Good bass bite along the beaches. Hit-or-miss in many areas. Gator bluefish along the north shore. Still scup and sea bass up there. Lots of big tog moved into the east end this week. Blitzes in Montauk. Giant tuna off Montauk.
Long Island Fishing Report
Rockfish Charters in Brooklyn reports:
The striper bite continued strong this past week. We found lots of keepers out there and released a number of over-slot bass. Full-day tog trips begin this week on 11/16 in Jersey waters. Until then, local tog/bass trips are being offered in the form of full-day trips.
Josh at Gypsea Charters in the Rockaways reports:
This week we saw excellent striper fishing. We caught limits of slot-sized bass, and released many over-slot bass. This is about as good as the bass fishing gets. The tog bite improved drastically this past week. We ended up catching a lot of quality keepers to 7 pounds. We’ll continue to run open boat tautog every weekend (by reservation), and we’re available for private charters during the week for bass or tog.
Paul at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin reports:
One customer Bill was fishing the inlet on the boat this week and got into a big blitz of bass. The fishing was great, but it’s tough to replicate as the bite’s been a bit inconsistent. Paul says it’s “feast or famine.” Captain Jesse fishes the Jamaica Bay area with his clients, and lately, he’s been finding the bass deep in the back, harassing peanut bunker. Tom’s been fishing the Robert Moses area late in the night, and he’s had some good nights. One particularly good outing produced thirty bass to 35 inches. The Connetquot has been fishing well. Paul says the trick is to present your flies slower and slower as the temps dip. The cruddy weather has put the fish off a little bit, but they’re still biting. The DEC stocked all local ponds this week. Everything should be loaded up with trout. A lot of guys are running upstate to fish the salmon river and Lake Erie tributaries. There are tons of fish right now, and regulars are considering it the best year they’ve ever had.
Peter, Pete, Paul and Joe of the “Ellen Marie” limited out on bass in a half-hour on Sunday, using yellow/white TGT spoons. They were fishing in 45 feet of water south of Jones Inlet.
The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:
The recent and 24-hour tuna trip of the year was a great success. It went so well, that they sailed right back out after coming in from the first trip. Chris Krebs had the biggest yellowfin of the trip. Striped bass trips are going down on 11/13 and 11/14, from 7 am-2 pm. Bass fishing has been hot as of late. Tautog, codfish, and big sea bass have been biting well offshore. Long-range offshore (50-90 mile) trips for these species begin today. There’s a “high roller tautog trip” coming up on the 17th. The pool is $50 per person. Special note: “Atlantic Pearl” will be in the shipyard this week. We’re expecting her back later in November. The Nautical Mile Boat Parade occurs on December 4th. Capt. Lou is taking people for $25/pp. There’s a DJ and cash bar on board.
Point Lookout’s Super Hawk reports:
The fishing was very good this week, with consistent catches of giant sea bass, jumbo porgies, cod, and more. A nice triggerfish was even caught the other day.
Lindenhurst Bait & Tackle reports:
Striper blitzes have been occurring this week just off the Fire Island beaches. There are bass and dogfish working the bunker schools just outside the inlet. There’s some good togging to be done as well. Brian caught a limit of fish to 5.38 pounds the other day.
Captree’s Laura Lee reports:
We’re canceling offshore sea bass trips to capitalize on the good jig bite going on for stripers. Before the weekend there was a good amount of bass getting caught. As the week progressed, the striper fishing got worse. Monday was still somewhat decent, with 16 stripers caught in the morning and 51 in the evening. The bite slowed till yesterday evening, when the tally jumped up to 15 bass on the 6 pm trip. There were 7 shad, 1 bluefish and 1 sea bass also caught on that trip. They’re adding some tautog trips for this next week, but the last offshore trip was Saturday. They caught 236 big sea bass, 36 porgies, 1 cod, 2 weakfish, 8 blues, and 4 cunner.
Surfcasting Guide Bernie Bass found fish consistently this past week. The new moon tides provided good numbers of bass, with some decent ones in the mix. Some weakfish even showed up to play. Day or night, they were willing to bite. There’s a lot of bait around still, so this coming week looks promising.
Dave Flanagan of “North Island Fly” says there’s been a good striper bite on topwater lately. On a recent outing, he was catching and releasing bass of all sizes.
Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport reports:
There has been a red hot bite on south shore beaches, but let’s focus on the north shore: your best bet if fishing the surf is to focus on the outflows. Any of the harbors pouring into the sound could provide some good action. There are gator blues and stripers galore.The surf bite wasn’t as good this week as the week prior. The boat bite has remained awesome though. The wind was much better this week, so the guys targeting tautog had a good window to catch some good fish. Togging was red hot. Sea bass remained plentiful, and porgies are still around, albeit smaller. One of this week’s highlights was the squid run occurring. Guys have been doing really well on the night tides. If you’re planning on putting in a custom rod order for Christmas, make sure you do it soon!
Celtic Quest Fishing of Mattituck reports:
It was a tough week of fishing, but we managed to put together some good catches of tog on the north fork. There were some decent sea bass out there this week as well. Back in Port Jefferson, there was a good mix of different-sized porgies.
The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays reports:
The big tog have been chewing! We’ve got some winds coming this weekend which might mess with the bite a bit. We’ve been seeing humpback whales breaching on their trips out to the reef.
David at Westlake Marina in Montauk reports:
It was a great week in Montauk. The weather was great and so was the fishing. Togging has been phenomenal. That’s the highlight of the week. Alongside them, you’ll find plenty of sea bass and cod. There are some big sea bass coming to the table right now, and some nice codfish came in yesterday. Block Island would be a good bet. There’s plenty of stripers around, a nice change from past years. Back in the day there’d be blitzes through Thanksgiving. The past however-many years just haven’t been so productive after October. The action persists, though, and November has been fun so far. There are definitely still slot fish to be had, but most of the action is on short bass these days. There is a lot of activity. There are still some tuna offshore, and they’re not too far out. Nobody will tell you just how far, but they’re out there. There are some huge ones around. One customer was battling a giant for 2.5 hours when his gear failed and he lost the fish. There are no footballs, there aren’t a lot, and the bite is sporadic. A few albies came in this week, but the action seems to have slowed over the past few days.
Surf guide Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball reports:
Early in the week, Bill pulled a sunrise session with Chris L on the south side. They found nothing but far-out gannets and in-close seals. The sand beaches provided the same sights, and the north side shoreline was vacant as well. Any action seemed to be taking place 1/4-1/2 mile out. On Sunday, before first light, Bill, Gray, and Mike hit the Shirley beaches for an early bite. At 4 am Mike found the first action in the form of a near-keeper on an SP minnow. Two more bass came at first light on poppers. Once the sun came up, there was nothing doing. John D came down from Boston to hit the east end suds this week. Around sunset, he picked a short bass on a bucktail after his popper received no attention. Despite a slow bite over the next couple days, he was fortunate to see some beautiful sunrises, seals, and whales. Joe Scotto had a fun week hooking schoolies on the open beach. Around sunset the other day, he got into some blitzing fish near a south shore inlet. There were lots of shorts, with a few keepers in the mix.
Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:
It hasn’t slowed down in Montauk at all. They’re picking good numbers of quality fish on almost every outing. They were getting cod into the teens as of yesterday. Jin Dong caught a 15 pounder to take the edible pool yesterday. Angelito Flores from Manhattan took Tuesday’s pool with a 3.5-pound scup. Sunday’s edible pool winner was Creton Hamilton from the Bronx, who caught a 3.7-pound sea bass. There were even some good tog caught, like Sunday’s pool winner. Bruce Wahl from Greenport caught the 6.25-pound tog. There were some numbers of bluefish around this week as well. Block Island was the epicenter of action the past few days. On Sunday, Captain Dave reported a whole new body of fish moving in around Block.
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
The fall striper run is still providing some incredible fishing right now. The ocean is finally loaded up with some big fish, and boat guys and surf guys are having a blast. Boat anglers are using diamond jigs, umbrella rigs, bunker spoons, and popping plugs. Live bait and clam fishing is always a solid choice too as long as you’re doing it correctly with the legal circle hooks. In the surf, darters, bottle plugs, and bucktails have been the lures of choice. Live eels at night are a given. There are plenty of nice stripers in the slot range running the bay too. Bluefish are also running around inside and outside, roaming the flats and smashing a school of bait apart, and inhaling popping plugs. The early morning tides are still seeing some solid tiderunners hanging out. Light tackle is key, and they’re all over the soft plastics. Tautog fishing is out of control, with lots of big tog lurking close by. Hit ’em with jigs or our shop rigs for non-stop, crazy action. Sea Bass fishing on the wrecks has also been incredible. They love clams on our shop chicken rigs, bucktails and diamond jigs too.
The freshwater is getting cold, so start off fishing shallow if you’re going for bass, then head to the deeper water as the day progresses. 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. Slow down your retrieve for better success. 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.
Kenny at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor reports:
The week started on a high note, but it’s gotten quieter as the week progressed. The reports have been spotty, especially on the open beach. It is very hit-or-miss. Anglers who drove up to the north fork today said it is barren. It was awesome up there this week, until today. Kenny took a mean skunk on miles of beach today. The only fish he heard came from Chris Tracy, who was catching from the tip of the jetty. On the bay side, a couple of whispers of stripers have made their rounds. The north side of Montauk saw a quick blitz around 2 pm yesterday, but the fish were in and then out pretty quickly. Savio sent Kenny a picture of many schools of fish out in Montauk. Togging this week has been awesome. Kenny weighed in fish to 8.13 pounds, and he got reports of fish to 11 pounds. The main body of fish is coming from Orient, Plum, Fishers, and the Sound. There’s even tog pretty deep in the back bays.
Long Island Fishing Forecast
I’ve been down for the count with a shoulder “malfunction.” I hesitate to call it an injury because I don’t know what the heck happened, but it’s bothering me enough to keep me from casting. Hopefully that’ll pass soon. Luckily I got in on lots of good fishing right before the malfunction.
All three cuts were open at the same time, and they were all producing quite well. They’ve closed up by now, and the bite has slowed. People were getting fish in-and-over the slot range for a few nights in a row at those spots. There were huge numbers of fish to be caught. Now you’re lucky to find a few very short bass by me. I wouldn’t call them “micro,” but they’re not far from it.
Night tides are producing much better, and it sounds like the numbers have relocated to the bays. There are probably some quality fish in there too, especially around the moon. Moon-wise, we’re going to have quite a mild week. Next Thursday is the full moon. From now until then, I expect blitz action to pick up. I think the big schools of fish in Montauk will make their way along the open beaches and provide some good fun for the shorebound. By Thursday, I think we’ll have had some great action. I’m thinking it’s one of those “call out of work and fish all day” kind of weeks.
Gannets have been moving along the outer bar, and there are some decent bass keeping tabs on them. There aren’t nearly enough bass, compared with the amount of bunker, but if you have a boat you can catch some. I’ve witnessed a couple opportunities, when nervous bunker have come close to shore, but those occasions are few and far between. As the week’s progressed, the chances have gotten even slimmer.
To me, it seems like we are still relatively early on in the fall run, given today’s date. It seems like this season could last well into December. I am expecting it to. I’m not counting on it though. Best to get your kicks in while you can, just in case. Plus, it’s still pretty friggin warm out there. So get out and enjoy yourself! Tight lines.