Pictured Above: East-ender Steve Figari with a 38 pound, land-based backbay striper.
Big stripers are still taking spoons and jigs in Nassau County.
Lots of peanut-bunker-fueled striper blitzes occurred this week in the surf. Fish are anywhere from rat-size to mid-30 inchers.
An almost 40-pound striper was taken in the back bay surf on the east end.
Phenomenal bottom fishing on the east end. Black sea bass, blackfish and cod are coming over the rails in good numbers. The black sea bass are supposed to be tremendous. Blackfish have mostly moved to deeper water.
A second trout stocking occurred, and the fish are now all settled.
Kathy from Freeport Bait & Tackle told me that Captain Ray of Carolann P Charters had really good action on all five of his trips over the weekend. They had a few big cow bass on white and green Tony Maja spoons and white mojos. To add to the action, they got spooled out by a thresher that hit a chrome spoon. It smoked out the drag on his Penn 114H. Unreal.
Captain Bill Webster was fishing to the east of the needle at Jones Beach and caught a 44-pound striper while trolling a chartreuse spoon during the outgoing tide. There were bunker in its belly.
Also east of the needle, between it and Tobay, Captain Gaide of “Freedom Boat Club” got into a fun bite of schoolies that a few hundred frantic birds clued him into. He caught a bunch of 22 to 26-inch bass. He then ran west of the inlet towards the round house by Debs and used a live bunker to catch a 43-pound striper.
Carl Cerruti brought in a seabass to weigh that he caught on the Laura Lee, fishing south of Fire Island. The fish went 3.2 pounds and took Carl’s rigged clam.
Kathy has lots of mojos in stock, including some new colors, like pink. She’s also got plenty of green and white crabs, clams, and live eels.
Paul at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin was out fishing almost every day before the cold snap and was finding fish often during those quick sessions. He had some a few days ago at the inlet. Apparently, the back bays in Nassau County are completely loaded up with schoolie bass. The fish bite hard during the day, but then the action completely ceases at night.
Paul visited a small stream in Connecticut the other day with some friends to switch it up with some freshwater fishing. His friends caught 1-5 fish each. Those trout were willing to feed on swung wet flies and streamers.
He’s headed upstate this week to get in on some of the awesome steelhead action that’s been going on.
Striper fishing has been fruitful for those anglers checking into Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside this past week. The “Lucky Catch” crew of Capt. Cliff, Upstate. Fred, Tractor Bob, Brooke and Robin trolled east of Debs last Wednesday in 55 feet of water. No bites came on the mojo rigs so they switched to green TGT and Reliable spoons. In a short while those produced three bass to 36.4 pounds. Another big girl was dropped close to the boat. These upstate guys got a great taste of what south shore striper fishing can be.
This past Friday, Tatiana Ochoa caught a keeper striped bass from Jones Beach using an a17 diamond jig with a green tail.
Frank Forster of the “Baby 6” fished in 50 feet of water south of Debs this Saturday, finding good striper action on diamond jigs.
The same day, Vincent Guadino of “It’s About Time” caught a 15-pound bass, then a thirty pounder, while fishing green/white TGT spoons in 60 feet of water south of Debs.
On Sunday, the “Navy Diver” crew fished south of Debs in 52 feet of water. They reeled in seven striped bass up to 40 inches while using chartreuse Mojos.
Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Long Island!
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale says there are still tons of bass in the schoolies-keeper sized range running along the beaches. They’re taking SP minnows, mag darters, diamond jigs, bucktails tipped with jig strips and poppers. Some bigger fish still roll through on occasion.
The boat guys are still crushing 20 to 30-pound bass while diamond jigging, and trolling mojos/bunker spoons. Topwater poppers and SP minnows have been getting smacked when the fish are in the upper water column.
Blackfish and seabass trips been providing consistent quality in both size and numbers of fish. Jigs and rigs with crab will get the tog; clams will get the seabass. Straightforward and lots of fun!
In the sweet water, you can find freshly stocked trout that are acclimated and ready to eat. Classic metal lures like phoebes, kastmasters, and little Cleos work great. The old school worm-bobber will do the trick as well. Fly guys are doing very well using streamers and small nymphs; even dry flies are getting slurped up. Vin Cagnina had a dozen before work the other day on olive wooly buggers.
Fall bass season is going really well, with lots of big fish on the feed. Bigger baitfish profiles like swim baits, crank baits and spinners will get the big girls’ attention this time of year. In the morning and evening hours, toss some poppers, frogs and buzz baits for crazy topwater action.
Sunfish and perch are schooled up thick, and they are biting readily on small jigs, worms, inline spinners, and streamers. Will Ganshaw was hammering the perch on Sunday using trout magnet jigs.
The shop is loaded with everything you’ll need for your fishing needs throughout the winter. Give them a follow on social media (@ChasingTailsBait & @fishlongisland) to see pics and updates during the week.
Over at Lindenhurst Bait & Tackle, both blackfish and striped bass are offering anglers consistent action. The reefs and wrecks outside Fire Island and Jones inlets have been holding better numbers. There have been loads of schoolies for surf fishermen casting small diamond jigs with teasers and poppers. Although there’s been alot of bass caught to the West, there’s still different bodies of fish moving along the coast daily. Word has it that there is another bunch of big bass heading here from the East.
On Tuesday Rich from the shop and Jeremy Kurtz trolled white mojos near the Macallister Grounds and hooked into two keeper bass. Other crews that drifted live eels in the Great South Bay also had several bass that day to 38 inches.
On Saturday the “Lana Ann” crew had some good action with live green crabs while anchored up for blackfish. Rich Pepa was “high hook” with three keepers to five pounds. Chris also boated a nice codfish and an 18-inch blackfish.
The “Reel Fun” crew led by Tom D’Angelo had a few keeper blackfish and the “Schaeffer City” crew led by Bob Karman had a few.
There’s still plenty of “tog” at the Robert Moses Bridge and Kismet Reef. For best results choose a piling and set anchor during slack tide, making sure that you’ll be within 10′-15′ of it when the tide picks up. The bite picks up during the first hour of tide change.
Dave Flanagan of North Island Fly guide service in Smithtown says the blackfish bite has been awesome. He and his charters have been catching very many tog. Flood tide and the beginning of the ebb seem to be the best tide stages for the bite.
There’s still a ton of schoolies around, with some bigger 28 to 32-inch fish in the mix.
He’s heading out now for a half-day fly trip for bass out of Huntington.
He’s afraid his dreams for late-season bonito are not going to be fulfilled at this point.
Contact him to arrange a trip via his website www.northislandfly.com.
Captain Stu Paterson of Northport Charters has been on a great blackfish bite in the LI Sound when the wind is down. He had a nice bite in the beginning of the week, with 55-degree water temps on Veteran’s Day. Hermit crabs, greens and clams all caught fish, and everyone on the boat went home with plenty of fresh filets. There were even some seabass in the mix.
Porgies have left for warmer water, but lots of schoolie bass in the bay and Sound are keeping rods bent. He’s been doing lots of light tackle catch and release with these bass. Whenever he sees birds working, he runs to them and there’s pretty much always bass underneath.
As long as the wind is down, Stu is going fishing.
Give him a call today at 631-707-3266 to make a reservation.
Steven at Wego Fishing Bait & Tackle in Southold says the fishing is doing the same thing as the temperature, cooling down. The beaches are quiet, and the surfcasters are quiet. Schoolies were still going by just before the cold snap, but the immediate aftereffects of this first prolonged freeze are yet unknown. A few guys are going out today to try for the blackfish, so hopefully there are still some hanging around.
Most boats are out of the water, but the charter boats will run through Thanksgiving. When it gets really cold, the blackfish will run elsewhere to deeper water, probably somewhere near Rhode Island or Block Island.
It was an absolutely awesome blackfish season; if we’re lucky we’ll get a little bit more local action out of it. You’re probably going to have to hop on a charter boat and take a little trip though.
Surf fishing guide Bernie Bass did well in the suds this week, catching a lot of stripers. Both daytime and nighttime bites have been producing good numbers, with a few better fish in the mix… nothing huge, but no complaints. He’s hoping all these smaller fish in the region bode well for a healthy future striper population.
Jeff at Whitewater Outfitters in Hampton Bays tells me the scene hasn’t changed much. There’s still lots of small fish on the beach, with some keepers in the mix. The Blackfishing has been decent. Tog are starting to move out into deeper water.
One notable exception to the mediocre fishing is Black Sea bass. It is off the charts! In deeper water (Jeff reckons about 150-200 feet), anglers are catching lots of very big fish. There seems to be plenty of solid by catch as well, like cod.
Another notable exception is the Bassholes Surfcasting crew in Hampton Bays. Nobody I know is catching anywhere near as many big stripers as these guys, and they’re releasing all of them! THAT’S WHAT’S UP. Keep up the great work you guys. Crew member Steve Figari landed a back bay bruiser he hooked this week, that went just under 40 pounds. The fish ate a gold/silver mag darter. It was revived and released. Hopefully another C&R angler can do the same down the road, after she’s grown even larger. Check out their Instagram page @bassholes_surfcasting to see some of their huge bass from this fall.
Kenny at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor says the effort out here is slowing down with the cold weather, but that hasn’t stopped the reports. One customer came in this morning and told him of consistent action on the beach from yesterday afternoon into the evening. Despite it being primarily short bass, the completely flat ocean must have made that a very pleasant session.
The other day there was an all-out blitz in Southampton. I was there, and it was insane. I’m told action occurred on a few different stretches of beach throughout the township.
Moriches Inlet was chock full of bass the other day, as evidenced by a drone video Kenny saw. The stripers are still around, so don’t throw in the towel just yet!
Blackfishing was very good this past week. The “Primetime” sailed out of Orient and on their first drop of the day, they stuck an 11 pounder. All the pictures that Kenny saw from that trip were of large fish. The fish have definitely moved into deeper water.
Kenny will be carrying crabs for a bit longer. He’ll be closed the week of Thanksgiving.
Rick from Harbor Marina of East Hampton reports the schoolie bass are still feeding off Montauk, but the interest in chasing them down is waning. If we get a bluebird afternoon it is still worth making a run and taking a few casts under the masses of birds off of the lighthouse.
Bottom fishing is going strong. A recent trip to Block Island yielded a boat limit of Blackfish and Seabass. A shout out to Captain Ken and First Mate John on the Montauk charter boat “My Joyce”. Good work guys! I find late season bottom fishing trips are most enjoyable on a Charter Boat that is being run regularly into the off season.
Our South Shore beaches are still seeing some surfcasting action with schoolie bass although we are seeing a very low keeper ratio.
Remember to clean up all your tackle before putting it away to avoid rusty hooks and corrosion to your reels and rods. I like soaking gear in a bucket of soapy water followed by a good rinse down.
Most tackle shops will be open and accepting gear right up until holiday time for winter tune ups.
Captain Chris Albronda, first mate of Double D Charters in Montauk, says the weather made for some tough fishing this week. The blitzes continue, however, with striped bass being the star of the show. Albies and bonitos are still hanging in there though.
Bottom fishing is the main focus on the Double D. Black seabass are plentiful and very large, and the by catch has consisted primarily of cod. Blackfishing is also excellent and shows no signs of slowing down. Bottom fishing is about as good as it gets right now
Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Long Island!
Long Island Fishing Forecast
That was a cool week, in regards to the fishing and the temperature.
I actually got swallowed by the ocean and got my waders filled the other day. Luckily the water was NOT very cold. If those freezing nights didn’t end the run, I reckon we’ve still got some really productive weeks ahead. There are some better-sized keepers being caught these days, so a big ocean bass could be imminent.
On Sunday, after the north wind flattened the ocean overnight and crept to a breeze, the water became incredibly clear. You would have no idea there were thousands of stripers just beyond the small, cresting waves unless you were flying right above them. Luckily, I have a drone, and was able to locate a seemingly infinite amount of schoolie bass; I even spotted some big girls and stalked them for a while, just to observe their behavior. My friend Matt and I casted small soft plastics and flies into the gin-clear sea for a few fish that day. Check out the video of my drone’s perspective on my YouTube channel: SouthForkSalt.
I don’t know exactly what it was that set off the bomb the next day, but I’m assuming the north wind cooled some back bay waters, which sent the peanuts running. I heard of peanut bunker blitzes all over Long Island, in Connecticut, and maybe even New Jersey. The ones that occurred right in my front yard provided the best surf action I have seen all fall. The south wind had built the sea, providing a formidable swell. Piles of peanuts poured over the falls. Hundreds of seagulls were picking them up right off the water’s surface, and stripers were smacking the juvenile menhaden 5 feet into the air with their tails. Fish took flies within a few feet of the shoreline, just a rod’s length away. I’ll be releasing that video later today.
Those are the days I live for. I’m looking forward to more, and I do expect to see quite a few of them before mid-December. The gannets haven’t been a huge part of any serious blitzes (that I’ve seen) this year, so I’m counting on that and for there to be some big fish below them.
After the first freeze, I start looking for white perch. We have some of the biggest white perch in the world here on Long Island. I’m always out there looking for a state/world record. I unwittingly released one a few years back that would have….
Ahhh forget it. Maybe you’ll hear the story of it one day. Maybe I’ll find her again. I love them.
I know it’s cold, but now is not the time to put your gear away. A couple quick anecdotes to keep you motivated:
I think it was 2015, a small school of herring came into the hamptons surf on December 15 and gave away their position. I caught five of them. That night, on a whim, I ran west to Jones Beach. I didn’t know the area, or the structure, and it was a very dark night. The inlet was about 2 miles west of me. I set up and started chunking. Each fish provided three chunks, for fifteen total. With only a few other casters out, and no telltale signs of them hooked up, I felt as if I was casting into deserted waters. I actually started hooking up pretty quickly though. The hits were light, but the fights were intense; those fish were jacked up in that icy water. Every chunk got eaten and every fish was above 30 inches. I landed 14 fish over a few hours and lost what would have been my biggest.
The following year I was super diligent because of that bite. I brought my surf rod with me when I went perch fishing. If I didn’t hook any perch, I’d always head to the salt for a few casts. I believe it was December 12 when I got the perch skunk and found some beautiful water on the way home. I fly fished a pit that had a wonderful slick running through its rip to the open ocean. Nothing. I switched to my spinning rod, threw on a large mullet-colored mag darter, and sent a cast beyond the bar into the mild riptide’s curve. It landed; I waited. A few seconds later, I collected slack and gave it a quick twitch. BOOM! My rod bent over with the weight of the biggest fish I’d hooked all year. The fish hit far out, my lure had big hooks, and I was using a soft rod; the odds of a good hookset were unfavorable, and the fish popped off after about 5 seconds. That’s one of my biggest heartbreaks, and a good reason why my gear doesn’t get hung up until the fat lady’s sung.
So, if you’re thinking about calling it quits, don’t you say that. Don’t you ever say that. Fish. Fish as long as you can. For the love of god, cherish it.
Seriously though. Tight lines, ‘til next week.