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Is anybody catching anything besides catfish on the pier on the Kennebecasis River in Hampton lately? I'd like to go tonight or tomorrow night, but was there last week and all we caught was one eel, one yellow perch, and a crap load of catfish. Are there no white perch there this time of year?
 

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Is anybody catching anything besides catfish on the pier on the Kennebecasis River in Hampton lately? I'd like to go tonight or tomorrow night, but was there last week and all we caught was one eel, one yellow perch, and a crap load of catfish. Are there no white perch there this time of year?
There is rarely, if ever any amount of white perch in the Kennebecasis. Your lucky if you catch 2-3 usually. If you want white perch, go to Lake Digdequash, it is polluted with them, no problem getting well over 100 a day, some over 1 lb. The Kennebecasis and Hammond rivers in general are nothing like they used to be for smallmouth and perch, but have improved slightly for pickerel which is a good indicator that there is a drastic reduction in the amount of smallies and perch. Out of the few smallies I've caught this year (30-40) out of the river, the ones that spit up their previous meal had very small pickerel in their mouths and one 10" smallies threw up a small live pickerel that swam away (not very well but, it did). I've only managed 1 over 3lbs, which is terrible, usually I get quite a few 3-4pounders in the spring and again in late summer and fall. The only reason I can think of is people are keeping or killing these fish regardless of whether they are in season or not. These same people who think killing bass in the river helps out the salmoniods, but don't think keeping their limit of trout is hurting anything are ruining our resources.

As far as I am concerned, they should stop fishing off of the dock at Hampton to keep certain people from keeping and killing everything they catch. The wardens do not care when people report undersized or above the limit of smallmouth bass being kept and I've heard that from many people, so it is blatant laziness or personal agenda that keeps the wardens from responding to these complaints. That area was great for fishing before the dock and now it is isn't worth fishing. The only saving grace in the area was a spot not far from the dock, but the residents that live along the shore, fish the crap out of it. In fact, I couldn't fish the spot this spring without a young fella (not a little kid!) rowing out in his dory and creeping his way into where I was casting, everytime I was out! Unfortunately, few boat fishermen who frequent the river have any sense of manners towards other anglers who are stopped and fishing, especially in the fall striper season!

If it wasn't for pickerel, bass and perch, the lower rivers would be desolate bodies of water, not worth fishing. Sure you get runs of sturgeon and striped bass in the spring and fall, but what are you going to do when they aren't biting? Go fish somewhere else, which will cost you time and money. For instance, I travelled 1hr30mins, leaving at 4am to go fish for big smallmouth yesterday because there are so few now in the Kennebecasis (there was never many, but they weren't pressured/killed as much). So because of a few people who kept smallies out of season, undersized or even legally, they have now cost me time and money to get my big smallie fix. So, it has cost every other fishermen time and money, local businesses aren't getting my gas/food money when I travel to catch fish.

sorry for the rant, but the fishing on the dock is a sore spot for me and others I've talked to.
 

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white perch move a lot with water depth. lots of people fish wharfs because it`s convienent, so they do get hit more often, but also draw fish since it`s cover from being feed on by birds. i caught a few monster white perch while pre fishing for the nb paddlers derby on french lake this year. on the tourney day i caught one before i tried the spot with the really big ones...and they may have moved anyway.

in this case i doubt they were fished out, more likely moved.

as for a lack of smallies, i have landed as many as i usually do although last year at the kayak tourney they were everywhere. there are still tons of 3lb small mouths in our area. i have seen only one smallie kept this year, they are simply not targeted for food very often. i have neither seen nor heard of any one destroying smallies this year.

this year it seems to be the yellow perch dominating the lower river in the hampton area, and that`s been the case more often than not.
 

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white perch move a lot with water depth. lots of people fish wharfs because it`s convienent, so they do get hit more often, but also draw fish since it`s cover from being feed on by birds. i caught a few monster white perch while pre fishing for the nb paddlers derby on french lake this year. on the tourney day i caught one before i tried the spot with the really big ones...and they may have moved anyway.

in this case i doubt they were fished out, more likely moved.

as for a lack of smallies, i have landed as many as i usually do although last year at the kayak tourney they were everywhere. there are still tons of 3lb small mouths in our area. i have seen only one smallie kept this year, they are simply not targeted for food very often. i have neither seen nor heard of any one destroying smallies this year.

this year it seems to be the yellow perch dominating the lower river in the hampton area, and that`s been the case more often than not.
Many of the older guys always kept smallies in Hampton (no limits applied to them if you know what I mean) and now there is a lot of asian fishermen who keep everything and throw it in a bucket of water to take home. I'm not picking on them, that's just what everyone one of them I've seen that can catch fish do. Many fishermen off the dock use worms and in the wrong hands, live bait often kill fish, even if they are released, due to gill and/or gut hooking. As Ipop says, it's great cover, the "beach" and ramp was a great place for bass to warm up and there is a culvert pipe that runs into the water there. Fish gravitate to the dock and when they move with the tides or migrate, new fish will find it. Then they will be promptly caught and taken home to be cooked, or worse, gut hooked and thrown over the side with their stomach ripped out, food for the seagulls. Some people fish it because it is such easy access and produces fish, but if it wasn't, they'd sit at home with some Capt Highliner fish sticks instead.

Many of the yellow perch spots that always produced yellow one after another, no longer produce more than a handful. That can't be blamed on anything but predation, by catch and sportfishing. Unless they are all dying off in the winter or diseased, but it is less likely than the othe possibilities. Maybe I'm wrong about fishermen doing most of the damage and it's my beloved striped bass eating everything in sight... maybe that's why they've been getting so much bigger lately!

There is always lots of smallmouth bass, but the larger bass (2+ lbs) are less numerous. All those bass that spawn in the pools in the lower Hammond and Kennebecasis return to the main river after spawn, but if they are caught and killed for whatever reason (we know they often are, i.e. stroover release cough cough) they don't return to the main river and at up to 17years to make a 20" smallmouth, good luck finding another anytime soon. I've always been able to count/catch most of the large smallies between the train bridge and the deep hole during the spring over the last 10 years and many fish returned to the same spawning bed year after year... now very few in comparison do. If they don't return to the same areas, they most likely are no longer living. The Kennebecasis was never a smallmouth factory and the precious few large fish are too valuable to kill, but if you never spent much time on the river, you wouldn't know that, so keeping one for the table wouldn't seem like a bad idea even if you were a well meaning angler. Keeping a large bass for the table may be a bad idea for another reason, mercury and other toxins that have built up over maybe 20 years. I know I could easily decimate most of the large bass in the river in only one season by myself (not bragging, but it's not that hard with so few fish). Out of the hundreds of anglers who fish multiple days out of a season, it takes very little effort to do the same, especially when many fish migrate up river into shallow pools to spawn, where everyone fishes trout with worms in the spring.
 

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uh, there is no lack of yellow perch!

it is vertualy impossible to fish out smallies in a lake, let alone a river system. that is why they are such a nasty invasive species. mostly when a place is over fished for smallies it results in fewer and bigger fish, which isn`t what you are complaining about.
lower numbers of smallies and more salmon in the hammond is good news.

back to the topic, has anybody been catching white perch in the rivers lately? the bel isles?
 

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uh, there is no lack of yellow perch!

it is vertualy impossible to fish out smallies in a lake, let alone a river system. that is why they are such a nasty invasive species. mostly when a place is over fished for smallies it results in fewer and bigger fish, which isn`t what you are complaining about.
lower numbers of smallies and more salmon in the hammond is good news.

back to the topic, has anybody been catching white perch in the rivers lately? the bel isles?
No lack of yellows, but no over abundance or large average size. The areas which over the last 15 years that are guaranteed one after another are no longer producing like they did. Why all of a sudden? Maybe a year or two of poor spawning or survival. Yellow perch can spawn twice a year, but the way the water temperatures/levels have been due to the rain we've had over the past 2-3 seasons, I wonder if thats affected things. I believe the highwater in the fall has helped the salmon greatly.

If I remember correctly, there are big white perch around the Gagetown Marina this time of year. Years ago I was up there and someone was throwing white perch over 1lb on the shore to rot. I'm surprised there is never any quantity of white perch in the kennebecasis.
 

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There is rarely, if ever any amount of white perch in the Kennebecasis. Your lucky if you catch 2-3 usually. If you want white perch, go to Lake Digdequash, it is polluted with them, no problem getting well over 100 a day, some over 1 lb. The Kennebecasis and Hammond rivers in general are nothing like they used to be for smallmouth and perch, but have improved slightly for pickerel which is a good indicator that there is a drastic reduction in the amount of smallies and perch. Out of the few smallies I've caught this year (30-40) out of the river, the ones that spit up their previous meal had very small pickerel in their mouths and one 10" smallies threw up a small live pickerel that swam away (not very well but, it did). I've only managed 1 over 3lbs, which is terrible, usually I get quite a few 3-4pounders in the spring and again in late summer and fall. The only reason I can think of is people are keeping or killing these fish regardless of whether they are in season or not. These same people who think killing bass in the river helps out the salmoniods, but don't think keeping their limit of trout is hurting anything are ruining our resources.

As far as I am concerned, they should stop fishing off of the dock at Hampton to keep certain people from keeping and killing everything they catch. The wardens do not care when people report undersized or above the limit of smallmouth bass being kept and I've heard that from many people, so it is blatant laziness or personal agenda that keeps the wardens from responding to these complaints. That area was great for fishing before the dock and now it is isn't worth fishing. The only saving grace in the area was a spot not far from the dock, but the residents that live along the shore, fish the crap out of it. In fact, I couldn't fish the spot this spring without a young fella (not a little kid!) rowing out in his dory and creeping his way into where I was casting, everytime I was out! Unfortunately, few boat fishermen who frequent the river have any sense of manners towards other anglers who are stopped and fishing, especially in the fall striper season!

If it wasn't for pickerel, bass and perch, the lower rivers would be desolate bodies of water, not worth fishing. Sure you get runs of sturgeon and striped bass in the spring and fall, but what are you going to do when they aren't biting? Go fish somewhere else, which will cost you time and money. For instance, I travelled 1hr30mins, leaving at 4am to go fish for big smallmouth yesterday because there are so few now in the Kennebecasis (there was never many, but they weren't pressured/killed as much). So because of a few people who kept smallies out of season, undersized or even legally, they have now cost me time and money to get my big smallie fix. So, it has cost every other fishermen time and money, local businesses aren't getting my gas/food money when I travel to catch fish.

sorry for the rant, but the fishing on the dock is a sore spot for me and others I've talked to.
Do you need a baot to target the white perch in lake Digdeguash? I know a boat always makes locating fish easier, but are there any shoreline locations where you might hook into some?

Thanks.
 

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Do you need a baot to target the white perch in lake Digdeguash? I know a boat always makes locating fish easier, but are there any shoreline locations where you might hook into some?

Thanks.
I've only fished it once from boat. I don't know where the public access is. Most fish where close to shore and docks
 
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