Hot Spot: Robins Island - The Fisherman

Hot Spot: Robins Island

The rocky terrain and currents around Robins make it an ideal location to focus around for a number of different species.

Located between the pristine waters of Great and Little Peconic Bay, the privately owned 435-acre Robins Island is a diamond in the rough often overlooked for its season-long exceptional fishing due to the consistent fishing found off nearby Shelter Island. The waters surrounding Robins is chock full of giant boulders, compliments of the glaciers working their magic thousands of years gone by. Most of the boulders are settled close to and on the island. Add in water depths around Robins Island to 25 feet and strong currents in both the South and North Race that are adjacent to both the south and north sides, and you have some vital elements that equate to some solid catches of stripers, bluefish, weakfish, and jumbo scup during the early spring to early summer.

The action normally begins here by mid-April, with striped bass shooting out of the gate first, with the best action tight to the rocks on both the east and west sides of the beaches. Tossing poppers and darters around swirls and eddies around the rocks caused by the tidal currents that clash with the boulders often disorientates feeble bait such as spearing, bay anchovies, and bunker. Though most of the bass will start off with schoolies, fish to 40 pounds will begin to slash the surface plugs by early May and will continue to show themselves until mid-June.

Bluefish will start to show their size and strength in large numbers surrounding the island no later than mid-May. I strongly suggest switching out those 15 to 25-dollar plugs for diamond jigs or any inexpensive metal jigs and steel leaders. Trust me when I say that once the yellow-eyed choppers invade the area, they are often hoarded in massive schools, making it practically impossible to get past these insatiable creatures. Mid-May also sparks the start of the spring weakfish run with the channel of the South Race between buoys 25 and 26 and also just off of Cow Neck, which sits along the opposite side of the South Race in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Albino Shad with red tails 7-inch Bass Assassins on white 1-ounce leadhead jigs are consistently effective when the bluefish are out of the area. However, 2 and 3-ounce diamond jigs with red tails are also effective while the choppers are visiting. You may also want to add a red or white tube teaser 2 feet above the diamond jig, as the teaser does a fine job at catching their share of weakfish to 9 pounds. You’ll find the first two hours of an ebb tide the most productive time for both the weakfish and stripers.

Jumbo sea porgies have found the surrounding waters of Robins Island their ideal location to drop their eggs by either the May or June full moon. The scup that can reach close to 4 pounds is usually set up shop by mid-April. It’s best to find a piece of rigid bottom that shows signs of life on your recorder where anchoring and applying logs of clam chum should get the scup under or near the boat. Sandworms and clam gut on the hooks will get the porgies on the boat. July through late September sees the size of the weakies and scup drop off significantly in size but the action remains solid. In addition, you can also find kingfish joining the duo by mid-August.



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