"THE SURF FISHING CAPITOL OF THE
There are many surf fishing opportunities on Long Island - from quiet back
bays, to the pounding surf and rocky shoreline of Montauk, to the sandy beaches
of the South Shore. Each has their own type of structure, and provide the surf
fisherman with vast opportunities. The following is a guide to help you
customize your trip.
MONTAUK THE MECCA
Montauk is a surf fishermanís dream. Here we can fish back bays, sand beaches,
and go rock hopping all in the same trip. There are spots for every tide and
every wind, so usually I can put you on to some fish.
|In May the water temperatures are cool and
the fish are migrating. May can be excellent depending on how consistent
the weather patterns are. If it is trophy stripers you seek this is one
of the best months.
||In June we usually see a good population of
sand eels, and when the stripers find them fishing can be superb.
Montauk gets overlooked by most anglers during May and June, and itís
a pleasure to catch fish without the crowds. I think of this month as
the most consistent fishing of the year.
||July can be a slow month due to high water
temperatures and a lack of bait. Fish can still be picked on night
tides, and every now and then some cows take residence in one of the
many boulder-invested areas. The trick is finding them. the first two
weeks of July can be prime time to seek trophies.
||Ahhh August! This is perhaps my favorite
month to fish. There is a lack of effort by other fishermen and cows to
be taken for those surf rats that are willing to crawl on rocks, and
take long hikes in the middle of the night to find the fish. If you plan
to book Montauk in August I recommend that you already have some casting
skills, and are in decent shape to take the long hikes, and do the
required rock hopping. August is a night only trip in most cases.
|What can I say about these months? The bass
and blues are migrating. The bait is everywhere. All out blitzes of
stripers and blues are fairly common. What a time to be a Montauk surf
|NOVEMBER & DECEMBER
||These months were can be excellent especially
for big fish, but they have been very iffy throughout
the last decade. Wind and weather play a large role, and I may recommend
another location if they are not conducive to catching fish.
Whatever time you may choose expect to learn more and fish harder
then any other area because, Montauk is the surf fishing capital of the
Long Islands South Shore is loaded with open sand beach and grassy back
bays. Generally I take my charters from Long Beach to Robert Moses although an
occasional special trip may be made to Smith Point or Shinnecock. I especially
like to walk the flats of Shinnecock in May and June for some sight fishing.
|In May the water temperatures are cool and
the fish are moving in and out of the open surf, and back bays. If you
book the South Shore in May we will probably bounce around from the
light tackle back bays to the heavier tackle open surf, and you will get
an education on both of these opportunities.
||In June I like to concentrate on the good run
of weakfish. Many nights we will not move from spot to spot because I have
found where the weakfish have been holding. Going in the back bays
of the South Shore during June depends on the wind, and the
mosquitoes, which can make things unbearable this month, so expect to
fish mostly open sand beaches.
||July is just an all around off month and the
fishing is slow. If you book this month I recommend a late night tide.
||I usually stay away from the South Shore in
August because the North Shore and Montauk are so good. Thatís not to
say August isnít good on the South Shore, I just prefer fishing
|Two excellent months on the South Shore! The
fish are migrating and mullet, white bait, and bunker are getting pushed
on to the open beaches. I am usually booked for Montauk on the weekends
during these months, but available weekdays. If you happen to book
during a Noríeaster itís probably going to be more than a 6-hour
trip because the fishing can be phenomenal.
||I like to concentrate on the open beaches
this month, as they can be explosive, especially in the Long Beach area.
This is a month that I pound the South Shore beaches, as the fish push
the peanut bunker right into the surf. I do a lot of blitz fishing this
month and on some days we will follow the birds in my buggy for miles
and miles. However, for those of you that are willing to bare the cold,
we can target big stripers in the dead of the Novemberrrrrrrr nights!
||December can be iffy and is really day-to-day
depending on the weather patterns. Yes iffy, but some of my best
days and nights have come in December.
NORTH SHORE AND BACK BAYS
Generally I tend to concentrate on the back bays of the North Shore. This is
light tackle paradise and fly rodders are welcome. When I say light tackle I am
talking 7-foot rods and 8 to 10 pound test line with a light-spinning reel. Most
of these areas require some walking, but it is well worth it, as you will enter
Back Bay gems in the way of marshlands that hold plenty of bait and yield plenty
of bass. The Long Island Sound isnít out of the question either as it has
plenty of structure and plenty of bass. Some days we will enter the back bays
and the Sound during the same trip. If you like quiet skinny water this is the
trip for you.
|May and June are perhaps my favorite months to fish the North Shore as the
back bays are loaded with bait. Bass key up on the mouths of draining marshes
and the surface action can be great as the bass explode on surface plugs like
pencil and Polaris poppers.
||The back bays hold a good population of juvenile spearing in July. The
fishing can be decent, but the fish are usually small 15" to 20" as
the water temps are warm.
||The snapperís move in to feed on the loads of spearing during August, and
when the striper finds them, it can be red hot for dusk, dawn and night fishing.
My Back Bay plug of choice during August is the black and silver Red fin. Itís
a rush to hear a stripers explode on those plugs in quiet back bay water in the
middle of the night.
|September gets the nod over October for the back bays. During September the
back bays continue to hold a good population of resident fish. By October it can
be spotty and efforts are better spent in Montauk or the South Shore. Of course
there are exceptions from year to year, week to week and even day to day. Iíll
give you the scoop when you book or check out my reports.
||The back bays are either void of life or will be very good if a population of
fish has pushed or found bait in one of the Back Bay areas. Here again itís
day to day and Iíll let you know, or take a look at my report section.
As you can see Long Island provides a wealth of surf fishing opportunities. All
the areas are fished differently, and I try to cater to your individual needs,
so you have a great time, catch some fish, and learn a heck of a lot. --Bill