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NH Fishing Report - July 27, 2017

Greetings anglers!

Scott Decker

We are definitely into the "dog days" of summer now.  Best fishing times are going to be early or late in the day for coldwater fish or on cloudy cooler days, which we've had a few of lately.  Trout stocking has concluded for the spring and summer, but there are still fish to be had out there.  There are many opportunities around the state for bass, crappie, and panfish.  Try night fishing for bass when the lakes seem too crowded during the day.  Dark-colored surface plugs that "pop" are a good choice. Also, don’t forget to send me your reports or photos by dropping me a line at scott.decker@wildlife.nh.gov. The next report goes out on or around August 10.

 

News note: The Department will host a public information meeting on current fisheries regulations in Errol on August 17. To learn more, visit: www.fishnh.com/newsroom/news.html?news=730.

 

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Moore Reservoir.

Photo: Andrew Schafermeyer.

In the North Country, water levels in the rivers and streams have been good for most of the summer and tend to rise quickly after storms, indicating a high water-table still exists.  Trout anglers have been having good success on the Connecticut, Androscoggin, and Upper Ammonoosuc rivers.  Morning fog on the rivers seems to keep the fish more active and feeding until it burns off.  Fishing big attractor dry fly patterns, such as the "Stimulator," have been producing results, as well as a number of caddisfly patterns.  Biologist Andy Schafermeyer was out recently to Moore Reservoir with the Groveton High School bass fishing team. The team did well catching smallmouth bass using surface plugs as the sun went down.

 

I received a recent report from an angler fishing the Saco River near North Conway.  Water levels were good for wading. Brook and brown trout in the 12- to 15-inch range were being taken mostly on bead head nymphs.

 

In the Lakes Region, the big lakes have definitely set up with a defined thermocline (zone of most rapid temperature change) in the 30- to 40-foot range.  This zone is where zooplankton and baitfish are attracted to and where the predators are sure to follow. I received a report from an angler who hooked about a dozen trout and salmon on a recent trip to Lake Winnipesaukee.  Trolling lead core line or using downriggers with small lures and flies that imitate young-of-year smelt fished near thermocline were the ticket.  If you happen to get into a bunch of the newly stocked yearling fish (7-8 inches long), it's sometimes best to pick up and move to another location to avoid hooking these sub-legal salmon. The Pemigewasset River near the central part of the state was producing some nice trout on brightly colored streamer flies.  Try casting across and downstream of where a riffle area meets a pool, and retrieve the lure or fly quickly to attract strikes.

 

In Southwestern New Hampshire, some anglers were having good luck on the Contoocook River.  Flows were good, but temperatures were becoming stressful for trout, so fishing early or late may be best.  Fly anglers report having success using light Cahill and yellow sulfur dries. Also, stonefly nymphs were working on a wet line.  Many thanks go out to Randy at Morse's Sporting Goods in Hillsboro for helping me out with reports for this region.

 

In Southeastern New Hampshire, trout fishing has slowed considerably, although you might try Stonehouse Pond (fly fishing only), Lucas Pond, Pleasant Lake, or Bow Lake, by fishing sinking fly lines or other weighted lines to get your offering down deep.  Popular bass and crappie fishing spots include Bellamy Reservoir and Pawtuckaway Lake. Remember that early or late in the day is best.

 

On the Seacoast, Fox Point in Newington seems to be the hotspot for keeper striped bass lately.  This is an area of Little Bay directly across from the mouth of the Oyster River.  Farther up the Piscataqua River near the mouth of the Cocheco, we got a report of “bunches” of stripers feeding on shrimp.  These would be the “grass” or “mud” shrimp, not northern shrimp that we humans like to eat!  Flounder fishing is waning in the harbors as the water warms and the fish move to deeper haunts.  No reports of bluefish as of yet.

 

New on the N.H. Fish and Game Department website, you can find everything you need to know about squid fishing, from hook-to-plate. Visit www.fishnh.com/fishing/profiles/squid.html.

 

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Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration: A User-Pay, User-Benefit ProgramSport Fish Restoration
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. Learn more.