August is vacation time for many folks and families with kids having some fun before school starts up in a few short weeks. Plenty of opportunity to get the kiddos onto some fish while you are camping or renting a cottage on the lake. A few dug worms and a simple spin-cast rod and reel outfit with a bobber to go after some panfish is a great way to spend a day. Save them up for fish fry at the end of the day for a real treat! Also, don’t forget to send me your reports or photos by dropping me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next report goes out on or around August 24.
In the North Country lakes and ponds, water temperatures have reached their peak with surface temperatures in the 80s. Bass are taking advantage of the growing season but rise for surface lures in the morning or evening, but not so much in the middle of the day. Drop shotting in deep (25+ feet) water have been effective and work well dropped right over the side of the boat versus casting and retrieving them which usually ends up in a snag.
Regular rain ensures the rivers and streams have a healthy flow for mid-summer. August is a little late for stocked trout in small streams, so look for larger rivers like the Androscoggin, the Ammonoosuc, and the Connecticut as best bets. Dry flies at dusk have been very effective. Elk hair caddis and small Wulffs have been working well lately.
In the Lakes Region, not a lot to report this week, but I have heard that anglers have been successful on the bigger salmon in Lake Winnipesaukee. I received a report of at least one 24-inch fish caught and released that may have gone 5 pounds or better! Four colors of lead core were working in conjunction with small spoons or flies. The thermocline zone (30-40 feet) depth is where you should be fishing for best success now.
In Southwestern New Hampshire, I received a report from a Connecticut River angler, recently. Walleye fishing has been going pretty good about everywhere on the river. Most fish were coming on jigs and trolled crankbaits. Anglers were catching nice crappie on about any brush pile in deeper water (15 feet or more). Jigs with plastic twister tail grubs were working well. A few channel catfish were also being taken with live minnows below the Vernon and Bellows Falls dams.
Northwood Lake largemouth bass. Photo credit S. Dubois.
In Southeastern New Hampshire, bass angling has been steady in several lakes, with some quality fish being taken. Lake Massabesic was producing smallmouth in the 1.5- to 2.5-pound range, with most fish taken using Senkos or night crawlers in about 12 feet of water. Northwood Lake gave up a 5.8-pound largemouth bass recently, by an angler fishing poppers in the morning.
Also good catches of smallmouth in 10-14 feet of water. Senko worms and Kalin’s grubs fished slow were working well. Some nice-sized white perch on Joes Flies spinner baits were also being taken in Northwood Lake. At Turtle Pond in Concord, quite a few largemouth bass were being taken on 4- and 5-inch Senko worms around the lily pads. The largest bass being around 4 pounds but most were in the 1.5- to 2.5-pound range.
On the Seacoast, we are still getting reports of big “pogie” schools off the coast, and people are after them for bait. Some videos on social media have shown people dipping them with nets, although this is not legal as a permit is required for using any type of net. More haddock have shown up recently with party boat as well as private boat anglers. Anglers also report an increase in catching dogfish off the coast. Schools of smaller stripers are being reported in Dover and around Fox Point, which will keep the catch-and-release fly anglers happy, but the occasional “keeper” is always possible in the mix. Consistent “keeper” striper action has been better off the coast, likely due to the abundant schools of menhaden. Overall, there appears to be more steady striper action this year compared to previous years, however no inland bluefish to report as of yet.
Also, if you are taking advantage of the excellent striped bass fishing this year, take a minute to let us know how you did! Visit the Striped Bass Volunteer Angler Survey
web page for online or mail-in reporting options. Each volunteer angler will be entered into a raffle at the end of the season.