Above: A stout tog caught on a recent trip with Gypsea Charters.
Big stripers in Montauk and the inlets. Highly inconsistent fishing, for the most part. Better consistency to be found along the North Shore.
Some bass are still in the back bays.
Good blackfishing in the Sound.
Great tuna fishing out of Nassau County.
Real good porgy and sea bass fishing.
Frank from Bernie’s Bait and Tackle in Brooklyn reports:
Guys are still looking for tuna locally. They’re still finding them, but farther out than they’ve been for the past few months. Ambrose Channel seems to be the closest they’re appearing, and the action is definitely slowing down.
There are more schoolie bass showing up in different groups throughout the area. The action seems to be very spotty and inconsistent. One day they’ll pop up here for a half-hour, then not show up again for a week. That seems to be the story everywhere, as they’re getting caught in all sorts of locales, but with no regularity. The fish are small for the most part. It seems like a couple weeks ago, the prospects of good striper fishing were much higher.
Albies are still showing their faces, but with a similar consistency to the striped bass. They’re up and then they’re down in the blink of an eye. If you’re there, you might have one or two shots at casting into them before they disappear. The albie game right now is a huge part luck.
Bluefish seem to be on the same pattern as well: sporadic, here and there, quick action.
Porgy fishing has remained solid on the party boats. Frank said I should pick up porgy fishing since I suck at bass fishing lately. There are quality scup around, and lots of them. The bycatch is fun too, with small sea bass, sea robins, weakfish and dogfish. It’s entertaining fishing.
Blackfish numbers are good lately, but the size is lacking. Guys will catch 15-20 tog and not have a single keeper. Guys targeting them from shore are waiting for some colder temps to push some white chins into the rocks.
Frank says that overall, the fishing has been spotty from Jersey to Montauk the past week or two. Guys who are on the bite are doing best on poppers and tins, as evidenced by those lures flying off the shelves lately.
Rockfish Charters in Brooklyn is still getting into some great bass fishing, mostly on live bunker. Most of our trips this week were cancelled due to inclement weather, but tomorrow is open and available. There should still be some good fish out there.
Call/text Capt. Kyle or Rich to reserve a spot: 347-661-4501.
Josh at Gypsea Charters in the Rockaways reports:
Blackfishing has been up and down, as the water temps remain a bit on the warm side. We had some good days, and some tough days; it should only get better from here. Striped bass fishing has picked up again, and we are available for private charters targeting them. We’ll continue to run open boat every weekend for blackfish.
Text or call Josh at 516-659-3814 for info/booking.
Paul at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin fished upstate this week right before the rain, thinking he’d get into some good trout fishing. Unfortunately, there were only about five fish caught between the ten guys he was out there targeting them with. The fish were mostly small too. Once the rain began pouring, it was game over. Those rivers upstate should be blown out for the next four or five days.
Back on the island, the LI Flyrodders fished the Connetquot with a good group of anglers. Some did better than others, but the fishing overall was just okay. Most people didn’t do very well.
Captain Frank in Long Beach has been finding bass along the sod banks on moving tides during low light.
Captain Brian in Atlantic Beach has been tossing big deceivers with sinking lines along the bridges, and finding some decent stripers.
The guys in the surf say that one day it’s good, and one day it’s awful. There has been no consistency. The bites occur quickly, and then the fish are gone, and no-one knows where or when they’ll pop up again.
Paul says the seal situation in Montauk is getting pretty bad. There are so many of the huge ones who just sit there and watch you, waiting for your rod to bend so they can swoop in and steal the meal.
Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside reports:
Capt. Matt Roth took Mike and Chris out to Rockaway Reef Sunday to target blackfish. Wind against tide made for tough conditions, but they were able to hold just off the high structure, and get a pick of fish to 4.5 pounds. They limited out by 1 p.m. on green crabs and white leggers.
The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:
Book your spot on this weekend’s 24-hour tuna trip, taking place from 4pm Saturday to 4pm Sunday. The past few trips have been insane, with the night bite producing lots of fish. The deck of the boat was just covered in tuna carcasses by the morning of their last trip. They even pulled up some mahi while they were out there.
Point Lookout’s Superhawk reports:
The crummy weather kept them off the water for a couple days, but they’ll be sailing this weekend. The fishing prior to the blow was very good, consisting of giant sea bass, jumbo porgies and more.
They’re starting to think about deepwater wreck trips, which begin November 9. They target wrecks in the 60-80 mile range, looking for giant sea bass, jumbo porgies, cod, pollock and more. Reservations are required for all trips.
Call to make a reservation: 516-607-3004.
Captree’s Laura Lee reports:
All trips have been cancelled since Monday due to foul weather. Prior to the storm, fishing was on par with how it’s been. Sunday morning anglers caught 48 weakfish; squeteague have been getting caught pretty regularly actually. The full day trip caught 343 sea bass, 857 porgies, 34 bluefish, 3 fluke, 3 cape shark, 11 cunner, two flounder and four ocean pout. The 6pm trip caught 3 stripers, 3 weakfish, 2 blues and 1 toadfish.
That’s a good summary for how the fishing was since last Thursday. There are way more weakfish getting caught than stripers. A bonito was taken last Thursday, and a bunch of big bluefish showed up for a couple days. Blackfish were productive when they were targeted. Friday found about 250 blackfish over two trips.
The trips taking place through sunset have been the least productive lately.
Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport reports:
The weather has been tough on the fishing the past few days, but the bite around the full moon was great. Solid stripers were getting caught, including one taken from the beach on a needlefish lure. The bass fishing was definitely on and off this week though. The river was red hot during those full moon tides, when the tide was absolutely ripping. Some huge gator bluefish have been getting caught as well.
The blackfish bite has been awesome, especially in the shallow water along the beaches. Just soak some green crabs and you should be able to get on some quality tog. There are some good sea bass down there too, stealing tog bait.
If you’re looking for albies, you have your work cut out, as they are in and out, and inconsistent. Mark recommends checking out the Smithtown Bay Area.
If you’ll be fishing in the next five days or so, be very careful, maybe even go fishing with a buddy, because these big tides, flooding rains, and heavy gales have put a lot of debris into the water. If you’re on a boat, be careful that you don’t run over any floating logs at high speed. If you’re wading, make sure those logs don’t wipe your feet out from under you while wading. Better safe than sorry.
Captain Stu Paterson of “Northport Charters” reports:
We’re still catching big pork chop porgies on the north shore, to about 3 pounds. Keeper sea bass are coming over the rails regularly. Bluefish and slot-sized stripers have been hitting the jig this past week. He was catching blackfish just before the storm, and is looking to get back on them this weekend. There is a lot of adult bunker and peanuts in the bay, as well as all over the Long Island Sound. It is primed for some serious action in the near future.
Stu still has some openings for November fishing, so call or text today to make reservations: 631-707-3266. Or check out Stu’s website at northportcharters.com.
The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Mattituck is back on the water today, looking to get back after the sea bass, porgies and tog they were catching before the storm.
Surfcasting guide Bernie Bass came across mostly smaller fish this week, with a decent pick of better ones in the mix. Bluefish even showed up a few times to spice up the sessions, and there’s a good amount of bait around. Bernie’s expecting some changes in the soft structure after this storm, so that’s something to look out for.
Bernie’s coming out with a second season of his podcast this December, so make sure to keep an eye out for new edisodes wherever you find your podcasts.
Kenny at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor reports:
It’s been very quiet since the weather began, but a few guys were doing well in Montauk just before the storm. The south side was producing some good fish regularly during the night. Shinnecock also had a solid bite going on. In between those two spots, there hasn’t been a peep.
We’ve got another storm on the way, that should deliver us some foul weather this weekend. That’ll either provide some reports, or produce another lull.
The peconics have been producing a few fish, but nothing to write home about.
Surf guide Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball reports:
Prior to the weekend, there was hardly any fish to be found biting. Bill put in 15 hours to catch one fish over 3 days. Finally the stars aligned when the wind switched late Saturday night. Bill and his two charters were able to pick a bunch of bass during the non-human hours, on a bunch of different lures. Darters, needlefish, bucktails and bottle plugs all picked fish. Since then, no luck.
Members of the SRB lamented the state of the fishery, as they encountered beautiful water in once-fertile regions, with nothing to show for their efforts.
One angler has been having some luck fishing in low-light conditions in the peconics. This give me some hope, as it suggests there’s still a good body of decent fish hanging out in the bays.
Chris Albronda gave me the goods on Montauk:
The striped bass fishing is as good as I have seen it in a long time. There are multiple batches of fish, and a few batches of false albacore are to be found. Anglers are catching the bass on everything from wire to light tackle. They can be found right outside the inlet, all the way to the lighthouse and in between.
Tautog have been in thick, and there are plenty of bites to be had. There are some larger tog available as well. Black Sea bass and porgies are also thick and plentiful.
Chris is doing open boat trips with Tailwrapped Sportfishing charters. Check them out on social media, and/or give Chris a call to book a trip at 631-830-3881.
Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:
Same as everyone else, the fleet got shut down by this recent storm. The last trips they took were on Sunday. They began the day with some cod to 10 pounds, plus decent porgies and nice sea bass. John Derrieco from Montauk took the pool with a 2.7 pound porgy, and Juan Correo caught that 10 pound cod. Mark Pellegrino caught a 12.4 pound cod in the afternoon to take the edible pool. Dwayne Sherard took the regular pool with a big 4.6 pound sea bass. Togging was tough, but the porgies were tenacious.
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
The fall run of striped bass is going very well! Even after the nasty weather this week, surf anglers are crushing stripers, especially at night. Lure choice is key this time of year. Some big fish have been caught in the surf. On the boats, guys are doing well with stripers on the flats and while working pockets and small trenches. Popping plugs and swim shads have been pulling the majority of the fish. The ocean bite is getting better, especially for guys trolling umbrella rigs and bunker spoons near the pods. Bluefish are also running around inside, roaming the flats and smashing bait schools up, and inhaling popping plugs. Weakfish action all over the bay is still red hot. The early morning tides are best, and some solid tiderunners are still hanging out. Blackfishing is out of control. So many big tog are still lurking close by. Hit ’em with jigs or our shop rigs for non-stop crazy action. Sea Bass fishing on the wrecks has been incredible. They love clams on our shop chicken rigs, bucktails and diamond jigs too. In the freshwater, it’s getting cold, so start off fishing shallow if you’re going for bass, then head to the deeper water as the day progresses. Work the flats and the channel structure. Timber, overhangs, stumps, and channel drops are great spots for big bass to hide out in this time of year. Lure wise, finesse worms, jigs, crankbaits, and some topwater lures are solid choices. The topwater lures will be effective all morning and even later into the day than during the warmer months. Pickerel will go for all of the same lures the bass eat, as well as swimbaits and inline spinners. Anything flashy and moving will get their attention. Yellow perch and sunfish will be schooled up and plentiful, and they are a blast on ultralight tackle. Trout magnets, inline spinners, and the classic worm and bobber technique will have you smiling all day long.
Long Island Fishing Forecast
While all the boats were docked during the nor’easter, surfcasters took to the rocks to capitalize on their favorite fall fishing weather. When you get a blow like that, and it lines up with a decent population of good-sized bass around, there is bound to be some good fishing. Anglers did well casting big bucktails into the Montauk surf the past couple days. From what I’m told, there was nothing huge taken, but plenty of schoolie bass and even some slots were hitting lures in the giant washing machine that was Montauk Point.
There were some good fish biting at the inlets too as our coast began to feel the storm’s effects.
I feel like the bite this year has been “right place, right time,” and if you aren’t there, then better luck next time. There haven’t been any real patterns that I’ve been able to discern. For a few days, it’ll be a sunset bite. Then that stops completely, and the surf is a desert wasteland at sunset. Then there’s a good bite in the middle of the night. The next night is completely barren, and so is the next day. The following night produces one or two fish during a four-hour cram session.
Granted, I’m talking about my own experience on about ten miles of beach, and one inlet. I’m just getting out when I can, and I feel like I’m relying heavily on luck. There have been two or three moments that just make good sense to be out fishing, and the fish are there biting, and I can’t be. Most of the rest of the time, there would typically be fish to fill in the blanks. Not this year. Long stretches of beach have had long stretches of desolation, which is new to me. When there is a bite, it takes place on a small stretch of beach, or a specific piece of structure, during a very short window. If you’re not there for the hour that they bite, you missed it. I’ve missed just about all of them, save for a 30 minute sunset blitz of schoolies, slots, and weakfish.
Paul (aka Quant Angler) from the SRB eloquently described the current atmosphere:
“These days, the bite is concentrated and spots will get hot and then not, faster than a trendy bar scene. Seriously, we were bouncing from North side to South side, West to East more often than a petulant bevy of super models bouncing between SOHO, Meatpacking, LES, midtown and even Brooklyn looking for the right “scene.” Bottle service or bottle plugs, it didn’t seem to matter. All the obvious spots were as dead as a nightclub during peak COVID.”
For those who catch, bucktails have been the main player this month. Fatter plugs have been working well at night. To me, this suggests that bunker has been the primary bait these fish are keyed in on. I’ve had next to no luck on sand eel presentations this fall, so I’m guessing the sandeel run we experienced for 4 years in a row on the south shore reached its terminus. Who really knows though?
Gannets seem to be pouring in more and more every day, which bolsters the notion that bigger lures are going to be the best play for finding bigger fish.
Gill nets have been “filled to the gills” with fish, so hope remains that there’s some serious action in the days ahead.
Hopefully there are many action-filled days ahead. The monotony of consistent skunks has gotten to me. If you’re in the same boat, maintain hope. If you’re one of the lucky ones catching, keep at it, you’re definitely doing something right. Enjoy!
Tight lines my friends.