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Squam weekend report, 16 hours (8 Saturday and 8 Sunday) 1 Salmon (super 4 yr old) no Bows, several LDR’s, 1 Bass, 1 W.Perch.
You can't go to Squam and have a 6 pounder jump into your boat, you have to put in “plenty” of time (as you can see above) have the right bait, right presentation and plenty of luck, then you MIGHT catch a nice fish, if not, try and try again. There just aint many left at all, virtually no 2 or 3 year olds, a sprinkling of 4’s maybe. And for some reason the Bow bite has died all together, they used to help pass the time, but not a one this past weekend.
Best fishing, as always, is still at Winni and we heard of two Salmon over 6 pounds the past week and plenty of 4’s being caught there, so all in all you have much better odds at Winni, but try the "neglected" upper water columns early morning, read on.
I notice most reports are taking fish off “Riggers only” at around 40+ feet, the boards and streamers can still be very effective in spite of the warmer water temps, so don’t give up on the boards.
Fishlessman is doing very well in upper warmer depths on Sebago as well as myself on Squam, a normally much warmer lake than most big NH lakes.
A Salmon (Bows too) will and do come up into 70/75 degree water to take a meal if it “catches his eye”, that’s the key, something has to draw them away from their comfort zone.. We caught Salmon in the 6 pound range, all last summer at 23 to 25 feet using Jim’s Rod Pumpers, 4 colors of in-line lead with an extra 100 feet of mono after the lead, I repeat “6 pounders all summer at 23/25 feet”.
Again this summer we are doing the same thing but instead of two rod pumpers we also use two G2 Quick Jig Planers, same 4 colors and 100 feet of mono after the lead. Early morning seems best, first light til 7:30 or so, when the bite is over you will know. Fish can still be caught all day long and at shallow depths too, but I’ve noticed most fish will go deep and not feed after the sun starts to come up in hot weather with high water temps. If we run 6 lines we will run the last two deep off the riggers, etc. but I can tell you they are not getting the majority of the big bites ????????????
This past weekend, now that the May Fly Hatch is done with, we caught a super Salmon (first and only one in many weeks) 6+ pounds, 4 colors in-line lead with an extra +100 feet mono, running off a G2 Planer, 80 degree surface temp. In her belly were 3” White Perch, I’ve never seen Salmon feed on these in Squam before ??????????? Again the next morning we had 4 "heavy" fish on before 7:00, all in the top 20/25 feet, one made it to the boat (a Bass) all could have been Bass, but we like think a few were Salmon or big Bows, no bites after that, from 7:00 to 12:00 DEAD.
So why did that Salmon leave her comfort zone and cooler temps (56 degrees @ 42 feet) with literally tons of Smelt on the bottom at 60 to 70 feet and come up to feed at 25 feet. She must have seen something that caught her eye that she had to investigate. We think the G2 Planer board makes allot of racket and splashing as the prop pulls it through the waters surface and attracts the fish enough to make it come up and see our bait. As the bait is jigging back and forth, sometimes it just can’t resist to take a bite.
The hot fly the past few weeks has been the Cee Dee Streamer “Cognac”, 90% of our few bites have come on that streamer, check it out on www.cut2spec.com web site, a close 2nd has been the Orange Ghost from Cee Dee. While there, check out the Quick Jig G2 Planer video, it shows how a G2 Planer can be run easily off a downrigger, "no need for a planer mast" if you don’t have one...
The photo and detail’s of my fish, with Russ Johnson holding it, can be seen on Cut2spec web site, go to the CEE DEE streamer page, then to “Cognac” streamer.. This is a new summer pattern that Paul tied for us two weeks ago to try, boy he sure knows how to tie a winner, he keeps coming up with them.
If I can, I'll have someone post a photo here.
Great report John.
I have had my boat out on your pond 7 or 8 times this year. So far just taking grandsons bass fishing and swimming.
Getting ready to put some time in chasing some silver sides.
What channel do you run? I have shouted out to you a few times on 11.
Talk to you soon.
With the bite so slow we only do weekend mornings now and actually skip a weekend now and then, but we do use channel 11.
The lake is getting bad on weekends with yahoos that don't know 150 rule. I think they come close just to see what you are doing, but they don't slowndown at all and then that sh-- eatin smile and big wave, ugh. Marine Patrol is non-existant, no visability at all.
I suppose weekdays would be allot better, but I'm watching my 3 granddaughters every afternoon down here. I complain allot, but probably end up to be some of my fondest memories, we have allot of laughs.
i believe the young smelt tolerate the warm water where the full size smelt do not, i see them right now thru august on top, literally a few feet from the surface in the morning before light and down sometimes only 10 feet or so in the afternoon even when its sunny and near 80 degrees. those your seeing down a hundred feet are more likely adult smelt. not sure but the feed may be different with the little ones or they will get eaten by the big ones if they drop down. theres one area on sebago i see them in august up top in schools a mile to a few miles long right on top. heres the kicker though, once the school thins out as in less dense in the afternoon, bigger flies and lures work better for me, not downsizing and its just that three to four colors, been using the planer every august for the last few years and thats how the bigger fish 6's and 7's have been coming in, i dont see that happening this year though, the fish are hard to find over 3 or 4 pounds, very few big fish this year and the hours put in are long
We have a HUGE Jack Smelt population in Squam, gets bigger every year, they camp out just under the bait pods close to or on the bottom. Biologist are nervous as they are cannibalistic and we have no laker population to speak of to thin them out.
But from what we see on the fish finder, there is no decrease in the smelt population, more and more each year, I suppose that has allot to do with less predators (Salmon). They gave us a heavier than normal stocking this year to try and take advantage of the bait.
It's all a fine balance and the biologist have a good handle on each lakes needs.
Our whole program depends on the Hatchery growing fish well "every" year, but Winni seems to do OK no matter what size fish go in, maybe it's the huge numbers put in, approximately 29,000 this year ?????????????? Last years bite size yearling Salmon that were stocked are still being caught regulary on Winni, we haven't caught a one and I dont think the other lakes have either.
But Winni is the main economic fishing lake in NH Lakes Region and it should be managed that way. It's amazing what a difference in quality 1 year with "no Derby" made. The Fall netting should tell an interesting story.
It's been a long time since I've seen quality photos of Winni fish like Travis posted, nice fish and two rumored (one for sure) over 6 the past 10 days or so.
The Derby prodced only 3 Salmon over 4lbs in two years and now 4's are being caught on a regular basis. What made the huge difference ????????????????
Sorry no big boys in your lake this year, maybe you'll find a few before the fat lady sings. Every now and then we pick one up in Squam but like you say, "long hours". Big problem is we aren't getting any smaller ones at all, no 2 or 3 year old fish at all. Allot is riding on this years stocking.
PS: We are doing the best off the G2 boards early mornings too, have you tried the new Quick Jig G2 Board yet.
Just wanted to say thanks for the report and follow up comments. Very interesting and informative reading. I saw the pic on cut2spec.com, very nice fish, congrats after all the time put in. Thanks again.
between 5 and 8 am almost every fish comes off the jiggerboard, after that change to a pumper and a stacker jigger. been fishing the pumper with three colors lead in the morning and changing to wire in the afternoon. dad runs the quick jig planer and that is his newer model design as well, doesnt dive like the earlier couple we had on that side of the boat. dont know if the quick jigger is working better than the 8 foot jig and stall as its dads first year with wire line and wire is tough when you first start using it, lots of tangled birdsnests LOL he will get the hang of it or the reel will go overboard yet. the jiggers with lures seem to work better some days than others compared to just trolling the lure, but change to flies and there is a night and day difference using the jiggers, never caught so many salmon with flies. i heard there was a new adjustable prop coming out which should be good, been experimenting with speeds and propsize and that seems to make a difference as well as the season changes
Thanks for sharing John. And thats a beauty of a Salmon.
dads been fishing the big john and cognac, ive been fishing an orange ghost?, a brown ghost, and the silver doctor, and one that was labeled 2008. have some more on order this week. hope they are still on top, hate catching them deep when the water is this warm, makes the release more difficult
I hope they are still up top too, I think they will be as we are gettin a cold front tonight, which could mean "no fish" tomorrow,ugh.
So far fishin solo this weekend, all my regular partners are busy, but I have a few invites out. So I better hit it right early with only two lines. But mother in law is itchy to fish, afternoons only of course, ha,ha..
I think two G2 Boards, probably Cognac and Big John will do the trick early.
Good Luck Mike.