Every May the well-known area of Peconic Bay comes alive and provides huge angling opportunities for all that fish it. Up until a couple of years ago it was also a spot that could only be accessed from a few shore locations and a handful of party boats that were within striking distance to the grounds. The rest of the boaters had to either be local residents or travel by boat for quite some distance to access the body of water. With the Department of Conservation (DEC) purchasing the 3.2-acre property, which was the former location of The Old Barge Restaurant which closed in 2009, from the Reiter family in 2013, it brought public access to this fishy body of water. It is located to the south of Old Main Road in Southold and just West of WeGo Fishing Station. So when coming from the west it’s a pretty straight shot with only one right turn into the parking lot of the ramp from Riverhead. The actual address to the site is 750 Old Main Rd, Southold, NY.
Now being completed for a number of years, many anglers, along with myself are taking advantage of it to fish for an array of spring species that include jumbo porgies, excellent weakfishing in recent years and consistent striper and bluefish action as well. While the fluke fishing in the area known as the Greenlawns isn’t what it once was, there is still some opportunity to hook into one in May and I even heard that some are starting to show up after that historical run that happens this month. On any given trip, with enough time put in, you could catch all the species listed above in one day, including sea robins too. Four out of five of the ones I just mentioned are eligible for The Fisherman’s Dream Boat Challenge — not bad odds for a daytrip. Oh and did I mention that the area even sees a good tog bite in the fall when that season opens? Just another option to add to the list.
In addition to a double-launch ramp, the site offers a T-shaped fishing/observation pier with a 6-foot wide deck leading to the 10-foot wide “T” end section, 31 vehicle/trailer parking spaces, and seven vehicle parking spaces. There is also be a canoe and kayak launch, a floating dock with a marine pump station, a boat wash down station, a five-foot wide ADA accessible pathway loop from the parking area to the observation/fishing pier, portable sanitation (Port-A-Johns) and a picnic area. So while the area is mainly known for the ramp itself, it also hosts shore fishing opportunities for anglers without a boat to catch some porgies and maybe even a weakfish or a striper departing or entering the nearby creek.
There were some concerns with the original angle of the launch ramp for boats after it was built but after the public spoke up about this, the problem was addressed by the DEC and the ramp was reworked to make it easier for boats to be launch. I actually used the ramp right after it was fixed; launching and getting my boat back on the trailer was effortless at the location and the washdown station was very convenient for hosing that saltwater off my trailer and deck before hitting the road again. Just remember to bring your own hose if you plan to do so because one was not provided at the station.
Keep this gem in mind during the month of May and if you do find yourself competing in our yearly tournament, remember that the bay will host the opportunity to weigh-in several different categories in a single day of fishing. And also best of all, you can either visit WeGo Fishing Station to the east or Blue Water Ventures to the west to weight those fish in within minutes of being back on the road.