NH Fishing Log: 2nd week of July – Winnipesaukee

A week on Winnipesaukee

During vacation, I spent each morning fishing for trout and landlocked salmon that inhabit Winnipesaukee. While the fishing wasn’t fast and furious, I was rewarded with spectacular views, deep quietude… plus a few nice catches. This time of year, water temps are warm and salmonids are deeper in the cooler water, near the thermocline, which is starting to set up. This means trolling with gear designed to present your baits well below the surface.

Log in reverse chronological order…

Another reason to be out at first light. Dawn at Barndoor Island on Wolfeboro Bay.

Another reason to be out at first light. Dawn at Barndoor Island on Wolfeboro Bay.

July 12, 2013
Conditions: sun & clouds, NE wind, choppy, lake temp 75
Equipment: leadcore, downrigger rod
Baits: Top Gun, BB Gun, DB Smelt
Another early start – rewarded with a spectacular sunrise. Fished Locke Island and around the Witches. One chunky 20″ rainbow for the effort. Hit a Wonderbread Top Gun at 8 colors leadcore.

Last day out. One fish, but a fine one. My fishing partner with a trophy class 20" rainbow trout, which we returned to the lake.

Last day out. One fish, but a fine one. My fishing partner with a trophy class 20″ rainbow trout, which we returned to the lake.

July 11, 2013
Conditions: low clouds, occasional sprinkles, calm, 68, lake temp 74,
Equipment: leadcore, downrigger rod, flyrod set for trolling
Baits: DB Smelt, Top Guns, BB Guns
Lots of swirls on the surface this AM. Worked area by Moose Island early and quickly picked up a rainbow and two salmon but they were small. Dropped down to 24′-30′ with metal and worked Black Point – then moved to Wolfeboro Bay entrance and dropped down to 28′-35′ but it went quiet.

Later in the afternoon, I played with the flyrod, presenting large dry flies around the dock in hopes of mimicking the Hexagenia. It worked. Sunfish and smallmouth bass made splashy strikes on the surface – I’m making a note to do more of this kind of flyfishing at the lake…

A bright, keeper sized, landlocked salmon, about 18".

A bright, keeper sized, landlocked salmon, about 18″.

July 10, 2013
Conditions: low clouds, breeze out of the east, upper 60s, lake temp 75, choppy water
Equipment: leadcore, downrigger rod
Baits: DB Smelt, Top Guns, BB Guns
Out at dawn by Locke Island & Glendale. Chunky rainbow trout hit a Top Gun at 7 colors leadcore – nice salmon followed on same rod. Picked up 4 undersized fish, including a laker. All at around 30′ on the downrigger/ 7 colors leadcore. They liked red. Bloody nose DB smelt & rusty red/ black dot Top Gun best producers. Wonderbread pattern Top Gun attracted the laker.

July 9, 2013
Conditions: low clouds, very light breeze, humid, 68, lake temp 76
Equipment: flyrod set for trolling, leadcore, downrigger rod
Baits: Guide Special, Top Guns
Early outing at Wolfeboro Bay entrance. Big hex hatch. Some activity at surface but no luck with surface lines. Found fish at 30′ and promptly lost a couple. Used Top Guns in orange/burnt orange combos. Later, briefly worked on lake trout at 50′: one small, one 20″. They both responded to line releases, grabbing the lure on the rise.

July 8, 2013
Conditions: mostly cloudy, light NW breeze, humid, 70, lake temp 76
Equipment: flyrod set for trolling, leadcore, downrigger rod
Baits: streamers, Guide Special orange/black dots
Quick hour out early AM. Moose Island. Picked up a salmon on top on streamer: grizzly hackle collar & wing w red flash. Returned to the water mid-afternoon, working 9 colors leadcore – found salmon at 45′ feet on structure.

While at the lake, there were substantial hatches of huge Hexagenia mayflys. Everything from smallmouth bass to trout and salmon keys on these insects.

While at the lake, there were substantial hatches of huge Hexagenia mayflys. Everything from smallmouth bass to trout and salmon keys on these insects.

July 7, 2013
Conditions: mostly cloudy, light west wind, humid, 70, lake temp 74
Equipment: flyrod set for trolling, leadcore, downrigger rod
Baits: DB smelt purple/orange, white perch fly, yellow perch pattern fly, Aziscohas smelt: green

Short AM trip. Worked structure off Moose Island. One surface line w perch pattern fly yielded a chunky rainbow. DB smelt 25′ down attracted stocker salmon and smallmouth. Big Hexagenia were out. A number of boats were working the Triangle by the Alton Bay entrance.

After the trip, I reported my results to the¬†http://fishlakewinni.com/¬†Message Board and updated daily. I highly recommend you check the board for info when fishing Winnipesaukee. The members are knowledgeable and generous. Best practice is to share your findings as well. Two things to keep in mind: be respectful & express your gratitude when you post – and don’t expect other anglers to post exactly where they caught their fish. These folks will tell you a lot – but some you’ll still have to discover on your own. My handle is “Serrasalmus”.

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