Pike, smallies and warm temperatures on the New Hampshire-Vermont border
by Dan Kenney
Early Autumn in New England? It’s a great time to explore some of your favorite fishing spots. As the leaves start to change, I like to head north to check out the fall foliage and, more importantly, go after those FINNED friends of mine.
That was the idea when we planned a trip to Moore Reservoir in New Hampshire, but when it was time to go, the weather wasn‘t quite what it historically is. The recent spate of hurricanes had brought warmer temps, delaying the fall foliage and keeping the water temps high.
Still, this was a trip I’d been looking forward to, and who can complain about a 75-degree day in northern New England in October!!!
The great thing about our getaway was how it all started—as an invitation from Mark Beauchesne, Advertising & Promotions Coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and a guide business owner as well. Mark’s an incredibly knowledgeable guy who I enjoy speaking with at sports shows across New England, including the New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo in Boxborough, Massachusetts each January.
The trip began with my camera guy, Chris Goodney, and I driving to Concord, New Hampshire on a Friday night. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Common Man Restaurant and were able to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for a day of hardcore fishing. The next morning we got up at 5:30 a.m., grabbed some breakfast and drove the rest of the way to meet Mark at Moore Reservoir. If you haven’t done this trip in a while, Route 93 through Franconia Notch and all the ski resorts has some beautiful scenery. There are plenty of lakes and rivers to keep you dreaming about all the fish you can catch!
With temperatures about ten degrees above normal, we knew our goal of bringing in several northern’s wasn’t going to be easy. But Mark had knowledge of the lake and killer electronics, and we were able to grind it out spot after spot in his new ranger aluminum boat.
We threw everything at them but the kitchen sink: spinnerbaits, topwater, jerkbaits, tubes, jigs, drop shot—you name it. Certainly, the fishing was tougher than expected but it was awesome to get inside a guide’s head and see what he does on a daily basis. The common ground we shared is being guys who refuse to give up. It’s an attitude of doing whatever it takes to figure out where the fish may be, no matter where you’re fishing or what the conditions are. I’ll stay out there for ten hours straight if that’s what it takes!
Fortunately, our persistence paid off. We caught some quality smallmouth bass, which was a ton of fun, even if they were all in the one to three-pound range. But the highlight of the day was locking onto a nine-pound, 31-inch long northern Pike with light spinning tackle and an eight-pound mono, and then fighting her for three strong runs as she kept peeling off drag. Eventually, I was able to get her boatside as Mark netted her perfectly.
The other great thing about our trip was the awesomeness of Moore Reservoir. Created in 1957 as a byproduct of the Moore Dam, which was built on the Connecticut River, Moore Reservoir is New Hampshire’s fourth largest lake, with 3,500 acres. More importantly, it’s the state’s largest undeveloped lake. Thanks to a unique agreement between the hydro power company, federal and state agencies, conservation groups, and the Connecticut River Joint Commissions, Moore Reservoir is an amazing wildlife habitat featuring clean water and lots of great recreational opportunities. You’ll see zero houses and very light boat traffic.
So if you’re looking for a quick yet fun adventure full of natural beauty and fantastic angling, head to Moore Reservoir this fall…or next!
Until then, God Bless and Go Fish!
FORECAST BY: Dan is an avid angler and host of the television show “Go Fish with Dan Kenney.” The television program airs via the Charter Spectrum network and is seen on YouTube at youtube.com/gofishdanshow. Dan also runs the New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo. Dan wears Typhoon polarized sunglasses on all of his fishing adventures.