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NH Fishing Report - February 9, 2021

Greetings anglers!

Ice fishing is in full swing across the Granite State, and with the limited amount of snowfall and recent cold temperatures the conditions are great for a day of angling through the hard water. With access and set up easier because of the reduced snowpack, it's time to hit the ice and try fishing in the winter.


Whether you are new to the sport or an accomplished angler, everyone needs to start their adventure by testing the ice for safety. You should always check ice thickness yourself by making test holes with an ice chisel or auger as you move from shore toward deeper water. Be especially cautious near inlets and outlets where water currents can thin the ice. To watch a short video that demonstrates how to correctly check ice thickness visit Stay Safe on the Ice.


Maybe you tried fishing for the first time this summer, or maybe you remember those mornings when you were a kid casting into the lake and reeling in a keeper. However, you got started, Ice fishing requires a few different techniques, but it’s just as much to fun to go when it’s cold—and there are no bugs. To read an article from the New Hampshire Wildlife Journal that will introduce you to the basics of ice fishing check out Walking on Water pdf.


For anglers after a "whatever bites" ice fishing experience, which is the perfect way to spend a winter’s day with kids, diverse opportunities abound in New Hampshire, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, white perch, yellow perch, black crappie, pumpkinseed, and bluegill. Lakes and ponds ranging from several dozen acres to expansive large-lake bays, such as Moultonborough Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee, boast many and often all of these species. Learn more about the different types of Granite State freshwater fish.


Small to medium live shiners suspended 1-3 feet off the bottom under tip-ups is a simple, time-honored technique for catching "just about anything." Jigging with ultra-light rods and electronics or fish finders will maximize panfish catches such as perch, crappie, and sunfish. But where do you get the bait to make your day a success? Meet the bait dealers in your area.


Ice fishing has its own strategies—and its own rules and regulations. On general-regulation waters, up to six ice-fishing devices are allowed at a time. However, on lake trout managed large lakes, such as Winnipesaukee or Big Squam, only up to two ice–fishing devices are permitted. All lake trout-managed lakes are listed in the NH Freshwater Fishing Digest. And always remember, landlocked salmon can never be taken through the ice.


Ice fishing derbies are a great way to check out, or get in on, the hard water fishing action and are a fun way to spend a day outdoors with kids. With many scheduled around Presidents' Day Weekend, it’s the perfect time to investigate the derbies going on near you.

If you are ready to get out there, don’t forget to buy your fishing license: Kids under 16 fish free! And remember, during the COVID pandemic to practice social distancing and that all NH Fish and Game laws still apply.




Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration: A User-Pay, User-Benefit ProgramSport Fish Restoration
Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire's fisheries. Learn more.