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Merrimack River

Essex County, Massachusetts.

Merrimack River midpoint in Deerfield, New Hampshire.

Merrimack River ends in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

116.88 miles long (188.10 kilometers)

15076540.73 miles (24263347.87 sq kilometers)

About The Merrimack River

Merrimack River is a River located in Essex County, MA. Starting in Franklin, NH the Merrimack River flows 97 miles through Deerfield, NH before ending in Newburyport, MA. Find maps, fishing guides, weather and recreation information at Guidesly.

 

About Merrimack River, MA

The Merrimack River runs 110 miles (177km) long in the Northeastern United States. It rises from Central New Hampshire at the confluence of Winnipesaukee and Pemigewasset rivers and flows southward into Massachusetts. This flows from the northeast, near the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, until the river’s mouth on the Atlantic Ocean at Newburyport.

Encompassing a total of 5,010 square miles (13,000 km²), Merrimack River is the fourth largest watershed in New England, making it of great importance to two million inhabitants and home to many migratory fish species. During the 19th century, surrounding cities have taken advantage of the waterpower in producing the majority of New England’s textiles. Besides being an industrialization birthplace, the river is currently an important drinking water source for more than half a million people inhabiting six communities from Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Due to this continuous development, forests are now disappearing, and trees are replaced by pavements and roads. The impact of this unsustainable development is a polluted runoff which is the greatest threat to the Merrimack River watershed today. Thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to halt this, there are ongoing collaborative projects on water quality improvement, chemical spill prevention, and other conservation projects to protect local fishery and wildlife.

Merrimack River Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Merrimack River, MA

The Merrimack River offers endless opportunities for anglers because of its excellent fish population and clear waters with good current flow. The upper river has long stretches of calm water disrupted by shallow rapids. Known to be one of the most important rivers on the East Coast due to its conservation value for migratory river herring, this is a great place to eye on the popular catch, striped bass. Other great catches after stripers are carp, Atlantic salmon, bass (smallmouth and largemouth), and a variety of trout (brown, brook, and rainbow) that call these waters home.

On both the north and south sides of Merrimack River’s mouth, stone jetties flank. It results in a significant amount of water and sediments, creating huge swells and standing waves. These sediments create sandbars that produce rough water and a bottom structure suitable for stripers and baitfish (sand eels, squid, mackerel, and silversides).

Whichever among spinning, baitcasting, and fly fishing methods you’re using, your chance is high for a good bite here. But before locating a spot, it is helpful to look up and search for sea birds that will tell you where the feeding stripers are. Some commonly used striper-catching tools are flies, baits, and anything possible in between. These tools are handy for surfcasting but be cautious when doing it as tides can be very dangerous. Get familiar with which places this is safe to do, like the north end of Plum Island and Salisbury State Park, for example.

Since the river stretches long, there are many other fishing spots such as Old Chain Bridge, Joppa Flats, and the river mouth to choose from. The best ones can usually be accessed by boat, so it is recommended to hire a local guide.

Merrimack River Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

Fishing for warm water species can be consistent all year round, but most fishing spots are open usually from January to mid-October. However, some areas and species depend on their seasonality. January and February are still cold and chilly and the reward you can get from bravely hitting the water is trout and bass which are often found in warmer areas. During spring, carp, bass, trout, and salmon are the best catches. At the end of spring and summertime, you’ll be able to have all parts of the river as your playground as carp, salmon, and other bass species are active. This is due to the increase in temperature and abundance of food in both land and water. Whether you’re out for a good dinner or a big catch, these months will not disappoint you. Finally, when autumn starts until winter, carp or bass fishing is still available as these fish are active all year long.

Before heading out, always check on the weather bulletin or announcements to make sure you get your best fishing experience in this body of water.

Merrimack River Fishing Charters & Fishing Guides

address

Newburyport, MA

22ft - 2 guests

Starting as low as

$450

address

Winthrop, MA

25ft - 6 guests

Starting as low as

$550

Starting as low as

$425

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

Fishing for warm water species can be consistent all year round, but most fishing spots are open usually from January to mid-October. However, some areas and species depend on their seasonality. January and February are still cold and chilly and the reward you can get from bravely hitting the water is trout and bass which are often found in warmer areas. During spring, carp, bass, trout, and salmon are the best catches. At the end of spring and summertime, you’ll be able to have all parts of the river as your playground as carp, salmon, and other bass species are active. This is due to the increase in temperature and abundance of food in both land and water. Whether you’re out for a good dinner or a big catch, these months will not disappoint you. Finally, when autumn starts until winter, carp or bass fishing is still available as these fish are active all year long.

Before heading out, always check on the weather bulletin or announcements to make sure you get your best fishing experience in this body of water.

Merrimack River Weather Forecast

Fri