NH: Weekly Fishing Report – June 23, 2011

This weekly fishing report is provided by the New Hampshire Fish
and Game Department.

Boat Ramp Closure: Fish and Game’s boat access facility on
Connor Pond in Ossipee is currently closed for repairs and
improvements and will remain closed for about three weeks. The
existing paved ramp is being relocated and replaced with a concrete
ramp suitable for “cartop” boats.

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<> North Country

This week brought us the first day of summer and fishing in New
Hampshire is in full swing. Everything is in place to support an
excellent experience on the water. Water temperatures have risen,
fish are feeding, insects are hatching, and the days are long. On
Saturday, I fished the Androscoggin River in Shelburne until 9:30
and caught fish the whole time. Brook and brown trout were chasing
streamers like black ghosts and gobbling bead-headed nymphs. I also
caught a few smallmouth bass that, combined with a fast current and
4-weight fly rod, gave me an awesome fight. An angler on the
opposite side of the river was casting a purple woolly bugger and
matching me fish for fish.

I’m looking forward to 4 days on Lake Umbagog next week. Late
June has always been a key time to find fish in shallow water close
to structure. I love throwing small top-water baits like a torpedo
or Rebel Pop-R. The bass also seem to like the curl-tailed grubs
that I normally reserve for crappie fishing. When the water settles
like glass and the sun sets on the horizon, there is not a more
beautiful place to be. – Andy Schafermeyer, Regional Fisheries
Biologist

<> Lakes Region/White Mountains

The remote trout ponds have been successfully stocked for 2011!
We had to use our rain date of June 16 this year for our annual
stocking of remote trout ponds by helicopter. Everything went like
clockwork. The final tally was 47 ponds stocked, from Sunapee to
Pittsburg, with a total of 110,000 Kennebago fingerlings or
approximately 730 pounds of fish! I flew three “sorties” from
Sunapee to Campton, and got to see some surprised anglers at a
couple ponds as the helicopter descended close to the surface!
These ponds (http://wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/trout_aerial.html)
are producing some great brook trout, I saw one recently that was
16 inches and over two pounds — that is a nice brook trout,
especially one grown from fingerling size. It seems that the
dragonfly “blitz” is apparent on these ponds, as the larger trout
are certainly feeding on the unlucky ones that linger a little too
long at the surface!

We maintain a broodstock line of Kennebago brook trout (ages 2,
3 and 4) at our New Hampton Hatchery. From this line, fish
culturists gather eggs each fall for the remote pond stocking
program, in addition to Mountain and Upper Hall ponds and Pleasant
Lake/New London. In 2000, the New Hampshire Fish and Game
Department embarked on a program to utilize the Kennebago strain of
brook trout, as this strain is the best “match” to the strain of
brook trout that was originally found in NH. These trout are
definitely wilder than their hatchery counterparts, as the fish
culturists will tell you. A bit harder to raise, and being wilder,
their growth is unpredictable. Given the chance to grow in the
wild, these longer-lived brook trout (4-6 years) are a much better
“fit” in remote waters. As any seasoned brook trout angler will
tell you, the harder it is to access a “brookie” water, generally
means a better fishery for these beautiful trout.

The smallmouth bass are cruising the shorelines; I’ve had a
blast on Winnisquam with my favorite fly rod poppers at dusk during
these warm (now summer) evenings! Give it a try, bass put up a
great fight on a 5-weight rod! – Don Miller, Regional Fisheries
Biologist

<> Monadnock/Upper Valley

Lake trout anglers have been utilizing a three-way rig for years
with success. It’s not something we hear of very often in this neck
of the woods; actually, I had never heard of it until I was doing
some research online recently. This is a great way for anglers who
don’t have downriggers or lead or steel lines to fish deep for lake
trout. The set-up is simple: a six to seven foot medium to
medium-light action rod with a baitcasting or spinning reel and six
to eight pound test fluorocarbon line (or the equivalent in
diameter of super line). The smaller diameter line allows you to
get the rig deeper while having to put out less line.

The actual rig consists of a three-way swivel attached to the
main line and two 3-4 foot sections of line tied to the swivel. One
of the sections of line will go to your lure and the other to a 2
to 4 ounce weight. Fluorocarbon leader material such a Seaguar Blue
Label is recommended for the line going from the swivel to your
lure (your favorite lake trout spoon or in-line spinner). Another
tip is to use 4-lb. test line for the section running from the
swivel to your weight; this allows you to minimize the times you
will lose your entire set-up if you get stuck. If you do get stuck,
you can usually get free by backing the boat up until you are right
over the snag and then pulling up on the rod with a series of short
quick tugs.

Gabe and I gave this method a try recently at Nubanusit Lake. We
were using 2 oz. weights and trolling about 1+ mph and were able to
troll this rig as deep as 50 feet. We had a few hits, but didn’t
hook up. This is definitely a technique that we are going to have
to fish more and try to fine tune over the summer. – Jason Carrier,
Regional Fisheries Biologist

<> Southeast NH/Merrimack Valley

The record for Atlantic salmon returns to the Merrimack River
since the most recent restoration efforts began in the early 1980s
was officially broken this week. More than 340 salmon had been
counted at the fish lift in Lawrence, Mass., as of Tuesday, June
21. It appears the bulk of the run is over, as only a few more fish
are trickling in each day. We are fortunate to get these numbers in
the first year of a study to evaluate the potential for natural
salmon reproduction in the Merrimack River watershed. The goal is
to monitor released Atlantic salmon using radio tags and redd
(spawning spot) counts to see how many fish will successfully spawn
in the fall. If you accidentally catch an Atlantic salmon without a
red broodstock tag near the dorsal fin, please release it
immediately. If you see a fish with a long black wire protruding
from its mouth (the radio tag antennae), please report its
whereabouts and condition to Matt Carpenter (603-271-2612 or

matthew.carpenter@wildlife.nh.gov). If the fish is dead, we would
like to retrieve the tag. Once released, these fish like to move,
so they could turn up almost anywhere. Please take care not to
target these fish. Our ability to assess the potential for natural
salmon reproduction will determine the future of the Merrimack
salmon program. – Matt Carpenter, Regional Fisheries Biologist

<> Seacoast Area

Groundfishing has been fairly decent the last week mixed in with
some “hit or miss” days, but there is still plenty of time to get
out and fill those coolers full of cod and haddock. Spiny dogfish
are starting to make some trips a little less pleasurable recently,
tangling up lines and frustrating anglers.

Mackerel are out in good numbers, and striper fishing has been
pretty good along the coast and in the river, with people landing
some nice sized ones recently. If, like me, you don’t have a boat,
fishing from shore can still be fun and rewarding! I would suggest
fishing from some of the coastal access sites like Four Tree
Island/Prescott Park, Fort Stark, Great Island Common, and Odiorne
Point. I have had good luck recently just jigging in small macs and
harbor pollock from the shore and jetties. They can be found in
shallow waters, and make great bait for stripers when hooked right
away and thrown out alive. Try to fish for them during the high
tide using light tackle sabiki rigs or diamond jigs. – Conor
O’Donnell, Marine Bio-Technician

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New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

 

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