Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New Hampshire, Lake Winnipesaukee: Smallmouths


1. In New Hampshire, all bass must be released from May 15 through June 15, a good rule since that’s the peak of smallmouth bedding activity. But catch-and-release fishing during those four weeks is lawful, and for dedicated bass anglers there are few places on the planet better than central New Hampshire’s 45,000-acre Lake Winnipesaukee when love-sick spawning bass move onto gravel-bottom bars, coves and flats.

2. During good, calm, warm weather, it’s common for a pair of bed fishing smallmouth anglers to catch and release 50 fish weighing 2 to 4 pounds, and catching twice that number in a day is possible. It’s all sight fishing for bedding “Winni” bronzebacks, so polarized sunglasses and a brimmed cap are imperative equipment. Light spinning tackle, 6-pound test line, with stand-up 1/8-ounce jigs and soft plastic pumpkinseed lizards are deadly.

3. In addition to smallmouths, Winnipesaukee has a surprisingly good largemouth bass fishery. Smallmouths are much more numerous, but largemouths to 8 pounds have been recorded from “Winni.” Fishing continues good through the summer, too.

4. Motels, restaurants and marinas abound, for more information contact winnipesaukee.com.

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