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February 21, 2017

Maine: At James Eddy Smelt Camps in Dresden, the report is that the ice is good and they have yet to find it necessary to pull any of their houses off, but the warm weather seems to have scared away some of their fishermen. Those who continue to fish report good smelt catches.

    Dave Garcia at Naples Bait and Tackle in Naples reports that the white perch fishing on Long Lake has been great. Anglers are reporting lots of white perch caught jigging in 30 of water and good numbers of 14-20 salmon. Greg reports that there is about 2 of ice on the lake. He also reports that the brook trout fishing on Trickey Pond continues to be very good.

New Hampshire: Alan at A.J.s Bait & Tackle in Meredith reports that the fishing remains good on Lake Winnipesaukee. The warm weather seems to have slowed the amount of anglers, but noted that the warm temps will be a blessing if we get more cold weather, because it will make traveling on the ice easier.

    Over in Dover, Chad at Covered Bridge Sports reports that the crappie fishing on Willand Pond has been on fire. They had one group of anglers burn through a couple dozen shiners in just a few hours, and come back for more. He also reports that the rainbow fishing has been strong, with the more dedicated anglers having the best luck. The crappie fishing on the Bellamy Reservoir in Madbury has been very good, but there are a lot of small fish. Chad noted that it may be time for more anglers to keep some for the smaller fish for fear of stunting the population.

Rick at Suds N Soda Sports in Greenland reiterated that the rainbow trout bite on Willand Pond and crappie bite at the Bellamy Reservoir have been good. He also tells us that sales of large shiners are way up. The area of the Lamprey River in Newmarket known as The Moat has been a popular spot for big largemouth bass. Rick fished the Bellamy Reservoir a few days prior and found soft edges and about 8 of good ice most everywhere else.

    Tim from Tim Moore Outdoors tells us that the recent warm weather made certain parts of Lake Winnipesaukee a slushy mess over the weekend, making ATV and vehicle travel nearly impossible in some areas. Luckily, his Bearcat snowmobile is designed for just such conditions. Traveling might have been a challenge over the weekend, but not enough to keep him and his ice fishing clients away from good numbers of lake trout and white perch. He reports his best catches coming from 30-35 of water. Ice conditions in the areas he has been guiding range from 14-17. Smelt on tip ups have been consistent for picking away at nomadic schools of whites, but running and gunning with jigs is still producing the most fish. Tim is hopeful that we will get one more run of cold weather to extend the ice fishing season well into March.

    If youre looking to step into some rivers rather than tread on slushy ice with the high approaching 60 degrees Thursday, try venturing into the fly fishing only sections of the Cocheco, Lamprey and Isinglass rivers! There have been some beautifully colored rainbows that have been caught recently that are feeding quite aggressively due to this warm spell were in. Tread lightly in some areas with the run off and ice chunks spilling into the river, especially in the Cocheco. With rain in the forecast for this weekend we will see a big spike in stream flows by late Saturday and early Sunday morning, get in there before the icebergs start moving!

    This time of year ripping some large buggers or streamers can entice some fish to strike. Dont hesitate to bounce some beaded copper johns paired with zebra caddis behind those boulders. The fish are there, just be patient!

    Steve Maynard, a KTP associate and an Eskimo Pro Staffer was having the time of his life fishing Newfound Lake this past weekend.  He was getting into the Lake Trout consistently while jigging in about 30 FOW. He sent an image to me of a 30+ cusk as well, before he wrapped it in bacon. Sorry, Im not sorry for making you drool on this report. Cusk is a very tasty treat for us New Englanders and Im sure for others across the nation.
    He said the ice was pretty slushy but had plenty of solid ice underneath him. With expressing his displeasure of this warm week to come he mentioned, The rest of the ice season is looking grim. Lets hope this changes and temps drop to give us a few more weeks of hard water! 

    We received a report on Lake Massabesic outside of Manchester of a good day on the slushy-hard-wet stuff reported by Eric Helgerson here at KTP. Lots of pickerel were caught, some over 24, lots of decent yellow perch, and a good brown was iced by him and his party! I dont see much good news coming from this lake with the ice conditions recently gathered.  There was 6+ inches of slush/water on top and only 5-6 of ice under that. That will surely dwindle down in the coming days and become unstable with the rise of temps and impending rain.  -Ryan Pinette, KTP Fishing Dept.

Because of inherent time restrictions of gathering fresh, up-to-date information, editing and producing this report in a timely manner, occasional errors or marginal information may slip by us. We try our hardest to provide accurate information. We urge readers to use this report as a tool to increase their fishing pleasure and not to rely on as their sole resource. First or second hand information is offered by fishing guides, commercial fishing charters or party boats, bait and tackle dealers, well-known successful anglers and state and federal fisheries and natural resources enforcement officials. We also welcome and use reports forwarded to us by fishermen that use this report. - Kittery Trading Post Fishing Report Editor, Tim Moore

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