New Hampshire is a great way to experience New England fishing. The Granite State is known primarily for its trout and salmon, but its bass are a smash hit as well!
Trout are in ample supply in New Hampshire. Rainbow, brown, brook, lake, splake, tiger, and the uncommon Sunapee trout all reside in New Hampshire. Sunapee Lake is home to the Sunapee trout, though many believe its New Hampshire populations have hybridized with lake trout. One of the most traveled fishing locales for lake trout is Newfound Lake. Sizable smallmouth bass also live in Newfound Lake. Other trout fishing lakes include Great East, Francis, and Winnipesaukee.
The Connecticut River passes through New Hampshire, providing abundant trout fishing. New Hampshire’s state record brown trout, that bypassed sixteen pounds, came from the Connecticut River, as did the state record channel catfish, walleye, and tiger trout. The Connecticut River is also home to salmon at certain times of the year.
Bass fishermen love New Hampshire’s endless rivers and deep lakes. Smallmouth and largemouth bass can be caught out of Lake Potanipo, site of the state’s record largemouth bass. Other good bass fisheries include Moore Reservoir and Ossipee Lake.
Much of the salmon fishing of New Hampshire comes from the coast, but there are some landlocked salmon habitats. For massive inland salmon head to Pleasant Lake. New Hampshire is also perfect for fly fishing and salmon fly fishing occurs at Franklin Falls Dam.
If ice fishing is your passion you may want to visit New Hampshire in winter. Ice fishing in New Hampshire has good variety and enough productivity to encourage tournament ice fishing in early January. The most popular lake for ice fishing is Lake Winnipesaukee, home to trout, perch and pickerel.
Although only a corner of the state has coast, its quality counts over quantity. Saltwater fishing in New Hampshire’s is a great way to access the New England coast. Striped bass caught off the coast of New Hampshire can weigh fifty pounds! Striped bass are the more popular, but others exist; Large schools of bluefish over a foot long team offshore, along with haddock, Atlantic Cod, mackerel, and more. Note that a separate saltwater license is required.
If you are a new angler, or want your child to learn, you will be pleased to know New Hampshire funds free fishing programs in an initiative called Let’s Go Fishing. Anyone over the age of sixteen will need a license for recreational fishing in New Hampshire. Licenses can be bought at state agencies, distributors (some include Walmart), or online. Annual licenses are available to residents and non-residents. For passing tourists one, three, and seven day licenses are available, though residents may also buy the single day licenses.
Residents are identified as persons who do not claim residency in any other state, and who have a valid New Hampshire driver’s license or other state issued ID card. Elderly residents over the age of sixty-eight, who have lived in the state for at least two years, may apply for a free permanent fishing license. If you only need one day, the first Saturday in June is New Hampshire’s free fishing day!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.