Hot Spot: Nissequogue River - The Fisherman

Hot Spot: Nissequogue River


The Nissequogue River, located on the North Shore in Kings Park, is probably one of those hidden gems that anglers overlook unless they live close by. This area offers solid action throughout the year on a variety of fish and is easily accessed.

Heading north on the river and all the way up to Whites Pool, anglers have had sea run browns in the mix. Although they may not be as prolific as years ago, they can still be had. With the state stocking browns in Whites Pool, it could be tough to differentiate. Sea runs, from what I recall, are larger and will have a silvery appearance. In speaking with Paul McCain of River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin (, he commented that in late March, school-size stripers will begin to invade the area. And, throughout the year, but especially in the cooler months, white perch can be had. Flashy streamers are the way to go for the sea run browns. If you are a live bait guy with a spinning rod, nightcrawlers or trout worms (live or Berkley artificials) and if you can get them, live killies. Although temperatures will play a part, kayaking to the back portions of the river is best. From the Smithtown Landing Golf Course to Landing Avenue, it is probably the best area for the sea run browns.

As you move north of the famed “Bull” on Route 25A, there is a stretch of the river that produces trout in the form of brooks, rainbows, and browns. The best area is Whites Pool, located just south of Caleb Smith Park. The falls that lead to Whites Pool are from Phillips Mill Pond in Caleb Smith Park. This area is tidal but mainly freshwater as opposed to brackish north of Landing Avenue. Speaking of the tide, I can remember fishing Whites one April 1st day at the young age of 10. My mom had dropped me off at low tide, and when I finished fishing, the tide was up, leading to a treacherous trek back to the parking lot. Although kids don’t scare easily, I will admit I was not comfortable with my hip boots filling with water and the water seemingly deeper everywhere I stepped.

Trout to 2 pounds can be had for anglers dunking worms, flies, or small spinners. This fishery is best in the early stages of the year when the water is cool or in the fall. Whites Pool can get quite crowded, so pick the off days – middle of the week – for your venture out.

Moving back towards the Sound, however, still inside the mouth of the river, as stated by Paul earlier, stripers will make up the bulk of the excitement in the spring. Fish the islands that dot the area from the launch ramp to the golf course. For stripers and early season blues, fish the shorelines with small popping plugs or Fin-S Fish style soft plastics. In fact, if sand eels are present, the smaller 5-inch Tsunami Sand Eel is the go-to bait.

Fluke will show during a typical year right after Memorial Day, with the best area between the mouth and the first bend just before the yacht clubs. Small bucktails, squid and spearing combos, or any of the newer artificial baits like Fishbites or Berkley Power Grubs will work well, as will killies. I prefer the last of the incoming water and the first hour of the outgoing.

As the fall approaches, stripers will make up the bulk of the catch, with bass hanging around until after Thanksgiving, and with our warmer than normal fall seasons the last few, you could see fish well into December, or all year long for that matter. Bear in mind, we used to catch stripers at the old LILCO power plant just up the road all winter long. If you’re looking for larger stripers, however, October is the month. Large bass over 30 pounds will readily take live eels after dark on the slack tide or sandworms on the dropping tide by day. A small tin boat or kayak will allow you to work the shoreline casting metal-lip swimmers in the early a.m. A calm day, top of the tide, and early a.m. timeframe can put you into ferocious striper action with big bass.

For the surf crowd, the mouth of the river will see runs of blues and some albies in the fall, with bass from school size to the big boys in the fall. For blues, Charlie Graves style tins or epoxy jigs and flies for the long wand angler, while bass will take Bass Assassin or Storm soft plastics, plus the typical darter or bottle plugs after the sun goes down.

The Nissequogue River offers anglers a lot of opportunities, from trout action all the way up to Whites Pool to larger slot-size stripers throughout the season. It is easily accessed and offers ample parking. For more information on the area, you can also contact Paul McCain at (516) 415-7748.



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