NH Fishing Report – May 16, 2021: It’s mandatory catch-and-release season for bass from May 15 to June 15

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Greetings anglers!

June is one of the best months of the year to get out on the water in New Hampshire. Whether you are fishing from shore or from a boat, or are exploring a lake or a river, New Hampshire’s waters offer diverse opportunities in all parts of the state. Dedicated anglers have already been enjoying the water, but we have great news for people who might be new to fishing—or who may want to dust off their tackle—Saturday, June 5 is Free Fishing Day in New Hampshire.Free fishing days are offered on:

  • The first Saturday in June, and
  • The third Saturday in January

Residents and nonresidents can experience the thrill of fishing without a license in both freshwater and saltwater. All season dates and bag limits will still apply, and all anglers should include a few “fishing holes” in their plans for the day as some locations may be crowded.

If you are ready for some new fishing action, or are not sure where to fish, there are a number of resources that will help. To learn about different waterbodies throughout the state and the fish they hold, to find out about New Hampshire’s fishing rules and regulations, and for tips for success and access by geographic region visit the Fishing Publications webpage — your one-stop resource to help getting started fishing in the Granite State on Free Fishing Day!

Go Fish!

A list of places to test your skills can be found here.


For anglers who want to participate in tournaments around the Granite State, visit our Tournaments webpage to find events: www.fishnh.com/fishing/tournaments.html

This June will be a great month to chase fish of all kinds. Because of the cool spring and chilly nights, water temperatures are not yet near their higher summertime readings, which will help to keep fish active during the day. As the weather continues to warm up, various insects will continue to hatch, keeping many species of fish interested in what’s happening on the surface of the water—and give the angler an indication of what their targets are after for a meal. For example, try using popping flies or surface plugs when casting for bass in June—just remember that it is mandatory catch-and-release season for bass from May 15 to June 15. They put up a great fight on the line, but must be safely returned to the water to protect their nests and steward their young.

Trout stocking efforts continue throughout the state. Read the latest stocking report below. All species of trout like cooler water temperatures, so now is the time to get on your favorite pond or river and see what you can catch!

Every year the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department stocks nearly a million catchable-sized trout for your angling enjoyment. Updates on the location of the previous week’s stocking activities are posted here during stocking season. New Hampshire State Law allows the Fish and Game Executive Director to provide past stocking information on a weekly basis.

Check out the latest report:


Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration: A User-Pay, User-Benefit ProgramSport Fish Restoration
Researching and managing fisheries and teaching people about aquatic ecosystems are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Your purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels make a difference to New Hampshire’s fisheries. Learn more.


About this Author


Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester with his wife and kids. He's the author of nine collections of fiction and poetry. His most recent book, Fly Like The Seagull was published by Luchador Press in 2020. He's a high school teacher and freelance writer, and in his free time, he writes bios about himself in the third person. For more information, visit his website: http://www.nathangraziano.com