April 18, 2013 Chris Paparo
Forecast: New York - Long Island
Striped bass season open April 15th , and activity increases as you travel west
Flounder bite continues to increase as water temps rise
With the April 15 striped bass opener, the spring fishing season is underway. Water temps are still on the cool side, but the action has been steadily improving.
A call into Cow Harbor Bait and Tackle revealed that the flounder and bass action has improved as the temps in Huntington and Oyster Bays have warmed. An influx of bait has moved into areas to the west, which means we should be seeing more bass as well.
John at Terminal Tackle informed me that, although the action is on the slow side, some anglers have caught their limits of flounder in areas such as Huntington Bay and Duck Island.
Robert at Hi Hook Bait and Tackle was also getting reports of flounder in Huntington Bay and around Duck Island. He has also gotten reports of schoolies being caught on plugs and worms in the back of harbors.
Robert from L.I. Outdoorsman recently returned from a flounder trip with Capt. Dan on the Island Current and not only did he catch his limit, so did the entire boat. In addition to the flounder, they were also catching many schoolies to 20 inches on worms. Shore bound anglers were also scoring well with the schoolies. The offshore bite was also very good with anglers catching ling, and cod and pollock to 30 pounds on local wrecks.
John at Hudson Park Bait and Tackle reported a better flounder bite this week with plenty of limits with fish in the 14-16” range. He also said there is some great light tackle striped bass action with fish being caught on grubs, rubber shad, and bucktails. A couple of fish to 20lbs have also been in the mix.
John at Jack’s Bait and Tackle reported some very good striped bass action with fish to 31inches in Turtle Cove and Little Neck Bay on baits and lures. Anglers have also been scoring with some nice flounder catches in East Chester Bay.
Pat at Island Bait and Tackle reported some nice catches of flounder to 3 pounds from Orchard Beach Lagoon on worms. There are also lots of schoolies being caught on flies and plugs, with occasional keepers in the mix. Up in the Hudson near Tarrytown and Croton Point Park, anglers have been scoring with a mix of bass and perch.
Mark at Bay Park Fishing Station said anglers have been catching some decent flounder in the ocean, and those drifting clams are catching some bass as well. On the offshore front, anglers have had a decent cod bite on wrecks about 40 miles out of Montauk.
Causeway Bait and Tackle said that action on the saltwater scene was slow, hopefully with warmer days in the forecast, the action will improve. On the freshwater side, fishing has been great. Anglers have been scoring with bass and trout in local lakes and ponds.
Frank at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle said that flounder had started out slow, but the action has really improved with many anglers catching their limit and releasing additional keepers to 2.5 pounds. Worms and mussels have been the key baits. Bunker have arrived in the bay, and several anglers have been soaking chunks in hopes of catching some bluefish. The freshwater scene has heated up with anglers scoring with largemouth bass and trout on swimmers, PowerBait, night crawlers and rubber baits. Carman’s River, West Lake, Bubbles Falls and Rattle Snake Creek have been producing nice trout, and West Brook Lake and Mill Pond are seeing nice largemouth bass.
Bryce at White Water Outfitters mentioned that there has been some flounder action in both Quogue and Shinnecock Canals, as well as some schoolie bass action in the back tidal creeks. He did receive some reports from local gill-netters that have reported seeing some bluefish, bass, weakfish and even a couple fluke in their nets off the ocean beach.
A call into Star Island Marina let me know that on Monday there was a good cod bite at the SW ledge, otherwise all is quite.
Paulies in Montauk is said action has been almost non-existent and he is anxiously awaiting some warmer weather.
Fishing forecast for Long Island
With most places still experiencing cool temperatures, I would target warmer back bays in search of flounder, keeping in mind chumming is key to putting some fish in the cooler. For the bass anglers, the action to the west has improved a lot since last week, and that action is going to steadily continue east. Back bays and tidal creaks are perfect places to target early season striped bass. Small artificial such as shad, tins and plugs would be my preferred lures. And lets not forget about our freshwater fishing scene, as trout and largemouth bass have been hitting a wide variety of lures and bait.