Bass New Hampshire

Fish Species

Fish Species of New Hampshire

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“Life is but a Stream

New Hampshire has many fish species which many require different habitats.

Soft Rayed Fish Structure

Spiney Rayed Fish Structure

Fresh Water Fish 

Atlantic Salmon (Average Size 16 – 36 inchesAlso called the Landlocked Salmon. The young salmon live in freshwater for up to 3 years before entering the ocean. They migrate to the northern reaches of the Atlantic to live as adults and return to the freshwater rivers.  Landlocked salmon are usually found 40 feet below the surface, where it’s cold.Their willingness to take a fly is considered a reflex.


Largemouth Bass (Average size 8-18 inches)  Prefer the warmer & slower waters and other waters where lily pads, grass, weeds and other vegetation are plentiful.  You can fish for Bass Small mouth and Large mouth year round.
There is a special time that all bass must be immediately release on site unharmed.

Bait: Fish, frogs, crayfish, aquatic insects

Smallmouth Bass Image

Smallmouth Bass (Average Size 6-18 inches).  Popular in colder, faster and cleaner water, especially lakes with clear, gravel-bottomed or rock bottoms and rivers throughout the state. Native to New England, this species can be found in moderate and cooler climates coast to coast. This fish likes deep, large lakes and large rivers. Smallmouth bass can also be found in streams where there is moderate current and gravel points. In lakes, look for the bass near gravel bars, shoals, weed beds and near drop-offs.  Bait: Fish, crustaceans, larger insects

Black Crappie

Black Crappie (Average size 4-11 inches)  Related to the Sunfish. Found in streams and slow moving shallow & weedy ponds.


Bluegill Sunfish (Average Size 4-10 inchesFound in quiet warm water, weedy streams and lakes.

Common Carp

Carp (Average Size Up to 40 inchesPrefers warm slow waters with mud bottoms and plenty of weeds or lily pads.Bait: Doughball mixed with flour & cornmeal with a little sugar & honey.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike  (Average Size 18 inches) Located in clear lakes, quiet pools and backwaters of creeks and small to large rivers.  Pike like to live in shallow, weedy, large, small and deep lakes and rivers. They can tolerate rivers with medium current.Bait:

white perch


White Perch   Along with the yellow perch, they are a schooling fish. Whites prefer the more open water. They roam the lake looking for forage.  The best time to fish for this tasty fish is dawn and again at dusk.

Yellow Perch  (Average Size 8-10 inchesCan be located in relatively shallow weed waters.  Is most plentiful in northern lakes and rivers.

chain pickerel

Pickerel  (Average 1 to 3lbs) Prefers weedy mud bottom shallow ponds and can also be found in ponds, lakes or streams.


Brook  (Average 6-10 inchesLike clean cold water in brooks, rivers, streams and ponds.

Brown Trout

Brown (Average Size 6-16 inchesFound in large lakes and streams 

Lake Trout (inland)

Lake (Average 7 – 14 inchesSize weighing between 3 and 6 pounds are caught regularly. The ideal temperature for lake trout is near 50 degrees, so they’re usually found on or near the bottom of the water body.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow (Average Size 6-15 inchesFound faster-flowing portions of the larger lakes, rivers and streams


Walleye (Average Size 8-15 InchesMember of the Perch family.  Prefer lakes and rivers with deep water and gravel, sand or rock bottoms. Walleye’s are a schooling fish.Baits: Lures such as plugs, spoons, spinners and jigs.

round whitefish

Whitefish  Can be caught almost any time of the year.

Salt Water Fish  

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Atlantic Codfish  (Average 6lbs to 12 lbs – Can weigh up to 25lbs) Found along the Coastal shores near Isle of Shoals.  Native to most of the North Atlantic Ocean.  Cod are easily recognized from other marine fish by their three rounded dorsal fins and two anal fins.  Can be found at depths of 200 to 360 feet and in temperatures ranging from 34 to 46 degrees F in the summer and a depths of 295 to 440 feet and in temperatures of 36 to 39 F in the winter.Bait: Clam, crab, cut bait, mussels and other mollusks, lobsters and sea urchins.

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Atlantic Mackerel (Average 12 to 18 Inches) Along the NE Coast.  They travel in schools that often contain thousands of fish.  Their swift swimming gives them a streamlined body and can swim at high speeds for extended periods of time searching for food.  Frequently found near the water’s surface, but also can be found as far down as 600 feet.

Bait: Bait fish, tube lures, jigs, spinners & streamer flies, squid & shrimp.

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Blue Fish  (Average 18 to 36 inches)  Found in the Great Bay and along the coast to the Isle of  Shoals in the months of June to October.  Normally travel in large schools

Bait: Metal squids, spoons, jigs, plugs or fish pieces, shrimp, small lobsters, crabs, larval fish and larval mollusks.

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Haddock (Close to 24 inches) Good months to fish this species are spring to Fall.  Found in deep, cool waters.  They are primarily found at depths of 140 to 450 and generally avoid depths less than 30.  Prefer water temperatures of 35 to 50 degrees F. , during the winter they migrate seasonally to areas that provide warmer conditions.

Bait: Clam, cut bait. small crabs, sea worms, starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and occasionally squid.

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Pollock (Average 10 to 16 inches – to 30inches)  Found in shallow waters to depths as great as 600 feet, depending upon water temperatures and food availability.  Pollock can tolerate temperatures near 32 degrees F

Bait: Squid strip, clams or feather lures, herring, cod, haddock and hake.

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Rainbow Smelt  (Average 7 to 9 inches) Found along coastal inshore areas of Northeastern North America from Newfoundland to New Jersey.  Travels less than one mile from shore and in water less than 19 feet deep.Bait: shrimp and gammarids; on squid, crabs, sea worms, insects and small fish

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Striped Bass (Average 10 to 50 inches)  Often found in the Great Bay Area along rocky shores and sandy beaches. They are a schooling species found along the coast surf, inshore bars, reefs, tide rips, bays and estuaries.

Baits:  metal squids, spoons, plugs, jigs, rigged eels, plastic eels and fish, shrimp and small fish, alewives, flounder, sea herring, menhaden, sand lance, silver hake, smelt, silversides, as well as lobsters, crabs, soft clams, small mussels, sea worms and squid.

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Winter Flounder (Up to 25 inches) Gets its name from how it moves during the winter months to shallower inshore waters. Like all flat fish, the winter flounder has both eyes on one side of the head.  In winter they stay in inshore areas.  As summer approaches, the shallow inland waters become warm, and the larger fish move offshore to deeper waters. Popular springtime fish.

Bait: Sea worm, clams or mussels, shrimp, polychaete worms, fish fry and bits of seaweed.

New England Sharks     Identify New England shark species. 

Our Resources page may have the answer for you!