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Long Island/NYC Fishing Reports

Long Island/NYC Fishing Report - October 2nd, 2015

Offshore fishing remained excellent during this report period for tuna, groundfish and sharks. There was a tremendous amount of life offshore, including whales, turtles and schools of cownose rays. Yellowfin to 25 pounds, skipjack to 15 pounds and false albacore to 12 pounds were caught along the 30-fathom line near the Bacardi wreck, where massive amounts of sand eels were blanketing the middle two-thirds of the water column. The best fishing occurred under the birds with diamond jigs, tins and flies all accounting for a mix of tuna. Anglers fishing chunks also did well. When the fish were scattered, trolling plastics also caught tuna. With the surface temperatures wells into the 70s degrees late last month, expect the tuna to hang around as long as the sand eels stay put.

Further offshore at the Texas Tower to the Hudson Canyon and The Dip, bigeye tuna to 250 pounds, yellowfins to 60 pounds, longfin to 40 pounds and mahi were caught during the early mornings and late afternoons while trolling plastics.  The best bite was at night for anglers fishing chunks.  

Sharks were reported as close as 8 miles from the beach and out to The Canyons. Brown sharks, makos and blue sharks were caught along temperature breaks, changes in bottom contours, wrecks and any other offshore structure. A few sightings of white sharks and tiger sharks were reported. There were as many sharks caught this report period as at any other time this season. Anglers reported that a can of chum hung over the side of their boat on or near any structure attracted a mix of sharks. Many tuna anglers were reporting sharks attacking hooked tuna.

A fair amount of cod to 10 pounds were reported on the deeper offshore wrecks, and on the reefs off Montauk Point, such as Cox’s Ledge. A few cod were reported in New York Bight. Ling and conger eels were mixed in with the cod. A lot of cod were being reported to the north. These fish should work their way south as the ocean bottom cools.

The fluke season closed Sept. 21, with excellent offshore fishing and good inshore fishing reported. The ocean fluke were typically just keeper size to 8 pounds in New York Bight.  Fluke to 10 pounds were common from Moriches Inlet and east to Montauk Point. In general the fluke fishing in the Sound was slow. The fluke fishing in the South Shore bays was good, with most fish just short of keeper size. Spearing and squid combos, bucktails and fluke balls were all consistent producers. A lot of sea robins were mixed in with the fluke.

The sea bass fishing continued to be excellent on the wrecks and reefs in 60 feet of water and deeper, with clams the top bait and squid strips a close second. The largest sea bass continued to be reported from Block Island Sound, with 4- to 5-pound sea bass common. Large porgies were mixed in with the sea bass, especially on the artificial reefs in 60 to 70 feet of water. 

The best porgy fishing was in the Sound from Port Jefferson east to Orient Point and off the north side of Montauk Point, with fish to 3.5 pounds common. The porgy fishing in Gardiners Bay and The Peconics was good. Good porgy fishing was also reported in the western Sound.  A fair amount of porgies were reported in New York Bight. Clams were the top bait in all areas.

The blackfish season opens on Oct. 5, and based on reports of fish being caught and released by anglers targeting sea bass opening day should be productive for large blackfish.

Overall, the striped bass and bluefishing was slow. Stripers to 20 pounds were reported off Montauk Point, as were bluefish to 10 pounds, but in general you had to work to catch a limit of stripers. This will improve as the water temperature cools.

A few small stripers and blues were being reported in the South Shore surf, especially around the inlets at night into first light, but the fall run had not yet begun. Bunker chunks were the best producer at night, with poppers and tins productive at first light. The striped bass fishing in the Sound was slow. The bluefish action in the Sound was good to very good for anglers fishing bunker chunks on the bottom or tossing plugs and flies at first light or at dusk. A few bonito were mixed in with the bluefish.

Guy Zummo

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