Eastern Long Island Fishing Report- November 17 2022

Big bluefish blitz on the south shore, double-digit tautog catches increase, and striped bass bite well in the back bays.

(Above) Craig Cantelmo of Van Staal caught this albie the other day. They’re still here!

Suffolk County/Eastern L.I. Fishing Report

  • Lots of big Tautog on the north shore this week. Double digits, with some huge sea bass as well. Codfish are in the mix.
  • Albies are still biting as of November 15!
  • Striper blitzes forming on the east end. Bay blitzes on the north shore – stripers and bluefish.
  • Gator blues to the high teens on the south fork, blitzing on giant mackerel.
  • Still snapper blues and lots of bunker in the back bays. Cold spell this week may push them all out. Upcoming blitzes?

Captree Bait and Tackle reports: 

Rocco and Pat from the shop got out and found some keeper bass to catch this week.

We’ll probably close on Sunday for the season, so we’re running a super sale. A bunch of stuff is 20% off and there are a bunch of buy-one-get-one’s. Cash only, so come on into the shop and stock up!

Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:

“It’s really chilly and pretty windy this week! The bass are still poking around the bay, following the massive amount of bait. I think I got my last solid one of the year. No complaints either, it was pretty decent, especially on a fly. Those with boats still in the water have the chance to pick a few nice fish out of the schools. Popping plugs, swim shads, bucktails, and SP Minnows remain the best choices for lures on the inside. If you’re heading out, bring some trolling lures. Umbrella rigs are getting hammered, and big bunker spoons as well. Drop some jigs down when you find a solid pod of bait. in the surf, it’s schoolie city. Lots of little fellas running the beach, chewing sandeels real close. Occasionally a slot will be in the mix with them. 

The name of the game this time of year is bottom fishing. Hit some wrecks and reefs for a plethora of fun fighting fish. Tautog, sea bass, cod, and all sorts of other creatures of the deep lurk down there. Tog fishing is incredible right now, lots of big white chins are coming up over the rails. These crab crunchers love a jig or basic rig with any crab you can find on the end. They hit hard and fight even harder. 

In the freshwater you’re going to want to start fishing low and slow if you’re targeting bass and pickerel. Jerkbaits, lipless cranks, jigs, and spinnerbaits will do the trick. Perch and bluegill are all schooled up looking for a quick bite. A worm and bobber rig will always work, and if you want to go with some lures, try inline spinners and some small bright colored jigs. Trout are out and they are actively eating nymphs and chasing bait fish around. Toss and indicator on and do long drifts in slower water, this time of year they won’t want to hang out in the faster stuff too much. “

Bill Falco has found bass through the wind by fishing in the back bays this week. (@fishlongisland)

Surfcasting guide Bernie Bass had an up-and-down week on the beach. He fished a lot in his local waters, targeting bass on the day and night tides. The action was inconsistent, and he did a lot of moving around. Luckily, putting in the time led to the rewards, and he did just that. Bernie will wrap his season up on Thanksgiving, so he’s hoping to encounter some solid fish this week.

Ed from Warren’s Tackle in Aquebogue reports:

“It’s slow right now. The weather’s been pretty nasty, so there just hasn’t been a lot of angler effort; not many people came into the shop this week. The wind is the main factor creating slow fishing. The fish are still here though, it’s definitely the right time to get out there.”

The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Mattituck reports: 

“We picked a full boat limit of blackfish yesterday, alongside a ton of sea bass. It was a great day of fishing, but it’s looking like it’ll be blown out the next couple days. Monday produced many tog limits around the boat too, with tons of short action that kept rods bent the entire trip. Friday and Saturday saw similarly excellent fishing. The tog bite is on!” Call them at 631-928-3926 for booking info.

A hog of a tog from Dave on Celtic Quest, estimated to be 7 or 8 pounds.

The Peconic Star of Greenport reports:

“On Monday, a stiff north wind made for tough conditions so we ran to Connecticut. There, we found some safer harbor from the wind, and lots of fish int he 4-6 pound range. The pool winner was a 7 pound white chin. Many bonus sea bass came over the rail before we headed back to port. It is prime time for tog right now.

Over the weekend, we saw a full boat limit of blackfish up to ten pounds, and a full boat limit of sea bass up to 5 pounds. Everybody’s cooler got filled. The high hook had 14 keeper tog, and the pool winner at ten pounds. We’ll be sailing this weekend, the weather forecast looks awesome.” For info, call Captain Paul at 631-522-2002

This double-digit tautog was caught aboard the Peconic Star earlier in the week.

Capt. Phil of Fishy Business in Orient reports:

“It was all blackfish and sea bass this week. Despite the tough winds and moon tides, we were able to put a good catch together every day we went out. There was a good amount of short action on a couple days that kept the rods bent throughout the entire trip. Everyone took home a good box of meat.” They sail out of Duryea’s in Orient. Give Phil a call to book a trip: 516-316-6967.

David at Westlake Marina in Montauk reports:

“It’s been quiet for the most part this week. The day before yesterday, though, everybody went out. Everybody came back with limits of sea bass and blackfish that day. It was like this one cold day got the fish chewing. There was nothing giant reported, but lots of 4’s and 5’s.

Striped bass are still coming in. Boats have been catching them off the point. Just the other day, there was a ton of surface action off shagwong. Birds were working real tight to the surface, and the fish were chewing on top. Guys on the boats were picking stripers.”

Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:

“We only sailed a few times this week. On Friday, we encountered some excellent fishing on the Star and Superstar. The Star hit the sea bass grounds in the AM, bailing knotheads all around the boat. Everyone easily got his limit, plus a few cod. The blackfish bite went well shortly after. Tony Ho’s 9 pounder took the pool, and the sea bass pool went to Beris Nembhard of Brooklyn, who caught a whopping 5.5 pound knot head. The Superstar’s afternoon trip picked a bunch of big porgies and sea bass. A 3.3 pound porgy took the pool, as did a 5 pound sea bass.

Sunday’s fishing was good in the morning, and tougher in the afternoon. Heavy winds, rain and a mean groundswell made for some tough fishing but we got a quick boat limit of sea bass early. Blackfishing began quickly, but faded over time. Some big sea bass came from the blackfish grounds. 3 fish took two pools: two sea bass at 5.5 pounds, and one tog at 5.6 pounds.

Tuesday was their most recent trip. We had three drops all lasting about an hour and a half, consisting of a nice mix of sea bass and porgies. It was mostly large scup with sea bass of all sizes, even into the 4-5 pound range. Some larger cod came up as well. Nancy from NY took the pool with a 3.3 pound porgy.”

Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball reports:

“On Friday, Jakob joined Bill for his raffle trip he won at the Shin Dig. We found some fish working the suds for spearing on the south side, but could not connect with them. We moved over to the north side and had a pick of shorts on SP minnows. On Saturday, Bill was up to fish from 2-7am. He and Matt found some small fish on bombers and darters on the north side. 

On Monday, Bill took Brad and Chris to the Fire Island inlet area. Bill picked one fish quickly on a chartreuse super strike darter. There was a lot of spearing in the water. We ran west and found stripers working spearing. They picked about 15 bass between them, with the olive sp minnow doing the most damage. The bass were to about slot size.

Rob hit a western north shore back bay on the 15th, working the evening drop. For the first hour and a half, nothing, but then Jon got a blowup on his yellow Gibbs darter, and Rob dropped a fish on a little neck popper. Jon landed a fish at 6:30 on the same darter; the bass was about 26 inches.”

Chris Albronda from Montauk reports:

“The striper fishing is still producing fish of all sizes. You can find them feeding on top from the south side all the way around to the inlet. They are feeding on bay anchovies and squid mainly. The squid run has been awesome this fall. There are small herds of gorilla bluefish out here. Guys are running into them every once in a while.

Bottom fishing kicked into high gear. Big blackfish and big black sea bass were coming over the rail this week. Some bonito and false albacore would pop up around the light every once in a while too.” Give Chris a call at 631-830-3881 to book a trip. 

Eastern Long Island Fishing Forecast

Lots of hard wind plagued the NY fishing world this week. Those who braved the elements were rewarded with fish reacting positively to the nasty weather. Blitzes began occurring on the back bay beaches this week. A string of wild surface action in the peconic outflow made some surfcasters very happy; it was a late run of gator bluefish tearing into both bunker schools and big chub mackerel.

A chub mackerel that was beached after a deadly blitz. Giant baitfish were strewn all over the point.

Big bait, big fish. My dude EJ Shiga caught a 17 pounder, so I put all responsibilities aside and got after them.

EJ Shiga caught this thick gator blue during a big blitz on the east end this week.

Bluefish might be my favorite fish. The gator blitzes I encountered in 2016 (this exact week in November, funnily enough) were all-time. It was some of the most fun fishing in which I will participate during my lifetime. I chase that feeling every year by targeting the spring racer run, but it just isn’t the same. High-teen gorillas whose stomachs have been oversaturated by giant bait are another animal. I hope for them every fall, but rarely get the opportunity.

So I hunted them hard this week. I’m afraid I didn’t go hard enough; I woke up late, called it quits too early, and ran around like a chicken with my head cut off. I covered many, many miles, to no avail. After days of defeat and dwindling bluefish reports, I needed to lick my wounds with some easier targets. I found safe haven from the wind and looked for white perch. Little did I know that I would find my bluefish in the skinny white perch water!

Their presence wasn’t immediately evident. You’d think it would be in water this shallow; but I blind casted for about a half hour before connecting to something formidable. It was a schoolie bass. I picked a few more of those before getting bit off. I knew my drag was set fine, and there were no weak points in my line, so I got excited that there may be something with teeth present. The next fish I caught would finally be the species I sought. 

After many miles and many casts, I slid my yellow-eyed demon on to the sand. It had to be at least 12, potentially even 14 inches. Lol.

I tied into a few of these snapper blues over the next couple of days.

I thought it was so cool, as they’re a fish you target in the summer. But I guess if their larger relatives are still around, there’s no reason the babies can’t survive the cooling water.

I ended up catching a bunch of white perch too, another one of my favorite fish. Now that I look back on it, despite my failure to come tight to my intended target, I ended up catching my three favorite fish species: bluefish, striped bass and white perch. They were all very small. Some of those bass would feel generously flattered by the designation “rat,” I got snappers instead of gators, and even the white perch were the kind you don’t write home about. But man, that’s a pretty friggin’ sweet week if you ask me! Writing it down now, I’m a happy camper.

I’m looking to be less of a wuss this week. If there’s bad weather, I’m going to eat it. I expect cold, and wind and rain. I’m used to it. I’ve been a little too cozy. Time to harden up and have some fun. 

This week I expect blitzes. Look for them. A lot of bait is in the bay, and every single day I get these Weather Channel notifications saying “big drop in temps expected.” Those fish lagging behind in the bay will have no choice but to leave soon. There should be pandemonium when that occurs. Be there.

The forecast actually doesn’t show rain, but it shows some hard winds and temps in the 20’s. I think this cold spell will definitely ignite a substantial movement.

If you want to see something pretty cool, there’s this giant “mothership” looking thing in East Hampton right now.

It’s stationed just off Beach Lane, where there is a huge construction project going on. They are laying pipe as an energy conduit coming from the offshore wind farms… at least that is my understanding of it. I have no clue exactly what the “mothership” is doing, but it is a pretty amazing sight. It is enormous. I included a drone pic above, but it’s worth seeing in person.

Good luck out there folks! Stay warm!

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