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Posted By Fred Golofaro, October 21, 2019
Blackfishing around many parts of the Island is off to a great start. These bruisers were caught off the North Fork aboard the Mattituck based Celtic Quest.

Out east, striped bass seemed to have moved towards the west with only a handful of shorts remaining locally. Sea bass and scup remain steady by Block, but the big news is the incredible tog fishing along the North Fork as all the Orient charter and open boats are getting their boat limits each day. Most of the keepers are in the 3 to 6-pound range with the giant tog coming on Tuesday from the Mattituck based Celtic Quest of 13.5 pounds. Then after three days of fierce winds, several boat got back out on Saturday and Sunday and found pretty good action despite dirty water. The only exception was boats fishing off Plum and Fishers Island’s where the blackfish bite started right back up from where it left off. Therefore with an intense spread of blackfish along the North Fork, the toggies will be this week’s best bet. At Shinnecock, the striper fishing has been good with loads of schoolies in the bay and inlet, while the waters outside the inlet are enjoying good action with fish to 40 pounds crushing diamond jigs. The Shinnecock Reef is producing some nice blackfish along with many shorts and some sea bass remain.

Along the South Shore, the bass bite has been up and down all week outside Moriches and Fire Island inlets as sand eels, peanut and large bunker have swarmed the ocean. Earlier in the week the fish were east of Fire Island, then by the weeks end moved a bit west. On Sunday I heard there were fish in both directions. The best option is to hit the ocean by day and search out bird activity if you can. If not, you must rely on your electronics to find bait balls. Once you find the bait, drop a jig. If you are catching smaller fish, move to another pod and keep changing your depth from 30 to 50 foot until you find the “right” pod of sand eels. For nighttime action, don’t overlook the bay as bass to 50 pounds fell to live eels inside Great South Bay this week. As for blackfish, the rocks in Moriches, Moses Bridge, OBI and Robert Moses have all seen a fair amount of keepers. Last but not least, the sea bass and porgy bite is still very good on the wrecks and pieces outside Moriches and Fire Island inlets.

To the west, bass anglers were truly delighted as the solid bite continued. Some of the top areas were the waters south and SW of Debs Inlet, east of Jones Inlet, west of Atlantic Beach Reef and south of the Rockaway Reef. Most bass were taken on the troll and fell to Mojos from 24 to 32-ounces, TGT bunker spoons and Spoon Fed bunker spoons. White, yellow and chartreuse were the top colors. The reports indicated that gold diamond jigs; hammered or smooth, nailed bass as well. The bass were located in depths averaging 55 to 65-ft. Blackfishing was pretty good on local wrecks and reefs and near the bridges on jigs and green crabs. Anglers basically ignored porgies and sea bass to concentrate on bass and blackfish.

Up on the North Shore, anglers are being treated to a Blackfish Bonanza. All reports indicated very good to excellent fishing with excellent numbers of shorts and a good amount of quality keepers to 8-pounds. Most anglers are employing jigs tipped with green or Asian crabs. You have numerous areas to choose from including Rye Playland, Execution Rock, Harts Island, 11b, Marshall Fields, the Middle Grounds, Cranes Neck, Old Field Point and the Connecticut coastline. Depending on the area the fish are inhabiting depths from 11 to 60-ft. Porgies are still offering plenty of action and larger size at Rye, Pea and Huckleberry Islands, Orchard Beach section one, Matinecock, Prospect Point, Cranes Neck and Old Field. Nice size sea bass are also being found at Cranes Neck, Old Field and the Middle Grounds. Overall bass activity was slow with most areas reporting schoolie bass in the bays and harbors.

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