Herod Point Shoal - The Fisherman

Herod Point Shoal

2017 9 Herod Point Shoal

Buoy 7 – 40.59.700’ / 72.49.430’

Located on the north shore of Long Island, between Shoreham to the west and Baiting Hollow to the east, the Herod Point Shoal is approximately a 4.5-mile stretch of fishing paradise that produces throughout the season. It encompasses approximately 2,080 acres that include the coastal waters of Long Island Sound within the 20-foot (at mean low water) bathymetric contour, extending into the Sound about 1 1/2 miles north from Herod Point.

Each May, hungry fluke are one of the first species to invade this shoal to execute an all-out assault on the massive swarms of sand eels that use this shallow, rocky shoal as their spawning sanctuary, making life miserable for the little baitfish seeking refuge here.

With a combination of shallow water and rocky shoal habitat, Herod supports a great diversity of shellfish, which includes surf clams, along with hard and razor clam, whelk, spider, rock, Jonah and hermit crabs. Add in the sand lance (eels), spearing, peanut and adult bunker and anchovies, and you can see why Herod Point Shoal supports an important recreational fluke fishery. In addition, porgies, sea bass, blackfish, stripers, and bluefish, and in recent year’s weakfish, have also been added to the list of potential targets. While most of the shoal varies in depth between 20 and 30 feet, there is a wonderful drop-off that rims the 4-1/2-mile stretch of the shoal’s north side with a 20- to 25-foot ledge that moderately drops into the deep water of the Sound. The deep drop-off varies from 85 to 100 plus feet, however most if not all the fishing activities takes place on the shoal, the shelf, and edges of the drop-offs.

Starting in mid-May and into July, fluke are the main attraction here and are ready to pounce on 3/8 to 1-ounce Spro bucktails and Spro squid tails in white, pink and spearing blue tipped with Berkley Gulp! Alive sand eels in silver mud color and the 4-inch swimming mullets in glow and pearl white. The swimming mullet in chartreuse work just as well, however it seems as the sea robins have taken a special liking to the plastics, therefore when the birds are present, I stay away from anything green. Natural baits such as spearing, squid and fresh sea robin belly strips all work their magic for the anglers who are skeptical of using the scented soft body plastics.

Bluefish can startle anglers with a surprise visit at just about any time during the spring and summer and will gladly accept any offerings you are willing to part with. Weakfish made a strong showing here during the summer of 2016 and while most of the weakies ranged from shorts to 3 pounds, some fish to 5 pounds were reported in June, July and August. The same Spro jigs employed for the fluke will snatch up the weakfish that may be in the area, however if you suspect the weakfish to be present, try the Gulp! twister tails in nuclear chicken on a 1/2- to 3/4-ounce leadhead jig bounced along the bottom. From Mount Sinai Harbor or Mattituck Inlet the hike to buoy 7 is a bit of a steam, but if you make the trip, you’ll understand why the ride is often well worth the effort.

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