Click on Photo to take you to the
fish facts and helpful hints
The Striped Bass is the most popular
game fish on the east coast, as well as one of the best
tasting. Stripers are called "rockfish" in the southern
states, and can reach weights of over 60 pounds.
East coast striped bass stocks suffered serious declines
in the 1980s but stringent management measures involving
severe sacrifices by fishermen contributed to a major
rebound. Today striper stocks have been declared fully
restored. Striped bass spawn during the winter, mostly in the
Hudson River and rivers feeding Chessepeak Bay. In the
spring stripers move to the coastal waters and migrate to
the North and East. We fish for stripers from late April to
early December and we fish in many different ways. In the
bay we cast rubber lures day or night during the spring,
summer, and fall.
A lot of stripers casting rubber
lures like "bass assassins" on jig heads. We do most of this
fishing in the evening or at night. This fishing is usually
best with light or moderate wind. Week nights and late trips
are usually best because of the lighter boat traffic. The
people who cast the furthest from the boat usually do
the best. The bow and stern seem to do the best when we are
drifting and the middle of the boat when we are anchored.
Braided line like
"Power Pro" works well for
this fishing because you can cast a bit further and feel the
hit better. When you feel the hit, jerk up on the rod
immediately and hard to hook the bass.
clam chum we anchor and put a chum
pot up tide, usually in the bow. The current carries the
ground clam away from the boat. The stripers taste the chum
and start swimming toward the boat and eat the first clam
bait that they come to. The rougher the better
the fishing. Depending on the strength of the wind and
current, the lines and chum usually run toward the stern,
making that the best place to fish. Now, often there is
enough breeze to cock the boat causing the lines and chum to
run a little bit off one side. Fish on this side and cast
out a bit with a spinning rod to do best. For stripers never
fish under the boat. Monofilament line is much better for
this fishing. When you feel a bite, just start reeling.
In November and December when the wind is
Northwest the inshore ocean waters of Long Island are
relatively calm. Peanut bunker, herring and other baitfish
inhabit the 40 to 60 foot depths and the Southwest migrating
schools of stripers feed on them. Spinning or conventional
rods are both ok and monofilament or braided lines are fine.
Just cast away from the boat and reel in slowly or jig
slowly until you feel a hit, then lift up quickly to hook
Snagging bunker is a great way to get bait for striped
bass. And many anglers make the mistake of using and old rod
with bad line to snag bunker and sooner or later their
snagging bunker and catch the right fish and their gear is
not ready for it.
want to make sure that we put the right line, reel and rod.
Use a very stout 7′ rod with 30lb braid and a 5000-8000 size
spinning reel. A setup of this size has enough muscle to
fight any fish that you might come across. Our preference is
to use a naked treble in to 10/0 or 12/0 size. These trebles
without weight are actually going to be more effective than
a weighted one. When fishing from a boat you can usually
get close enough to the bunker that your going to have
enough casting distance especially when using braided line.
you might need a little extra casting distance, especially
when using a smaller hook like a 10/0. What we do is keep
some sodder on the boat and tightly wrap it around the shank
of the hook as many times as need to get the weight we want.
is something that many anglers get wrong. I refuse to say
that there have been countless times I see angler taking
wild swings to snag, that is because I see it every time. We
simply cast it out let the line sink and hold it tight, once
we feel a gentle tick we take the swing and were hooked up.
Back to Menu
Fluke, also known as summer
flounder, are easily recognizable because they are flattened
from side to side, allowing them to lay flat on sandy or
muddy bottom partially burying themselves while waiting for
unsuspecting bait fish to come by.
During its larval stage the fluke's the right eye moves to
the left side, the upper side, of the fish. This upper
side can change from light brown to almost black, allowing
the fish to blend in when it is lying on the bottom. The
right, or lower, side is white, making the fish difficult
to see from below when it is up in the water column.
Fluke are known as voracious predators. They have sharp
teeth and are adept at feeding on smaller fish. Large fluke,
known as "doormats" for obvious reasons, can reach upwards
of fifteen pounds but the most common size is two to four
We fish for Fluke drifting with spearing
and squid. Fluke bite best when we can drift at about 1
knot. When we fish in the Sound we can fish different areas at different parts of the tide to find the
right amount of current for a good drift.
Fluke are one of the most abundant fish in
our waters. Their stocks have increased to four times what
they were just 15 years ago. In spite of their abundance
fluke can be a little tricky for some beginners to catch so
weíve included some tips that you might find helpful.
Fluke grab the bait half way between the tail and head
and hold it for about 5 seconds before they try to swallow
it. You should wait about 10 seconds after you feel the
extra weight on your line to start reeling. The mistake many
new fluke fishermen make is to lift the rod when they feel a
bite. Now try to picture your line going down to the sinker
and the three foot leader at nearly a right angle. When you
lift the sinker two feet off the bottom the hook and bait
only move a few inches, not enough to hook a fluke. This two
foot lift of the rod works for sea bass, porgies, and
blackfish because we fish with a twelve inch leader.
Now you have lifted the rod two feet,
experienced fishermen have learned to keep the rod up and
start reeling. This hooks the fish. Almost all beginners
lift the rod two feet, feel the weight of the fluke, lower
the rod and then start to reel. When you are lowering the
rod the hook is no longer pulled tight against the inside of
flukeís boney mouth. The fluke senses something is wrong and
opens his mouth. When you start reeling the bait and hook
come out of his mouth. The best way to hook a fluke
especially for a beginner is to wait for that extra weight
on your line, this is the fluke swimming along with your bait
halfway in his mouth. After about five or ten seconds he
will flip his tail a few times for the extra speed, open his
mouth and swallow the bait and hook. After waiting a few
seconds or feeling a few sharp tugs (the fluke flipping his
tail and chewing the bait) donít move the rod, just start
reeling. The constant pressure of the hook in the flukeís
mouth will hook the fish almost every time. Also, if the
fluke is not hooked it can still catch and eat the baited
Here are a few tips for fishing when drifting
conditions arenít perfect. With a slow drift, the side of the
boat with the lines going under the boat is best because
these baits get to the fish first. With a fast drift the
side where the lines go away from the boat is best because
as the fluke are trying to catch up to the bait and they get to
these baits first.
On days with little wind a slow drift,
jigging with bucktails and fluke balls is most effective.
When fluke fishing with a lot of wind and a fast drift
braided line offers less resistance and your sinker and bait
stay on the bottom better. If you have any doubt about your
sinker size use a heavier one. Your line must be on the
another one of the species that is extremely popular with
consumers and sportsfishermen. Found in inshore waters and
estuaries from Cape Hatteras to New England, the weakfish is one
of our most sought-after species of finfish.
Reaching a weight of 15 pounds and above, they are more
often seen between 3 and 8 pounds. They are abundant in Long
Island's bays between May and October. Weakfish are called
weakfish because of their weak mouths that can tear if you try
to lift them into the boat without using a net.
We catch some weakfish on clams, but most of them are
caught casting rubber artificial lures, like "bass assassins",
on jig heads using spinning rods. Weaks bite best in the evening
and at night. Fishermen do best moving the lure or bait slowly
near the bottom. Braided lines like "power pro" work well when
casting artificial lures because they cast a little further and
have less stretch when hooking the fish. When we are drifting,
the bow and stern seem to do best and when we anchor after dark
the middle of the boat is usually best.
Back to Menu
also known as black sea bass,
are a mild tasting fish with a firm, white fillet that support a major fishery in New York.
Sea bass are protogynous hermaphrodites meaning they are females when they are born
and at three to four
years of age and about 3lbs. they change sex. You can identify
the dominant males by the blue bump that develops on their foreheads.
bass have a range that extends from New England to Florida but they are
most concentrated off Long Island and New Jersey. They can weigh upwards
of five pounds but are most commonly available in the one to three pound range.
Primarily bottom dwellers, sea bass are fond of frequenting wrecks
rocks and reefs. They migrate to deeper offshore waters in the
fall and return to the shallower waters as they warm in the spring. We
fish for sea bass with clam bait while anchored or drifting very slowly.
They are often mixed with porgies and blackfish. Fishing season runs
from May to November. Sea bass are easy to catch and double headers are
very common when fishing is good.
Back to Menu
also known as tautog, (Tautoga
onitis) ranges from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. It lives along
the coast in rocky areas and may be found near pilings, jetties and
wrecks. It is commonly taken at fishing reefs in the Atlantic Ocean just
south of Long Island. Tautogs can grow to 3 feet or about 22 pounds, but
most fish are between 2 and 8 pounds. Blackfish feed mostly on mussels,
clams and crabs and only feed during the day. The greenish coloration in
the fins is caused by this fish's diet, primarily blue mussels. And yes,
they are a delicious food fish!
We fish for blackfish with crabs anchored over ocean and bay wrecks.
Blackfish like to get inside wrecks or between rocks and at night they
sleep with their heads down and their tails up.
Blackfish separate the good
fishermen from the beginners. They are a tricky fish to catch. A
blackfish first grabs a crab with itsí front teeth. You will feel a
light tap on your line and if you lift up then you will pull the hook
out of his mouth. Next the fish bites down to crack the shell. You feel
a tug on the line. Donít swing now, but wait for the second or third tug
when he is chewing and swallowing the crab. Now lift up hard on the rod
pulling him out from between the rocks or wreckage. Then keep the rod up
until you have reeled in at least 10 feet of line to prevent the tog
from getting into the wreckage.
Back to Menu
In the warmer weather the bluefish is
one of the most common inhabitants of the inshore and near coastal waters
in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ranging in size from small "snappers" of under a
pound in weight to giant "slammers" weighing over twenty pounds, bluefish provide recreational opportunities and first-class table fare
to millions of people each year.
Bluefish are commonly found in the estuaries and the coastal waters
of every state from Maine to Florida. They are in Long Island waters
from May until November.
We catch most of our bluefish casting rubber
artificial lures at night or diamond jigs during daylight hours. Bluefish often
best in the early morning, evening, and at night. Fishermen do best with a fast
retrieve of the lure off the bottom. Braided line like "power pro" works
well casting artificial lures because it casts a bit further and has less
stretch when hooking a fish. When drifting and casting the bow and stern
are best. When anchored after dark the middle of the boat is usually
best. Some night trips we will catch bluefish in the ocean in 60 to 100 foot
depths using bunker chum and mackerel bait. If anchored or drifting with
side of the boat with the lead, or where the lines run away from the
boat, and to the fish first is usually best.
|Porgy, which is also known as
scup in the Mid-Atlantic region, is a common, bottom dwelling species
that supports large recreational and commercial fisheries. Pound
for pound it is one of the hardest fighting fish in the sea.
Porgies have a range that extends from New England to Florida
but they are most abundant from Long Island to Massachusetts. They can
weigh upwards of five pounds but are most commonly available in the one
to two pound range.
Primarily bottom dwellers, they are fond of frequenting wrecks and
other undersea structures. They migrate to deeper offshore waters in the
fall and return to the shallower waters as they warm in the spring.
We catch porgies with clam bait anchored or slowly drifting on bay and
ocean wrecks and reefs. They are most abundant in our area from July
through November and are often mixed with sea bass and blackfish.
Porgies are easy to catch and when fishing is good, double headers are
Porgy bites are often relatively
light, for that reason fishermen with lighter more sensitive rods and
line often do the best. 20 lbs test line, either braided or monofilament, is
about right. Spinning rods and light conventionals are good.
have small mouths and are usually hooked in the lips so the hook can
easily rip out if you reel too fast or hook them too hard. The best
porgy fishermen hook these scrappy fish by lifting the rod slowly about
3 feet then reeling them in slowly. When they reach the surface, they
should be lifted into the boat by lowering the rod tip to within one
foot of the water, then with one motion lifting the fish out
of the water, over the rail, and into the boat. Actually this method of
boating a fish should be used whenever you are not going to net or gaff
Back to Menu