I guess you could say it’s obvious the amount of marine life that’s been right up on the beach this past year continuing up to now. Throughout the summer there were numerous sharks feeding in the surf line along our Long Island beaches. Their main forage was none other than the bunker along the South Shore. The trend of fish along the beach continues right now with the excellent striper run we have experienced so far. Once again, massive schools of bunker has brought stripers into close range for casters and boaters to enjoy. Among the stripers this fall has been sharks and whales tight to the beach. I’ve already seen quite a few social media posts of whales blasting through these schools of Menhaden captured by drones and even a picture of a kayaker with a whale breaching less than 50 yards away from him which should be considered a little too close for comfort.
Regardless, I believe it’s great to see so much diversity on marine life in our local inshore waters. The last few years were a little spotty as far as fall fishing goes but based upon the feedback that I’ve been hearing, this year seems to be a banner one so far. The question now will be how long it lasts? Have we gotten one good shot of fish during the beginning of October and November will be a bust or will we see fishing into December this year? I guess only time will tell. The other question I have to put out there is will this be an anomaly season or will we see more fishing like this in the future? If some of you reading this remember back to the spring run we had this year in May and June, you’ll recall the excellent fishing for big fish that took place also for surf and boat anglers.
As I write up this log right now, I’m still hearing of plenty of fish to the north of us in the New England region. As long as we don’t see any drastic weather changes or storms I believe we could see a steady stream of stripers throughout the month of November. And to boot I’ve also been hearing of some bluefish schools forming to the north also. I hope to see some of them make a showing off the beaches during the month. Usually these bluefish corral the bunker and push them towards the shore—bass aren’t far behind them. A situation like this reminds me of the stories that I was told by casters from the 80s and 90s where big bluefish did rule the surf along with the bass. While the blues from back then were feeding on sand eels, I’m sure they would be happy to gorge on menhaden too. Some of the biggest bluefish can be caught under these circumstances. I’m talking fish in excess of 20 pounds!
We still have a solid month of inshore striper fishing (I hope). Things could change by the day this time of the year so nothing is written in stone but from the looks of it right now, the inshore fishery is thriving, surf and boat fishermen are catching fish and more are on the way from up north. November was historically a dominant month for fishing around Long Island—fingers crossed that it will be this year.