Hot Spot: The Shangri La Wreck - The Fisherman

Hot Spot: The Shangri La Wreck

Sea bass like this one are a very good possibility on the Shangri La throughout the season.

Oddly enough, when I searched for history concerning the Shangri La wreck, I came up with zilch. The internet showed a few dive boats on YouTube, diving the wreck, but info regarding when it sank left the divers mystified also.  After numerous searches I was able to scratch up that it was actually two wooden schooners from the early 1900s that collided and sank in 105 feet of water southwest of Moriches Inlet. In actuality, the name Shangri La was given to this piece of wreckage after it sank. Still today just like many ships that rest on the bottom of the Atlantic, its story remains a mystery.

Located approximately 9 miles south/southwest of Moriches Inlet, the Shangri La is a low-profile wreck greatly scattered out from north to south with the southern portion of this piece still exposing the ships ribs. When looking at a quality fishfinder, the wreck barely rises off the bottom along the north end, however, it rises 5 feet off the bottom on the very south end. You can find life in the countless crevices and inside the ribs of this wreck nearly all year long.

From January through April you can find a few small cod lurking on the ships crevices scrounging for a few small lobsters or Jonah crabs as well as baby ling to munch on. A few ling are also on the wreck during the winter along with monkfish and spiny hackle heads. When April and May roll in, these species become more numerous, especially ling.

May through November produces sea bass of all sizes along with an abundance of porgies and triggerfish. October and November produces some decent blackfish action if you settle in the right spots. From July through November, gator size bluefish will pay a visit terrorizing all the groundfish along the pieces from time to time. Unfortunately I have never had much luck with fluke drifting the outer edges of the wreck. However it wouldn’t be right to go without warning that at times dogfish can be a true nuisance, particularly in July and again in November. Should you find the dogs to be bothersome, try fishing the high spots where there should be fewer dogs. While the big sea bass are usually picked clean by poachers way before the June 23rd season opener, there are usually all the red hake (ling) you wish to catch. And if handled properly, they make some of the best eating with their delicate flaky white meat. Please practice restraint by keeping only what you need for a meal or two as you can always come back another day for another fresh batch on this mysterious wreck.



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