Most anglers prefer to sail with clear skies and calm seas, but a little bit of cooler weather and a fair chop is often just what is needed to spark action come mid-November. That has certainly been the case over the past week with stripers and blackfish on the inshore scene and tuna out in the canyons.
"The tuna bite has been smokin,' " said Bryce Poyer at White Water Marine Outfitters in Hampton Bays. "Anglers making the long run to Hudson Canyon have had a fine mix of yellowfin, bigeyes and even some swordfish."
According to Poyer, The Elbow and Southwest Corner have been the Hudson hot spots. There is plenty of bait in both areas and the tuna have been setting up along temperature breaks in 64- to 65-degree water.
"It's that time of year," Poyer said. "This is what tuna fans wait for and chunk baits have been the ticket. The best scores are made just before dawn or slightly after dusk."
For blackfish fans working out of Shinnecock and Moriches Bays, action continues to be quite good. In this case, however, shallow pieces have had the edge with the 'tog on wrecks and reefs in 60- to 80-foot depths. Shinnecock Reef has been particularly hot with many blacks in the 4-pound class coming over the rails. Head farther offshore between 120 and 180 feet of water and you'll find black sea bass plus a trickle of cod.
Moving west, the action continues to center around stripers at Fire Island, Jones and Debs inlets. Capt. Joe Vanderveldt of the Captree open boat Jib VI noted that there are bass around every day, but catches definitely improve when the wind scuffs the surface a bit. He's been working mostly between the Robert Moses Bridge and Fire Island Inlet. On calm days, his fares generally throw white Bass Assassin soft plastic lures, but when the seas show a little kick the boat switches to clam-chumming around the Robert Moses Bridge.
On the West End, Rob Greco from Long Island Outdoorsman in Rockville Centre said that stripers are still being caught along the beach, but the better scores continue to come from those casting on the graveyard shift. Daiwa SP Minnows and Super Strike Needlefish are the hot lures with most linesiders falling in the 24- to 30-inch class.
Along the North Shore, blackfish continue to hold the top spot from Orient Point all the way west to Glen Cove.
"We'll probably get our butts kicked by the wind heading into this weekend," allowed Capt. Mike Boccio of the Orient-based charter boat Prime Time 3, "but the fishing has been solid so we plan on going. We've been seeing blackfish to 9 pounds with sea bass and a few cod mixing into the haul."
Boccio has been fishing in 30 to 100 feet of water with blackfish at the shallow end of the scale and sea bass or cod at the greater depths.
Blackfish fans probing Long Island Sound continue to score well. Few can top the bulldog weighed at Miller Place Bait and Tackle this week. The shop's Jim Flora put the 13.1-pound brute on the scales for Johnathan Perkins. That beauty ate a green crab and leads the shop's blackfish contest.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org