The high winds and rough seas that roiled Long Island waters last weekend put a temporary halt to a fall run of false albacore, stripers and bluefish that seemed to finally be coming fully on track. Right up through Sunday afternoon, surfcasters on the leeward North Shore continued to connect with all three species while tossing poppers, small tins and swim shads.
Most had figured the action would rebound once the seas calmed and a couple changes of the tide flushed out the storm discolored water, but a few did worry that the heavy winds might disrupt the pattern and send predator species scurrying for the comfort of deeper offshore waters. Fortunately, the optimists were right. While Monday and Tuesday found tough fishing in most quadrants, Wednesday saw the action begin to bounce back and Thursday’s calm seas gave both boaters and surf casters a chance to cover plenty of ground to relocate the fish.
Along the North Shore, stripers returned to the scene first with schoolies showing up on Tuesday afternoon in sporadic bursts from the mouth of Hempstead Harbor all the way east to Trumans Beach. On Wednesday, big blues came back on line throughout the same stretch smashing poppers, diamond jigs and Hopkins Shorty tins. By Thursday morning, false albacore were again on the scene hitting pink Hogy Epoxy jigs, Deadly Dicks and other small, slender tins intermittently during the day.
The action at Montauk also held up well. “The bass are still here after the storm,” said Capt. Art Cortez of the charter vessel Half Back. “Most are in the 15- to 20-pound class and they’ve been pretty aggressive so you can troll them with umbrella rigs or work them up with diamond jigs. We have plenty of blues, and false albacore, too. They are all keying on sand eels so the fishing should be pretty exciting for the next couple of weeks.”
Even bigger stripers showed on the West End over the past few days. Fares aboard Capt. Nick Savene’s Freeport charter boat No Time have been bailing limits daily on Mojo rigs, eels and spoons with some linesiders in the 30- to 40-pound class. After loading up with stripers, his customers have pounded blackfish with a mix of sizes and plenty of fillets to take home.
Bottom fishing remains excellent across Long Island with solid catches of porgies, sea bass and blackfish out of Northport, Huntington, Mattituck and Orient on the North Shore. On the South Shore, blackfish have begun to turn on outside of Moriches, Fire Island and Jones inlets.
Offshore wreck trips on party boats out of Captree, Freeport and Point Lookout have also produced solid catches. Capt. Mike Wasserman of the Captain Lou Starstream VIII in Freeport has been working wrecks 40 to 50 miles offshore with solid results. “We’ve had plenty of porgies and sea bass with a few cod. Sizes have been mixed but there are plenty of fillets for all.”
The skipper was excited about prospects for next week, noting that some of the best offshore wreck fishing each year takes place following November’s full moon — which occurs on Saturday. “If this year matches up to the last few, we could see some very good catches in the middle of next week” he said. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org