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July 21, 2015

   Both fresh and saltwater fisheries seem to finally be settling into a summer pattern, with news of some great fishing in both, but especially in the saltwater where bluefish and bluefins are making for some big smiles as well as a good striper bite that seems to be shifting from the bays and rivers into the ocean front and river mouths.

    Freshwater reports are that largemouth bass fishing, especially at night is peaking and the trout and salmon fishing has stabilized with a 30 foot area thermocline concentrating the lake fishing and consistent hatches on the rivers and some ponds creating some great fly fishing opportunities.

MAINE: Master Maine Guide Stu Bristol of Lyman reports that sand eels are finding it safe to run up the coastal rivers as the striped bass are feasting on mackerel along the breakwaters and beaches.

    “This is a typical summertime pattern here in southern Maine. Many of the towns prohibit anglers from using the beaches during the daytime hours so anglers take advantage of the low light periods after dark. Stripers and a few bluefish are being landed along the Camp Ellis breakwater (ocean-side) and Ferry Beach State Park. The Saco River in Biddeford/Saco and the Mousam River in Kennebunk are clear of stripes and blues due to exceptional high tides and warm surface temperatures.”

    “Inland anglers are doing well when targeting bass and crappie. Lake Arrowhead in Waterboro has given up at least a pair of 9-pound bass over the weekend. Anglers dropping jig and pig into the holes in the matted milfoil are finding lunkers. Smaller ponds are yielding smaller bass, most weighing under two pounds.”

    “Rock Haven in Newfield anglers are finding bass under the lilies and along the western shoreline boulders. A few brook trout have been hitting slow rolled senkos right on the bottom, off the swimming beach and boat ramp. Sokokis Pond in Limerick offered fast action but the bass were seldom over two pounds. Short ivory swimbaits were top producers.”

    “To the North at Sabattus Pond in Green, the wind over the weekend kept anglers from drifting for crappie and white perch. Those who anchored along the west shoreline were rewarded with huge schools of crappie in the 2-pound range and white perch of the same description. One-eighth-ounce chenille jigs in chartreuse or red and white were the top producer for both species.”

    “Bait (shrimp, clams) and jigs coupled with a teaser are getting fish. A few sharks, mostly blues and porbeagles, have been reported. If you are not sure what species you have hooked, then release - "If you don't know, let it go." The minimum size for all keeper sharks (makos, porbeagles, threshers and blues) is 4.5 feet in length. Great whites and basking sharks are federally protected.”

    “Atlantic bluefin tuna are here and a couple have been landed by rod and reel. This early, try trolling squid rigs or daisy chains of mackerel instead of setting up on the ball and chunking.
    “Readings from the Jeffreys Ledge weather buoy show sea surface temperatures in the low 60s.”
    Captain Tim Tower of the legendary Bunny Clarke party/charter boat out of Ogunquit reports on a recent trip: “The fishing was good to very good overall. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by quite a margin. Legal landings also included twenty-nine haddock, three cusk and one redfish. They released thirty-two dogfish and twenty cod of market size but no bigger than 9 pounds. Drifting was the method. Jigs and cod flies caught the most fish.”
    Dave Garcia at Naples Bait on Long Lake in the Sebago Region (Maine has dozens of “Long Lakes”) surprised us for his stamina, as he’s starting to be listed as a “grey beard”! He and a friend of similar age fished an all-night bass tourney on Lovewell Pond in Fryeburg and actually took second place and the lunker prize!

    “We started to fish right at 7 pm and had limits by 8 pm but we kept fishing and culling our small fish from our live tank for larger fish. It started to rain around 11 so we took a nap, right in the boat! We woke up around 3:30 am and continued to fish until the whistle blew at 7.”

    Dave said that they both were using Jitterbug lures and had many, many hits all night long and never switched to another lure.

    Greg Cutting at Jordan’s Store in East Sebago reports that the good fishermen there are having no problems in catching both salmon and togue by using various methods.

    “Roger never varies his approach, and you can’t argue with the results. Wire line and sewed on live bait fished at different depths. It’s his hours that probably are one of his answers as he goes so early, before we open, we leave live bait out for him. But he almost always drops in when he’s done and seldom does he go out without some success.”

    “Yesterday Roger caught four nice landlocks that he said were close to the surface in 40 feet of water.”

    “There’s another Sebago Lake specialist (we really don’t know his name) is using a different approach to his fishing. In the winter ice fishing, jigging with a lake trout jig is a great producer. This guy is doing the same but fishing out of a boat and always seems to have very good luck. I believe the jig is called a “Jig Rat” or maybe “Jig Rattle” but whatever it is he’s been producing catches of togue that are big fish—last time out he caught one 32 inches and one even larger!”

    “The Berlin (NH) guys were here last weekend and fishing mostly on Rangeley Lake, they had some good fishing for both brookies and landlocks. The fishing depths seemed to vary from 45-55 feet and sometimes as deep as 60 feet.”

    “They are the original DB Smelt lure people that still prefer this lure to fish this lake with.”

    “Actually, even though Rangeley Lake is a good producer of large brook trout, Lake Mooselookmeguntic—the Cupsuptic end seems to produce more trophy fish than any of the other lakes here. On Mooselook itself, there’s loads of small brookies and salmon, smaller on average than our fish in Rangeley Lake but those whopper brook trout in the four pounds or larger usually come from Mooselook.”

    “One of our customers, Larry Gile brought in two really nice brookies he caught on a fly rod in Mooselook. And speaking of fly rods, there’s been a nice hatch of big green mayflies here on the Rangeley River.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Rick at Suds and Soda Sports in Greenland says that the striper fishing seems to have moved down to the river mouth and out along the shoreline, as reports of much activity from the upper Piscataqua River and Great and Little Bay have been scarce. Even the black sea bass and flounder have been scarce in that area.”

    “Except for reports of small schoolie sized stripers up in the river and Little Bay, it seems that the best action has been from Portsmouth down to the ocean at Newcastle, Kittery Point and Rye. Good success has come from using live mackerel or pollock and there has been a few times when surface lures—poppers have produced.”

    “More good news is that squid have started to really build up into the lower harbor and the river mouth and they are being caught, mostly at night, off the bridges and docks with the popular squid jigs.”

    Sun, July 19-- Captain Rocky Gauron at Gauron’s Fishing Boats in Hampton reports: “We are catching fish. “I know I write the same thing every day. Mixing the words around to make it look different. But the fishing is good! Even yesterday, Capt. Rocky Jr. said it was slower than it was the last few days. My grandson had three nice haddock and two pollock over ten pounds! He released another five or six haddock and three nice cod. He said the people next to him had a lot of redfish and two haddock. So it was a decent day.”

    “Saturday’s all day haddock fishing was super. We maxed out on haddock. Some real nice ones were caught. Grandson Jackson had one over nine pounds. Ten pounds of haddock fillets could be worth as much as a hundred dollars! Plus the haddock caught today is wicked fresh!”

    Captain Les Easman Jr. at Eastman’s Fishing Boats in Seabrook reports: “Fishing strong on all fronts! Haddock limits and pollock, cusk on the All Day and mackerel strong on the half day! Stripers last couple of days also good!”

    “Les seems to be quite conservative with his reports. Along with fishing on Captain Rocky Gauron’s boats we love to fish with Capt. Les Jr. as well. What he refers to as strong, we would have to upgrade that to “Excellent!” 

    Lake Winnipesaukee’s landlocked salmon and trout fishing have held up well, even with the warmer weather, according to Alan Nute at AJ’s Bait and Tackle in Meredith.

    “We’ve got a strong thermocline and early morning anglers are finding some smaller lakers and salmon in the 33-40 foot depths and a few real trophy fish that are three to three and a half pounders.”

    “Lures are working well. My best luck has been with Mini Gun, BB Gun and Top Gun lures with orange, orange with yellow, silver and pink and Wonderbread patterns producing the best action.”

    Last week was the Fishing Week at the Barry Conservation Camp, according to Andy Schafermeyer, Regional Fisheries Biologist. “It is a week I always look forward to and recognize what a true pleasure it can be to take a kid fishing. Fish and Game’s Let’s Go Fishing coordinator, Kyle Glencross, and I met on Sunday and finalized plans for the week. We made sure the boat was running, the rods and reels were untangled, and we bought enough bait to last a month. We were very lucky to have a team of Let’s Go Fishing instructors whose knowledge and patience are a great advantage when working with a large group. The addition of the Barry Camp staff finalized a team that would give these campers a week of extensive fishing opportunities like they may never see again.”

    “Most campers came to us with an interest in the sport and baseline knowledge of it. When they went home on Friday, they were experts. They were a little sunburned, bitten up by bugs, and each were coated by a thin layer of grime that only a week in the woods can bring - but they were experts.”

    “I’ve been told that I have a gift for reaching young people that can only be explained by my own reduced level of maturity. Whether it is a compliment, I can’t be sure but I spent a lot of time that week laughing, fishing, and making friends. We fished the Androscoggin River for a large portion of the week and found fish everywhere they would be expected to be. It is July and as the water warms, smallmouth bass were in water greater than ten feet deep and seemed to favor a strong, moving current. Whenever we moved into shallower water, we found pickerel and yellow perch. Regardless of the catch, campers were having fun and perfecting their skills. Fishing is like a lot of other sports in that some instruction is clearly needed but experience can bring just as much understanding. By the end of the week, young people were casting, catching, and releasing fish all while dealing with tangled lines or stubborn knots. As I said, it is a week that I will always look forward to and realized that I may have the best job in the world.” 

    MONADNOCK/UPPER VALLEY Regional Fisheries Biologist Gabe Gries reports: “With the exception of Sand Pond (Marlow), which has been producing some nice trout in the past few weeks including some holdover browns, reports on area trout fishing have been absent as of late. Bass anglers, on the other hand, have been commenting on some nice catches in water bodies throughout southwestern NH.”
    “Smallmouth hot spots include Nubanusit Lake, Spofford Lake, Dublin Lake, and the Connecticut River from Brattleboro north to the bridge to Westminster, VT. Some nice largemouth have been caught recently in Powder Mill Pond, Warren Lake, Crescent Lake, Highland Lake, and Forest Lake. Take advantage of the hot weather and fish some early mornings or evenings for bass this coming week. It is a great way to start or end a day.

    At Tall Timber Lodges on Back Lake in Pittsburg, owner and fishing guide Tom Caron reports: “It’s a funny looking rainbow that our fly fishing guide Dave Poole caught last week below Murphy Dam. Big head, but small body – looks like a lake trout out of a lake that doesn’t have enough smelt in it. Dave said that this had been a large fish at some point, but he went on something that I need unfortunately – a diet. Whatever the case, this fish was released to (hopefully) fatten up for another day,” according to Fishing Guide Tom Caron at Tall Timber Lodges on Back Lake in Pittsburg.

    “The fishing and the upper Connecticut River flows have both been consistent lately, as our weather has finally moderated over the last two weeks. The Trophy Stretch is currently flowing at about 195 CFS, and could drop a bit if our weather remains nice. The flow at Murphy Dam is currently at 400 CFS, and you can expect that release to drop a bit soon. What’s working?  Nymphs in general have been solid – caddis nymphs and emergers have been the best patterns lately, but stonefly imitations can also be the ticket too. Remember to fish them “slow and low.”

    “Streamers are still working with the higher than average flows, and in the appropriate pools that encourage such presentations. As you would expect, the best patterns have been the Garthside Soft Hackle Streamer and Angus Boezeman’s Scout.”

    “The tried and true dry fly patterns at this time of year are working as well – Elk Hair Caddis, Olive X-Caddis, Klinkhammer, Challenged Pheasant Tail, Purple Haze, and Stimulator. Any of these patterns will work when properly presented.”

    “And what of the Back Lake Hex Hatch, you may ask? Regrettably, it’s winding down – there’s still a few coming off on nights with the right conditions, and while there will be some stragglers here and there for a couple of weeks, the peak of the hatch has come and gone.Too bad, so sad!”

MASSACHUSETTS: The legendary Kay Moulton at Surfland on Plum Island Reports: “The dog days of summer are here! But that’s not all that is here—it is greenhead season! And the last few days have been horrid!! Remember people, some of the Avon Skin So Soft brand of goodies works for a lot of people, and yes we carry some at the store. They will probably last another two-three weeks, since they seem to have started late. UGH!”

    For reports James Yelle caught an 11-2 pounder on the ocean side of the south jetty one hour before low tide using mackerel. Then over the next few days’ things seemed to go a bit quiet. I had a few fishermen that got to the river in the early hours of the morning that managed to do okay, but with the heat of the day and the weekend with the boat traffic things were very slow. Even the mackerel were scarce for the most part, unless you were up and out and done fishing by 7-ish. That report on mackerel came from one of the boat fishermen.”

    “Then I received a picture from Martha just before closing. Don LaRuffa weighed in this 35-3 pounder that he caught from his boat along the oceanfront. Don had been fishing all day and live lining mackerel with little success. So he decided to be lazy and relax a bit so he used a piece of chunk mackerel and bam! You just never know when they will hit and what they decide they want to eat.”

    “Even better yet, Martha got an email from Dr. Tsao and he sent her pics with a little brief statement: “48 inches this morning, just when tide turned on incoming outside the mouth, it was released alive, caught on 7.5” sluggo with jig head even caught a bunch of mackerel with it too, good solid blitz for two hours.”

    Great news from Pete Santini at Fishing Finatics in Everett. “We’ve got some big—world class size bluefish! They are all around Grave’s Light. Some as big as 22 pounds! They’re hitting surface poppers and large size big Rapalas. Also just under them are some huge stripers (45-50 pounds!), feeding on the waste that is drifting down from the carnage the bluefish are causing with the baitfish.”

    “Also big bass along the Winthrop shoreline and out into deeper water. Mackerel on and off at Graves Light. The West Gut between Peddocks Island and Nut Island Pier is full of scup and black sea bass.”

Because of the 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 resource law enforcement officials. We also welcome and use reports forwarded to us by fishermen that use this report. ~ Kittery Trading Post Fishing Report Editor

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