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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.

By Capt. Tom Migdalski
(Image courtesy of NOAA Nautical Chart On-Line Viewer)

Coordinates: 41.158857, -72.278035

About halfway between Orient Point and the Town of Orient on the north side of Long Island is a small and little known protrusion named Mulford Point, which boasts a wide variety of fishing options. The Orient Point region, and Mulford Point in particular, is a hotspot for false albacore during late summer. These small and fast-moving tunas can pop up anywhere along the north shore from the Plum Gut to Rocky Point, including Pettys Bight (the bay just east of Mulford Point), Terry Point (the protrusion just west of Mulford Point), and Orient Shoal (41°.08.983’/72°19.833’ at Buoy 3, just east of Terry Point).
Mulford Point is special because it’s away from nearby marinas and large public boat launches, which keeps the fishing pressure light. More important, however, are a reef and its rip running northwesterly from the bouldered point to a 13-foot high spot and continuing out to a high area of 30 feet before an abrupt drop to 50 feet off its northeast corner. This structure creates an ideal rip for the small boater with skill at fishing tide-swept, rocky spots.

Schools of small bluefish are often found alone or mixed with the albies on the up-tide side of this rip line. Casting soft plastics and small tins is highly productive for busting albies here, and surface plugs and larger tins with heavy mono leader do the trick for bluefish. If you’re after blues for the smoker and don’t see surface action, try drifting down-current toward the rip while working 4- to 5-ounce diamond jigs about eight to 10 turns up from the bottom.

The rocky patches and high spots around the outer reefs off Mulford Point and at Orient Shoal are also productive places to anchor for blackfish, sea bass and porgies during slow tide periods. There aren’t any other significant fishing reefs for many miles to the west, so these can be go-to bottomfish hot spots off the Orient shore. Try the 40-foot rocky spot directly to the north of the Mulford reef drop off, easily seen on charts. You can check out the area on NOAA chart 12358 or view it online at: www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/12358.shtml.

If you have fluke rigs and some squid aboard, you can always try a few drifts along the 30-foot contour line of Petty’s Bight. This is a natural holding spot for flatfish, and an ebb tide with a prevailing west wind will give you a perfect drift through the area. This is also a good place to make a few drifts for big porgies, if you prefer not anchoring for them.
The shoreline off Mulford Point is tideswept and studded with boulders. Using care here and gradually working your way into casting range as you learn the area, this is a great spot for low-light exploring with surface plugs or live eels. Striped bass and slammer bluefish lurk around this boulder field and offer action for those anglers not wishing to challenge the big and dangerous waters of Plum Gut.

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