Long Island and NYC Fishing Report- November 9, 2023

Striped bass have inundated south shore beaches from east to west, albies blitz in the eastern Sound and tautog fishing is good off the north fork and the west end.

Long Island Fishing Report

Western L.I. and NYC

The Western L.I./NYC Fishing Report is written and compiled by OTW’s Audience Development Coordinator and NYSDEC licensed kayak fishing guide, Nick Cancelliere (@li_kayak_fishing).

  • Insane blitzes take place on both the North and South shores. 
  • Gator bluefish are still around in good number with the stripers. 
  • Blackfish anglers keep on toggin’ in both shallow and deep water structure. 
  • Rumors of bluefin on bunker pods close to shore. 

Jamie from Bay Park Fishing Station reports:  

“Acres of bunker pressed up against the beach have the stripers feeding in full fall blitz mode. The Skelly family had a great day this week in some choppy conditions. They reported that the rougher the water got, the better the bite was. On the other hand, the blackfish bite continues to be great, with white leggers and green crabs being the best choice for bait this time of year. 

Reports of bluefin on the bunker pods inshore have increased, so be ready when you’re out there with some stout rods and tuna-grade tackle. Bay Park is open 7 days a week for all your fall fishing needs!”

Brandon Weitz from Causeway Bait and Tackle in Wantagh told me: 

“I got out on Monday and had striped bass on both topwater and live bunker, all across the Jones Beach area from east to west. There’s been a lot of rumors of tuna around, but not many are willing to ditch the bass bite to chase them offshore. However, there’s been rumors of inshore tuna blitzing just off the beaches on adult bunker pods. I haven’t seen any pictures yet, but its worth carrying a tuna setup with you if you’re fishing off the pods this week and the next!” 

Paul McCain from River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin said: 

“Out on the beaches, many fly anglers have been catching bass on clousers and large deceiver flies imitating bunker. A recent shop patron caught a slot-size bass while fly fishing the surf at Jones Beach this week. The back bays have been full of peanut bunker too and you can have a lot of fun on light tackle or on the fly out there. 

But me, I’ve been spending a lot of time guiding in freshwater. The Connetquot is LOADED with trout, and it’s a fantastic time to be fishing there, as well as the rest of the ponds that get stocked across the island. If you’re interested in a guided trip, fly-tying class, or other fly-fishing events, visit Riverbayoutfitters.com and sign up for our email newsletter to stay in the loop!”

Petey Trovato from Lindenhurst Bait and Tackle told me:

“The other night I hit the bay with my buddy on his Contender. I drifted eels for the first time which was interesting. We were using Shimano calcuttas on G Loomis rods, some really sweet setups. The premise was: you hold your thumb on the line in free spool, and once you feel the hit, you lift your thumb, close the drag and gently lift the rod to set the circle hook. Our biggest that night was 33 inches. 

One of our customers, Mikey Hearnes, had 4 slot bass on SP Minnows in sandeel color out by Robert Moses on the ocean side. Another customer, Vincent D’Ambrosio, caught a striper almost as big as he was!

Earlier in the week Johnny Fish and I got out by Gilgo and had a schoolie derby with A27 diamond jigs. We both caught double-digit totals of schoolies each that day.”  

Vinny D’Ambrosio, a shop regular at Lindy Bait & Tackle, smiles with a striper he caught on the south shore earlier this week.

John from Freeport Bait and Tackle reports:

“Bass continue to feast on bunker pods off the beaches. Inside the surf, sandeels run through the waves getting blitzed on by both stripers and bluefish. Blackfishing stays hot in the shallow bays and out in the ocean reefs. The bridges still hold stripers and blackfish for the taking! Live eels and bunker are your best bet for bridge bass right now.” 

Captain Josh Rogers of Gypsea Charters in Brooklyn reports:

“We had very good blackfishing this past week with the exception of one trip. Many quality fish in the 4- to 6-pound range hit the deck with Frank’s big one coming in at 9 pounds. With the cooler temps, the bite has picked up and we are seeing fish in more areas. We expect it to only get better from here! On the other hand, bass fishing remains excellent for our private charters with quick limits and many releases. We’re open boat blackfishing daily by reservation only. Call or text (516)659-3814 to claim your spot!”

The Gypsea continues to put anglers on quality keeper tautog up to 9 pounds this week. (@gypseacharters)

Captain Adrian Moeller of Rockfish Charters in Queens reports:

We’ve been out daily on the Rockfish and bass fishing continues to be excellent. This week we’ve been fishing artificials more than bait but still catching a few dozen bass a trip. When we can run the beaches we’re focusing on larger bass, but if it’s too rough out we’re fishing Raritan Bay, chasing birds with paddletails & poppers. Bluefin tuna are also starting to pop up, occasionally crashing bunker schools off our beaches. Call (347)661-4501 to lock in your prime 2024 dates.”


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Local Angler Spotlight

Thaddeus L. caught this nice 30-inch slot striper off the beach on Fire Island and probably enjoyed a bonfire-grilled striped bass for dinner. Love to see it dude!
Ethan K. landed this gator blue on a bunker-colored popper from a local harbor. He told me the harbor was full of jumbo peanut bunker.

Here’s what anglers have been posting on social media: 


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Fall just keeps on hitting. Some are calling it the best Fall they’ve ever seen. I’m inclined to agree. The consistency of blitzes happening in the bays, off the beaches, and outside the inlets has been an awesome sight. Across the North Shore, huge numbers of peanut bunker are chased by birds, bass, and blues through shallow back bays, at times colliding with the shoreline and making for effortless fishing. Every morning I’ve been walking the beach in my local bay and seeing blitzes take place. Soft plastic shads make matching the hatch easy. And on the South Shore, a smorgasbord of bait such as sand eels, mullet, and most prominently adult bunker make carrying a versatile arsenal of lures a necessity.  

It’s at this point of the season I start getting ready to stow the kayak, organize my freshwater tackle, and check out the DEC’s stocking schedule. Places like the Connetquot river, with its sizeable brook and rainbow trout, have been freshly stocked and are loaded with quality size fish for the taking. Likewise, several ponds across the North and South shores have been stocked, with no entry-fee to fish them save for your freshwater fishing license, which you can purchase here

Western L.I. and NYC Fishing Forecast

North Shore

While the striped bass fishing continues to stay hot, other species such as false albacore and bluefish have noticeably started to make their way out. Albies seem to be just about gone, and bluefish, while still around, are becoming less and less frequent between bass bites. Still, I’ve seen gator bluefish get caught in back bays during the first snowfalls of early December. So don’t consider your soft plastics safe just yet. The time you’re most likely to see blues will be as a blitz develops, because generally they’ll be leaping out of the water while the stripers will be politely slapping the surface with their mouths and tails.  

Blackfish action continues to be hot in the shallows. Location is key, and if you’re not getting bit on a specific rock or wreck, try another. My kayak-fishing friend Peter Rainieri started out in 25’ of water last week, but couldn’t seem to find any fish and went deeper, catching two keepers in 50’ of water. When he returned to the shallows he fished another boulder 100 yards from where he started, and found a huge pile of fish that wouldn’t wait for his jig to hit the bottom. Location is key!   

 South Shore

It’s been a zoo down here. It shouldn’t be news to anyone that the bunker pods off the beaches have been getting absolutely ravaged by bass, blues, and even tuna. The carnage has been raging across the South shore from the Rockaways to Robert Moses. In the surf, the bait varies by day. Most recently there’s been a sand eel run and it looks to be continuing. A27 diamond jigs with a teaser on a dropper loop are all you need to get bit. But for a more life-like jigging action, soft plastics such as JoeBaggs or Tsunami sand eels will work great.  

Blackfishing is still going strong, with party boat patrons catching limits out on the ocean reefs and inside the inlets. The bay and bridge bite has continued to do well, but keepers have been less common compared to the early season, and more inshore anglers are chasing stripers. 

Looking ahead, we’ve got cool temperatures in the low 50’s to high 40’s and a moderate West to Northwest breeze for the weekend, but no rain. I’m on the fence between breaking out the fly rod and targeting trout or continuing to hammer this back bay bite on the North shore while I can. This time of year, I don’t think I could go wrong with either. Every trip down to Jones Beach is sure to be interesting now with the bucks in rut, and the holiday lights set up. Drive safe and watch out for horny deer! 

So, keep your saltwater tackle rigged and ready. The bass aren’t gone yet, and neither are the blues. Blackfish continue to chew close to shore, and you might even be treated to the sight of a tuna blitz off the beach! If you want a change of pace, visit one of Long Island’s ponds, rivers, and lakes for a chance at catching stocked trout or perch, pickerel, and bass. They’re especially beautiful this time of year. [https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7951.html] 

Thanks for reading, and tight lines. 

The Western L.I./NYC Fishing Report is written and compiled by OTW’s Audience Development Coordinator and NYSDEC licensed kayak fishing guide, Nick Cancelliere (@li_kayak_fishing).

Eastern Long Island Fishing Report

The Eastern L.I. Fishing Report is written and compiled by OTW Field Editor, drone pilot and NYSDEC surf/fly fishing guide, Tim Regan (@southforksalt).

  • Awesome togging on the North Fork and off Montauk. Bottom fishing remains solid.
  • Striper blitzes along the South Fork. Big bass to the west.
  • Cod bite heating up off Montauk.
  • Giant bluefin to 900 pounds.
  • Albies still being caught.

The Captree Pride reports:

“We had the best striper fishing we’ve experienced in years this week. In two days, we reeled in over 500 bass, with our high hook landing 29 of them. Fish are ranging anywhere from 27 inches to 47 pounds. Some drifts lasted 45 minutes with nonstop catching. There have been whales all over the bunker schools we’re fishing as well. Jigs have been productive, but we’ve been live-lining the bunker as well with good results.”

The south shore is inundated with stripers that have lowered their guard to feed on bunker, sand eels and more, and the Captree Pride is taking full advantage.

Capt. Dave Flanagan of North Island Fly in Northport reports:

“Mike and Bill joined me a few days ago on a lucky trip where we were able to target some November albies. All three of us caught some cold-weather hardtails before switching over to stripers. Our tog pursuit wasn’t fruitful, but the bass made up for it. The day prior, James put a few bass in the boat with the fly rod, when many others we saw could not hook up. Check out Dave’s website to book him for a charter at northislandfly.com.”

Albies are still around in central Long Island Sound! Here’s Mike with a nice one that he caught while fishing with North Island Fly.

The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson reports: 

“We had our best togging day so far this Monday out of Mattituck. We were just shy of a boat limit of blackfish to seven pounds. We caught a ton of porgies and a handful of sea bass to round out the trip. Earlier in the week was a toss-up. Some days we cancelled due to unfavorable conditions; others we did great on tog to eight pounds, and others were just tough, producing a lot of short life. Port Jeff was stacked with porgies, and points east have been producing some solid blackfish. We expect the tog to be chewing well these next few weeks. Call them at 631-928-3926 for booking info, or check the website/Facebook for more info.”

The Peconic Star 3 of Greenport reports:

“After a tough start, we ended up catching an easy limit of tog to nine pounds the other day. We released plenty of shorts and more keepers, and took home some sea bass and porgies. The day prior, we reeled in a boat limit of sea bass along with a limit of tog. There have been a lot of 12-14 inch tog that we’ve thrown back. It seems like the porgies have left this area, for the most part. For booking info, call Captain Paul.”

Capt. Phil of Fishy Business in Orient reports:

“The tog bite is still going strong on the north fork. Our groups have been catching limits, or close to it. The fish are appearing in a range of sizes. The bite around the moon wasn’t so easy, but that’s Orient tog fishing for you. We have some open trips on the books still for November, so give us a call to book a trip: 516-316-6967.”

Brooklyn Girl in Orient reports:

“Sunday’s 18-angler charter for the NBSFC (North Brookhaven Sport Fishermen Club) had a solid day with us. We had an awesome first drop, and then picked away the rest of the day to achieve a boat limit and a bunch of a releases. Vinny was high hook, putting a dozen keeper tog on the deck. We caught 65 keepers overall, to 7 pounds, but most keepers were in the 4-6 pound range. Earlier in the week, we had fish to 7+ pounds, and lots of them. It was an awesome week of togging on the NoFo. Contact Ken/Barbara for trip info.”

Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:

“The has been lots of great striped bass fishing in our area this week. The bay is loaded with fish of various sizes, some even hitting that 20 pound mark. Finding the right school has been the name of the game. Spooks, shads, poppers, and bucktails are all getting lots of attention this time of year. Fly fishermen are absolutely crushing them on big peanut bunker presentations and sand eel patterns. Boat guys are having a field day with giant fish out in the ocean; 40 and 50 pound fish are common. Trolling, jigging, and live bait always get the rod bent. The shop is loaded with plenty of gear to keep you in the fish for the rest of the time they are around. Tog fishing is going super well; plenty of big white chins are out lurking in the rocks, wrecks, and reefs. Jig fishing for them is super popular, and super effective. It’s very easy to move your jig up and out of places in the rocks that you do not want them to be. Sea bass action is just as hot as the tog fishing. Lots of big knuckleheads are down in the wrecks and reefs, eagerly taking jigs and rigged clams. 

If you’re out fishing in the fresh water and going for some bass, start fishing slow and low. The water is getting cold quickly. Jigs and senkos are killer this time of year. Pickerel will be lurking for fast meals, so spinner baits and chatter baits get their attention. Walleye will be biting in the late nights on swim baits. The perch and sunfish will be doing their thing, schooled up tight and eagerly taking down worms and small jigs. Trout action will be best after first light as the water warms up; hang nymphs or try to entice a streamer bite. They’ll still come up for a dry, but your presentation better be on point.”

Nick from Haskell’s Bait and Tackle in East Quogue reports:

“Striper fishing is doing well for the boat guys. They’re feeding on butterfish and sandeels. We saw some awesome blitzes in the area this week, and those who went out were well rewarded with keeper fish. Blackfishing is still solid too, with fish being caught from the rocks. That will start to change as the days get colder, so it’s worth getting on them before they head to deeper water. Surfcasting has slowed significantly. Those able to get up early and fish have been doing well at first light. There’s not much besides big slot fish in the area.”

Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball reports:

“My charter and I fished the Shirley area for three fish the other night, all around legal size. Julian and his buddy joined me on Saturday to fish Montauk, hoping for a blitz. We picked a bunch on the sand beaches, about a dozen schoolies, mostly on SP minnows. Bottle plugs were the play the following morning; Drew and his bud picked about a dozen schoolie bass on the sand beaches. Word is the night bite had been solid.” Subscribe today at longislandsurffishing.com.

Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:

“Yesterday’s trip was focused on Block Island for porgies. We had a good pick until the tide chased them out. We found them again, and picked some nice sea bass this time. A 2.8 pound porgy took the pool. Tog and sea bass made up our Monday catch; we picked about a dozen keeper blackfish to 5 pounds. Sea bass ranged to 4.2 pounds. We did some nighttime squidding over the weekend, and it was a bit slower than it hd been recently. We could see them everywhere, they were just tough to coax. Our trip to Coxes Ledge produced a dozen large cod and some serious sea bass to 6 pounds, caught by William Jones from Washingtonville. Julia Akkala from Montauk took our cod pool with a 12 pounder. There is still a bunch of mackerel in the area. Call the office or book online at vikingfleet.com.”

Chris Albronda from Montauk reports:

“It was another great week of fishing in Montauk. Although the weather wasn’t as cooperative as we would want it to be, the fishing was. Striper fishing was good until the middle of the week. The fish seem to have moved out midweek only to be found away down the south side. The bottom fishing was very good. The tog bite produced many double digit fish. There were Black Sea bass and porgies galore. In the deeper water, the codfish were chewing. Offshore, the giant bluefin tuna were thick, with fish to 900 pounds getting caught and released.” Shoot Chris a text at 631-830-3881 to book a trip.

Eastern L.I. Fishing Forecast

This past week was a very blitzy one. Most days were filled with birds working the bait that was being pushed to the surface by striped bass. For the surf angler, opportunities to catch 20+ pound stripers were plentiful. The action at sunset was often amazing, and the night bite was pretty consistent if you put in the work. It would turn off randomly for a few hours here and there, but if you stuck it out, you’d get on the meat. There were all sorts of bait fueling these blitzes. I saw a picture of one surf-caught striper’s stomach contents; it had been feeding on bunker, butterfish, spearing and juvenile weakfish. I know those were not the only baits around though. Snappers were moving along the beach, and the stripers were checking them out. I also heard some good reports of certain sections of beach getting inundated with sandeels. It was a legitimate buffet along the coast.

I pulled this bass from a near-shore blitz on the fly rod earlier this week.

The blitzes, as they tend to be, were the best part of the week. There had to be many thousands of fish from Shinnecock to Montauk. Dozens of bass would surf the shorebreak together, feeding on whatever would show up in front of their faces. It was a very visual bite, and extremely exciting. It can be pretty hard to control yourself and not succumb to the adrenaline-fueled jitters that might hinder your catching ability. 

Stephen Lobosco hooks into a bass amid blitzing fish as the sun sets along the south shore.

There are more blitzes on the way. I’ve been hearing of many, many rats making their way into our waters. I do not think it’s the death-rat run, per se. I’m sure there are many more big bass yet to make their southbound trip from New England. You just gotta hope that they pop into our neck of the woods. There are even albies still around! I can’t imagine I’ll come across any this year, but that would be icing on the cake. 

I’ll try to do some togging this week, while the water temps are still relatively warm. I’m counting on a couple more calm days of smooth sailing on the ocean. I’d like to do some more filming with glassy water and calm winds. Plus, it’s easier to see the bunker schools, which have been numerous in my area this week. I can tell they’ve been nervous, and are getting attacked right by the beach.

Keep your eyes peeled! There is some good fishing ahead. I think this week will hold some awesome potential.

The Eastern L.I. Fishing Report is written and compiled by OTW Field Editor, drone pilot and NYSDEC surf/fly fishing guide, Tim Regan (@southforksalt).

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