It's been an amazing season from a bottom-fishing perspective. While stripers have been up and down, fluke drifted in and out, and false albacore showed, vanished and will hopefully show again, black sea bass, porgies and triggerfish have been outstanding since the beginning of the season.
"I'm fishing the waters of Long Island Sound for over 60 years," said John Richy at Terminal Tackle in Kings Park, "and I've never seen action like this along the middle stretches of the North Shore. We've got an amazing number of black sea bass being caught with plenty of big keepers, plus loads of porgies to 2 or 3 pounds, and now blackfish starting to respond. It's been something special."
There are plenty of sea bass from Glen Cove and City Island all the way out to Mattituck, Orient and Montauk points. The best of the action recently has been in the Eatons Neck Triangle, but just about any structured bottom is holding fish at the moment.
"We've got the sea bass and scup real good here at Orient," said Capt. Mike Boccio of the open boat Prime Time 3. "Porgy fishing is off the charts, there are tons of big sea bass, and we are catching 20 to 30 blackfish each day. It's about as good as it gets."
The South Shore, too, is still hot on the bottom game. Capt. Neil Delanoy of the Captree open boat Laura Lee has seen a fun mix of porgies, sea bass, triggers and blackfish. If you want a bigger challenge, he suggests a nighttime trip for bluefish. "We've had slammers to 20 pounds on our ocean trips," said the skipper, "and our customers are simply exhausted by the time we head for home."
Farther west, Rob Greco at Long Island Outdoorsman said West End anglers and hunters have been enjoying all the different opportunities that fall season presents with blackfish on the rocks at Long Beach, stripers to 30 pounds around local bridges and hunting now in full swing.
"Most of our hunters have traveled upstate in search of deer and turkey," said Greco, "and they've had plenty of success. At least three drilled decent bucks and several more took turkey." Upstate, added Greco, the bucks seem to already be in a pre-rut state of mind.
Over on Moriches Bay, Gary Grunseich at Silly Lily Fishing Station in East Moriches noted striper action has finally come alive with linesiders falling to anglers drifting whole clams, live eels and various live baits in both the east and west cuts. Blackfish, too, are starting with more authority along the west jetty rocks.
For the surf crowd, Montauk remains the hot spot with quantity holding the edge over quality for both bass and blues. The night bite has been best for bigger fish to 20 pounds and action has been best right under the lighthouse on bucktails, darters, needlefish and Super Strike poppers.