N.H. Weekly Fishing Report -- June 4, 2009

In today’s report, fisheries biologist Gabe Gries goes looking for largemouth bass in the Monadnock region, and offers some trout-fishing destinations for early June.

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Bass Quest: Southwest NH
By Gabe Gries, Fisheries Biologist, Region 4/Keene

I have been doing my best over the past month to reconnect with many angling friends and bass fish as much as possible before the busy upcoming field season. I started out fishing Thorndike Pond (Jaffrey) for smallmouth bass when water temperatures were still in the low 50s. While the bite was expectedly slow, we managed four nice bass on jerkbaits and caught a big yellow perch and pickerel as a bonus. Traveling up north two weeks later to Forest Lake (Whitefield) had me fishing similar water temperatures. A few nice smallmouths were it for the day. Just like the previous trip, all fish came on jerkbaits in 6-8 feet of water off rocky points.

One of my favorite spots, the Connecticut River, was next. Water temperatures were in the mid-50s and the water was up a bit that day (and muddy) as we fished in the Westmoreland section. The bass didn’t appear to be on the drop-offs just off shore, so we tried river mouths for a while and picked up a few bass at each, but nothing impressive in terms of size. We finally found them tight to the bank in scattered locations. Any fallen wood provided at least three good fish. We ended up catching over a dozen smallmouth with the biggest two going 4 lbs. Lures included tubes, jigs and crankbaits.

I still had yet to put a largemouth in the boat so we headed to a small pond in Richmond where even when water temperatures are low, there can be a surprisingly good topwater bite in some shallow coves. Well, we missed the low water temperatures on that trip, having the fish finder reading 63 degrees F, and quickly shifted tactics. We ended up fishing drop-offs with crankbaits and pitchin’ jigs into fallen trees. We managed a 3-lb. largemouth and another smaller one after a couple hours of fishing.

Catching the largemouth bug, I now wanted more, so we headed back to the Connecticut River’s setbacks in Hinsdale. These areas become quite vegetated by early summer, but when we fished them the vegetation was just below the surface, making for a terrific opportunity for some topwater action. Three fishing trips in 65-69 degree water yielded about 25 largemouths. Most fish came on buzzbaits, frogs, and Mann’s Wakebaits. The majority of fish were caught in scattered vegetation in 2-4 feet of water, while we caught some smaller bass tight to the shore by pitchin’ jigs and tubes. All fish were spawned out with the exception of one nice 4-lb. female.

A final mixed bag trip for smallmouth and largemouth to Monomonac Lake (Rindge) rounded out the month. We had a beautiful day in terms of weather, but not in regards to the fishing. Pickerel, perch and black crappie were abundant and couldn’t keep their mouths off the lures, but bass were harder to come by. The shorelines produced only a few small largemouths on tubes throughout the morning. Just before leaving, we decided to try drop-shotting off a sunken rocky reef in the middle of the lake. This tactic produced well, giving us several larger bass including a 3-lb. largemouth and 3-lb. smallmouth.

Don’t forget that at this time of year, walleye and bass can often be found in the lower reaches of larger rivers that flow into the Connecticut River. Some of my favorite spots include the Ashuelot River, Partridge Brook (Westmoreland), Mascoma River, and the Sugar River.

My top picks this week for trout-fishing destinations include: Dublin Lake (Dublin), Nissitissit River (Brookline), Frenches Pond (Henniker), S.B. Piscataquog River (New Boston), Granite Lake (Stoddard), Silver Lake (Harrisville), Stone Pond (Marlborough), and the Ashuelot River (Marlow, Surry).

We hope you enjoy fishing this year in the Monadnock/Upper Valley Region and don’t forget to take a kid fishing anytime you can. We are always happy to talk to you about fish and fishing so please contact us at Region 4 (352-9669; reg4@wildlife.nh.gov) if you have any questions. For a list of popular waterbodies to fish for by species, check out Suggested Fishing Locations for the Monadnock Region/Southwest N.H. (CLICK HERE).

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