Long Island and NYC Fishing Report- February 8, 2024

Holdover striper action is very spotty, brook and rainbow trout take flies in the streams, and largemouth bass, pickerel and sunfish entertain in the ponds.

Long Island and NYC Fishing Report

Petey Trovato from Lindenhurst Bait and Tackle told me: 

“I went out on the Connetquot this week with a buddy and we killed it fishing for brookies and rainbows. They were taking small nymphs but larger streamers and dry flies were mostly ignored. The weather was incredible and you could see every fish even in the shady parts of the river. Take advantage of this nice sunny weather and get tight on some trout!” 

Brandon Weitz from Causeway Bait and Tackle in Wantagh said:  

“We’ve been selling nightcrawlers here and there for anglers targeting stocked trout, bass, and sunfish in freshwater. Keeping it simple with a bobber and a worm can be a great way to find fish in new waters, and it catches everything! Get out and enjoy the warm weather this weekend and stop by the shop for fresh bait!” 

Paul McCain of River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin told me:  

“This weekend is looking fantastic, we’re starting to see some stonefly hatches in the little rivers and creeks, but the warm weather won’t last so you better get out and enjoy it while you can! Despite the weather, the Connetquot has been quiet this week with not too many anglers around and plenty of open beats. If you have a sick day or extra vacation day, take it and go fly fishing!” 

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

If you have a catch you’d like to share, DM me on Instagram @nick_onthewater.

We’ve had some gorgeous weather this week. I hope you’ve taken some time to get out and absorb a healthy dose of vitamin D. This weather makes me act funny. Even though it’s the middle of February and supposedly winter, I feel a yearning to step outside my front door in shorts and walk the nearby beach with a surf rod in hand, looking for birds, blues, and bait.  

I did see birds out there on my unseasonal beach walk, but no bait and certainly no bluefish. This time of year, I might see the occasional picked-apart herring rack left in the sand by the gulls, but not today. This supports the overall sentiment of the winter herring fishing this. 

Earlier this week, I got out and did some fly fishing for trout, casting black wooly buggers into clear, secluded bodies of water. The sun was warm on my face, the birds were chirping, and I forgot what time of year it was. I could see the fish I was casting to, but perhaps they could see me – because they refused to bite, no matter what color, size, or pattern I chose to throw. Sometimes, clear water can be both a blessing and a curse. The trout stuck to the shadows and under overhangs, probably wary of ospreys and other predatory winged creatures that sought to pluck them from the pond they’d been tossed into.  

Long Island and NYC Fishing Forecast

The beautiful weather continues. Enjoy it while it’s here. We have a warm weekend ahead of us and I would particularly look at Saturday as a great day to wade fish for some bass, trout, or holdover stripers. Warmer temperatures could stir these fish into action and make for a great day. In fact, if there was ever a time to bait-and-wait for panfish like perch and bluegill, I’d say this is the weather for it. Some of my favorite baits to suspend under a bobber include leftover breakfast sausage, nightcrawlers, a clump of whitebread, and my ‘secret weapon’ for finnicky holdover trout: mealworms from the pet store.  

The ponds in my neck of the woods have held dink bass willing to hit ned rigs and light jerkbaits. The fishing isn’t particularly fast; you’ll get a small fish or two for an hour or so of effort. Larger, more quality-sized fish can be found in places like Twin Lakes, Massapequa Reservoir, Hempstead Lake, and Blydenburgh Lake. These bodies of water, while pressured, hold some decent size fish that can help you shake the cabin fever. In addition to bass and pickerel, you might find crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch, which are all fun on ultralight tackle. Using microplastics like Eurotackle’s EPF Swim or Z-Man’s Micro-finesse series baits can help you avoid a skunking. 

We might be looking at a fluke season that begins in April and ends in October if one of the proposed regulations pass. Pretty interesting, but most of my fluke are taken in July and August anyway, and I don’t typically see fluke being caught nearshore in April. October is another story, however. I’ve definitely had a fair amount of fluke bycatch in October, and I’m sure party boats and for-hires will appreciate an earlier start and later finish to the season. We’ll have to see what happens.  

Get out and enjoy this warm weather before winter turns back on! Tag your pictures with #onthewatermagazine or DM them to me @Nick_OnTheWater on IG if you want to be featured in next week’s report. 

The L.I./NYC Fishing Report is written and compiled by NYSDEC licensed kayak fishing guide, Nick Cancelliere (@nick_onthewater).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *