From The Helm

We Found Them…but it took some miles… like 100!

The weather has not been cooperative of late.  We had some storms come in a stir things up, then we had follow up winds that made it difficult to fish most areas, but finally the last two days the Fish Gods gave us an opportunity.

On Tuesday we worked the bay around Fire Island.  It’s been like a broken record:
Blues  around Coast Guard Station, Bridge and the shoals.  On Bunker Chunks, SP Minnows and Plugs.

Fluke are basically a dinosaur in our waters.  It seems like 19” Fluke are extinct.  The ocean bite is no better, but if you don’t keep plugging away at it, you’ll be the last to find out that the bite is on.

-The Weakfish bite cooled off as they have been under a ton of pressure since they were the only game in town for the past 3 weeks.  Everyone and everyone have pounded them, and on Tuesday they were not in their usual holes.  We suspect they moved a bit further back towards Sayville and Patchogue, but we haven’t had a chance to work those areas as of yet.

Stripers:  I’ve heard rumors that there is a hot and cold bite just west of Fire Island and today I decided to target the Mighty Striped Fish.  I headed out at 5:30a.m. and reached the inlet around 6a.m.  Just south of the inlet I saw birds working hard.  Traveled to them but only marked string bait, nothing with size around them.  I trolled a bit, but it was dead.  I picked up my lines and moved west.  Again, birds were working just west of Jones Beach Inlet, but again, just string bait.  No bunker and no sign of big marks.

Again, I picked up and moved west.  As I got around Debbs Inlet, more birds…and more string bait.  But the water looked different.  It was a bit oily, there was a smell in the air and it looked like I may have just missed a feeding frenzy.  I circled this area, worked it a bit, but again nothing.

Off to the west…this time I saw the light… well actually boats…a ton of them.  They were all set up in and around Raritan Bay.  They stretched for miles.

I wasn’t there for 10 minutes and #1 was on.  A super nice and healthy 29” Striper.  He hit a white mojo.  #2 was on a few moments later, this time on a white Tony Maja Spoon.  Because of the crowd I decided to stop trolling and try other techniques.  I put an AllPro Wang Jig on, PINK… and BINGO.. 33” Striper.  I then switched to a white Ronz 10”… bang #4, #5, #6.  I then found myself all alone and a bunker pod raised around me.  With the fleet of 50+ boats to my south, I snagged some bunker, put them on circle hooks and lived line them.  I don’t think any of them lasted 30 seconds.. fish #7, #8, #9.  At one point I couldn’t even get the bunker back to the boat.  Fortunately I put skirts on all of my snagging treble hooks so I comply with the new rules regarding the use of circle hooks.

It honestly began to get boring, fish after fish.  I stopped counting around 12 or so.  I didn’t keep any, all were released healthy.  There weren’t any monsters but every fish was between 29” and 35”.  The best part of the trip was that I was using extra light tackle.  I was using Daiwa Ballistic and BG 2500-3000 reels, the bass just tore line off of them.  By 11a.m. I was done aka cooked.  I turned around and ran back to my homeport of Bay Shore, NY.  Of course I had to stop at Bergen Bay to top off the tank.  100 miles in all.  All this so I can gain some knowledge, write a report and share information.

If you would like to go on an AllPro Striper Charter, I’m running them for $800 full day (3 Fishermen/8hrs).  Email us for dates at

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