Best Striped Bass Fishing in New Hampshire

Large striped bass swimming in a fish tank
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Going on a fishing odyssey along the New Hampshire coast unveils a tapestry of diverse and captivating locations, each offering a unique chapter in the pursuit of the elusive striped bass. From the dynamic tidal currents of the Piscataqua River to the tranquil beauty of the Winnipesaukee River’s freshwater embrace, this guide paints a vivid portrait of the ten best places for striped bass fishing in the Granite State. Venture with us into the heart of historic harbors, wind through estuarine rivers, and cast lines along rocky shores as we explore the distinct charm and angling opportunities that define each location. Whether you’re a seasoned angler seeking a new challenge or a novice eager to discover the thrill of striped bass fishing, this journey promises a wealth of experiences against the backdrop of New Hampshire’s coastal allure.

Piscataqua River

Along the border of New Hampshire and Maine, the Piscataqua River is a dynamic tidal waterway that beckons anglers in pursuit of the elusive striped bass. With its significant tidal flow and varied underwater structures, the river provides a diverse and exciting environment for those seeking the thrill of striped bass fishing. The picturesque views along the banks add to the allure of this prime angling destination.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in the Piscataqua River:

  • Tidal Influence: The Piscataqua River, being a tidal river, experiences significant tidal influence, creating dynamic conditions that attract striped bass.
  • Structural Diversity: Explore areas with diverse underwater structures, such as rock piles and submerged ledges, providing ideal habitats for striped bass.
  • Migration Corridor: The river serves as a migration corridor for striped bass, offering anglers the opportunity to target these fish during their seasonal movements.
  • Scenic Views: Enjoy picturesque views of the river and surrounding landscapes while engaging in striped bass fishing.
  • Accessible Launch Points: There are various accessible launch points along the Piscataqua River, making it convenient for both boat and shore anglers.

Recommended Gear: Rod, Reel, Hooks, Lures, Cut Bait, Sunscreen, Fishing Net

Great Bay

Great Bay, an expansive estuarine complex connected to the Piscataqua River, is a haven for striped bass enthusiasts. Boasting diverse fishing environments, including channels, flats, and estuarine areas, this bay offers a range of options for anglers looking to test their skills. The rich ecosystem, abundant baitfish, and year-round fishing opportunities make Great Bay a must-explore location for those captivated by the pursuit of striped bass.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in Great Bay:

  • Diverse Fishing Opportunities: Great Bay’s channels, flats, and estuarine areas provide diverse opportunities for anglers to target striped bass using different techniques.
  • Baitfish Abundance: The bay is rich in baitfish, attracting striped bass and creating productive feeding grounds.
  • Strategic Tidal Flow: Understand and leverage the strategic tidal movements within Great Bay to increase your chances of encountering striped bass.
  • Seasonal Patterns: Different seasons bring different patterns of striped bass behavior, offering year-round fishing opportunities.
  • Quiet and Serene Atmosphere: Enjoy a quieter and more serene fishing atmosphere compared to busier coastal areas.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Net, Live Bait, Cooler, Waterproof Phone Case, Reel, Sunglasses

Hampton Harbor

Embracing the spirit of New Hampshire’s Seacoast, Hampton Harbor emerges as a hotspot for striped bass fishing. Known for its spring and fall migrations, this harbor provides a playground for both seasoned and novice anglers. Whether casting lines near jetties, exploring sandy shorelines for surfcasting, or soaking in the community atmosphere, Hampton Harbor promises an exciting and accessible fishing experience.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in Hampton Harbor:

  • Spring and Fall Migrations: Hampton Harbor is known for attracting striped bass during the spring and fall migrations, providing peak fishing seasons.
  • Jetties and Structures: Fishing near jetties and other structures in the harbor can increase your chances of hooking into striped bass.
  • Proximity to Deep Water: The harbor’s proximity to deep water makes it an ideal location for finding larger striped bass.
  • Community Atmosphere: Engage with the local fishing community, as Hampton Harbor often attracts anglers eager to share tips and experiences.
  • Sunset Fishing: Experience breathtaking sunsets while casting your line in the evening, creating a memorable fishing experience.

Recommended Gear: Sunglasses, Cooler, Fishing Net, Live Bait, Lures, Sunscreen, SPF Clothing

Rye Harbor

Rye Harbor, situated along the New Hampshire coastline, beckons anglers with its unique blend of rocky structures and tidal movements. A haven for both boat and shore anglers, this location offers a versatile experience for those seeking striped bass. With its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Rye Harbor is not just a fishing destination; it’s a gateway to scenic views, community camaraderie, and the pursuit of striped bass amid coastal charm.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in Rye Harbor:

  • Boat and Shore Opportunities: Rye Harbor caters to both boat and shore anglers, providing flexibility in fishing options.
  • Tidal Movements: Pay attention to tidal movements and changes in water depth to locate prime fishing spots.
  • Baitfish Activity: Keep an eye out for signs of baitfish activity, as striped bass are likely to be in pursuit.
  • Fishing Events: Rye Harbor may host fishing events and tournaments, adding a competitive and festive aspect to your fishing experience.
  • Coastal Scenery: Enjoy the coastal scenery and the calming sound of waves while fishing for striped bass.

Recommended Gear: Reel, Rod, Lure, Sunscreen, Snacks, Bait, Cooler

Portsmouth Harbor

The historic Portsmouth Harbor, marked by back channels and tidal flats, stands as a testament to New Hampshire’s maritime legacy. For anglers, this area is not just a fishing ground but an exploration of varied fishing environments, historical landmarks, and community events. With its accessibility, panoramic views, and a tapestry of fishing opportunities, Portsmouth Harbor invites anglers to embark on a unique striped bass fishing adventure.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in Portsmouth Harbor:

  • Tidal Flats Exploration: Explore the tidal flats in Portsmouth Harbor, known for providing excellent opportunities to catch striped bass.
  • Back Channels: Navigate the back channels of the harbor, which can be productive for targeting striped bass, especially during certain tide stages.
  • Historical Sites: Enjoy fishing in an area rich in history, with Portsmouth offering historical sites and cultural attractions.
  • Culinary Experiences: Combine your fishing trip with a visit to local seafood restaurants in Portsmouth to savor the catch of the day.
  • Accessible Fishing Locations: Portsmouth Harbor offers accessible fishing locations, making it suitable for anglers of varying experience levels.

Recommended Gear: Lures, Fillet Knife, Fishing Net, Reels, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Bait

Squamscott River

Connecting to the vastness of Great Bay, the Squamscott River is a hidden gem for striped bass enthusiasts. Characterized by its deeper channels and estuarine richness, this river provides an extension of the diverse fishing opportunities available in the larger bay. As anglers navigate its waters, they’ll discover a tranquil environment with picturesque settings, making Squamscott River a delightful destination for striped bass fishing.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in the Squamscott River:

  • Connection to Great Bay: The Squamscott River, flowing into Great Bay, provides an opportunity to target striped bass as they move between river and bay environments.
  • Structure Near Confluence: Fish around areas with structure near the confluence of the Squamscott River and Great Bay for increased success.
  • Tidal Influence: Leverage the tidal influence in the river to locate areas where striped bass are likely to feed.
  • Peaceful Fishing: Enjoy a peaceful fishing experience along the scenic stretches of the Squamscott River.
  • Variety of Techniques: The river’s characteristics allow anglers to employ various fishing techniques, adding to the diversity of the fishing experience.

Recommended Gear: Rod, Reel, Hooks, Lures, Cut Bait, Sunscreen, Fishing Net

Merrimack River

Flowing through the heart of Newburyport and Salisbury, the lower stretches of the Merrimack River offer a gateway to striped bass fishing excellence. The strong tidal influence, accessible shorelines, and historical charm make this river a hotspot for anglers in pursuit of the iconic striped bass. As tides ebb and flow, the Merrimack River beckons with promises of diverse fishing experiences and scenic riverbank views.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in the Merrimack River:

  • Lower Stretches Productivity: The lower stretches of the Merrimack River, near Newburyport and Salisbury, are renowned for their productivity in striped bass fishing.
  • Strong Tidal Influence: The strong tidal influence in the river enhances fishing conditions, creating opportunities for anglers to target actively feeding striped bass.
  • Accessible Shorelines: Several accessible shorelines along the Merrimack River provide ample opportunities for anglers who prefer bank or pier fishing.
  • Variety of Fish Species: In addition to striped bass, the river supports a variety of fish species, offering a diverse fishing experience.
  • Historic Charm: Enjoy the historic charm of towns along the Merrimack River while indulging in striped bass fishing.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Net, Live Bait, Cooler, Waterproof Phone Case, Reel, Sunglasses

Winnipesaukee River

Winding its way through brackish sections closer to the estuary, the Winnipesaukee River presents a unique freshwater opportunity for striped bass enthusiasts. Anglers seeking seasonal encounters with striped bass will find solace in the peaceful surroundings and kayak-friendly sections of this river. With panoramic views and a touch of freshwater allure, Winnipesaukee River stands as a distinctive destination for striped bass fishing.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in the Winnipesaukee River:

  • Brackish Sections: Target the brackish sections of the Winnipesaukee River closer to the estuary for potential encounters with striped bass.
  • Seasonal Opportunities: Striped bass may move into the river during specific seasons, presenting anglers with seasonal opportunities for successful fishing.
  • Kayak Exploration: Explore the river with a kayak to reach sections where striped bass may be more abundant, especially in areas with depth changes.
  • Peaceful Surroundings: The Winnipesaukee River offers a peaceful and serene setting for anglers seeking a more secluded fishing experience.
  • Panoramic Views: Enjoy panoramic views along the riverbanks, enhancing the overall enjoyment of striped bass fishing in this freshwater environment.

Recommended Gear: Sunglasses, Cooler, Fishing Net, Live Bait, Lures, Sunscreen, SPF Clothing

Little Harbor, New Castle

Tucked away in New Castle, Little Harbor exudes a small harbor appeal that resonates with anglers seeking a more intimate fishing experience. With its docks, rocky structures, and a community atmosphere, this location is not just about catching striped bass but fostering connections among local anglers. Accessible shore fishing and proximity to nearby amenities make Little Harbor a charming destination for those craving both tranquility and excitement.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in Little Harbor, New Castle:

  • Small Harbor Appeal: Little Harbor’s smaller size provides a more intimate and less crowded fishing environment for anglers seeking a quieter experience.
  • Docks and Structures: Fishing around docks and rocky structures in Little Harbor can be productive, attracting striped bass looking for cover and prey.
  • Community Atmosphere: Like many smaller harbors, Little Harbor often fosters a sense of community among local anglers, sharing insights and experiences.
  • Accessible Shore Fishing: Shoreline access in Little Harbor provides opportunities for anglers who prefer fishing from the land.
  • Nearby Amenities: Located near the historic town of New Castle, anglers can explore local amenities and attractions after a day of fishing.

Recommended Gear: Sunglasses, Cooler, Fishing Net, Live Bait, Lures, Sunscreen, SPF Clothing

Odiorn Point State Park

Situated along the New Hampshire coastline, Odiorn Point State Park beckons anglers with its rocky shores and tidal movements, creating an ideal environment for striped bass fishing. The park’s blend of accessible fishing areas, scenic coastal views, and hiking opportunities offers a multifaceted experience for those looking to immerse themselves in the pursuit of striped bass. As anglers cast their lines, Odiorn Point State Park unfolds as a distinctive destination that seamlessly integrates angling with the allure of the outdoors.

Reasons to Striped Bass Fish in Odiorn Point State Park:

  • Rocky Shores: Odiorn Point State Park, located along the coastline, features rocky shores and underwater structures that attract striped bass.
  • Tidal Movement: The park is influenced by tidal movements, creating favorable conditions for striped bass feeding, especially during changing tides.
  • Scenic Coastal Views: Enjoy panoramic coastal views while fishing, providing a scenic backdrop to the angling experience.
  • Hiking Opportunities: Combine fishing with outdoor activities by exploring the park’s hiking trails before or after a day of striped bass fishing.
  • Accessible Fishing Areas: Odiorn Point State Park provides accessible areas for both shoreline and rocky outcrop fishing, accommodating a variety of angling preferences.

Recommended Gear: Rod, Reel, Hooks, Lures, Cut Bait, Sunscreen, Fishing Net

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