The big winds that barreled in over the past two days couldn’t have come at a less opportune time for Long Island anglers. A fall rush of stripers, green bonito and false albacore was finally setting up along both the north and south shores, and blackfish, sea bass and scup had been chewing, too.
Now, after a three-day weather hiatus, anglers are anxious to see if their targets return to the most recent hot spots. Ever the optimist, some are even hoping the winds might ultimately improve the fishing by disorientating baitfish schools or pushing them closer to shore.
“I sure hope the wind riles up the fish some more,” said Jon Kalb, of Brooklyn, on Wednesday just before the rain began. He was casting tins with his twin brother Jamie and scoring with a mix of false albacore and school stripers. Jamie had just landed his first little tunny, as false albacore are also known.
“Those albies are so much more intense than their size suggests,” said Jon, in a follow-up phone call. “You set the hook and your line just keeps going out. What a thrill it is to catch them.”
As was the case along much of the North Shore, the albies and bass that delighted both Kalbs were ripping into bay anchovies pushing eastward along the beach.
“There was a bit of wind last week and that seemed to get the fish fired-up,” said Jon Kalb, “I hope the action will be even better once things calm down after this storm.”
While a mix of albies and school bass were the main attraction along the Sound coastline, bigger stripers ruled Sunday through Wednesday on the South Shore.
“The fishing was solid for striped bass, sea bass and porgies until the storm arrived,” said Capt. Neil Delanoy of Captree’s Laura Lee Fleet. “We were enjoying mixed bag catches 150 feet of water and hitting the stripers up close to the beach between Fire Island Inlet and Cherry Grove.”
The stripers, noted Delanoy, had been plentiful and mixed in size from schoolies to 42 pounds, with many fish breaking the 20-pound mark. Most customers, he added, used diamond jigs to imitate the sand eels and bunker that have lured predators into the area. The Capt. Gillen, another Captree open boat, and the Captree Pride enjoyed similar success.
Small boat operators had also been in on the fun. Great South Bay had bass under bunker pods from the inlet way back to Bay Shore and Ocean Beach.
Moriches Bay had seen good action at the inlet and along the back side of Cutchogue Beach, and South Oyster Bay had offered steady catches around the bridges, boat docks and the back side of Jones Inlet.
Soft plastic swim shads and small poppers accounted for most of the bay action before the breezes. They should be in your starting line-up following the blow as well.
View Restaurant in Oakdale will hold its 29th Annual striped bass tournament on Election Day Nov. 5. As always, the winner will get his or her name engraved on a trophy that will be permanently displayed at View. Entrance fee is $100 per person and must be paid by Nov. 4. Contact Captain Jim Hahn at 631-589-2694 for more details.