Bug Light - The Fisherman

Bug Light

2019 2 Bug Light
Chart courtesy of Navionics.

N 41 6’32” / W 72 18’23”

For more than 135 years The Long Beach Bar Lighthouse, better known as Bug Light has steered sailors to safety from its location between Orient Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay, welcoming them to the protected waters of Peconic Bay. More importantly, the beacon warns navigators of the hazardous sandbar located along Long Beach Point. The name is derived from the metal framework foundation that created images from the horizon that makes the light look like a large bug, hence the name.

For fishermen, Bug Light scores a home run for some exceptional fishing throughout the spring and summer seasons. The many cuts, drains and channels leading into and around the light make ideal habitat for fluke, porgies and bluefish. The water depth around Bug Light averages 15 feet with a bottom constituted of sand and gravel.

Beginning in early May, large schools of squid move into the area, attracting quality fluke that begin chasing the squid all over the Peconic Estuary, making calamari the top choice on the menu. As the month continues, large schools of bunker settle into the area, often accompanied by schools of bluefish, which can pop up at any time and continue to terrorize schools of menhaden well into the fall. Blues are often a by-catch by fluke fishermen, and can wreak havoc on bucktails and fluke teasers. July through October produces fast paced porgy action on medium to large size fish, which comes as good news for anglers who prefer to do their scup fishing in calm waters.

As to where to find fluke in the area, many of the drains and cuts located on the northeast side of the light along Long Beach in 20 to 25 feet of water hold fish in May and June. While both sides of the tide can be productive, count on the outgoing to be best. When the current is pushing a knot to a knot and a half, real good fluke action can be found just southwest of the light by Buoy 2. Start your drift along the shallow edges and concentrate efforts along the drop-off and into the deep water channel that runs through the area. Speaking of current, it moves at a good clip here, and 5 to 8 ounces is often required to hold bottom. Therefore, beef up your tackle accordingly. Standard fluke rigs and teasers along with the usual choices of squid, spearing and sand eels are all that is required to put some quality flatties into the cooler.

For anglers looking for some light tackle bluefish action, spoons, tin and jigs during the early mornings or evenings will be your best chance at the choppers. Porgy enthusiasts will find anchoring and employing frozen clam blocks to the chum pots between Buoys 6 and 7 located north of the light in 40 feet of water will keep you busy with the scup. Hi-lo rigs baited with clams or squid work best and there is always a possibility of a weakfish or two nosing in on the scup here as well.

For information on fishing in this area, contact Wego Fishing Bait & Tackle in Southold at 631-765-3918 or Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor at 631-725-0740.

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