December 17, 2017

N.H. FISHING ROUND-UP

Submitted - 2005-10-02
In addition to the normal fall stocking, hatcheries supervisor Bob Fawcett reports there will be 6,000 surplus yearling brook trout stocked into the following general-regulation waterbodies (open to ice fishing), for your winter fishing enjoyment. They will be stocked after the temperature is in the mid-50 degrees F range.
Highland Lake - Andover
White Lake - Tamworth
Tewksbury Pond - Grafton
Manning Lake - Gilmanton
Winona Lake - Meredith
Chapman Pond - Sullivan
Gustin Pond - Marlow
Newell Pond - Alstead

Gabe Gries (fisheries biologist, Region 4/Keene) offers his best Southwest spots to hit for late season trout -- Willard Pond in Antrim and the south branch of the Ashuelot River -- he says the Swanzey fly-fishing only section still holds large numbers of brown trout. Also, Gabe writes, [Quote]the Connecticut River is a fantastic spot to try for late-season smallmouth bass and northern pike. Recent surveys in Charlestown and Claremont showed large numbers of 3-4 lb. smallmouth, and pike were seen up to 12 lbs. In the fall, the predatory fish will often be found just off the riverbank as they feed on the river's abundant shiners.[End Quote]

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SEACOAST ACTION, NOW AND LATER!
By Brian Smith, fisheries biologist, Region 3/Durham

Fall is fast approaching and another fishing season on the coast is coming to a close. The striped bass and bluefish provided excellent action this year. Reports of huge schools of bait on the coast have been common and big bluefish have been harassing them consistently. Before you pack up your fishing gear for the season, make a final trip or two down to the coast. Take advantage of the end-of-the-season craziness that often occurs at this time of year as the bait comes in and the stripers and blues begin their journey southward. Reports of schools of heavily feeding bluefish in the six- to eight-pound range have been common. Get them before they're gone.

The first few nights of cold weather already have me thinking of cold weather fishing opportunities. Rainbow smelt fishing through the ice last year was very steady. The early arrivals will be coming into Rye Harbor where you can fish for them from the commercial pier under the lights. This action should pick up later in October and November. No time like the present to get yourself ready to put some smelt in the freezer this winter. Go ahead and get started on that bobhouse you keep saying you're going to build, and make sure you will be nice and warm during those frigid smelt fishing forays.

Finally, when the ice does set up this year, be sure to investigate some new locations. The Fish and Game access on the Lamprey River in Newmarket NH provided some excellent outings for me last year and I almost always had it to myself. How about that, a fisherman actually giving up his best spot! Why deal with crowds fishing the more popular spots, when you can fish in solitude and catch more smelt. Catches on the Lamprey were consistently good last year, even when the Squamscott River and Great Bay locations were not producing. Trying something new this winter, it may pay off with more fish and fewer parking hassles. See you on the ice this winter, but until then good luck and good fishing.

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LARGE LAKES 2005 OPEN WATER ROUND-UP -- READY FOR THE ICE BITE!
By John Viar, fisheries biologist, Region 2/New Hampton

It has been another solid year for Big Lake (Winnipesaukee) catches, in terms of hefty landlocked salmon in the 2-4 year old age classes (18-22 inches), solid lake trout in the 3- 4 lb. range with larger individuals to 7-9 lbs. (see a photo on the web version of this report of a 29.5-inch, 9-lb. lake trout caught vertical jigging on September 13), and a healthy age-1 rainbow trout year class which is already as long as 16-17 inches. The smelt forage base was/is tremendous, with some impressively robust fish. (In fact, favorable environmental conditions along with appropriate stocking rates resulted in excellent smelt production in most large lakes surveyed this year). Look for the return of more Winnipesaukee salmon in the 5+ lbs. size class in 2006 (season opens April 1), as the age 4 year class is currently 4+ lbs. Don't forget about other large lakes such as Big Squam, which has returned to trophy status and produced the largest average-sized landlocked salmon this y
ear, with fish over 5 lbs. not uncommon. How about forgotten Sunapee Lake, which produced salmon in excess of 4 lbs. this season, or Newfound Lake, which produced several rainbow trout in excess of 5 lbs.? Don't forget about those other lakes when planning trips for next year's open water season (or ice fishing for lake and rainbow trout).

Several entries for largemouth bass in excess of 6 lbs. were received in the Trophy Fish Program this year, but one potential entry (not yet officially entered) really stood out - a largemouth just over 10 lbs. recently caught and released - bologna, you say? Clear pictures were sent, and believe me, it was enormous! This fish was flirting with the state record! Luck? Not likely - this passionate bass angler has tamed several largemouth over 8+ lbs., proving the state record is still within reach!

For you ardent fall anglers, see you on the cooling waters...we know that in preparation for winter, bass, chain pickerel, and panfish are putting on the feedbag throughout the state, creating some the year's best fishing opportunities. Dropping temperatures also signal the return of leviathan northern pike to shallower haunts of the Connecticut River.

Ah, the magic of fishing the hard water in the midst of a sparkling winter landscape -- it's coming sooner than we think! There is just something about fish swimming right below your feet... and the mystery of what might be running at the end of that tip-up when the flag pops, eventually revealed through the circular window you have carved into their world. Makes you feel like a kid again! Shouldn't you take the youngsters along so they can say the same thing one day? Yellow perch and chain pickerel remain ravenous in just about all waterbodies, from ponds to back bays of large lakes, just waiting for that golden shiner dangling under a tip-up. Remember, with the warm water temperatures of summer a distant memory, togue, bows, and cusk will come into shallow flats to feed under the ice. Reefs/humps surrounded by deeper water are also magnets for togue and cusk.

Year in, year out -- it's tough to beat Winnisquam for big lakers and Winnipesaukee for all-around quality and quantity of lakers, bows and cusk. Don't overlook Newfound for monster rainbows, along with plenty of lake trout to keep you entertained. General regulation ponds such as White Lake-Tamworth, Tewksbury Pond-Grafton, and Highland Lake-Andover remain open for ice fishing and are often stocked with surplus trout in fall, providing some fabulous early ice action. Please remember, designated trout ponds are CLOSED to ice fishing and the taking of landlocked salmon through the ice is ILLEGAL in all New Hampshire waters.

Finally, we've just confirmed that Salmon Sunday is set for Nov. 13 at Pope Dam in Melvin Village, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Check it out! This report was provided by NH Fish and Game Department in Concord, NH. Follow this link for more specific information on the reports or the area - http://wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm