How will this past week’s stiff winds affect the fishing? That’s the question on angler’s minds as we head into the weekend following a blustery streak that saw waters roughed up all along the Long Island coast.
For surfcasters, it’s likely the strong winds accompanied by rain over the past few days will help kick-start what has been a lackluster fall run of bass and blues. Although there have been strong innings with school bass and some choppers around Smiths Point, Moriches Inlet and Montauk, action in most other areas has trailed considerably.
Perhaps a harbinger of better scores to come over the next few weeks, heavy winds on Wednesday kicked up the North Fork surf to the point that false albacore, which had been mostly holding to the east of Plum Island, made their way inside Long Island Sound for sporadic encounters between Riverhead and Orient Point.
Also putting in an appearance were some small striped bass, which had also been missing from the North Fork scene. There’s little doubt the winds have finally stirred the pot in this area. Given a day or two, and a continued drop in water temperature, that action could improve considerably over the next few days.
At the opposite end of Long Island, Capt. Steve Kearney of the Point Lookout open boat Super Hawk is planning a change in schedule to intercept porgies, sea bass, false albacore and bonito as they start to head farther offshore.
“Fishing was good through Sunday, which is the last day most of the fleet was able to get out,” said the skipper, “but I’m guessing the bottom feeders will start heading toward deeper water now that we’ve had some serious weather. To keep pace, the Super Hawk, which usually sails half-day trips through the warmer months, will switch over to full day adventures starting Sunday. That will give the boat time to head offshore and probe wrecks 20 to 40 miles from the beach where anglers are likely to see considerably more variety and legal sized fish in their scores.
Capt. Paul Ripperger of the Prime Time Fleet in Orient plans to head right back out to the waters he was working between Orient Point and Block Island before the breezes picked up as catches of porgies and sea bass, along with some school stripers and blues, were excellent until the winds put the fleet at bay. “I’m pretty sure those fish will still be feeding hot and heavy,” said the captain. “The bite was solid last week so I don’t expect them to move anywhere fast.”
Both the Prime Time 3 and Jenglo will target blackfish this weekend when the wind allows them to sail. After that, the Jenglo will do open boat trips to Block Island for the sea bass and scup, plus private charters for blackfish.
New striped bass survey
The NYS DEC has launched an online survey to gain additional public opinion on options developed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to address striped bass overfishing. The survey allows anglers to select their preferred ASMFC striped bass management options and provide suggestions for developing commercial and recreational regulations for the 2020 fishing season. The survey will be available through Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. Go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/118316.html for details and follow the link for the survey. A paper survey is available by request to FW.Marine@dec.ny.gov, or by calling 631-444-0450.