Striped Bass season opens April 15. Fish are already being caught (and released) out west and are slowly making there way east. Most of the fish caught have been schoolies, but there have been a few keepers in the mix. Guys have been successful using swimming plugs like a Mag Dartars, Sp Minnows and redfins but using clams will also work. Early season fish require some patience, but putting in your time can be very rewarding. Try fishing the mouths of creeks and rivers as well as some warmer water in shallower areas. A couple of days of warmer weather should really "turn the fish on," so get out there and give them a shot.
On the surf fishing scene: The "surf rats" have taken trips to Manhasset bay to score with Stripers to 33." Anglers have been using the usual small plugs,Sp Minnows and redfins. Try your favorite lures or possibly a small shad lure or Gulp Bait.
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With Striped Bass season opening on April 15th, remember the new regulation now in place if you decide to use bait. Furthermore, the new regulations require the angler to use circle hooks with all types of bait fishing. Lures are still allowed, like bucktails, super strike lures and swimming plugs. Trailers are also allowed when using a bucktail. A trailer like "Fat cow" strips or squid strip are acceptable. Ok, what else does this mean? According to the rules, if you're fluke fishing with a J-hook and squid strip and you unintentionally catch a "legal" striped bass, you're required to release the fish. A bit confusing but we'll try to simplify the new regs so that you can enjoy a days fishing without the hassle of a DEC officers inquiries. Here's an Article from The Fisherman.com that may help you understand this new regulation.
We've also had reports of some Flounder being caught, Sandworms and heavy chumming with bank mussels seem to be the keys to success. Smith Point County Park , Quogue Canal are good spring areas to try.
On the Blackfish front, fishing has started to pick up as the water temps increase. Clam seems to be the bait for this spring season. Keep in mind the spring season is a 2 fish 16" limit and closes on April 30th.
On the Freshwater side of things Trout stockings are fully underway with nightcrawlers are working. Anglers have been successful using small
gold or silver tins like a Kastmaster fished with a slow retrieve. West Lake is the place to be. Recently stock with 300 2yr old Brown trout and 500 yearlings Rainbow trout.. Swan Lake (east lake) was also loaded with 500 yearlings Brown trout and 440 yearling Rainbow trout.
White perch are still being caught in the local tidal creeks. fishing nightcrawlers on a jig-head around drop offs during outgoing tide has seen better results than the incoming. Don't be surprised if you catch a small striped bass mixed in with the perch. You can also try soft plastics (bass assassins, grubs, curly tails) on a jig-head. Jig them off the bottom with a steady retrieve.
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(when possible: lures or bait used, tides, etc….)
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