Tim Moore Outdoors
By Tim Moore
After a winter full of ups and downs, I’m probably not the only one who is happy to see spring. We love to ice fish, but once the season ends, open water can’t come soon enough. For us here at TMO, May signifies the beginning of steady and consistent fishing from the boat and Old Town Predator Kayaks for walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. May also signifies the arrival of stripes bass in New Hampshire.
Once the walleye finish spawning in April and the spring high water recedes, the fish filter back into the river and begin feeding. May is a great time to pitch jig heads with curly tail grubs into shallow water. Two key factors are time of day and water clarity. We target walleye with jigs early in the morning and late in the afternoon when the fish stage along weed lines to feed. Water clarity allows us to see weed lines without spooking fish by drifting the boat or kayaks over them. Once the sun rises high in the sky and the walleye move into deeper water, we will resort to trolling.
Pike will also resume a more predictable feeding pattern, utilizing weed beds during the morning and afternoon hours to ambush prey. As weed beds increase in size, more pikes will use them. Wake baits, such as the new 9” Viper Series from Daddy Mac Lures, fished erratically across the top of the weeds will appeal to hungry pike. To trigger aggression strikes we usually switch to big spinners. A Juice Mini 8 Bucktail from Bigtooth Tackle will anger even the most docile pike, but it may take a couple passes of the lure.
Sometime between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day the striped bass make their arrival in many of New Hampshire’s rivers. When they first arrive, the bass are usually focused almost solely on the alewives. Fishing below the dams where the alewives await their chance to climb fish ladders is often combat fishing, and not our cup of tea. We usually target the slower waters and choke points well below the dams in our kayaks.
Tim Moore is a full-time professional fishing guide in New Hampshire. He owns and operates Tim Moore Outdoors, LLC. He is a member of the New England Outdoors Writers Association, and the producer of TMO Fishing on YouTube and the Hooked with TMO Fishing Podcast. For more information visit www.TimMooreOutdoors.com.