(The outflow of Lake Opechee runs beneath the Messer St Bridge in Laconia)
Ice is finally starting to dissipate from the big salmon and lake trout lakes in central New Hampshire and since April first, it hasn't been hard to find anglers haunting the few open spots. Recent rain and wind have opened the Broads, the big part of Winnipesaukee, a harbinger of ice-out. Even though it's still not really boating time yet - yes, the hardy will be found in small craft fishing whatever openings can be found with boat access- the big lakes even with lots of ice offer plenty of shorebank access for catching landlocked salmon.
Favorite spots include the Messer Street Bridge in Laconia, The Weirs Channel and just upstream from where the Winnipesaukee River dumps into Winnisquam. Dock fishing can be good this time of year and the Wolfeboro docks, where water moves in from Lake Wentworth through the Back Bay, have been good. Try drifting a live smelt or shiner on light gear with as little hardware as possible - use a float if you must - it will increase the range of your drift. Fish at first and last light. Because salmon are so close to the surface this time of year, they're wary, so low light provides some additional opportunity. There's also some chance you'll catch rainbow trout that frequent these spots or even a smallmouth bass. Be sure to play it safe, bring a good net and avoid a possibly of a dangerous dunking in the cold water. Tight lines! - Andy