According to the DEC website, “Blydenburgh Lake, also known as Stump, New Mill or Weld’s Pond, is located within Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown. Fed by the headwaters of the Nissequogue River, it is one of the least developed and most picturesque ponds on Long Island.”
“Blydenburgh Lake contains a variety of fish species but is best known for its largemouth bass. Bass fishing has been consistently good over the years with volunteer angler diary cooperators reporting catch rates between 0.4 and 1 bass per hour. Fishing for perch and sunfish is also excellent.”
There are two access points to the lake. The first would be the main entrance (southern), which is on the north side of Veterans Memorial Highway, opposite the H. Lee Dennison County Center in Smithtown. The northern entrance can be reached by following Route 347 to Brooksite Drive North; turn left on New Mill Road and follow it to the park entrance.
When I was younger, I walked and fished the shoreline all around the lake. I have had bass over 5 pounds, large pickerel and an abundance of bluegills and perch. Wading along the shoreline is possible, but there are many hidden submerged stumps and logs that can make wading difficult. So caution is needed. You can also rent a boat from the park and can bring your own electric trolling motor.
As largemouth bass go, Blydenburgh can be classified as a true trophy fish lake. Every year there are reports of outsized bass pushing the 7-pound mark. What makes the lake so bass-friendly is an ample supply of baitfish, great cover, and a water depth pushing 9 feet, which on Long Island is fairly deep. Bass can ambush baitfish and then seek shelter in amongst the lily pads, grasses or stumps.
Bass will readily take soft plastic worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, topwater Zara Spooks and frogs. I love fishing the lilies with frogs. Nothing beats a blowup of a big bass on top. I will also use a Zara Spook or spinnerbait (white) along any weed edge and the edge of the pads. When using the spinnerbait, make sure you bang it off the stems of the pads.
As summer approaches, your best bet is to fish the early morning hours on cloudy or even rainy days. Jigs fished in any of the bass haunts will garner strikes, as will Senko worms rigged wacky or weedless. Although I am not a fan of live bait, a small bluegill or perch on a circle hook fished under a float or free-lined could produce a true bucketmouth.
One of the nice features of Blydenburgh is the abundance of bluegills. These feisty little guys not only provide great forage for bass, but they also are a ton of fun for the kids. On any given day, a worm fished under a float will account for non-stop action. The lake also has an abundance of yellow perch, but most I have encountered have been small.
Tackle should be suited for the targeted species. If you are searching for bass, keep the wimpy stuff at home, or at least in the boat or on the shoreline just in case the bass are not biting. At that point, you can at least switch to panfish.
I prefer a baitcasting rod rated for 8- to 15-pound, or 12- to 20-pound test. The lighter of the two is great for spinnerbaits, Zara Spook and light jigs fished in open water. The heavier of the two is for frogs and jigs fished in heavy cover. These bass did not grow this big by not knowing where to head when hooked! And if they do dig in, you want to be able to horse them out. The line should vary between braid and fluorocarbon in 15- to 20-pound test.
The reel is pretty simple – a good quality baitcaster (Abu, Shimano, Daiwa, etc.) in the 6.4:1 ratio will suit you fine. For panfish, a light spinning outfit with 6- to 8-pound test line will suffice. The rod should be one rated for 6- to 14-pound test.
Whether you are a hard-nosed largemouth fan or a mom or dad looking to get the youngsters into fishing, Blydenburgh is a great option. A warm summer day in a rowboat with a packed lunch, fishing gear and your son or daughter will bring smiles to all of your faces.