NH Weekly Fishing Report - July 18, 2013

Greetings, anglers. The lazy, hazy days of summer are just right for casting a line. Read on for a few tips for finding fish that are trying to beat the heat, just like you are.

Public information meeting on the proposed stocking of walleye into Moore Reservoir – 6 p.m. on July 22 at the Littleton Opera House, 2 Union Street, Littleton, N.H. fishnh.com/Newsroom/2013/Q2/walleye_hearing_062413.html

Stocking report: fishnh.com/Fishing/Stocking/current.html

Fishing licenses: fishnh.com. Don’t forget -- kids under 16 fish free in N.H.!Take Me Fishing!

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The summer of 2013 has started to look more like a summer now. It hasn’t rained for a few days, the water levels are dropping and some of our ponds are in the mid to upper 70’s. For river fishermen, this means that trout have finally been forced into more identifiable areas. For the last few weeks, they have been spread out all over the place and difficult to find even after a thousand casts. Now I can fish runs and pools that look fishy and have a better chance of finding some. This also presents better opportunities for dry fly fishing on smooth water surfaces. Adding the recent emergence of large terrestrial flies like grasshoppers makes my fishing approach more effective.

I have also been enjoying the hot and hazy days on some of our large bass waters. I fished Moore Reservoir and Lake Umbagog last week in hot, sunny, middle-of-the-day situations. Fish were not easy to find, but were aggressive once I located them. I did well casting near inlet streams with plastic baits and surface lures. The fish seemed schooled up, which may have been explained by groups of bass seeking thermal refuge. Either way, I was catching two or three in a row before moving to a different location. I had no luck on the fast and aggressive retrieves of a spinner-bait, favoring slower, presentations with more finesse. At the end of the day, I was hot and plenty sunburned but happy to have fished on such nice days.  - Andrew Schafermeyer, Regional Fisheries Biologist


Brown Trout caught by Avery Traffie 2013
Avery Traffie of New Ipswich, NH, age 15, caught this Brown Trout in July 2013 on Whittemore Lake in Greenfield. It weighed 11 lbs., 13 oz.; was 26.5 inches long, with a girth of 18 inches. Way to go, Avery!

After many days of high and discolored water conditions, the mighty Connecticut River is finally returning to more normal summertime levels.  As such, bass fishing and bass locations should be more predictable in the coming week.  Try fishing in and around aquatic vegetation for largemouth bass during sunny days and rocky drop-offs and deeper water for smallmouths. 

I’m going to try to get out on the Connecticut River over the next couple weeks and try for channel catfish.  There is an up-and-coming fishery for them below the Vernon Dam, and biologists have also reported them using the fish ladder at the Vernon Dam to move upstream.  Fish caught by anglers in recent years have reached sizes of up to almost 12 pounds!  Sturdy rods and reels and line will be the tackle of choice, and chunked up dead fish or chicken livers will be the desired bait.  I will update you on any success I have in the coming weeks.

Reports are coming in of excellent bass fishing in Spofford Lake, with largemouth and smallmouth bass up to five pounds being caught.  I also talked to one angler who recently landed a number of rainbow trout there that were over 18 inches.

A verified report has also surfaced of a brown trout recently caught at Whittemore Lake (Bennington) that was just shy of 12 pounds!  Who says it is too hot to fish!  (See photo above right). Whittemore is known to produce some really nice browns and Milford Hatchery fish culturists relayed that a five-pounder was caught there this spring while they were in the process of stocking it. – Gabe Gries, Regional Fisheries Biologist


You may have heard a recent story about oyster farming on New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR).  Aquaculture has been a popular topic recently, and people are farming a number of different species on the New Hampshire coast, from mussels to steelhead, and, as NHPR talked about in their story this week (posted at nhpr.org/post/nh-oyster-farming-begins-boom) – oysters. 

A lot of work is going on in the bay to restore degraded oyster beds. One of these projects includes individual volunteers, who are given oyster spat (young oysters) to care for over one growing season. These oysters are then placed on oyster beds in the fall to bolster populations within the Great Bay system. This program is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, UNH, and New Hampshire Sea Grant. To read the 2012 Final Report about this project, visit oysters.unh.edu/reports_presentations_files/Publications/2012_NH_OC_FINAL_REPORT.pdf.

Did you ever think about harvesting oysters yourself? New Hampshire does have a recreational oyster fishery, which has long been a tradition on the New Hampshire coast. You can read about it in an article by Fish and Game Marine Biologist Bruce Smith published in the latest issue of New Hampshire Wildlife Journal magazine (July/August 2013).  Here's a sneak peek: wildnhcom/Wildlife_Journal/WJ_sample_stories/WJ_d13_Oysters.pdf. - Becky Heuss, Marine Biologist

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