NH Weekly Fishing Report - June 7, 2012

Stocking report: www.fishnh.com/Fishing/fish_stock_current.htm

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North Country

It is hard to believe that we are already heading into June. I consider myself an angler of every season and I still haven’t put away all of my ice fishing gear. My equipment room is a disorganized combination of jigging rods, bait buckets, and now has fresh spinning and bait casting rods mixed in. It seems like the ice had barely disappeared when I started trout and salmon fishing. Shortly after, the bass started biting and the weather beckoned every angler to the water. After a trip to the saltwater last week looking for striped bass, I realized that summer is in full swing.

Trout ponds in northern New Hampshire are still fishing very well. Consistent rainfall has kept the water temperatures from rising and trout are comfortable and feeding well. This becomes convenient as insect hatches become more common and greater in density. Small mayfly imitations like blue-winged olives are a great choice in June and I had a great afternoon last week on a pond that gets fingerlings stocked by air. The growth and survival of these fish always amaze me.

Rivers and streams have clearly benefited from the same rainfall, with temperatures and levels at a great place for trout fishing. Nash Stream is running just below full-bank, yet the water is clear and fishable. In places like this, I like to revert to my youth and cast Mepps spinners and Rooster Tails downstream to retrieve them through pools. A lightweight spinning rod can offer a vigorous battle with even the smallest fish. Water levels are certain to recede, so take advantage now. – Andy Schafermeyer, Fisheries Biologist

Monadnock/Upper Valley

The recent rains in southwestern NH have made stream and river fishing difficult, if not impossible in some areas. Hopefully by this weekend the weather pattern will change and water levels will subside. Trout fishing is on fire right now in the lakes and ponds of the Monadnock Region. Everything has been stocked, some more than once by now, and anglers are reporting good catches. Try Millen Lake (Washington), Granite Lake (Stoddard), and Whittemore Lake (Bennington).

We have had some reports from the bass angling community that the fishing has been outstanding. Spofford Lake produced some beautiful 3-4 lb largemouth and smallmouth bass for one of our local anglers on a recent outing. An email from another local bass angler revealed that he fared well at Poole Pond in Rindge, catching several 2-4 lb largemouths. The ticket for him was using chatterbaits and frogs around vegetation edges and flipping tubes around wood and structure. The Rindge/Jaffrey area hosts several lakes and ponds that offer great bass fishing along with panfishing to get the young ones hooked. – Jason Carrier, Fisheries Biologist

Southeast NH/Merrimack Valley

Once flows subside, we’ll begin our assessments that summarize the status of wild brook trout at the watershed level. Watersheds – that is, areas drained by a specific river or river system – are broken up into smaller units and electrofished to determine which fish species are present, while noting good habitat features and impacts to fish habitat and water quality. After the field season, we summarize this information and provide the data to local angling groups, conservation commissions, and others who have interest. The intent is to provide those who have interest in good water quality and intact populations of wild brook trout with a tool to take restoring impaired streams and protecting streams in good condition to the next level.

Over the years of conducting these surveys, we have found that there is no replacement for having local residents assist us. This gives them first-hand information about the streams in their area, and puts what can be done to restore and protect them into a clearer context. We plan to start with the Lower Warner River watershed next week, move north to the Ashland/Plymouth area in July, and focus on a watershed within the greater Ammonoosuc River watershed in August. Gradually, we have developed an extensive database that can not only summarize the distribution of wild brook trout but other common and rare fish species. – Ben Nugent, Fisheries Biologist

Seacoast Area

Last weekend’s weather kept the larger boats either in port or seeking shelter in more protected areas. Some adventurous anglers braved the wet and windy weather and reported catching stripers. Most of these were caught in the Piscataqua from boat anglers, but a few shore fishermen had luck along the riverbank at Pierce Island in Portsmouth. The river herring run has almost come to an end, so expect striped bass to move out of Great Bay’s tributaries. The best places to catch stripers now are in the Piscataqua, the harbors, and along the coast. Prior to the storm, a fellow Fish and Game staffer reported catching a 10-inch schoolie in Little Harbor; this is one of a number of reports this year of very small fish in our waters. So far it sounds like we are going to have another great striper fishing year like we saw back in 2005 and 2006.

With the abnormally warm water temperatures this spring, a number of lobstermen along the coast have reported catching black sea bass in their traps. It is not unusual to get some reports of black sea bass in NH, there are generally some caught in the Piscataqua each year. However, large numbers would be a rarity, as we are at the northern most extent of their range.

Prior to the storm, there were frequent catches of Atlantic mackerel along the coast and in the river. Great Island Common in New Castle is a great place to catch these mackerel and small pollock.

The charter and party boats have been docked for the first part of the week, but this weekend looks like the weather is going to clear. The party boats are now running both full and half days, and night trips are starting soon as well. Here’s the current list of licensed charter and party boats: www.wildnh.com/marine/charter.html – Becky Heuss, Marine Biologist

Lakes Region

No report from the Lakes Region this week.

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