Long Island – New York Fishing Report – October 12, 2017

The first couple opening days of black fish season has been producing lots of fish. The only problem is that many are shorts. In their place however, weakfish, bass and blues have been picking up the slack both off the beaches and in the open waters. False albacore are also becoming more common and are easy to spot with the birds always working the schools hard. As the temperatures keep falling, the fishing should get hotter.


At Hudson Park Bait and Tackle, John reports that the black fish season is off to an encouraging start but the water needs some colder weather to bring out the big fish. Anglers are finding plenty of action and there are some keepers mixed in. Fish have been weighing up to 7-8 pounds with one or two topping out at 10-12 pounds. Stripers are fishing well in the shallows around the New Rochelle area. Poppers and swim baits have been doing the trick as these fish are stretching out to 37-42 inches. There haven’t yet been many blitzes but with a little streak of cold air that could snap into effect quickly. The scup, as always continue to be tough to keep off your hook. While it’s always to catch something than nothing, they can make things more difficult for targeting black fish.

In Brooklyn, at Stella Maris, Stretch has also seen the continuation of the summer long porgy onslaught. Marine Park Bridge has been a hot spot for these as well as for blues. Rockaway Reef is holding some decent fish. The weakfish have been found in these waters as well especially on the night side. Sand worms in the dark have been a formula for success with a couple fish getting to an impressive size. False albacore are beginning to pop up almost daily on the bait schools and the birds are a dead giveaway to the action. Stripers and blues may also be in the mix and certainly are working in the waters off the mid buoy. Both jigs and bait will work here and although sizes have varied, there are some nice fish being picked.

Ashley from Bay Park Fishing Station reports that the black fish have been hitting hard as a couple boats reached their limit this week. Green crabs, as usual, are the baits of choice and helped to land a 5.5 pounder just days ago. Atlantic Beach and Rockaway Reef are good spots to try as anglers are finding early season action. Striped bass are falling victim to the troll as one boat picked up a 25.5-pound bass trolling a white Tony Maja bunker spoon in 45-feet of water. Nighttime is a good time to take a shot at finding bass too using eels or dark plugs.

South Shore

At Causeway Bait and Tackle, the weakfish action hadn’t been great but there are fish to be had. Black fish are fishing very well off the bridges but like elsewhere, it takes some patience to weed through the shorts. After the slow start of fluke season this year, it should be no problem. Bass are responding well to bait and chum in the Wantagh area but most of us are awaiting to surface to boil over for the fall run.

Paul from River Bay Outfitters reports that the warm water is really holding things up in the Oceanside waters. Schoolie bass can still be found in the back bays but there hasn’t been many big fish around lately. Everything is set up well as bait can be found all over. There are only a few missing pieces to engage the fall frenzy so keep the faith and be ready to spring into action. On the freshwater side, stocking of the ponds and rivers is set to take place this week finally. This should help put a jolt of energy back into the action so don’t be afraid to take some time away dipping a line in the sweet water for some early fall pickerel.

North Shore

In Kings Park, at Terminal Tackle, John Sr. verifies the number of shorts to keepers in the black fish game. They can be found in the waters 15-45-feet deep but the best fishing seems to be on the shallower end. Scup engulf the bottom and weakfish are all over at a rate that no one expected. Most of these fish are in or around the 2-pound range but they have been coming in at up to 5 pounds. One mammoth tipped the scales at 7.5 pounds. They have been found to be mixed in with the bluefish Ali drop offs close to the bottom below the dagger mouth blues. Holding close to the shore line, blues have been running through pretty well. The smaller ones have been close to shore but out in the triangle, big blues and keeper bass are being reeled in on diamond jigs. The fishing is for sure good enough to take some time for, as long as the wind allows you to throw the lines.

Jim from Miller Place Bait and Tackle reports that Rocky Point has been holding son striped bass recently. Pencil poppers and bunker chunks have helped capture their attention and there been a nice spread of size. Most are still schoolies but a keeper has popped in from time to time to keep everyone on their toes. Albies are also cruising through and find it tough to pass up a S&S Slim Fish. Bluefish are within casting range off Rocky Point Beach and are also out in the Middle Grounds along with some bass. Both are well within keeper size and seem to be holding steady over the last week or two.

East End

In Hampton Bays, at White Water Outfitters, Bryce weighs in that the false albacore have been making an exciting showing around the Inlet and seem to be a safe bet as long as you can find the birds. Stripers are also making their bid for being targeted as there have been a couple blitzes this week along the shorelines. Live eels at night are also working well as is bucktails during the day. Black fish are following the trend of holding strong in the shallower waters. Out on the South Fork however, some bigger fish have been landed and seem to be just a little more frequent than on the rest of the Island.

Fishing Forecast for Long Island

As we ease our way into the middle of October, all the signs are lining up just right for an action-packed fall run. Fish are showing up and the bait we’ve been seeing all summer long is holding strong. We just need the weather to play its part and drop the temperature a few degrees for things to really start happening. In the meantime, although lots of shot black fish are finding the hook right now, there are still some big fish out there so don’t try to hold off because you may miss the opportunity. Keep an eye on the birds and a line in the water as the hot October action could go into full swing at the drop of a hat.

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