NH Weekly Fishing Report - July 5, 2012

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

Boat Note: The boat access facility on the Connecticut River in Orford, N.H., has been refurbished by Fish and Game and is now open for use.

Summer Fun: Let us help you get those kids outside! We still have space in two sessions for boys and girls at Barry Conservation Camp in Milan, NH. The week of July 8-13 is “All about Fishing,” a fun week where youth ages 10-16 can get into fishing or sharpen their angling skills. There's also room in “Wild Side II,” July 29-August 3; this is an exciting week of outdoor adventure for youth age 12-16. They'll hike, paddle a remote lake, explore local wildlife, learn outdoor survival skills and more. Sign up at http://extension.unh.edu/4H/4HCamps.htm or contact 4Hcamps@unh.edu or 603-788-4961. Barry Camp is operated by UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H and Fish and Game.

Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nhfishandgame

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Several of our reporters are on vacation, so the report is a little on the light side this week.

Monadnock/Upper Valley

Last weekend, fellow biologist Gabe Gries and I were fortunate to be invited to Plattsburgh, NY, on Lake Champlain, to assist researchers from the Lake Champlain Research Institute, SUNY Plattsburgh, in a bass-tagging study similar to one we performed on Lake Winnipesaukee in 2008 and 2009. They took their study one step further by surgically implanting radio transmitters into 50 bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, so they can track fish movement after bass tournament weigh-ins via boat and plane.

This took place at a Walmart FLW Tour Major event which is a four-day national tournament that consists of professional anglers and co-anglers (252 anglers total). We attended day two of the tournament, when all of the anglers were still competing and there were over 1,000 bass brought to the weigh-in. Researchers intercepted the anglers on the way back to their boats from the weigh-in to take their bag of bass and inquire where on the lake they were fishing. Bass were then measured, tagged, and different fish condition measurements were recorded. Only the bigger, healthiest bass were selected to have radio transmitters surgically implanted, which occurred later in the afternoon. Once researchers processed the bass, they were brought to one of the two live release boats that FLW provides at these events. The boats then drive out to deep water and release the fish.

The majority of the professional anglers were traveling 60 miles down to the southern end of the lake in pursuit of largemouth. I was able to pick up on what these guys were doing in order to fill their livewells. The southern end of the lake offers shallow bays with huge grass and weed beds. Most of the anglers were using chatterbaits, swim-jigs, spinnerbaits, and frog imitations. One would think that professional anglers would have some secret lure or location, but that wasn’t the case at all. They were very willing to share where they were and what they were using.

Our attendance at this event is pertinent to New Hampshire bass fisheries for a number of reasons. One, it allowed us a first-hand look at fish care techniques during tournament weigh-ins at a national event. Additionally, surgically implanting bass with radio tags was new to us and might be a strategy we use in future bass studies in NH. Researchers also took note of many fish health measures during their assessment of fish that may be added to future studies in NH. Finally, the results of this bass movement study will be a useful comparison to our bass movement study on Lake Winnipesaukee. – Jason Carrier, Fisheries Biologist

Seacoast Area

It looks like the bluefish are in early, along with everything else this year. Head boats have begun reporting bluefish schools just offshore. So far, there have been no reports of bluefish landings, but that will change as more anglers realize they have arrived. Remember to use proper gear to target bluefish, such as a wire leader, or they will bite right through your rig. There is no size limit for bluefish, but there is a bag limit of ten fish per day.

Another surprise arrival is squid. They are being caught in high numbers from along the coast as they chase the baitfish in. A good time to catch squid is at night time, when the squid congregate under the lights near shore. You can use a sabiki rig to catch them, but a squid jig works best and is barbless so squid are easier to get off the hook. There are no limits to the size or quantity of squid you can keep, which is good because you will need quite a few to make a satisfying meal. One last thing, try to keep your face away from the business end of the squid. Trust me. – Eric Bruestle, Biological Aide

Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program
Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration: A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program
Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. Click here to learn more.

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