Hot Spot: Horton’s Point - The Fisherman

Hot Spot: Horton’s Point

 Back in the 1990s the former Mattituck based Capt. Bob Fleet labeled the area off Horton’s Point as the “Land of the Giants” for its reputation of the double-digit fluke that carpeted the rocky bottom during the spring and early summer for several years straight. Sadly as the millennium arrived, the teen-size summer flatties departed, which with the exception of a straggler or two each season, the trophy fluke have yet to return. Fret not fellow anglers as Hortons Point has been offering much more than big fluke that has been overlooked in recent times.

Located approximately six miles east of Mattituck Inlet on Long Island’s North Fork, the rocky waters surrounding Horton’s Point (41.05.100/ 72.26.700) had been legendary for producing monster fluke during May and June over three decades ago, the notorious point continues to occasionally produce a double-digit flattie from time to time, however striped bass, monster bluefish, weakfish giant sea bass and jumbo scup have done a fine job of keeping the phrase “Land of the Giants” alive and well.

Starting approximately the same time as the striped bass frenzy begins in the Plum Gut by mid-May, Hortons Point comes to life especially on the night tides that carries through early July, then reenergizing again during the day and evenings of September, October and November. During the spring, the area experiences plenty of cow bass attacking and gulping down bunker from small and large pods. Some of those big female bass like to change their menu up from the same old bunker meal to perhaps porgies, small sea bass and a myriad of baitfish that all resides at the point throughout the season. Bass in the 15-to-30-pound range munch on small scup, sea bass, squid, bunker, rain bait, and mullet by day and live eels by night. Drifting live bait in the rips on an ebbing tide both during day and night while using famous East End 3×3 rigs is the way to go. Remember to use a circle hook with this rig.

HORTONS-POINT
The expansive bottom structure is easily recognizable through the Navionics app when looking at Horton’s Point

As summer moves in so do the bluefish and weakfish, shutting down any daytime striper bite. Hammer finished two-ounce diamond jigs will catch both the choppers and weakies. If the blues are not around, soft body plastics such as Bass Assassins on 1-ounce lead head jigs bounced along the bottom will get the job done. I wish I could add fluke to the list of opportunities, however fluking in this area the past several years has been terrible to put it truthfully. Giant sea bass and jumbo porgies can be found dead north of Hortons Point in 50 to 60 feet of water with 2 and 3-ounce diamond jigs with red tubes that catch the giants. If you want fast action with the smaller groundfish, then fresh clams, worms, and squid strips will keep the rods bent.

The fall time of the year provides plenty of topwater action using light and fly fishing tackle. False albacore show during September and October, responding enthusiastically to epoxy flies or thin-profile tins and of course Epoxy Jigs. Bluefish are also present during the daylight hours, especially during sunrise when you are just about guaranteed an encounter with the yellow eye choppers.

Anglers working the surf at Hortons enjoy solid action during October and November with school bass including some quality keepers, casting between the boulders with plugs, swim shads and tins being effective during the day, while plugs such as metal-lipped swimmers or bucktails are a great choice after dark. Porgy and blackfish fans can score well from shore here too but bring along plenty of terminal tackle as the bottom here has a thing for eating it up. Anglers should also be aware that shoreline access to Hortons Point requires a Southold Town Beach Permit. Also, the beach is not handicapped accessible as there is a long, steep stairway leading down the bluff to the Sound.

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