There's never been a better time for spring fishing in New Hampshire, so grab your favorite rod and reel and hit the water! Here are the places you won't want to miss.
Granite State anglers also have their pick of the action in spring, with ice-fishing topping the bill in March and then open-water action taking over in mid-April. In May, fishermen with a hankering for some saltwater fun can head for New Hampshire's small but productive coast where big stripers and some bluefish may be found as spring turns to summer.
For maximum opportunities for a wide variety of species it's impossible to top "Winnie" in March. Ice-fishing is likely to be the order of the day through most of the month, but fishermen targeting end-of-winter panfish will have no trouble reeling in a bucket full of yellow perch and bluegills. Finding fish will be no problem this month: simply head for the nearest cove and set up alongside the hundreds of other anglers who have spent the winter making bragging-sized catches. Local bait shops will be happy to supply visiting anglers with a selection of gear, and most towns along the shore are equipped to accommodate the needs of weekend anglers.
White Mountain National Forest Trout Streams
Come spring the focus is on trout, and New Hampshire's White Mountains are the place to be for pan-sized native brookies, most of which have never seen the business end of a hook. Travel the back roads and trails armed with lightweight fly-fishing gear or a light-action trout rod and work the culverts and bridge pools on both sides of the road. Many small streams are difficult to find once the leaves begin to form on roadside saplings, so keep an eye out for crystal-clear pools where aggressive, native brookies abound. Small nymphs, garden worms and colorful wet flies will fool these eager fish every time.
New Hampshire's coastline from Portsmouth to the Hampton beaches offer excellent surf and offshore fishing for hungry stripers that will stick around all summer and well into fall. Plan to fish early and late in the day or stay out all night and wait for schools of big stripers to work the surf and offshore ledges. Thirty- and 40-inch fish are not unusual off New Hampshire's short but productive coast. Hook up with local charter captains to reach the most productive offshore waters.
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Suzuki's two new four-stroke, two-cylinder portable outboards have a compression reduction system for easier starting. The 20hp tiller model weighs 97 pounds the eletric-start model weighs 106 pounds. Single overhead cam, four-valve engine with Suzuki's Lean Burn Control and bat-tery-less electronic fuel injection. Built for running in skinny water, both motors come with five tilt pin positions and 15- or 20-inch shaft.
TACKLE TOTE VEST
If you wade when you fish, Fish-N-Hunt Pro Gear designed a Tackle Tote Vest that to keep gear accessible but dry when you're standing in deeper waters. It's adjustable, sturdy, has lots of pockets and a modest pricetag.
Honda Marine's BF250 outboard is a 24-valve 3.6-liter V6 that uses varia-ble valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC). Programmed fuel injection delivers the precise amount of fuel and air to each cylinder for easy starts and instant throttle re-sponse. 20-, 25- and 30-inch shaft models.
FLEX 'N GO TACKLE SATCHEL
On-the-go anglers will find a lot to like in Plano's new Flex 'N Go Tack-le Satchel. It features adjustable built-in storage with a deep bin on one side and framework for the pair of swap-pable Plano 3600 StowAway boxes on the other, each Stowaway held with a flexible strap.
MSRP, Jacket $249.99-$269;
Cabela's Guidewear raingear now comes in four distinct series. Bass Angler (pictured) jackets and bibs are built with the tournament bass angler in mind. Xtreme parkas and bibs will help anglers fishing Northern lakes and rivers. Tidal jackets and pants offer lightweight, waterproof and breathable protection. River Runner jackets are perfect for wading anglers.
MSRP, $18.95 per pair.
The original Gear Grabbar is a unique way to hold lures and tools at the ready in boats. But the new Lure Hangar is a step beyond. This is a 12- by 16 1/2-inch plate,m ade to mount on your gunwhale, that holds 16 or more lures. There's enough room for a selection of jig, plugs, topwaters or whatever other baits you want to hang.
The new AV Micro is a complete underwater camera system that is the same size as a smart phone. On the boat or off the dock, use it to see where fish are hanging out. 3 1/2-inch diagonal display. Built-in rechargea-ble lithium ion batteries.
BERKLEY TRILENE XL
Berkley says they've improved a classic. New Trilene XL lines are now 10 percent stronger 20 percent more flexibility then they had been. Knot strength has also improved, said the company. Trilene XL has been around since 1972.
ABU GARCIA REVO SX
Abu Garcia's Revo SX baitcasting reel is now 25 percent lighter than before. The SX frame is crafted of a strong alloy while the handle sideplate are built with weight-reducing C6 carbon. Holds 145 yards of 12-pound mono.
SIMMS WEATHER GEAR
MSRP, jacket $349, bibs $299.
Simms designed its Contender Gore-Tex jacket and bibs for anglers who need reliability when they are motor-ing on the water at 70 mph in rain and wind. Waterproof and breathable. Cuffs are water tight and adjustable.
Anglers like their tools close by. And it's even better if it's connected to you so it doesn't go in the drink. T-Reign retractable gear tethers hold onto your pliers, hemostats or landing net. Several size options. Carabiner connects to D-ring, belt loop or strap, or use the stainless steel clip on belt or pack.