Portsmouth NH

5 Fishing Charters

Portsmouth NH Fishing Charters

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Portsmouth NH: 5 fishing charters available

Sea Time Fishing Charters

4.8 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent (66)
Kittery
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500

Vintage Fish Company

5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent (23)
Rye
trips from $500

Savage Charters

4.9 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent (13)
Rye
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $1,050

The Charter Doctor

5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent (4)
Portsmouth
trips from $1,400

PinWheel Tuna Fishing LLC

5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent (5)
Rye
trips from $1,600

Summary

Despite its small size, the coastal fishing that New Hampshire has to offer is no pushover.  There is Striped Bass aplenty and Bluefin Tuna lurking off the coast; you can tick off a few items on your bucket list as you fill buckets full of gorgeous fish. Portsmouth, NH fishing charters have a lot to offer to any angler. Whether it’s fishing for Stripers with flies or tackle or heading out past the Isles of Shoals going after big deep sea fish, you can find your prey in the waters of New Hampshire.

Fishing spots

The Great Bay - Aptly named, this bay provides some of the best Striped Bass fishing in the Northeastern US. During the early spring the Great Bay itself is home to many Striped Bass. In the late spring and early summer the Bass will move downstream. You can find them in ample numbers in Little Bay and Pisqatua River, they’re following the Alewives and pre-spawned Herrings, the Bass’ preferred meal. Schoolie Stripers are most entertaining to catch when fished with light tackle or fly fishing gear, that way they put up a much better fight.

Piscataqua River - While it’s not the longest river around (slightly over 20 miles in length), Piscataqua River has some of the best Striped Bass and Flounder fishing waters in the region. This river offers anglers many opportunities to target the famed Striped Bass. If you’re casting from the shore, Hilton Park and Little Bay Bridge offer amazing fishing. Their position allows you to fish the fast-moving waters where Striped Bass like to lurk. Slick waters and edges of eddies are spots you should look out for. The best time to fish the river is between 4 and 6 AM, though the action can move far into the day with a bit of luck. If you’re fishing from a boat make sure you have enough space to move around – fishing Striped Bass schoolies requires an agile angler.


Isles of Shoals - The local legend states that the Isles are named that way because the early settlers saw “shoals” (schools) of fish all around the island chain. While the amount of fish has certainly decreased since the 1600s, the Isles offer excellent saltwater fishing to this day. Bluefish are the prime target in this area, though anglers should be wary as these tricky predators like to bite half of your bait off. In recent years Striped Bass have been spotted in nearby waters, feeding on Lobsters that local commercial fishermen discard. Other fish you can target in the area are Cod, Haddocks, Pollocks, and Flounders.


Offshore - The famed Bluefin Tuna is the main attraction when it comes to deep sea fishing in New Hampshire. Schools of these predators are the most common target, but anglers have the chance to target fish weighing over 100 lbs. However, the big ones are unpredictable, so don’t count on running into one. That being said, in 2017 a New Hampshire trooper managed to reel in a 650 lb Bluefin off the coast of New Hampshire, so you might just snag a trophy fish!

Fishing techniques

Schools or Striped Bass in the Piscataqua River or the Great Bay are suckers for soft plastics. Light tackle or fly fishing will produce an excellent fight from these beautiful fish. If fishing from the shore is your style, drifting chunks of Mackerel is recommended if you’re trying for bigger Striped Bass. You can also freespool some live Mackerel, Eels, or Pogies.

Circle hooks are recommended for all species, but especially for Striped Bass. The shape of the hook means there’s a much smaller chance of catching a fish in the gills. Additionally, you usually don’t need to set the circle hook once you get a bite, as it’s designed to hook the lip.

For Tuna fans trolling with feathered jigs, spoons, and lures is the way to go against the big beasts. If you prefer live bait Sardines, Squids, Anchovies, and other small fish produce good results. You should keep your fresh bait in the water for two minutes at a time. If it has a bloody nose or red eyes, replace it straight away. Lures which look like they are wounded are often ignored.

Need to know

Don’t underestimate the morning chill in New Hampshire, mornings (when the Bass are the hottest) can be quite chilly even during summer heats.

The minimum size required to keep a Striped Bass is 28 inches. The head and tail must remain intact while on or leaving state waters, gaffing is also prohibited. There’s a limit of 1 fish per day. All sea-run Atlantic Salmon caught in coastal or estuarine waters must be immediately released. Recreational possession of Cod is prohibited. Alewives cannot be fished from sunrise on Wednesday to sunrise on Thursday. The minimum size for keeping Bluefin Tuna is 27 inches – it’s measured using curved fork length.

All anglers aged 16 and above require a New Hampshire state fishing license if fishing alone. You can find information on these licenses online. The captain’s license covers up to 6 anglers on the boat.

Portsmouth NH
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.75
Based on 23938 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

Fishing in Portsmouth is mostly a warm weather affair. While the weather is still cold and windy you can target winter Flounder, the Piscataqua River is one of the places you can find them. Smelts are still going strong if you’re looking for some light action.

February

Portsmouth is a summer tourist destination so most shops and hotels will be closed this time of year. Despite that if you bundle up well enough you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the Great Bay.

March

Fishing is mostly still in a lull during March, but the Haddock season opens on March 1st. You can still catch tasty winter Flounders, mostly in sheltered and mud-bottomed areas of the Little Bay and Great Bay.

April

If the weather brightens up enough the early season can start for this area. Captains will start targeting offshore Cod, Haddocks, and Pollocks around deep-water structures starting at 10 miles offshore. Haddock season ends on April 14th and won’t be back until fall. 

May

The real fishing season starts in May, when the waters warm up enough and the Striped Bass and Mackerel arrive late in the month. They’ll swarm the waters of Piscataqua River and make their way into the bays and tributaries nearby. Most of them are schoolies but bigger Bass can be found.

June

Things heat up around June and this is when it’s prime-time to see why this region is famous for its Striped Bass fishing. The Great Bay is teeming with both these great fish and the many anglers who are itching to catch some. Bluefish start to arrive near the end of June.

July

Schools of Bluefin Tuna start moving in the offshore waters of New Hampshire in July. Most of the fish are schoolies but you still have the chance of landing a monster. Jeffrey’s Ledge has been a popular location with anglers in the recent years. 

August

Larger schools of Bluefish start to appear around the start of August, feeding on Peanut Bunkers – excellent bait for Striped Bass too! The fishing season is in full swing still, so make sure to book your charter in advance.

September

On September 17th Haddock season opens again for a little while, if you’re itching for some Haddock now’s the time to get them. Surface feeding schools of Striped Bass and Bluefish are abundant, look for feeding birds on the water to spot them.

October

Haddock season will close again on October 31st and won’t be open until March next year. This is the last month to do serious Striped Bass or Bluefin Tuna fishing, as the weather gets colder they’ll migrate away.

November

As the waters grow cold most offshore pelagics have moved on, same as the Striped Bass and Bluefish. If you head inshore you can snag some winter Flounders in muddy bottoms of the bays and rivers that dot the area.

December

The whole town moves into hibernation for the cold month of December, with most tourist locations being closed down until the weather brightens up. One way to shake off the winter blues is to head into the Great Bay and go for the schools of Smelts who love the cold weather!


Not only was our fishing adventure top notch with Vintage Fish Company on the Northern Lights boat, but Rays Sea Food Restaurant also has some of the freshest, tastiest Haddock I have ever let melt in my mouth. A must! Rye is a beautiful area with gorgeous homes. It was a pleasure to have the experience this summer.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Not only was our fishing adventure top notch with Vintage Fish Company on the Northern Lights boat, but Rays Sea Food Restaurant also has some of the freshest, tastiest Haddock I have ever let melt in my mouth. A must! Rye is a beautiful area with gorgeous homes. It was a pleasure to have the experience this summer.
Chad  A.
Chad A. Peterborough, NH

The Charter Doctor
The Charter Doctor
Fishing charter in Portsmouth
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4 reviews
Had a nice time with Capt Mark celebrating my twin brothers 60th Birthday Great location for the boat near Portsmouth, NH Started a the day at 0600. Saw whales and seals on the way out. Anchored up and caught some live bait. Mark and Paul know their craft, are professional and friendly. Boat is well appointed for 10-12 hours of fishing. Although we didn’t catch a giant blue fin. We did catch two blue sharks and a large thresher. We will try again next year for sure!
Gary  P.
Gary P. TATAMY Borough, PA
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
We went out of Kittery’s Pepperell Cove with Captain Larry and his first mate Oscar for an inshore half day sunset trip. The boys (9 and 10 yrs) really enjoyed catching mackerel for bait, and stripers for fun. Even brought some home for dinner. We’ll most certainly be back!
Christian  S.
Christian S. Concord, MA
The Charter Doctor
The Charter Doctor
Fishing charter in Portsmouth
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4 reviews
Great day on the water with Captain Mark & Paul. Both were extremely knowledgeable & helpful. Marked several tuna throughout the day…successfully caught a 550 lb bluefin beauty!
William  P.
William P. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
Incredible day on the water with Captain Larry and his son! We caught fish literally all day long and went home with more then we know what to do with catching a variety of amazing fish! Can't wait to book with him next year for a Striper Fishing Trip
Ryan  H.
Ryan H. United States
The Charter Doctor
The Charter Doctor
Fishing charter in Portsmouth
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4 reviews
I did a full day trip with my 2 sons (15 and 16 yrs old) and my father. We had a fantastic trip with Captain Mark and Paul. The boys loved fishing for the live bait and then very quickly we were into a bluefin tuna estimated to be 9 feet long. We fought the fish for the next 4 hours and had an experience that we will never forget. I look forward to booking with Captain Mark for next year.
Bill  R.
Bill R. Cranston, Rhode Island
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
We went out with captin Lawrence and I must say that he is a very good captin he worked hard to keep us on fish all day we had a nice mixed bag I would definitely return. Thx capt.
Allen  D.
Allen D. Sanatoga, PA
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
Beautiful Maine Summer afternoon of fishing. Reports were not too positive however Captain Larry put us on some Strippers. Caught six that afternoon! Thanks to the Captain and his crew for an enjoyable day! This was our second trip with Captain Larry!
ALEX  G.
ALEX G. Fulton, NY
Vintage Fish Company
Vintage Fish Company
Fishing charter in Rye
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 23 reviews
Trip was great. We had six in our party, some experienced and some not so much. The Captain and first mate were awesome. Knowledgeable, helpful and fun. We would definitely recommend.
Sheena  W.
Sheena W. Hampton, NH
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
Awesome trip. Captain knew where to find the fish and we caught steady all day. Tons of fish.
Bill  C.
Bill C. Woodstock, CT
Vintage Fish Company
Vintage Fish Company
Fishing charter in Rye
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 23 reviews
The weather, after some threarening forcasts, was as good as we could have hoped and Captain Adam found us enough action on what was a slow day over all. Great experience!
Dennis  L.
Dennis L. Claremont, NH
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
No matter what you'll catch a fish. I loved that we fished for our bait. Cap. Larry and Mitch were great hosts and provided an amazing fishing trip. We will book again soon, highly recommended! Lory
Lory  N.
Lory N. Essex, MA
Vintage Fish Company
Vintage Fish Company
Fishing charter in Rye
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 23 reviews
Such a wonderful first time experience for all of us, they were extremely helpful and beyond that they gave us a tour if the islands. We can't wait to go back it was the best first time experience we could have asked for..
Belinda  D.
Belinda D. Thornton, NH
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
We had a wonderful time with Captain Larry and Mitchell. They are true professionals that know how to show the clients a good time. Can't wait to go again!
Robert  S.
Robert S. Lockport, NY
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
Brought my 2 little boys with me ages 5 and 8. They had a great time, awesome to watch them pull in stripers!
Adam  T.
Adam T. Rock City Falls, NY
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
Larry and mate know their stuff and will put your on the fish ....Captain is a book of knowledge !!!!
David  G.
David G. South Hadley, MA
Vintage Fish Company
Vintage Fish Company
Fishing charter in Rye
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 23 reviews
We had a great day! Stopped to catch a few mackerel to put in the live well for bait, and that was fun too. Then motored to the mouth of a river where the tide was coming out so the striped bass were feeding. We got into them right away and had a blast catch and releasing several good fish. The captain and his crew took great care of us, and explained anything we were interested in, such as fishery management, tide flows, bass habits.
Brian  F.
Brian F. White Rock, NM
Vintage Fish Company
Vintage Fish Company
Fishing charter in Rye
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 23 reviews
Adam and tom did a great job and I would definitely book another trip with Vintage Fishing Company.
Augustine  D.
Augustine D. Kittery, ME
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
4.3 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
We had a fun day fishing with Captain Larry and his son. My kids caught fish so overall experience was great.
Debbie  M.
Debbie M. Pembroke, New Hampshire
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Sea Time Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Kittery
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 66 reviews
Great time with the captain & his son. Absolutely book these guys to go out on the water with.
Carmel  L.
Carmel L. Corinna, ME
Vintage Fish Company
Vintage Fish Company
Fishing charter in Rye
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 23 reviews
Thanks goes out to Capt. Adam for making this fishing trip happen on his boat The Valhalla! Capt. Randy and First Mate Karl have more experience on the sea then most people have in an automobile, and it was reassuring when we were fishing in 300 feet of water! Over 80 fish were caught releasing half for legal limits from Haddock, Cod, Cusk, Whiting and Pollock. Looking foward to my next trip, thanks again, TK
Tim  K.
Tim K. Wynantskill, New York

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Portsmouth NH

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Portsmouth NH costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $531, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $1,093. These prices are based on trips booked on our site recently.

Prices will vary depending on trip length, fishing technique, as well as the type and size of the boat you booked. However, to give you an indication, the average boat size in Portsmouth NH is 36 ft and the most common vessel type is a Downeast.

According to customer reviews, Sea Time Fishing Charters, Vintage Fish Company, and Savage Charters are some of the most popular fishing charters in Portsmouth NH. Full list of top fishing charters in Portsmouth NH.

Sea Time Fishing Charters, Vintage Fish Company, and Savage Charters all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Portsmouth NH.

The best way to experience fishing in Portsmouth NH is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Portsmouth NH.

The most popular fish species you can target are Tuna (Bluefin), Cod, and Pollock. Top fishing techniques include deep sea fishing, bottom fishing, and heavy tackle. Offshore fishing, inshore fishing, and nearshore fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

Fishing in Portsmouth is mostly a warm weather affair. While the weather is still cold and windy you can target winter Flounder, the Piscataqua River is one of the places you can find them. Smelts are still going strong if you’re looking for some light action. Check availability for local fishing charters in Portsmouth NH.