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Hot Spots
Finding the fish is half the battle but where do you start? Let The Fisherman help narrow your search with the following hot spot reviews. Each honey hole is covered in detail to reveal the best seasons, times and tides for our most popular species. Maps, tips and insights from our expert fishing staff help pin-point the best of the action in your area so you'll be there with the right lures, bait and gear when the bite is ready to explode.


Sitting roughly mid-way between Connecticut and Long Island, the Middle Ground is an area approximately three miles in radius, surrounding a high spot that is exposed at low tide, and officially known as Stratford Shoal. There is a lighthouse sitting on the shoal that makes it easy to locate from a distance. Six miles north of Pt. Jefferson Harbor, Stratford (Middle Ground) Shoal (41 03 06N / 73 06 01W) consists of a variety of bottom contours creating all sorts of rip lines and drop-offs anywhere from 15 to 65 feet of water, making it an oasis for bass and bluefish, especially from late August and well into November. Diamond jigs are the top choice when drifting the rip lines, however chunking with fresh bunker while anchored up tide of the shoal will certainly put fish in the box as well. Read more »


It was early September 2013, and the forecast looked good for a run “out east” as everyone seems to refer to the tuna grounds off Chatham. I was joined by New England Advertising Sales Manager, Dale Nicholson and we were fishing with Capt. John Clothier of Fish Chatham Charters. We eased our way out through Stage Harbor, turned east and shot past Monomoy Island with building seas that would eventually be my undoing (but that story is for a different day). Today our destination was for the area generally referred to as the Sword; the target waters of many of the tuna forays of the fleet based out of Chatham and beyond.

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The first thing the astute observer notices about Two Tree Island is there are no trees on it. “According to old timers,” said Mat Hillyer, owner of Hillyer’s Tackle Shop in Waterford, CT, “there were two trees on it at one time, but the hurricane of 1938 wiped them out.” Nonetheless, its wooded name persists.

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Located south of Copiague inside East/West Channel is the Copiague Hole, an area frequently mentioned in fishing reports, and where each season anglers score a host of inshore favorites from this man made hotspot. The Hole plays host to a variety of species from blowfish to striped bass. It is located just east of Tanner Park in East West Channel and is approximately 30 feet in depth, surrounded by the 10-foot depth of the channel. The area was dredged a number of years ago, and the dredge material used to build up the Copiague shoreline for waterfront development. Read more »


It was the third day of my second visit to Block Island, and after two fishless nights Rich Morris and I decided to put some more time into scouting the island. We hit all the spots from the night before—the Poop Chute, Southeast Light, Snake Hole, Black Rock and Southwest Point—and made both mental notes as well as written ones when something stood out that we felt might hold fish later that night. When we pulled into the little parking area at the end of Dories Cove road, we both brought a rod as some cloud cover began to settle in and a light southwest wind made for some fishy-looking water, even at the early-afternoon hour.

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Hiding in plain sight among the bigger, more popular venues within a 15- to 30-minute drive including Mountain Lake, the Spruce Run, Round Valley and Merrill Creek reservoirs, and the Delaware River sits the redheaded stepchild 53-acre Furnace Lake, a fish-producing cauldron that puts fins in the air at every turn of the calendar page.

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There is no doubt that Indian River Inlet is the number one fish producing location in Delaware. It is possible to catch just about any inshore species here and the month of October is when they all come together.

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The water here is gin clear – much more so than my native waters of Long Island Sound – and the beach about 1/4 mile north of me glimmered white in the midday sun. A more picturesque fluke hotspot is hard to imagine. Isabella Beach, typically referred to as just “Isabella” by local anglers, is about a half-mile long, slightly-banana-shaped stretch of sand on the south side of Fishers Island in the eastern end of Long Island Sound. Fishers Island itself is about nine miles long by only one mile wide, and despite its close proximity to the Connecticut shoreline, is part of Southold Town. To its north is Fishers Island Sound, and to its south is Block Island Sound. It is this stretch along its south shore that is a perennial fluke fishing hotspot. Read more »


At the risk of being labeled a “spot burner,” I thought it best to cover an entire 18-mile stretch as opposed to any favorite bar, point or jetty. Of course, with the eight-week LBI Surf Fishing Classic slated to kick off in early October, you can expect a bit of interloping to occur regardless of what you may see in print!

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All through the month of July, Massey’s Canyon was red hot for bluefin tuna. Roughly 43 miles southeast out of Cape May Inlet and 32 miles from Ocean City, MD, Massey’s is easily accessible for mid-range boaters and sportfishers alike to get into big gamefish (hence the often crowded conditions).

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Orient Point, NY is the farthest easterly tip on the north fork of Long Island, and it separates Long Island Sound to the north from Gardiners Bay to the south. The town of Orient is located several miles inland from the point, and it gained a reputation as a honeymooner’s hideaway early in the 20th century. In the late 1980s, Suffolk County purchased a large area of land here to help maintain and preserve the peninsula’s fragile environment of beaches, dunes and tidal marshes. Still the only way to attain the tip of the point is by a footpath, which minimizes impact to the land and offers more pristine fishing conditions.

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Anglers sailing from Mount Sinai and Port Jefferson Harbors, and from as far west as Huntington, will set their GPS for Stratford Shoal - better known as the Middle Ground. Each season sees exceptional fishing for stripers and bluefish along with the trio of tog, sea bass and scup to keep rods bent and anglers coming back for more. Read more »

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