Southern Maine & New Hampshire Striped Bass Fishing Report
After another great week on the water we've logged some observations to share while fishing in a number of different elements. We are really starting to get a feel for the quality of the Striped Bass population that has returned to Southern Maine and New Hampshire. Overall, anglers seem pleased with the numbers and size of striped bass that have returned. Personally, we are excited about the stock of fish that are around whether it's the micros or some of the bigger bass that are beginning to show themselves. In General, there seems to be a quality stock of 24 - 30" fish that are making themselves accessible to anglers on the flats, in our estuaries, and the rivers. As waters warm the fishing out front between Cape Elizabeth and Southern NH will continue to improve as well.
These warm temps and sunshine have had a positive impact on the water temps, no doubt. We poled a flat this week and the water reached 65 degrees making the fish very happy and willingly feed. The shallow water can quickly warm and fish may gravitate to these environments early in the season while the deeper waters could easily be 10 degrees cooler. In any event, the range of water temps that we currently have will keep most bass happy and eager to eat a fly.
Juvenile Atlantic Herring are thick and plentiful as they move into our near shore waters for a summer of feeding on zooplankton. Sandeels and Mackerel are about and giving stripers plenty of opportunity to continue to load up on protein. We even saw a juvenile lobster hanging in a spot that was very vulnerable to predation. Crabs and sand shrimp continue to help diversify the stripers diet.
Early mornings continue to be a great time to get out and hopefully you will find busting fish. Move to the rips and seams where flowing water brings food to fish sitting in softer current as the day progresses. Evenings have also been great but fish just seems to be a little less cooperative after the day's sun has beat from overhead.
Get out there, try new things, fish different spots and enjoy. With fish seemingly spread out I recommend making a game plan and doing your best to fish confidently, as if there are fish right in front of you... visualize that hook up! Half the battle is picking a spot and fly that YOU are confident to fish. We are always more successful when there is faith in the fishing or float plan!