The past several fall seasons along the western end of Long Island Sound have seen some of the best weakfish runs in recent times. Open, charter, and private boats from City Island to as far east as Port Jefferson enjoyed excellent and unorthodox weakfish catches while sinker bouncing for scup, sea bass, and believe it or not, blackfish. One of those hotspots that has resurrected is Matinecock Point, which has again produced exceptional weakfish action that hopefully remains this way for many years to come.
Matinecock Point is located on a small peninsula extending north into Long Island Sound off Glen Cove and marking the east side entrance of Hempstead Harbor. Matinecock Point is primarily known for its fine fluke and porgy fishing and extraordinary weakfish action starting in June and lasting into October.
The area consists of a combination of hard sand and rocky strewn bottom and a 41-acre artificial reef lying in 30 to 40 feet of water just northeast of the point. The festivities begin in June with anglers bouncing ½ to 1-ounce Bass Assassins in albino or just about any other soft plastic jig along the bottom—these lures will yield exceptional results.
Fluke fishermen working the sandy fringes of the structure-rich bottom will find good action in 10- to 40-feet of water from June through August. Bucktails jigs tipped with spearing, squid, or fluke belly strips are all producers, as are fluke bullets and standard rigs.
From July to the end of October, porgy fans will find solid action anywhere from the beach to the reef in 30- to 40-feet of water. Anchoring over any substantial piece of structure, applying a chum pot or two of frozen clam chum, and using clam strips to porgy rigs should provide all the action you want with mixed-size scup. Weakfish and blues are most likely to make an appearance during an ebb tide throughout the summer and fall. Those who chunk fresh bunker looking for bass often score well. With the bluefish, casting tins and jigs will also get their attention.
Fall belongs to the blackfish as the rocky lairs in 35- to 45-feet of water hold a solid population of small to good-sized tog as does the reef. Green, Asian and white crabs all account for good catches. Employing a one hook rig with a 3/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook is a solid choice over the old-time number 5 Virginia hook these days. Plan on bringing plenty of extra rigs and sinkers, as the bottom can be pretty sticky, especially at the reef. Sinkers round out the terminal end with 3 to 5 ounces being the norm for the area; however, if the moon is on a new or full phase, you may need to crank it up to 6 ounces.
Most of the weakfish taken during the fall come from baits intended for the tasty bottom dwellers. However, if you want to put your one fish limit in the box or play catch and release, hi-lo rigs baited with Fishbite’s E-Z Shrimp or Squid Saltwater Baits in pink and flesh will undoubtedly win the hearts of any weakfish passing under the boat.