October has been a great month offshore and mid-shore and ok inshore. Canyon fishing slowed a little. More due to lack of fishable days to get overnight trips in more than anything else. Couple with an amazing mid-shore and inshore bite, fewer people journeyed that far. For the boats that did most of the action remained to the east in Atlantis. A good number of Montauk boats reported a decent bigeye bite as well as nighttime swordfishing. To the west, the canyon bite has mostly been albacore, and bigeye tuna, swordfish, and tiles. The mid-shore bite started at 30 fathoms and stretched from the Ranger to the AP Wreck. Anywhere along that line where draggers were working squid. Yellowfin tuna were the name of the game. Catches in good numbers from 50 to 100 pounds were reported. Every method worked (trolling, jigging, popping, and chunking) with chunking being preferred. Later in the month, the draggers followed the squid as they moved deeper. Bluefin tuna started showing up (mostly behind scallopers) but were also mixed in with the yellowfin. The inshore bite at the Rockaways remained in full effect. You needed patience and luck, but there were plenty of fish caught throughout the month. When the weather was nice it was basically a parking lot out there. This made for tough conditions to hook up, and when you did you had to walk your fish out of the fleet. This resulted in a low hook-up to landed fish ratios, the common denominator to all this success has been bait. There are huge amounts of squid and bunker around. If the water stays warm, these fish are comfortable and well fed, no need to migrate yet.
Inshore the bite remained red hot with striped bass, blackfish, porgies, and bluefish. Fluke fishing closed for 2021. Things really started to heat up at the end with only a few fishable weather windows, trips were limited. Regardless plenty of high single-digit fluke were reported. Hopefully, this trend continues for the 2022 season. The fall run of striped bass has begun in full swing. On cue, it started in the rips off Montauk. These fish have made their way down the beach to Shinnecock, Fire Island and towards NJ. There are plenty of bunker for them to gorge themselves on, so this fishery should remain red hot through November.
Striped bass, false albies and bluefish were all available around the point. As you moved further south you had a good shot at sharks, tuna and mahi. West and East Atlantis and the weather buoys all hosted a decent bigeye bite. The nighttime swordfishing in the deep was consistent too.
Here are some reports from the Viking fleet; Saturday, October 9th Capt Dave reports that despite the inclement conditions it was a pretty good day on the Viking Starship. The bite was tough to feel, but we had a good steady pick of medium to large porgies and seabass with some jumbos mixed in. There was also a bunch of cod. The first-place pool winner was Jose Guillermo Solis Reyes from North Carolina with a jumbo 3.7 lb. porgy. The edible pool winner was Alan Matica from Maryland with an 8.1 lb. cod. Tuesday, October 12th, Capt Dave reports a good day on the Viking Starship. We started in the shallow water, and it was loaded with porgies and seabass that were on the smaller side. We looked around after being off the past two days and found bigger porgies and seabass on the deeper edges along with some cod. The pool winner was Henry Logan from Brooklyn, NY with a 2.5 lb. porgy.
Most vessels out of Shinnecock and Moriches took the short run to the Coimbra area. The trick is to find the draggers and work in their vicinity. Don’t forget they are out there making a living, give them room and respect. Closer to shore shark fishing started to pick up.
Hampton Lady has been crushing the wreck fishing. Mostly large seabass with some cod and other varieties mixed in.
The Rossie out of Center Yacht Club has been sailing regularly with tremendous success. They ran some different trips specializing in weakfish and blowfish as well as sea bass. As the fall run begins, they switched over to striped bass. Fish On out of Wind Swept jumped at the chance to get his clients involved in the mid-shore yellowfin tuna bite. It’s not often they get a consistent bite 30-40 miles from their home port. So, any windows that open they took.
Vessels leaving Fire Island had a choice, bluefin fishing to the west or yellowfin to the southeast. As the month progressed many anglers gave up on the bluefin scene and headed south for the yellowfin. The yellowfin bite was more spread out, and often anglers who worked away from the fleet were handsomely rewarded.
Laura Lee continued to pick away at multiple species; seabass, porgies, weakfish, bluefish, blowfish, cape shark, sea robins, and blackfish. You never know what you’ll come with.
Bay Park Fishing Station mentioned it was all about the Rockaway bite for bluefin tuna. There were plenty of boats and plenty of anglers hooked up throughout October. Live or fresh dead bait was a big advantage to those who had it. You had to put your work in but the rewards were huge. As long as the bait sticks around hopefully the fish will too, well into November.
Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington
Marc for Cow Harbor Bait and Tackle each day brings cooler weather and lower water temps. Bait everywhere as the fish transition to feeding closer to shore. Follow the tides, early morning has been very productive for bass. Sunset and nighttime chunking and jigging have worked as well. Blackfish have been chewing on crabs.
Celtic Quest has started to see black fishing improve over the month. Weakfish and porgies remained strong. With decent catches of seabass. Weather was tricky in the fall, but when we sailed, we did well.
November should prove to be a tremendous month. There seems to be bait everywhere on both shores. Unseasonably warm weather throughout October has kept water temperature higher than normal. These are the ingredients for a long and fruitful fall run. The days are getting shorter and the weather can turn quickly. So be careful and mindful of any fronts and changing weather patterns. If you are running out for the tuna bite don’t forget the NMFS permit required. For less than $30 you can save yourself from a 2-5 thousand dollar fine.