The best fishing during of late was off Montauk Point, where boat anglers limited out on stripers and sea bass and caught buckets full of porgies and many bluefish on a single trip. Most of the stripers were between 15 and 20 pounds, with a few fish into the high 20-pound class being caught on each trip. The most productive method was trolling bucktails tipped with pork rinds on wireline rigs. Diamond jigs also worked well. Stripers in the 30-pound class and larger were caught on live porgies, but fewer stripers were caught live baiting than trolling or jigging.
Surfcasters scored on stripers in the Montauk surf from the Town Beach around The Point to the North Side, with a 50-pound plus fish reported. Stripers were caught steadily on the night tides and during the day when the stripers blitzed the surf. Bluefish were caught on an equal ratio to striped bass during the daytime blitzes. At night, the bulk of the catch was stripers. The fish were mostly large teen-sized stripers and blues from 5 to 8 pounds.
Bluefish were mixed in with the stripers, with the best bluefishing occurring during slack tides and when the current slowed. Once the current ran fast, anglers reported nearly all the fish were stripers. The blues averaged 4 to 10 pounds. The best fishing occurred on the rips and reefs on the north side of the lighthouse. The stripers moved from spot to spot during the report period, so anglers needed to find out where the stripers were holding. But once the fish were found anglers limited out on stripers within a few hours.
Fly-fishermen caught numerous false albacore on crease flies and 1/0-white Deceivers and other bay anchovies patterns by fishing under the flocks of birds off Montauk Point. Light-tackle anglers scored in the same area using Deadly Dicks and other thin-profile tins. The false albacore were around 10 pounds.
Teen-sized stripers and cocktail-sized bluefish were caught by anglers fishing clam bellies and fresh skimmer clams on the outer bars of Moriches, Fire Island and Jones inlets. The best fishing occurred during the outgoing tide. Anglers trolling wire just outside the inlets did well on larger bass bunker spoon and bucktails. Blues were caught on umbrella rigs, along with short stripers. Anglers fishing inside the inlets using eels and live bunker at night scored with bass in the 40-pound class and larger.
The South Shore inlets are holding some of the biggest stripers in the area; there are not a lot being caught but enough to make the trip for a trophy worth the nighttime outing.
Surf anglers fishing the ocean beaches caught stripers and blues during the early mornings and late afternoons on tins and poppers. During the midday and night tides, fresh bunker chunks were the top baits.
Porgies were caught non-stop on the north side of Montauk on the flats and north area. Anglers used fresh skimmer clams and drifted over hard bottom for porgies up to 3 pounds. A few sea bass were mixed in with the porgies, but better sea bass fishing was found off Fishers and Block islands. Further to the west, Captain Des of the Celtic Quest Fleet reported excellent porgy and sea bass fishing in the Middle Grounds off Port Jefferson. Excellent porgy fishing was reported in Gardiner’s Bay and The Peconics. The areas around Jessup’s Neck and Rodger’s Rock were typically good. Fresh skimmer clams were the top porgy and sea bass bait in all areas.
Excellent blackfishing was found off Fishers Island and Block Island. Green, Asian and hermit crabs all worked well. The blackfish averaged around 3 pounds, but blackfish to 8 pounds were caught on each trip.
The blackfishing in New York Bight to Shinnecock Inlet, as well as in the Long Island Sound, improved with the cooling water temperatures. Large blackfish moved into the artificial reefs and onto the hard bottom found in 30 feet of water in the Sound.
The sea bass season closed in federal waters but reopened on Oct. 18. Anglers caught larger sea bass on the inshore artificial reefs and wrecks. Triggerfish, especially from Debs Inlet into New York Bight, were caught with the sea bass. A good amount of porgies was caught in the same areas.
A few pollock and codfish were reported by anglers working the offshore wrecks for sea bass and blackfish.
Yellowfin, albacore and bigeye tuna were caught by anglers fishing the offshore canyons. The tuna bite was best on chunks at night, but a fair number of bigeye were caught at first light while trolling. Mahi continued to be caught by the tuna anglers. A few sharks – mostly makos and browns – were raiding the nighttime chunk baits.
The freshwater fishing was good for largemouth bass and panfish.