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Posted By Fred Golofaro, April 13, 2020
An early showing of blackfish, including from shore, has been a pleasant surprise this spring.

The coronavirus continues to play a major role on the fishing front due to its impact on party and charter boats, tackle shops and access. Access for boaters became even more difficult with the expanding closure of many marinas and launch ramps around the Island. If you are able to get out, please strictly adhere to social distancing and follow CDC guidelines.

Striped bass continue to get the most play at this stage of the game, with lots of schoolies being caught and released from most North Shore harbors and bays stretching from City Island to Mt. Sinai and beyond. Likewise on the South Shore, reports have come from Jamaica Bay all the way to Montauk’s Ditch Plains. Much of the action has been shore based but some boats have also been in on the action. For boatmen within range of Raritan Bay and the lower Hudson, better quality stripers, including some fish to 30-plus pounds continue to be reported.

Lots of wind this past week cut into blackfish effort but there were a couple of encouraging reports of catches from shore. This April’s fishing has already exceeded anything we experienced compared to last season’s April season. Flounder reports were again mostly disappointing this week. There was a report of a weakfish caught in the Shinnecock Canal, and there is potential for an early showing of the yellowfins. We’ll see how that plays out over the next couple of weeks.

On the freshwater side, trout fishing remains worthwhile good in most of the Island’s stocked waters and in Connetquot and Caleb Smith State Parks which remain open to fishing by reservation. You can also play catch and release with largemouth bass until the end of the month before the season closes down entirely until the first Saturday in June.

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