New Hampshire has more than a thousand waterbodies where you can fish, from remote North Country trout ponds and mountain streams packed with native brook trout…to lakes and ponds of all sizes in our beautiful Lakes Region…to major rivers like the Merrimack and the Connecticut, where you can catch 10 or 12 different kinds of fish. Given the state’s geography, you’re never more than a short drive away from some pretty amazing fishing – and the relaxation and great scenery that go with it.
Fish and Game helps keep things exciting by stocking over a million rainbow, brook and brown trout every year for your fishing pleasure (visit www.fishnh.com for stocking locations in season). Trout get a lot of the limelight, but New Hampshire’s strong warmwater fisheries offer action-packed fishing, too, from bass, pike and pickerel to perch and pumpkinseeds.
Take it from me, kids love to go fishing, and there’s no better way for families to spend some time together. Plus, we all know that teaching youngsters to fish and appreciate the outdoors is a big investment in nurturing future conservationists. Since children under 16 fish free, fishing in New Hampshire is also affordable for families.
When I was a kid, I caught a 3½ pound smallmouth bass that was my personal record for many years. That was on the Piscataquog River, back in the “good old days,” when an elementary-school-age boy could hop on his bike and head for the water to fish anytime – as long as he and his friends got back in time for supper. Sometimes that supper would even include a fresh perch or bass. Those experiences set me up for a lifetime of outdoor adventure.
I still get out on the water as often as I can – or on the ice, as the case may be. If you’ve never tried ice fishing, maybe this is your year. See Ice Fishing: General Rules and Ice Fishing: You Can… Walk on Water! for the basic rules and gear, and bring the kids for a terrific time on the ice. Then get ready for a big fish fry – there’s nothing I like more. Perch and crappie for me!
Go Fish! Have fun, and let us know how you do.
NH Fish and Game Department