BLUEFISH!! The Big news this past week has been the arrival of ravenous Bluefish in substantial numbers. Catches are being made along the South Shore docks and inlets ( in the Smith Point and Moriches Inlet area.) with reports of large "choppers" weighing in at the 10-12 lbs.range.
The fish have been hitting all the usual Plugs and Tins as well as Bunker or Mackerel bait chunks.
Birds are always a dead giveaway of bluefish feeding on the surface. This is an opportunity to use topwater plugs.
NOTE: Bluefish are notorious “tackle busters” it’s a good idea to pick up some wire leaders, a couple of dollars can help save you a substantial amount of cash in lost lures.
Striped Bass continue to have increased activity with catches along both the south and north shores. Catches of keeper sized Bass along with numerous shorts have been reported by all the local areas on the south shore, including Fire Island Inlet, Smith Point, and Moriches. On the North Shore the Porgy boats have been able to jig up some keeper Bass as a bonus. Plugs and swim baits have been effective as well as Bunker Chunks, Fresh clam, and drifting whole sandworms. Boat guys fishing clam are starting to have success anchoring up and using chum. Bigger fish have been reported using Bunker Chunks (probably due to the amount of Bunker schools that have been in the bays for the last few weeks.) The shop is fully stocked with Fresh Clam, Frozen Clam Chum, Bunker, and Sandworms.
The Fluke seasons early start this year has provided some positive results with quality fish in the keeper range, 19" and up, being caught in all the early hotspots, the Peconics (off of Shelter Island), the Narrows in Moriches along with all of the local inlets. Fluke Jigs as well as Spro Bucktails tipped with Squid and Spearing or Gulp have been effective. When using a Jig or a Bucktails be sure to tie a teaser hook about 12-16 inches up your leader, you'll be surprised at how effective the higher hook will be. Try fishing whole small squid to have a shot at landing some bigger fish.
Porgy fishing on the North Shore has been real good with some party boat anglers having no problem catching their 30 fish limit. Sandworms and fresh Clam fished on a tandem hook rig is the way to go. Using tubes of Clam Chum to hold the fish is a very effective way to keep the action steady. When Porgy fishing try using the lightest sinker you can along with braided line, this will increase your odds of landing fish.
Weakfish catches have been reported in the Quogue canal. Fish have also been reported in the Smith point area and in the Narrows by Moriches. Occasional a few Weakfish fish are being picked up by porgy fishermen on the north shore and Picnic Bay area too. Anglers have been successful using pink or white rubber shads tipped with a whole sandworms. Squid Strips fished on a hi-lo rig, when drifting, can also be very effective when targeting Weakfish. Try this method in areas where you won't get too harassed by schools of hungry Porgy's. If this happens put on some Porgy hooks and take advantage of some great fishing fun.
For all those surf fishermen, I can say with confidence, that we have a healthy amount of fish along the shoreline. This includes Bass, Blues and Weakfish. Bluefish have invaded the south shore all along the beaches. Topwater plugging is my preferred method to target them due to the exciting explosions “before a blue hits the lure.” However, using a tin at times has proven to give you an edge especially when they are being picky. Naturally, bait is always a safe bet when targeting bluefish. Bunker bait is a fine choice. Cut a chunk and toss it on a wire leadered hook, add a sinker and “go fish”
Bass can be picked during the day on swimshads and poppers. If you want to strictly target bass, head out after dark. It seems that when the sun goes down, the blues go away, and the bass clean up their scraps.
Many plugs and lures can be used but these are my favorites: Super strike darters, sp minnows, mag darters, storm shads, and bucktails are all standards.
Most spots that hold bluefish are holding bass after dark too. this includes around bridges, inlets, the sand beach and back bays. Tides have not been much of a factor. Fish have been active on both sides of the moving water. My best advice is to try and fish the last two hours of the incoming and the first two hours of the dropping tide.
Most of what I’ve been hearing is that Weakfish are getting caught while fishing for bass. Usually when throwing small swim shads or soft plastics. Fishing at night? these fish like the soft glow generated from the lights found around many bridges and docks through out the south shore areas.
Freshwater: Pickerel opens:
Open Season: 1st Sat in May through March 15
Minimum Length: 15″
Daily Limit: 5
These critters are the bluefish of freshwater. With sharp teeth and a voracious appetite, its a good idea to use a wire leader when fishing for Pickerel. Found in many Long Island lakes, I would try the Peconic river for some consistent action. Live shiners are the bait of choice and spinner baits or swimming lures should produce well too.
The bad news is the weather has been cool and damp, the good news is the local trout action is very good because the weather has been cool and damp. So, the local lakes can still produce some fine fishing for brown and rainbow trout. Bait or small lures are fine. Try a fly: either you’re into fly fishing or want to try a fly by using
Recipe of the week
BAKED BLUEFISH with TOMATO SAUCE- Cover Skinless Bluefish filets (remove all dark meat) with a light layer of Olive Oil and lay them in a glass baking dish. Pour 2 cans of condensed Tomato soup over the fillet's without adding the water. Add 1 chopped white onion, 2 chopped Garlic cloves and 2 cans of white potatoes to the Pan. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
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