If you have spent any time fishing our western South Shore waters, or read Geoff Lawrence’s West End Report, then it’s more than likely you have heard of Massapequa Cove. Located on the north side of South Oyster Bay, Massapequa Cove is nestled between Biltmore Beach on the east and Alhambra Beach to the west. Although the area is clearly defined on charts, the fishing area encompasses the cove all the way around Fort Neck Point to Jones Creek. Bill Witchy of Comb’s Bait and Tackle, who has lived and fished the area his entire life, enlightened me on why anglers fish this area on a regular basis.
“The cove is fed by freshwater, with Massapequa Lake and Marjorie Post Pond the main contributors. The freshwater provides a good mix of brackish water for baitfish and even trout, carp and largemouth bass have found their way down into the cove,” noted Bill.

The area features several deep holes. The depth reaches 38 feet of water near buoy 24, and another hole of 40 feet exists off of Florence Beach. These holes attract bottom fish like flounder, porgies, kingfish, blowfish and fluke, as well as gamefish like stripers, weakfish and blues. The area boasts significant current flow, which makes this a prime feeding ground for these species.

Throughout the season, anglers can expect to find at least one or two species available. As spring approaches, flounder are the first to see action. Bill remembers years past when the entire Freeport party boat fleet would be anchored up in Massapequa Cove around St. Patrick’s Day. Although the flounder population is down, you can still put some flatties in the bucket here. Expect to find them near some of the creek mouths that dot the shoreline. Look for water depths from six to 15 feet. Use a heavy dose of clam chum, plus sands, bloods, mussels and clams on the hook.

Later in spring, stripers will set up in the area. Livelining bunker, kingfish, or even legal size flounder will account for stripers pushing the 40-pound class. Another great bait for big bass is a live porgy, and yes, a big striper can easily swallow a legal 11-inch porgy.

I like to liveline the dropping tide as I feel the baitfish move out of the coves and creeks, putting stripers into a “feeding” mode. A medium or medium/heavy, seven-foot musky style rod with matching reel spooled with 30-pound-test mono will work well.

In the summer months, some surprisingly good fluke fishing can be found in the cove. According to Bill, fluke as large as ten pounds come from here every season. Large spearing and squid strips will account for the bulk of the action, but do not overlook a well-placed bucktail and spearing combo. Bill offers an adjustable two-hook rig that is perfect for large Peruvian spearing, whole squid or strip baits. In addition, the Terminator Fluke Rig has accounted for its share of outsized fluke as well.

Want to have some fun with the kids? Then head to any of the holes that dot the area with worms, clams and chum, and they’ll have a ball catching blowfish, kingfish and porgies. This is a great way to get the kids into the fishing game.

When Bill was a youngster, the Jones Creek area was his hot spot for weakfish. To this day, the area from Fort Neck Point to Jones Creek remains a good source for some weakfish action. As I penned this in early June, the first weakfish were already taking soft plastics during the early morning hours. Sandworms on a standard high/low rig will also draw the attention of yellowfins.

For early risers, the countless docks that line the cove are great areas to throw soft plastics. You can score with stripers, blues and weakfish before the sun rises. Try Bass Assassins in white or pink, and fish them right along the edges of the dock lines.

As the fall arrives, chopper blues to 15 pounds will show off buoy 24. Chunking fresh bunker will account for fish to 15 pounds, with larger fish reported each year. Also in the fall, live eels will produce great striper action. Local sharpies know full well the potential of these back bay holes for big stripers.

If you have not fished this area, you are truly missing out on one of the South Shore’s real sweet spots. Comb’s is right down the road from the cove, and Bill is always up to date on the latest action.