With the latest northeast storm to pass through our area as I write this, it is going to set off a bonanza of angling opportunities for everyone from surfcasters to blackfishermen to those looking to troll bunker spoons for bass and everything in between. I figured I would take this opportunity to call of the local tackle shops and ask them what they think is going to happen after the seas settle down and what to expect this fall.
In a call to Causeway Bait and Tackle in Wantagh (www.causewaybaitandtackle.com), I spoke with Chuck and he is anticipating a tremendous season. "We have a ton of bait in the back bays of Florence Beach, Massapequa Cove and the Seaford area. As this bait makes its way to the inlet for the migration, anglers working the back bays of these areas can have some dynamite plugging opportunities with artificials," Chuck said. "As a charter captain I spend a good amount of time in the back bays working these areas and the back of Merrick Bay with light baitcasting outfits or the fly rod and it's not uncommon to see plenty of bass to 20 pounds and lots of big bluefish gorging on the bait as they try to head out. Peanut bunker, large bunker, spearing and shad all call the back bays home and it is here the predators wait in ambush," he ads.
Mike Nicoletti and Bobby Turturello, owners of Causeway (516-785-3223) also add the blackfishing at the Wantagh bridges and the Big Meadowbrook Bridge is set to bust open with fish caught already this week. "Most of the tog here can be small" Mike says, "but if you use green crabs and fish the right window of opportunity, which is the next couple of week, the 5 and 6 pounders will be there in force. Stick with the green crabs and wait for al the pesky bergals and smaller blackfish to stop picking at the bait, when this happens the big tog will take over and you will have quality fish. Their hours are Monday through Saturday 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays they close at 6 p.m.
When I spoke with Bob Rose at Bob's B&T; in Amity Harbor (631-842-7573) Bob anticipates an increasingly great bite on live eels in Fire Island Inlet and the Sore Thumb area. "Every season we see quite a few 30-plus-pound bass caught at night on the live eels from this area," Bob said. "When shad roll in to this area as they make their migratory move, we see plenty of bass over 40 pounds on live shad and we even had a few over 50 pounds over the last season or two. During the day you can catch a bunch of kingfish, legal porgies and lizardfish using worms and clam chum in about an hour's time, then use these for bass bait during the day. You would be surprised at how big some of the bass are that are caught during daylight hours on live bait," he adds.
"Many of my customers love to troll the Tobay and Gilgo Beach areas with bunker spoons. This is only going to get better with some very big bass and teen size bluefish caught in October, and then it really gets going again in November when the wire line game gets going. We carry the Seeker Rods used on "The Fishing Line" like the BA330 trolling rod which is the standard in the wire line or mono trolling game and the 1153M in either 8 or 9-foot which is specially designed for trolling bunker spoons." For those who want to stay with the action, there is a plethora of bottom fishing action for blackfish, sea bass, kingfish, porgies and flounder in the fall once you put a chum pot down. His hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For info on what and where to fish in the Fire Island Inlet area call Bob's 631-842-7573.
On the surf fishing front, one of the leading stores for sure is Sunrise Bait and Tackle (631-884-0982) in North Lindenhurst. Sunrise B&T; is located just east of Wellwood Ave. on the south side Sunrise Highway service road. Owner Mark Gross says, "Look for area beaches like Robert Moses, Sore Thumb, Cedar Overlook and Gilgo to hold some really big bass on bunker chunks. Fish the night tides for better success and stick to your game plan. If you fish an area of beach, make sure you give it a decent amount of time to produce before abandoning the plan. Change your bait frequently and keep it fresh."
Mark ads, "Look for great plugging opportunities with poppers and Bombers at Robert Moses the first week of November as well. This area has always been known as a late October and first week or so of November big bass beach. Those using chunks at night here during these weeks can score stripers into the high 40-pound range." When I asked Mark about the bottom fishing possibilities he said, "Blackfish action on green and fiddlers crabs should be excellent with blackfish at the Robert Moses Bridge and the Fire Island Reef. You'll find some very impressive tog at both places and the fall bonanza includes sea bass and a good shot of porgies on the Fire Island Reef." Sunrise Bait & Tackle opens early and closes at 10 p.m.! Call 631-884-0982.
There you have it, right from the experts in the local bait and tackle shops. You can call the numbers provided for their info and reports, or you find all their updated fishing reports and info, along with the rest of the Long Island area at our web site at www.thefishingline.com. Make sure you sign up for and register for the NEW Message Boards now too at www.thefishingline.org. Here you can interact with other anglers in a variety of fishing subjects or sell used fishing tackle or trade fishing tackle as well.