Loon Pond Outfitters E-mail
Tuesday, 21 August 2012 22:32

HOPE Striper kayak

As with most coastal areas of the US, kayak fishing in the northeast, New England, is growing rapidly. It’s no wonder, with its rich history of fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. Not to mention the thousands of miles of ocean, island and estuary coastline plus innumerable productive lakes and rivers to fish. Sure, wintertime freezes, but there is always ice fishing to be done.

Hope Eagleson hails from Hillsborough, New Hampshire. She is one of the few, perhaps the ONLY female kayak fishing guide in the New England region. Hope is involved with a broad array of outdoor activities. The thread of continuity that runs through them all is her penchant to lead, teach and share what she knows about the outdoors.

Hope perchAs Eagleson grew up in the rural areas of New Hampshire, her father taught her outdoor skills as is customary within families of the area. She now shares those skills via her guide business as well as working as a volunteer and as a paid instructor. The NH Fish and Game Department sponsor a very successful “Let’s Go Fishing” project. As an instructor for Let’s Go Fishing, Eagleson appreciates that project is ongoing and offers free fishing lessons to all NH schoolchildren.

Another important instructional avenue for Eagleson is “Being and Outdoor-Woman.” As she describes it, the BOW program targets those women who did not have the advantage of family background in outdoor pursuits. For BOW, Eagleson teaches fly-casting on the streams of the Great North Woods, kayak and float-tube fishing in pristine mountain lakes and even dressing out big game. (The program uses State-donated roadkill. Last year they dressed seven deer and one black bear.) Of course, she also covers how-to clean, filet and cook a variety of fish through her classes.

With a fleet of kayaks including Native Watercraft, Perception and Ocean Kayaks, plus the mandatory New England Lund Canoes, Eagleson is ready to take individuals and small groups out in just about any fishing habitat in the area. For kayak fishing, she prefers an Aquabound paddle. She is licensed in New Hampshire as well as Massachusetts, so her guiding range is extensive.

Eagleson started kayak fishing when she realized its potential to access a lot of different areas. Also, she says, “I just like kayaking.” She is equally at home using light tackle for inland yellow perch as she is in the heavy currents of the back bays, trolling tubes for striped bass.

“For Stripers I use a Quantum Olympus Rod & Reel set, they are medium/heavy and eight feet long. I like to have long enough rods to get around the bow & stern of my kayak. I fish in the rocks and seaweed a lot, so a stiffer rod works well and there’s no question with hook set when the fish hits.” 

HOPE Striper

A recent go-out at Odiorne Point area in NewHampshire provided this tale: “My friend Ian asked me if I wanted to fish with him and his father at Odiorne, in Rye, NH. I was late and had to paddle hard to catch up. We fished for mackerel for a while. I caught a few mackerel and decided to hook one up and head for the rocks. I lowered my fish into the water and let it swim freely around the rocks and seaweed, anywhere from 3'-10' depths. We were all in close enough proximity to each other and all of a sudden, BAM! My rod bent, my kayak swung and the fight was on! The fish gave a good fight and tried to get into the rocks. I retrieved the 32" striper, with a huge grin.

“At that time the guys were done and headed home. When we arrived at the boat landing, everyone ask about the fish, and you better believe I piped up to tell who caught it!”

 

Hope Eagleson can be contacted via her guide business:

Loon Pond Outfitters
Hillsborough, NH
603-464-5405
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Guiding Services: Warmwater, Coldwater,
Saltwater, Ice Fish, Fly Fish, Watercraftt

 

 

 

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