-spawners (not all bass spawn in a given year) or females looking to gain lost weight. A reminder, catch/release will continue for bass through June 15.

We are currently in a drought condition here in the Lakes Region, and our streams and rivers are in low water condition. I would still try the Pemigewasset River in Bristol/New Hampton, and the catch/release water below Eastman Falls Dam/Franklin. These river sections are larger and tend to hold fish longer. – Don Miller, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Monadnock/Upper Valley

I am not quite fished out, but I am close. I found myself with some free time over the last week (actually I avoided a bunch of work at the house I should have done) and tried to fish as much as I could for bass, ending up fishing 6 of 7 days. All bass were post-spawn in the areas I was fishing. Here is the review after too much sun, not drinking enough water, and many fish in the boat.

Tuesday, May 25: I went with my friend Roy, who lives in Dummerston, VT, to the Connecticut River setbacks in Hinsdale after work. We fished from about 5 to 8 pm in very hot, sunny conditions. Water temperature was reminiscent of mid-summer and ranged from 72 to 82 degrees. We threw buzz baits, plastics, frogs and poppers. I didn’t catch a bass while Roy boated 5 largemouths. Nothing big, but some nice fish. His fish mainly came on topwater lures. We did see a few very big largemouths cruising around in 3 to 6 feet of water.

Thursday, May 27: I fished with Ed, a friend from Keene, on Forest Lake in Winchester. Another hot day with a water temperature of 78 degrees. We fished from 5 to 8:30 pm and caught 15 largemouths. Again, nothing big, but some decent 2-pounders. Fish all came on plastics (Senkos, tubes and Paca Craws).

Friday, May 28: I took a vacation day and fished again with Ed on Warren Lake in Alstead from 9 am to 2 pm. We had a great day, landing 19 largemouths, the biggest being about 3 lbs. Water was 74 degrees. All of my fish came on a drop-shot rig while Ed got his on spinner baits and Senkos. Fish were deeper (6-10’) early in the day and then steadily moved onto shoreline wood as the day progressed.

Saturday, May 29: I went to Scott Pond in Fitzwilliam from 8 am to 2 pm for largemouth bass. I had a nice break from the sun and heat as it was cloudy with occasional showers and a breeze. The water was 76 degrees and the vegetation was starting to come up, but was not too thick yet as to make fishing difficult. I had one of those rare (for me) days when you stop counting after 20 fish! There were no fish on the wood and very few up shallow. Almost all fish came from shallow coves with lily pads. I caught one fish on a jig, one off a drop-shot, and all the rest came on a Texas-rigged BPS Stick-O and a frog. Big fish of the day was 4 lbs.

Sunday, May 30: I went to Dublin Lake in Dublin to try for smallmouths for the first time this year. I fished from 8 am to 12 noon under clear skies and windy conditions. The water was 68 degrees and I fished deep, thinking the bigger fish would have moved out of the shallows already after spawning. I caught one small bass on a drop-shot in the first hour and started scratching my head. Luckily, two guys who were also fishing for bass came by in another boat and told me they were having luck in 6 to 8 feet of water. Boy, did that tip improve my day. I ended up with over 20 bass with an average weight of about 2.5 lbs. I fished the Connecticut River for about 1.5 hours later that night and only caught one small largemouth on a crank bait.

Monday, May 31: I fished Contoocook Lake in Rindge/Jaffrey with my friend Bob from Fitzwilliam. It was clear and calm with a water temperature of 71 degrees. We fished the lily pads from about 8 to 10 am and Bob caught 5 largemouths while I caught a couple pickerel. I did miss one big fish that exploded on my frog. Fish all came on Texas-rigged Senko. We could see some big bass moving around in the pads, but they weren’t interested in what we were throwing. We gave up on those fish and quickly moved over to Grassy Pond in Rindge. We fished there from 11 am to 2 pm. Water was 75 degrees and the weather was hot and clear. Things started off quite well; Bob caught a 5-lb. largemouth and I got one that was about 3.5 lbs and we saw a good number of big bass cruising around. Then the bite suddenly became spotty at best. We (meaning Bob) managed another 8 bass, but nothing over 2 lbs. – Gabe Gries, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Southeast NH/Merrimack Valley

We had to put the fishing rods down this past week to focus on transporting river herring to the Merrimack River Watershed. Close to 7,000 river herring (primarily alewives) have been stocked into a few lakes, in hopes that successful reproduction will occur and abundant herring runs return to the Merrimack River and its tributaries. These fish are from the Cocheco River and the Androscoggin River in Brunswick, Maine. Soon, we will begin transporting American shad from the Essex Dam in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to the Merrimack River in Boscawen. Scott Decker, Inland Fisheries Program Supervisor, tells me trout are still biting at Pleasant Lake in Deerfield. He caught a 16” brown trout while trolling an orange and gold Flash-King lure down 3 colors of lead-core line on Memorial Day. He reported seeing about 8 other boats trolling that morning, with several boating trout. – Ben Nugent, Regional Fisheries Biologist

Seacoast Area

That was a hot week last week, and the sea temperatures seem to be slightly warmer than usual this year, so hopefully the ahead of schedule temps bring the striper and bluefish early too! There were a fair number of stripers caught in the Great Bay and the harbors, but most were outside of Hampton Harbor. The Atlantic mackerel are also biting pretty good, so I would try using a diamond jig about 5 feet deeper than when you first lose sight of it, or even better add a Sibiki rig above it and when you get the first mackerel reel in at a slower pace and let all 6 hooks fill up with a fish! With the full live well, about a dozen, try moving to the coast guard station, Pepperell Cove, or the shoals and live line the mackerel with a circle hook. If you don’t have to use a balloon, don’t, just let them free swim for a bit and then pinch the line. Keep the reel open and when it starts ripping off after the striper takes it, close the reel to set the hook. From shore, try focusing on areas with tidal rips or structure, like bridges. Using medium depth swimming Rapala-style lures (~8”) in the eddies behind bridge pilings or across the current is effective. – Kevin Sullivan, Marine Biologist

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