N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- May 21, 2009

In today's report, the fish are biting in the Lakes Region! Fisheries biologist Don Miller brings an update from the big lakes, rivers and ponds. Enjoy the long weekend, everyone!

STOCKING TRUCKS ARE ROLLING! Check the stocking page (click here) for last week's stocking sites - more than 170 of 'em! Also, all 760 brood stock Atlantic salmon slated for spring release have been stocked into the Merrimack and Pemigewassett rivers.

LAKE SUNAPEE - WILD GOOSE ACCESS SITE: The public comment period regarding the Wild Goose wetland permit application to the N.H. Department of Environmental Services Wetlands Bureau has been extended to June 26, 2009. For information about the proposed Wild Goose Boating Access Site, visit www.fishnh.com/access/wildgoose.

FREE FISHING DAY is just a week away - Saturday, June 6. Tell your friends!

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Cool waters - hot fishing in the Lakes Region
By Don Miller, Large Lakes Fisheries Biologist, Region 2/New Hampton

We've enjoyed a rather cool spring in the Lakes Region, and this has resulted in cool water temps in our big lakes; the temperature at Winnipesaukee (main lake and the Broads) has been around 50 - 55 degrees F this week.

The recent Winni Derby was a success, with a 4.12-lb. landlocked salmon taking the major prize and an 8.5-lb. laker taking the "togue" category. The lake trout brought in by anglers were gorgeous fish, as fat and healthy as I've ever seen. Lots of two-year-old salmon were reported, and this bodes well for the future salmon fishery in the "Big Lake." Lake trout are still in shallow water, reports from Winnisquam have bass fishermen catching lakers in water 20 feet deep. Generally, look for lakers in water around 40-60 feet deep. Trolled bait (golden shiners) fished slowly along the bottom and edges of drop-offs is the best method. Sutton 44 and 61 spoons are always a top choice, and don't forget the old-standby, Flashking wobbler in gold/fluorescent for lake trout also.

The landlocked salmon fishing has tailed off a bit, but the early morning anglers will still have luck trolling 3-5 colors of lead-core line (20-25 feet deep). Periodically, salmon seem to switch off this time of year, usually concurrent with the major phantom midge hatches on the lakes. At this time of year it is essential to be on the water in the pre-dawn hours, and fish until 9 o'clock or so, in order to find the salmon -- occasionally a mid-late morning/early afternoon second bite occurs, depending on weather conditions.

Rainbow trout fishing has been hot in Winnipesaukee and Squam lakes. We've caught them on a variety of small streamers (size 6), hardware and live shiners. I like to use a sinking-tip fly line, 30 foot leader (6-lb. test), and troll the shorelines out to a depth of 30 - 40 feet. Work the fly rod with intermittent pulls, and troll at various speeds, 1.5-3 mph., in a curve or zigzag pattern.

The Pemigewasset River in Bristol (off the Coolidge Woods Road) offers some incredible trout fishing (rainbows and brookies). This area is also a favored spot for Atlantic salmon broodstock fishing. The water flow in this river is excellent now, and the pools and riffles offer a great variety of habitats for fly, bait or spin fishing. Also try the bigger water below Eastman Falls Dam in Franklin (catch and release area). Colorful streamers work well on these salmon. Don't forget to pick up your brood stock Atlantic salmon permit and tags for this wonderful fishery. Area brooks have been stocked and the dry spell this spring has left water levels low, so don't procrastinate, get out and treat yourself to some tasty squaretails!

Brook trout ponds in the area are producing limit catches of rainbows and brookies. Saltmarsh Pond/Gilford, Spectacle Pond/Groton and Perch Pond/Campton are great trout ponds. Hatches of caddis are in full swing on ponds throughout the area. Upper Hall Pond (Sandwich), White Pond (Ossipee), and Sky Pond (New Hampton), are fly-fishing only ponds where the angler can be treated to some fantastic dry-fly action now.

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