Long Island Fishing Report – October 8, 2020

The author with a slot-size striper from this week.

Montauk is red hot. Albie and striper blitzes abound, with “acres of fish.”

Big sea bass and porgies biting all over the island. One boat caught over a thousand porgies on three individual trips this week.

Huge variety to be caught while bottom fishing. Weakfish are on the move.

Surf scene is very productive, with sandeel imitations producing consistently. 

Yellowfin tuna bite continues!

Slot-sized stripers out east and out west.

Huge makos caught this week.

Frank from Bernie’s Bait and Tackle in Brooklyn says the porgies are still running, although we are starting to see fall temps coming on. Guys are still fishing for scup though, and they are available. 

Bottom fishing in general is a complete mixed bag right now. Porgies sharks and blowfish are common catches. Kingfish are biting, and rudderfish have been an interesting bycatch this week. Weakfish are mixing up the bag as well. Anything is possible right now in the saltwater. Although fluke season is closed, guys are still reeling in the occasional straggler.

Bluefish have been moving in steadily, appearing more often. They mostly range from 5 to 10 pounds. There’s no consistency for them in Jamaica Bay, but some boats that head out of the bay have been finding a school or two to provide some momentary action.

Striped bass are starting to make moves. The action occurs in the late evening primarily. The guys fishing eels and bunker chunks are doing well. Guys on the beaches have been popping them up also. Frank’s been selling lots of poppers this week.

Bass anglers with boats are trolling mojos in the channels, looking for slot-sized fish.

There’s a hodgepodge of fish available right now, and you never know what might just take the end of your line. Warm water species are starting to fade, and the bluefish/striper bite is picking up steam.

Albies receive honorable mention, but the action is very unlike years past. It’s been extremely slow to date.

Guys are out black fishing, and the DEC is looking out for poachers since the season has not yet opened.

Moving forward, the weather will determine the bite. If the weather isn’t too hardcore, bottom fishing should continue to produce. A storm could shut it down, putting mainly bluefish and stripers on the table for the rest of the season. It remains to be seen.

Sounds like you need to get out there now while the getting is good.

Josh at Gypsea Charters in the Rockaways says bass fishing remains consistent aboard both the 6-pack Gypsea and the open boat Gypsea Star. The past week saw many nice striped bass hitting the decks, all caught on live bait. The fish were mainly slot-sized, with the occasional over being released back into the water. Josh anticipates the bass bite to be in full force within the next two weeks, as the water temps and abundance of bait invoke the promise of another great fall run.

A nice bass caught aboard Gypsea Charters.

They’ll primarily be black fishing aboard the Gypsea Star moving forward, by reservation only. They can accommodate a private party of up to 18. The 35 foot Gypsea is available for bass and blackfish trips for groups of up to six.

Paul at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin ran a trip to fish the Sunken Meadow saltwater this week. They fished for about an hour and a half until the tide bottomed out. Fifteen guys got involved, and they had about ten bass between them in the 24-26 inch range. A couple snapper blues took flies as well. It wasn’t exactly a banner outing, but some guys caught fish, and it was interesting for Paul to see how much the structure there has changed in the past year.

Some anglers headed up to the Housatonic this week to fish for trout. Reports state that the water was low but the fishing was great.

Back home, the Connetquot has been fishing well. Other local waters should be stocked any day now.

The place to be right now is Montauk. The guides out there have been extremely happy when they’ve been able to get out. The fall run is on out there, with albies and stripers causing mayhem.

Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside received a report from Rico, Anthony and Joe of “Goldfish.” This weekend. On Sunday they trolled the AB bridge and landed three keeper striped bass in a half hour. The bass went 28, 29 and 31 inches.

John McMurray of “One More Cast Charters” in Oceanside had another great week on the tuna grounds. He’s been crushing yellowfin at the Triples when the weather cooperates. 

The back bays are loaded with peanuts, and they’re keeping the bass chewing. Schoolies abound, with the occasional slot striper in the mix. Loads of 5- to 7-pound bluefish are all over them as well. It’s mostly very shallow water fishing, so get on it while the getting’s good!

Kathy from Freeport Bait & Tackle says the bass are biting well around the local bridges. It’s mostly schoolies, and guys are picking them at night on live eels and bunker chunks. Kathy hasn’t heard of any big bass yet. There have been a few weakfish reported from the bridge areas too though.

Jones inlet is a bluefish hot spot right now. Medium-sized fish are biting often, and they’re perfect eating size.

Captain Ray Pasieka of Carolann P Charters took 4 clients out to chase giant mako sharks this Friday. They caught a monster 485 pound male mako. I know he’s had them on the mind since early September. The shark took a fresh bunker from Freeport bait and tackle, just an hour and fifteen minutes after Ray bought it. He was 32 miles southeast of Jones inlet. The shark jumped 15 feet into the air six times.

The next day, Ray returned to the same spot and caught two more makos to 125 pounds. A 200 pounder was circling the boat, but never took the bait.

Lots of guys are out scouting for blackfish right now. Everybody is really excited about the soon-to-be-open tog season. Kathy has plenty of rigs and green crabs in stock.

A surprise pup mako caught and released on a recent trip aboard the Laura Lee.

Starting 10/13, Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport will be sailing daily for striped bass from 7-2 due to high demand. The bite has been great lately. The offshore wreck fishing has been excellent as well. Trips are producing big porgies, jumbo sea bass, red hake and some quality cod.

This coming Monday, Columbus Day, they’re running out for a whale, dolphin and bird tour from 11-3.

Blackfish trips will start up next week (10/17), and there will be a few high stakes pools this year. If you’ve got hot hands on the tog grounds come 11/13, consider hopping aboard for the opportunity to win a few thousand bucks.

Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson has been catching a boatload of fish in Mattituck this week. The fish are stacked out there, and lots of Porgies and Seabass are keeping rods bent. They’re even getting the occasional slot striper. One bass came over the rails that was 34.5 inches and probably high teens. They had to cancel a couple recent trips due to inclement weather, but when they’re sailing they’re catching.

Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport says the fishing has been good this week. Jigging has been red hot, with a good mixed bag coming from the bottom. Porgies and some big sea bass are usually at the end of the line. Weakfish are moving through too, so Mark has seen some big ones this week.

There’s a nice bass bite going on, with lots of bluefish in the mix. Blues go from 4-7 pounds. 

The north shore saw a quick spat of albies this week, but nothing really to speak of since. They’ve been real spotty this year.

There is a wide variety of species spread out throughout the harbor.

There’s a smorgasbord of baits in the harbor as well. The bunker come in all sizes, and Mark said the walnut-sized ones are prevalent. All the different sized fish seem to school together though, so you won’t find much size differential. It’s either peanuts together, walnuts together, or adults schooling. Butterfish are in the harbor also!

Mark’s been out in Montauk a bunch this week, getting into some awesome fishing. He’s had a number of fish in the thirty pound class, and a couple to the high 40s even. At one point, he was out about a mile off the light, and big bluefin tuna starting breaching through the schools of bunker.

Captain Stu Paterson of “Northport Charters” says the fishing off Eaton’s Neck busted wide open before Wednesday’s gale winds. Bluefish from 6-8 pounds were chasing bay anchovies, spearing and peanut bunker all over the surface, and the birds made them very easy to find. Thin-profile tins like deadly dicks were working well.

Surprisingly, still no albies! With all the bait around, they should probably be here by now.

Nevertheless, the rods remain bent with some excellent porgy fishing. Scup from 1-3 pounds are coming over the rail, and there are more sea bass in the mix now. Big porgies and sea bass are even hitting jigs intended for bluefish, which is a ton of fun.

Adult bunker are still in the bays and harbors. There are schoolie stripers lurking nearby, and Stu has been picking away at them with pearl swim shads and tins.

Stu’s scheduling sea bass, porgy and blackfish charters now. Give him a call at 631-707-3266 to book a reservation.

Tyler at Wego Fishing Bait & Tackle in Southold says the creeks have been providing a consistent bite for the shore bound, light tackle fishermen. There are stripers and weakfish back there, feeding mainly on spearing. Occasionally a school of bunker will mosey into the mess, but your best imitation is something small. Next best bet for a good striper bite is the Sound beaches, if you’re willing to grind it out.

Weakfish and porgies are scattered throughout the bay. There are some bluefish left at Jessups. Tyler says some stripers will eventually make their way there to mix it up, but it’s tough to predict exactly when.

At the Gut, there’s been a ton of bluefish to about ten pounds. The other morning there were lots of bass in there as well. There are many schools of bunker in the Sound that predator fish are pushing around. They’re making for a quality topwater schoolie bite throughout the Sound.

It seems like one random school of false albacore will show up daily in the Gut. Most of the albie action is east of Gardiners, but you could potentially hook a hardtail if you fish the Gut.

Sea bas are up in the Sound and around Plum Island. The tog bite is pretty much excellent right now, but it’s strictly catch and release. DEC is patrolling pretty heavily for tog poachers. The Sound season opens this Sunday.

Surfcasting guide Bernie Bass found some consistency in the suds this week. He had decent numbers of small bass during both the daytime and night tides. There’s plenty of bait around and it should only get better as more decent fish continue to file in. Bernie’s expecting even more consistency in the coming week. Before you know it, they’ll all be gone, so carpe diem!

Captree’s Laura Lee had an insane week. The porgy bite was nothing short of epic, as they boated over a thousand big scup thrice this week. The full-day trippers got to experience that bite. They also got to experience some other ridiculously good fishing opportunities. Here is this Monday’s tally for the full-day trip: 54 tuna, 1 mako shark, 17 bonito, 115 big ocean blues (full boat limit), 425 giant porgies, 57 sea bass and then a few other species.

Other trips are producing stripers, blues and weakfish. 

Bottom fishing trips are catching a nice mixed bag of blowfish, porgies, sea bass, kingfish, weakfish, sea robins, mackerel and fluke.

A good number of false albacore hit the deck, as did some blackfish and flounder.

Night trips are producing slot stripers, and good numbers of weakfish and bluefish. Jose from Saltwaters Tackle in West Islip says there’s a solid bite for the local surfcasters on the beaches. Blues will bite throughout the day, and you’ll get most of your stripers in the early morning before sunrise. Some guys have been catching on diamond jigs during that early morning bite. Surf guys going out at night are getting into some decent bass, but there’s nothing too consistent yet. The east end seems to have gotten the consistency, and the central south shore is waiting on some more fish to move in.

Local boat guys are doing well on sea bass when they can get outside. The inshore bite consists of mainly porgies and seabass on the reefs. There are still snappers around, so the inshore guys are having some fun with those.

Jose says the fall run hasn’t kicked into full gear just yet. Any day it could turn on like someone flipped a switch.

Kenny at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor says Montauk is the talk of the town. It’s been crazy out there, at different times of day. The mornings and evenings have been extremely good from boats. Guide David Blinken posted a picture on Facebook of literally acres of fish on the surface. The schools are absolutely massive. 

Stripers and albies are the main culprits out there. Kenny hasn’t heard much about bluefish lately. These fish are in migration mode, moving along the south side steadily. Kenny’s gotten reports from just about every beach from Montauk all the way to Shinnecock. The fish along the sand beaches seem to be on sandeels, as they’re taking anything skinny. Metals, soft plastics, bucktails…. If it’s skinny they’ll eat it. These are almost entirely schoolie fish, from shorts to slots.

No real reports from the bay this week. Everybody is gearing up for tog season though, which opens Sunday in the Sound. Down south of Orient, though, the season is delayed by a few days, til October 15.

Kenny’s got a great inventory for the fish that are here and the ones that are coming. Make sure you’re stocked up!

Rick from Harbor Marina of East Hampton reports:

Depending on what day you fished over the past week, you either had a good shot at some albies or not. To date, we have not seen the same volume of speedsters that we have enjoyed over the past few years. The false albacore have been super-abundant offshore, and we may still get a nearshore run after this stretch of strong winds.

The fishing on the east end has been pretty good for the most part. Anglers putting in their time are discovering productive tides for diamond jigging or trolling up a robust assortment of striped bass. Mixed schools of bluefish and schoolie striped bass are making a decent showing off of Montauk Point and along the Fishers Island chain. The light tackle interest has been somewhat off the hook.

Bottom fishing remains strong for porgies and sea bass. Some of the more popular spots are getting picked of bigger fish, after 4 months of steady pressure.

All eyes are on the upcoming blackfish opener. Remember, this Sunday’s opener is for the LI Sound west of Orient Point only. Last year a lot of guys cheated on the demarcation line and I wouldn’t be surprised if the East End DEC boat is out and about on Sunday. Hopefully the weather gods will cooperate with a nice day for bottom fishing.

Chris from Double D Charters in Montauk says the fall run is in full swing! Striped bass of all sizes are creating ferocious blitzes that are growing daily. The birds make them easy to find, and the show is just absolutely epic.

Black Sea bass fishing has been equally awesome, with a lot of knuckleheads being caught on one ounce jigs. A mix of jumbo porgies can be acquired along with them.

The commercial guys are catching a lot of quality tautog, so Chris is super stoked for blackfish season to get underway.

Shark fishing is still on as well. Monster blue sharks and thick makos abound, and there are still some threshers in the area.

Montauk’s Viking Fleet is reeling up a lot of huge sea bass this week. Knot heads over five pounds were coming over the rail regularly and winning pools.

Porgy fishing was also pretty awesome. It required lots of moving around to stay on the bite, but quality scup to over three pounds were taken.

Cod was the other mainstay this week. Multiple good catches were made, like Andrew Keefe’s 12.5 pound pool-winner. Benjamin McGreevy won his edible pool on Tuesday with a 21 pound cod.

Wind kept the leet ashore beginning Wednesday, but the fishing should still be prime once this blow lays down.

Long Island Fishing Forecast

Here’s some cool stuff from this week.

Peter Leary took a trip to Shinnecock this weekend to target the albies that haven’t showed in a month. He nailed the timing, though, and had his first albie of the year, taken on a fly rod.

Steve of Rise Fishing Co. headed up to Pulaski, NY to fish the salmon river. King and coho salmon are running upstream right now, and the brown trout and steelhead are tailing them, eating the kings’ eggs. Steve and friends went fly fishing, using mainly egg patterns and wooly buggers, nothing fancy. Sergio Diaz landed a 42-inch king salmon on the first day, an absolute beast of a fish that made him chase it a half mile down river. The guys put up good numbers of coho, several chunky brown trout from 5 to 15 pounds, and a few good steelhead from 6 to 10 pounds.

Back home on the South Fork sand beaches, sand eels are the bait of choice. I’ve been catching lots of schoolie bass, with a few keepers mixed in. Stephen Lobosco has been high hook, catching fish on nearly every tide, up to about 17 pounds. I haven’t heard of any bigger fish caught this week, but there are plenty of slot stripers to go around. From what I gather, western beaches are experiencing signs of an impending sandeel bite as well.

Out east in Montauk, the surf guys are getting some shots at albies, which is way more than I can say for anywhere west of there. The blitzes I’ve seen on the beach are stunning as well. I’ll see if I can get some cool drone shots of that for you guys this week.

These winds have been crazy. I didn’t even bother fishing the surf last night, especially since I got my fill of bass in the morning. The surf got pretty huge and angry, the sweep was ripping, and the water was filled with weeds. The fish were biting though, so it was good fun. The wind only made the surf and sweep worse, but it switched directions overnight.

The change in wind completely knocked down the ocean. The water is a bit opaque, but the fish are still eating through it. The surface is pretty much flat, so I’m going to be doing some fly fishing while it’s down. The wind forecast is a bit iffy this week, so you gotta seize the day when you can.

This week I’m going to be fishing sunrise and sunset, and then throwing eels during the night. I want a big fish by next week, at least twenty pounds. It’s time for it.

I’m going to make a run to Montauk, and keep an eye on my local inlet, to hopefully intercept some albies.

This week will be my biggest outpouring of fishing effort of the year so far. I recommend you follow suit if you want to dance with some serious fish.

Godspeed. Tight lines.

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