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EXECUTION ROCK

This spot can play host to some very good striped bass, bluefish and blackfish action throughout the spring summer and fall
By Tony Salerno
EXECUTION ROCK
Chart courtesy of Navionics.

In 1850 a light station was established on a rocky reef off of what is now known as Sands Point in the west end of Long Island Sound. The lighthouse itself took the name of the rock reef it is situated on and became known as Execution Rock. In any given year, it can play host to some very good striped bass, bluefish and blackfish action throughout the spring summer and fall.

The action starts by early May as stripers move onto the rocky lairs and structures feeding on the abundance of bait in the area of 40 to 60 feet of water. Anchoring and chunking fresh bunker during an ebb tide often produces the best results, but drifting fresh bunker chunks on 3x3 rigs or bouncing bucktails tipped with Fat Cow strips can also be productive.

From July to the end of October, porgy fans will find solid action anywhere from the shoals of the reef on out to 60 feet of water. Anchoring over any solid piece of structure and submerging a chum pot or two of frozen clam chum will make a world of difference compared to drifting. Fresh clam and sand worms applied to your favorite porgy rig will seal the deal and should provide all the action you care to handle. Most of the scup are of mixed sizes with some jumbos in the two pound range in the mix.

Throughout the summer and fall, you can typically count on bluefish to make frequent visits in the area, although this past season bluefish were conspicuous by their absence much of the time throughout the region. Those anglers who chunk fresh bunker looking for bass often score with some teen size gator blues and some hefty stripers as well. Diamond jigs, Kastmaster’s and Crippled Herring also take their share of bass and blues at times.

Blackfish take center stage in the fall and the rocky pieces in 35 to 45 feet of water hold plenty of tog of mixed sizes as does the reef. Green, Asian, and hermit crabs all account for good catches. Plan on bringing plenty of extra rigs and sinkers, as the bottom can be quite sticky.

While just about any piece of structure that surrounds Execution Rock can be productive, most of the locals recommend fishing the south side of the rocks along the deep side of the high spots, or along the drop-off and ledges.

Fishing during an outgoing tide at Execution Rock is ideal since the current flows swifter during the ebb, often resulting in a better bite. In addition, regardless of the strength of the current, 2 to 4 ounces of lead is all that is required to hold bottom here, while 1/2 to 1-ounce Tidal Tails jigs tipped with an Asian crab is an outright blackfish slayer in this neck of the woods.