Western Long Island and NYC Fishing Report- April 27, 2023

Large migratory stripers cruise the north and south shores, bluefish hit the south shore inlets and bays, and spring tautog season winds down.

  • Striper season 2023 is off to an amazing start all over the island 
  • Keep your eyes open for Porgy, Fluke, and Weakfish over this week and the next 
  • Bluefish are making their way up to the South Shore 
  • Blackfish season closes after April 30, but there’s still opportunities to catch 

North, South, East, or West, on the fly, on the jig, from shore, boat, or kayak – people are catching fish this week. As Tim Regan put it in last week’s Eastern Long Island report: I don’t think it’s a stretch to say a lot of people are experiencing the best “opening week” of their lives. That certainly rang true for me and many of the anglers I’ve chatted with. Generally, opening day comes and goes, and I’m happy if I landed a striper or two during the week, with my attention fixed mostly on freshwater haunts and kayak projects. This April, however, has been off the charts for me and many others in terms of number of fish and quality of catches. I have to remind myself it’s not even May yet and things are only getting better from here. Bait has made an early and abundant showing, likely due to the combination of a mild winter and warm April, and we’re reaping the benefits. 

Here’s what the shops & charters have to say:  

Jack’s Bait and Tackle in City Island, The Bronx reports:

“Lots of striped bass activity here in the Western Long Island Sound as well as in the East and Hudson Rivers. Anglers are catching with our fresh-caught bunker and jumbo bloodworms. If you choose not to use bait, trolling a mojo or a mojo umbrella rig is a great way to find the fish. There are also a few blackfish being caught on the tail end of the season, which ends this Sunday, April 30 in the Long Island Sound. Porgies will soon be moving into local waters if they’re not already. Remember, when fishing for porgies, chumming isa must. Jack’s fresh clams, chum, and jumbo worms will do the trick.”

Jack from Jack’s Bait and Tackle in City Island, The Bronx, shared this photo of a nice striper caught on a Mojo umbrella rig this week.

Capt. Adrian of Rockfish Charters in Queens reports:

“Fishing has been spectacular all week! We’re limiting out in minutes and then playing catch-and-release for the remainder of our trips. Live bunker is our bait of choice, switching to whole dead bunker or flutter spoons when we run out. Here’s our May open boat schedule:

  • Mondays, 6 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Tuesdays, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Fridays, 6 a.m. – 12 p.m.

We’re available for full charters the rest of the week. For more info, go to rockfishcharters.com”


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Captain Josh of Gypsea Charters in Brooklyn reports:

“Striped bass fishing remains excellent with an abundance of bait in the area and piles of hungry fish. We are truly blessed with some world class fishing right in our backyard. We have been seeing consistent limits on most trips with plenty of releases! All fish have been taken on live bunker and flutter spoons. We have availability the next few days before we switch over to fluke on Monday May 1st.” Call or text (526)659-3814 for more info. and reservations, which are required.

Brandon at Causeway Bait and Tackle in Wantagh reports:

Tog fishing has been decent by the bridges. Bass are biting well too, especially in the back bays, and the bite is even better at night. I’ve seen spearing, alewife, peanut bunker, and even some adult bunker in the lights around the docks, so there’s no shortage of bait around. In the shop we’ve heard rumblings of bluefish on the South Shore, and weakfish on the North Shore.” 

Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside reports that there are tons of slot stripers being caught on the local charters, as well as cod and tog at the wrecks. You can check out their Facebook page or website for pictures and charter info.  

Paul McCain at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin reports:

“Saltwater fishing has been weird because we had really nice warm weather weeks ago and the recent cold weather has disrupted that. We ran a River Bay Outfitters meet up and it was freezing but fish were caught – not a lot though. Brooklyn Tom caught 4 to 5 shad, Joey had a Striper under 20 inches and Alex from Pittsburgh caught his first ever Striper around 16 inches. He was very excited about that one. It was brutally cold and windy so we called it a night.

“I’ve also done some Freshwater guiding on the Connetquot River. Fun fact: they only stock female rainbow and brook trout in the river – nobody seems to know why – as a result, the fish get into spawning mode but won’t succeed since there’s no males to fertilize the eggs. Your best bet for finding trout when they’re spawning is beats 16 to 13. They’re not interested in feeding, so you gotta annoy them with streamers. The anglers I was guiding with caught 5 to 6 big fish each on streamers. One fish was between 23 or 24 inches! I find the smaller fish in the teens range fight harder though.

Finally, all the rivers up north of the New York City watershed were in great shape, they may flood after the rain next week, but we’ll see.” 

The 23-inch rainbow trout caught by Salty Pete on a guided trip on the Connetquot River with River Bay Outfitters.

John at Freeport Bait and Tackle reports:

Good blackfish bite under the bridges on crab. Bass are biting well on clam on the outgoing tide, especially at night. There’s been a great bite from Long Beach to Jones Beach with slot size fish being caught. Fluke are starting to show inside the Long Beach bays. We’re running a big sale until April 30, so stop into the shop for your bait and tackle needs.” 

‘Johnny Fish’ from Lindenhurst Bait and Tackle reports:

Cod and Tog are still being caught offshore. Snap Jigging has produced a lot of success with the Striped bass. The fish have been moving around – one day you’ll see them under the docks and the next they’re gone. I’ve heard reports of Bluefish from East Rockaway to Fire Island. Big Bunker pods are around Robert Moses and Dolphins and Whales have been feeding on them. I’ve even heard reports of blowfish in the water.”  

If the reports from shops and charters didn’t get you amped, here’s what local anglers are up to:

Raul Andres (@_raul_andres_) with a beauty of a bass during the new moon.


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Lionel (@blastin_bass_fishing) with a well-fed daytime striper. You can check out his YouTube channel here!


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This past weekend, I launched my kayak into a back bay at peak high tide and fished the outgoing tide. I hooked into a few dozen schoolies on a paddle tail shad, but felt somewhat defeated as I’d hoped to find slot-sized fish. I decided to fall back on an old reliable: the tube and worm. After only two or three passes in the same spot I’d fished all afternoon, I was surprised to find myself hooked into an over-slot striper. It turns out this mama was there the whole time. The tube and worm method rarely disappoints.  

I was ready to return to shore, certain there weren’t any large fish around when this beauty decided to bite on a trolling tube. (@outie_fishing)

Something about these big stripers and the state of the fishery gives me this overwhelming sense of responsibility when handling them. It’s almost like holding a newborn baby in your hands. The single hook of the tube was perfectly lodged in the top of it’s mouth and was easily removed. I got a good grip on the fish with a plastic lip gripper, keeping her straight as I pedaled off and let water flow through her gills. Her gills flared and she bit down on the grippers, and that was my queue that she was ready to go. I opened the grippers and gave her a slight push – she angled towards the bottom, tail above the waterline and creating a splash as she kicked off and out of sight into the depths below. My week was made after that.

Though these past couple of weeks have been truly awesome for Striped bass, there is one fish that has been on my mind since the first warm day in March: Weakfish. Last year, they made a tremendous showing on the North shore with many anglers picking out ‘tiderunners’ on light tackle in early May. 

A buddy and I had a banner day in May ‘21 where we caught over a dozen weakfish, including a double-header, within the span of an hour. You can find a video of it here. Last spring, I caught my personal best weakfish as a by-catch while targeting fluke. It really seems that Weakfish have made a strong comeback on Long Island and hopefully this trend will continue.

My current personal best weakfish. (@outie_fishing)

The other species on my mind has been bluefish. I’m not much of a surfcaster, but I do spend a lot of time in mid- to late-spring walking the south shore beaches chasing those ‘racer’ bluefish. It’s a great way to introduce someone to saltwater fishing. One hot day in mid-May last year, I had my cousin meet me down at the beach. I was about to head home after hours of casting under the hot sun with no bites, but I handed him my surf rod with a diamond jig (the kind with the tube over the hook) and told him to “Just cast and retrieve.” On his second cast he hooked into his first ever bluefish – a 12lb racer. He was addicted at that point, and texted me all summer asking to bring him fishing again. 

I spent a brief period one morning surf casting at Robert Moses. I made a dozen or so casts, hoping for early bluefish and expecting to see stripers, but ultimately came up empty after only a half hour of fishing. While I was there, I received a text message from a buddy further west who said the bluefish bite was slow, but they were around. That’s exciting to hear, and that action should get better from here on out. 

My primary reason for being at Robert Moses however was to volunteer for the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, to help them prepare the museum for the Summer season. Built in 1857, the Lighthouse still stands today thanks to the support of volunteers and donors. The lighthouse itself experienced some cosmetic damage recently and has been closed for repairs. They’ve had fewer visitors as a result. But while you can’t climb the lighthouse itself, there are still plenty of fascinating exhibits to take in and the interpreters do a fantastic job of telling these stories to visitors. During my visit this week, I got to take a look at a piece of what is believed to be a bow-section of the wreck of the SS Savannah – the first steamboat to ever cross the Atlantic – which washed up on the beach at Robert Moses and is now on display at the museum.  

This piece of wreckage washed up on shore and was discovered by the park rangers at Robert Moses. (@outie_fishing)

So if you find yourself surfcasting at Robert Moses, give the lighthouse museum a visit, pick up a souvenir from the gift shop, and educate yourself on a piece of Long Island’s history. You can find their website here: https://www.fireislandlighthouse.com. Consider becoming a member or donate to help keep the light shining. 

What to Expect This Week

It doesn’t get much better than the first week of May on Long Island – everything is about to kick off. Porgies start paving the bottom, fluke season begins May 1st and I have a strong feeling opening day will be a productive one this year. Bluefish and weakfish will start crashing into the bays and terrorizing the stacked-up bait schools in addition to the stripers that have been present all through April. There should be opportunities for action no matter where you look – North, South, East or West.   

If you have a picture or report you’d like to share, direct message me at @outie_fishing on Instagram.  

May this fishing season be one for the books. Good luck & tight lines.  

As a reminder for Hudson River anglers, April 29 is Mr. Poseidon’s Piermont Challenge: a one day catch-and-release striped bass fishing tournament organized by Poseidon himself. There will be food, drinks and prizes! Registration is $40 for Adults 18 and over. Kids register for free with parent’s registration, and all proceeds from entries will be donated to the Village of Piermont Police Athletic League (PAL). Participants may enter as many fish as they like, however only their largest fish by length counts. Anglers are asked to please bring your own bait. Click here for all the details and enter now, or register day of and pay cash.

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