Ain’t it the truth



the novice angler should always take their sea sick pills 1 hour before departure.

the novice angler should always take their sea sick pills 1 hour before departure.

May is almost000_1220 here and with any luck the warmer weather as well. This is the month most anglers will start getting out on the ocean in pursuit of cod and haddock off the New England coast. Many of the party boats will have been running since early April but I prefer to wait a month for the air and water temperatures to warm up a little. April can also be a hit or miss time for deep sea fishing, some years it’s great and some years not so much, but May has traditionally been a good time to wet a line. This time of the year the haddock should be spawning and close behind the cod as well. Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire offer plenty of options for those who would like to do some fishing either from shore or by boat. For those with their own craft there are plenty of public boat ramps and parking, and those without have a choice of shoreline fishing or charter/party boats in all three states. If I were thinking of the shore I would wait until June for the mackerel and stripe bass to arrive. There are many party boat operations to choose from and I will list a number of them at the end of this article. While most public boat ramps are free there will most likely be a small charge for parking, and the state run usually combine launch and parking fees together. Don’t forget that everyone must have a saltwater fishing license now so check the state regulations of where you intend to fish beforehand. The cost of a license is included in your fare from the party boat.
Dress warm and bring extra cloths and don’t forget your rubber boots and raingear. It may be warm on land but the water temperature is still cool in May and when you’re 20 miles out to sea it has a cooling effect on the air as well. Raingear acts as an excellent wind breaker and will help keep you toasty and dry. Hats and sunscreen are important as well to shield your skin and face from the sun rays reflecting off the water.
If you don’t spend a lot of time saltwater fishing and don’t have the heavy tackle required you can always rent, either on the public/charter boats, or from many of the shoreline tackle shops. If you are thinking about trying your freshwater rod and reel I would strongly recommend leaving it at home. Most off shore fishing is done in 200-300 feet of water and even the best spinning or casting rod doesn’t have the tip strength or length to efficiently set a hook at these depths. If you are thinking about getting into the sport and have no idea as what to get for gear then the best solution is to rent a rod for a few trips and look and ask around to the more seasoned anglers for their advice. Any good local tackle shop will also have anything you might need on hand as well and they will gladly steer you in the right direction. It’s always a good idea to bring extra terminal tackle too. Hooks, sinkers, swivel snaps, teasers and jigs are all part of a complete tackle box in saltwater fishing. Over the years I always used a 7 foot sturdy jigging pole with a Penn 4/0 reel loaded with 50 pound Monofilament line for jigging, and a 6 ½ foot lighter rod with a Penn Castmaster reel and 30 pound test line for bait. As I got older(read that as more easily tired) I found the Shakespeare Tiger rod and a light, fast Shamano reel loaded with PowerPro braid line was both easier to use for both jigs and bait. The public boats hate to see braid line because of the tangles it creates with other anglers using mono, but if you top off your reel with a good 20 foot mono leader and pay attention to what you’re doing you should be all right. This lighter stronger setup also allows fishermen to get away from the heavy 14 and 16 ounce jigs and weights.
As always, take care of your fish. This is something I have always stressed to fishermen because I have seen firsthand what happens to a cod or haddock that is tossed into a box and forgotten about for 6 or 7 hours, especially in warm, sunny weather. Think of oatmeal because that is what the fillets will look like. Bring a cooler and ice for the best storage before and after the cutting, or the next best thing is a burlap bag with ice, but keep it wet and out of the sun. Never ever, ever stuff the whole fish in a plastic bag of any kind. Without air a plastic bag will destroy your catch faster than letting it sit on the deck or beach. Use the plastic to wrap your fillets in and then into a cold cooler for the ride home.
Here are some good charter/party boat operations starting in Maine and down to Massachusetts to get out on the water with.
The Bunny Clark, Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, Maine
New Hampshire
Atlantic Fishing Fleet, Rye, NH
Captains Fishing Parties, Newburyport, MA
Yankee Fleet, Gloucester, MA
Captain Bill and Sons, Gloucester, MA



Tontine Charters, Rye, NH
Captain Bills, Rye, NH
Al Gaurons Fishing, Hampton, NH
Yellowbird Fishing, Hampton, nh
Eastmans fishing, Seabrook, NH
Clipper Fleet, Salisbury, MA


Places to get geared up

Suds and Soda, Greenland, NH

Hampton Harbor Tackle, Hampton, NH

Surfland, Plum Island, Ma.

Tight Lines, 
Capt. Don


karen, 2013 004

HUGE brook trout caught on a Thomas Rough Rider spoon

Pretty holdover rainbow.

Pretty holdover rainbow.

got this beauty on a live crawler. When I lipped her to remove my hook I noticed a second line hanging out with a rubber worm half way down her throat. minor surgery was successful and she is back on her nest a happy this beauty on a live crawler. When I lipped her to remove my hook I noticed a second line hanging out with a rubber worm half way down her throat. minor surgery was successful and she is back on her nest a happy camper.

GAME ON. 04/09/2013  A stop on the Lee hook road resulted in 10 nice BROWN TROUT and rainbows. Remember to kiss your fish before releasing them. Streams everywhere should hold trout by the end of this week.

04/10/2013 BARRINGTON, STRAFFORD AND EXETER ALL PRODUCED RAINBOW AND BROOK TROUT. Isinglass and Exeter river. F&G has stocked all week, a little sparingly, but there are fish to catch.

04/13/2013– fished locally in a stream, the water was high and swift moving, caught and released 11 browns and 4 brookies, all on a 1/6 oz. spoon. Here’s a hint. look for the deep eddies just in back of large boulders in the rapids, that is where the fish are laying. 020