As a rule, the trout fishing starts to die down with warm weather and low water tables. But this year is the exception. The water is cooler than normal and the trout love it.

The bass have spawned and left their beds in cooler than normal years but this won't harm the fish at all. In fact, it will help them. The beds are now a bit deeper so there is no worry about low water and the bass beds being exposed. So it should be a great spawning year.

The best news of all is the great shad fishing ongoing right now in the Merrimack River. The area just below the Essex Dam in Lawrence on Route 28 is alive with shad. This is a comeback year for the great fighting fish, which is also known as the poor mans salmon because of its fighting ability. So far, 33,700 of these fish have been lifted over the dam.

Taking a shad is not something that takes a special fishing rod. It's a trout rod of six or seven feet, 6-pound test line, a few shad darts bought at any store. I like the red and yellow, and go fishing. When you hook up, remember the fish has a soft mouth so set the hook lightly and fight the fish for a long time. They will take line and jump.

The fish are very bony and only the females are known for the roe for consumption. So most of the fishing is catch and release.

One other bonus here is the number of big striped bass also being caught here. Fish to 25 pounds have been caught on poppers and put up a great fight. They are chasing the herring also in the river.


So it's a great time to head out and go fishing. The hard part is deciding on what to go for.

The annual drawing to select the lucky hunters who will be offered a permit to hunt moose in New Hampshire this fall will be held on Friday, June 21, at 9 a.m., at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, N.H. Fish and Game will issue 275 moose hunting permits this year. Winners are selected through a computerized random drawing.

The Maine moose permit lottery was held last weekend. I hope you were one of the lucky people who nailed down a permit. I, once again, was just a donor.

Bill Biswanger can be reached at