N.H. Weekly Fishing Report - September 24, 2009
This is it, folks, our last NH fishing report of the season. Thanks for reading - we hope you had a great time on the water this spring and summer. There's more great fishing to come, as reported by three of our contributing anglers below....
Last chance: The Kids Fishing Photo Contest, co-sponsored by Fish and Game and Kidz Rule USA magazine, ends September 30. Click for entry info!
And - don't forget to join us for the National Hunting and Fishing Day Expo & NH Tour, this Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit www.wildnh.com/expotour for Expo exhibitor details and a map of Tour locations!
Purchase your fishing license online (click here!) or from any Fish and Game license agent.
FISH STOCKING: Stocking is complete for the season. Check the stocking page (click here) for sites stocked in 2009.
Fish New Hampshire and relax... We have what you're looking for.
Fall Fishing Roundup
FROM MARK BEAUCHESNE: Pick your day to go pike fishing in the next month. This is when the big ones eat. They are fattening up for winter. Ideally, you want two days of stable weather, then fish the third day -- no need to get an early start. Your best fishing is from 10:00 to 3:00.
Stick to the main river, and focus on outside turns in the river. (I'm talking about the Connecticut, but pike are found in a handful of waterbodies in NH.) Grass and weeds beds tend to be more productive in the fall. The mouths of coves and setbacks are great ambush spots for pike. I like to make several passes at these areas. The first time by may have caught their interest... the second time by, they'll eat. Keep your eyes focused on the area of your lure or fly; pike are notorious for following your offering. If you have time and space, change your retrieve, try to take the lure away from the fish. If the fish misses, cast right back to the miss. That fish is still looking to eat. Try floating minnow baits in perch colors and flies of the same hue.
Fall pike fishing holds out into early November. That is, as long as you can stand the boat ride when the air temperature starts to dive!
FROM GABE GRIES: Fall fishing to me means taking advantage of one of our state's greatest fishery resources: the Connecticut River. Whether you are interested in panfish, perch, bass, northern pike or walleye, the river is the place to go.
There are several locations you will want to key in on, regardless of what section of the river you are fishing this fall. I start by using my depth finder to find areas with 5 to 8-foot deep flats that have deeper water around them. These are classic locations in the fall to catch smallmouth bass and walleye. Last fall was no exception, as I boated numerous smallmouth bass, walleye, and even a couple small pike on jerkbaits. Pike are generally more prevalent in the setbacks and coves as the water starts to cool.
As the water continues to cool and vegetation in the setbacks and coves starts to die, try fishing where these areas and the main river meet, and also any adjacent flats. The dying vegetation will cause baitfish, which had been living in the vegetation, to move to the main river, creating an incredible feeding opportunity for bigger fish. Jerkbaits, tubes, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits will all get the job done.
As the water starts to approach the low 50s, concentrate on deep, large holes. Smallmouth bass and walleye will often congregate in these areas and you can have some 20+ fish days if you find the right spot. Drop-shot rigs, tubes, and grubs are your best bet here.
Hope to see you on the river this fall!
FROM BEN NUGENT: Time is winding down to fish most of the rivers and streams in southeastern New Hampshire. Aside from some select rivers (sections of the Cocheco, Isinglass, Lamprey, Merrimack, and Suncook rivers), the season for angling on rivers and streams ends on October 15. Anglers should take advantage of the remaining season. Recent electrofishing surveys have indicated that stocked trout are likely still present in streams at fishable levels. The cooler summer with above-average rainfalls appear to have made these traditionally warmer waters more conducive to summertime survival of stocked trout. Anglers should target deeper pools and rapids with faster water in locations that aren't necessarily close to roads. Anglers should also take note of the fall Atlantic salmon brood stock season (www.wildnh.com/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm). More than 700 additional brood stock salmon will soon be released for the catch and release season beginning on October 1. The majority of these fish are planned to be stocked in the Bristol/Franklin area.
In New Hampshire's lakes and ponds, it was a good summer to be a fish. The above-average rainfall likely decreased angling pressure while adding additional forage for fish to feed on. Several fish species (both warmwater and coldwater) that receded into deeper water during warmer periods are slowly able to revert to shallow waters as temperatures slowly decline. These movement patterns should increase opportunities for shoreline anglers to once again catch fish. Water temperatures are close to the mid to upper 60s now, and any stretch of cold nights will quickly reduce temperatures even more.
Although designated trout ponds close to angling on October 15, several lakes and ponds in southeastern New Hampshire remain open for fishing. Results from pond surveys in 2008 indicate that some ponds, despite receiving heavy angling pressure, still have a great deal of trout after the traditional end of the open-water fishing season. These trout that still remain are likely larger but well acclimated to the ecosystem. The challenge to catch these fish is increased but those who put their time in, have the potential to be rewarded by the catch of a trophy fish. Click here to view a list of these waterbodies. Some select waterbodies are managed with a fall stocking season, but other more popular lakes and ponds not routinely stocked in the fall often receive trout this time of year, after they are utilized for hatchery production. The intent of these fish is to enhance late open water and ice fishing seasons.
One great fishing season may be nearing its finale, but Fish and Game is working to provide you with an exciting fall and winter of fishing adventure ahead. Enjoy it, and watch for more fishing reports in April of 2010.
A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program
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