Heading into the final days of summer — the autumnal eqinox this year falls on September 23 — fishing is starting to take on a bit of fall flavor across much of Long Island. That’s not to say fall blitz fishing conditions are here quite yet, but bottom fishing remains solid for porgies, black sea bass and even blowfish inside the bays and harbors, and is absolutely on fire around nearshore wrecks and rough bottom from Orient Point to the South Shore artificial reefs.
Stripers and bluefish, too, have been increasingly agreeable both on the South Shore and in the middle sector of Long Island Sound between Huntington and Mount Sinai. The bass have been feeding aggressively on the Middle Grounds, chomping down on a variety of baitfish and young of the year species including juvenile porgies, small sea bass and various rain baits (small minnows).
While you can catch them on bunker chunks fished on the bottom, diamond jigs offer more fun and will account for some hefty sea bass to 4 pounds as well, especially if you tie a tube lure teaser roughly 20-inches above the jig.
There has also been a serious uptick in striper action on the East End, especially at Montauk and west along the beach to East Hampton. Boaters at Montauk have had a serious edge on the big fish, but mixed in with the schoolies along the beaches have been a few respectable fish to 32 inches or so.
Matthew Broderick at J & J Sports encountered a solid bite of hungry schoolies to 26 inches, plus a keeper, on Tuesday’s incoming tide at Montauk. White bucktails with red or white Fat Cow trailers were all he needed for two hours of non-stop action from the beach. Broderick also noted that both school bass and newly arrived false albacore have been harassing baitfish schools at Shinnecock Inlet. “It really is starting to come together right now,” he said.
While the inshore bite continues to build, there is plenty of other outdoors-related activity scheduled around Long Island over the coming weeks. The NYS DEC I Love NY program has slated the First Annual Long Island Women’s Fishing Expo for September 28 at Belmont Lake State Park.
The free event (there is an $8 parking fee) will be hosted by women and geared toward women and children, although everyone is invited. The program will include casting, fly-fishing, fish-fillet, knot tying, fisheries management and shellfishing information and demonstrations.
In addition to participants, the DEC is looking for women who would enjoy teaching a fishing skill like knot tying or fly fishing. Contact DEC Region 1 Fisheries Manager Heidi O’Riordan (631-444-0280) if interested.
Serious trout fans might want to attend a meeting with the DEC regarding a new inland trout stream management plan. DEC is developing the plan based on updated scientific information and the desires expressed by anglers during public meetings held across the state back in 2017. This latest meeting will allow fisheries managers to explain the proposed approach, answer questions and solicit feedback.
Ten public meetings will be held across the state from October to November. The first is October 1, right here on Long Island at the NYS Fraternal Order-Police Hall, 911 Police Plaza, Hicksville. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.