Conway Lake is a 1,316-acre natural lake with a dam with a maximum depth of 45 feet, located in Carroll County in eastern New Hampshire. The lake is located in the towns of Conway and Eaton, just to the east of the White Mountains, and is part of the Saco River watershed.
Species in Conway Lake include the following warm-water freshwater fish: chain pickerel, hornpout (brown bullhead), landlocked salmon, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department manages the lake for landlocked salmon. Willey Brook feeds Rose’s Cove in the past in the early spring was a hot spot for the locals to do their smelt netting.
Lures of choice for me for targeting the Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass are jig heads in the 1/8 oz weight range using gulp (Minnow Grub (2 – 3 inches) in White or a Minnow (1 – 4 inches) in a Smelt Pattern. Also I like to use a soft plastic Curly Tail Grub in White as well. I target the Rock Piles or Rock Points for the bass. When the water is slightly warm I target the depths of 12 – 16 foot deep areas.
For Chain Pickerel I like to target them in the Lily Pad areas of the lake. The Pickerel are just laying under the Lily Pads waiting on small bait fish, frogs, ducklings, etc. to approach their ambush spot. Here I like to use a heavy soft plastic (Z-Man Pop Frogz) in White or Green Pumpkin on a worm hook (Gamakatsu Super Line EWG (3/0)) with no weight. I use a method that some might consider Skittering. I just cast this set-up over various spots in the area. Let it rest and then either pop the Frogz or drag it across the Lily Pads. Letting it rest occasionally. I’m just watching for that surface explosion and setting the hook for some exciting Pickerel fun.
Usually this time of the year when I’m on Conway Lake the Rainbow Trout and the Landlocked Salmon are pretty deep. So I’m trying to figure out how to target them with success. Some of the Anglers that do have success for these two species are targeting them in the early spring near the public beach/landing portion of the lake.
Through the years, Conway Lake has been a source for recreation. There is one public beach located off of Mill Street in Conway. The lake has one public campground, Cove Camping Area, which is located in the Eaton portion of the lake. The lake is utilized for swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
The lake is home to herons, loons, eagles, deer, snakes, stinkpot turtles, painted turtles and snapping turtles. According to older residents, there exists a very old and very large snapping turtle named Pork Chop, who is so-called because a summer resident claims to have fed the turtle pork chops each year. Stories of Ol' Pork Chop have been used successfully to coax children out of the water, but there have been no known snapping turtle attacks reported (aside from those on unsuspecting ducklings). Residents of the inlet on the north end of the lake call this turtle "Scar" due to a prominent laceration across his face. Aside from pork chops, Scar appears to favor leftover pizza crusts in supplement to his typical lake fare.
One day while targeting Pickerel at the north end of the lake, I must have been visited by Ol’ Pork Chop. I had been given the opportunity for a huge Snapping Turtle raise right next to the Kayak. This same area is also known to have nesting Black Ducks in the early spring. So the family of ducks was still in this area just paddling around and not concerned about this angler at all.