Lake Winnipesaukee, 5/28
We had an opportunity to fish Lake Winnipesaukee for several hours last Friday morning. Not being familiar with the lake and its hazards, Anne and I opted to hire a local guide to show us some smallmouth spots.
Upon arrival, the conditions were less than stellar. The water temps were only in the mid 50s, a full 5 to 6 degree drop over the previous week. Add to that a heavy mist and occasional light rain, and we were actually chilly during the run to our first spot.
The dip in water temp had hindered the spawn a bit. There were far fewer beds than our guide expected to see, but we worked structure adjacent to known spawning areas and left what bass we did see on beds alone. By working the first slight dropoff from the spawning flats we were able to connect with about a dozen nice fish, not one under 14 inches and several a hair over 18 inches. One we estimated to be about a 3.5 pound prespawn female. The fly du jour was a simple chartruese over yellow half and half with gold dumbell eyes. This color was easy for the fish to see, and made our lives easier by being able to see some of the fish track the bright flies in the gin clear water before striking. All (and I mean ALL) of the fish we caught jumped at least once, some twice or even thrice. I had some half-hearted follows on topwater, but the dip in water temp seemed to have cuved the activity level of the fish enough to keep them from actually taking the offerings.
If the lake fished this well in less than optimal conditions, I can't imagine just how beserk it could be when everything is right. It has wonderful smallmouth structure with miles and miles of rocky shoreline and a few hundred small islands.
If anyone would like info regarding lodging or guiding in the area, feel free to ask me. I'll be happy to oblige via PM.
And now some images...
And now some photos....
Here's an average sized bass from the morning....
Here's a nice bend in the 8 weight...our guide recommended the heavier rod because of the size of fish in the area, and I'm glad I used it...
This is one of the bigger bass of the morning, a hair over 18 inches long. For reference sake, remember that I'm 6'6" tall with long arms... ;) ....
And here's the release of another biggie...this picture really lets you see just how clear the water was, which lent itself to great visibility even in the overcast conditions...
Anne's big fish, the one we estimated at 3.5 pounds, was photographed with conventional film and will be framed at home. She's quite proud of that fish. :D
Mark Those are some nice fish. Winni is one of those waters I've always wanted t ofish.
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