Now that the cold weather is finally over, you’ll see a lot more people out fishing during the day and night. I just got my pole from Target in Riverhead without breaking the bank. Your local fishing supply store offers bloodworms, smelt and other bait for only a few dollars, but you don’t have to buy bait. You can find crabs, worms and clams in the sand near the shore. When I was little, we used to go to the ocean and dig for clams in the mud with our feet. You’ll find cherries, little necks, steamers and even chowders. I’d recommend the little necks because they aren’t too big and are easy to get on the hook.
I stopped into my local fishing store, East End Bait and Tackle, to speak to owner Captain Scott Jeffrey to see what people are going to be catching and where the best fishing spots are located.
Jeffrey told me, “There’s a huge array of fish that can be found on Long Island, you just have to know where to do the looking. These include: weakfish, blackfish, bluefish, porgies, summer and winter flounder, striped bass, cod, tuna, marlins
The south shore of Long Island, which includes Jamaica Bay to the Great South Bay, has the widest variety of fish. You can find weakfish, fluke, winter flounder and blackfish in the bays and estuaries around that area. False albacore, or little tuna, striped bass and bluefish migrate along the coast during the warmer seasons too.
“Out of all the different types of fish offered, most people tend to go for either fluke, salmon or tuna. They are the most familiar to people. There are other types that are delicious too, though.”
Next is Fire Island. This area is roughly 32 miles long and covers from Hampton Bays to Islip. This water is world-renowned for its top-notch fishing potential. You’ll find many different species here but the most famous include fluke, striped bass and weakfish.
The Block Island Sound, which covers from Montauk to Block Island, is often known as the ‘Bermuda of the North’ due to the fact that a huge variety of fish start to migrate up north when the waters start to get warmer, including striped bass, bluefish, fluke and other species.
“In order to go fishing, you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money. If you’re not a commercial fisherman, there’s no need to spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. If you’re looking to go fishing with your friends or family an inexpensive pole will do just find. It’s about having fun and spending time in the outdoors with the family.
“In certain spots you’ll be able to get bluefish. You can actually get them right off of the canal in Hampton Bays. Bluefish are actually snappers that become full-grown adults. They have a very distinct and fishy taste that has to grow on you.”
No matter where you are on the Island you’ll be able to get some delicious and healthy fish. So take advantage of the nice weather and have a Sunday out with the family while catching a big one.
Though fresh fish can be a quick trip away, now that the water will be warmer, you’ll be able to get the treasured wild salmon once again. This can be purchased at your local seafood market. This fish originates in the icy waters of Alaska and is favored by many consumers over the Canadian farm-raised variety. The wild fish have a strong, bright orange tint to the meat because of their varied diet.
For more info, check out East End Bait and Tackle, 170 E. Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays,