Overall, 2014 was an excellent fishing season. The sea bass, porgy, blackfish and ling fishing was outstanding, with some of the best-reported catches in years. The flounder season was slow. The striper season was strong in the spring and into the summer, but the big fish run typical of June was lacking, as was the overall surf fishing action, except in the Long Island Sound and East End bays for anglers waving a fly rod.
The fall run for stripers and blues was relatively quiet compared to a few seasons ago, but there were enough fish to make the trips productive. The fluke season was fair, with better fishing inshore than offshore, which was a switch from the last two seasons, predominantly because of the lack of squid offshore. Mackerel showed up well last winter in New York Bight and hopefully will return strong this winter. The inshore mixed-bag fishing for blowfish, kingfish and triggerfish was good, with more blowfish reported than last year. The number of exotic fish reported, including cobia, Spanish mackerel and black drum, was low.
Offshore, the fishing was better than last year for tuna at The Canyons. More tuna were caught on the troll than on chunks, with many large bigeye tuna reported, as were a few blue marlin and swordfish. The mahi fishing was excellent. The inshore tuna fishing for bonito and false albacore never really materialized, with the exception of Montauk Point and in portions of New York Bight. The shark season was good, with a fair number of makos reported, excellent early-season blue shark fishing, but fewer threshers than years past.
The 2014 fishing closed with excellent long-range party boat and charter fishing for cod, sea bass, pollock, ling and porgy action reported out of all the South Shore ports, as well as Montauk Point. These trips targeted wrecks 60 miles or more from shore, fished the less-visited wrecks and lasted for 18 or more hours. Sea bass to 7 pounds, cod to 30 pounds and large ling were reported. The inshore trips also reported excellent sea bass action as well as porgies to 3 pounds, along with a fair number of bluefish ranging from cocktail size to 10 pounds.
The sea bass and porgy season closed on Dec. 31, so the boats will be primarily targeting cod and ling. A few charter boats will be running trips to the canyon edges to fish for blue and golden tilefish. The charter boats out of Sheepshead Bay will be running mackerel trips throughout January and February. The striped bass and blackfish seasons are closed.
The small-game season for rabbits and squirrels is open. Check the latest regulations before heading out for waterfowl.
If you have any fishing or hunting reports that you would like to share, send me an email at email@example.com.