The eastern end of Long island has limitless fishable
coastlines, with the Atlantic ocean on the south side,
and Block island sound, gardeners bay and peconic bay
on the north side, the tip of long island harbors some
of the most diverse fly fishing opportunities in the
The "eastern end" of Long island might begin for
some at Moriches bay, which is a marsh, and barrier
beach complex that includes Haven's Estate and Cupsogue
County Park.. Moriches inlet, 53 miles from Montauk
point and about 60 miles from Manhattan, was formed
in 1931, after a massive tropical storm. The inlet
separates the eastern tip of Fire island from the Westhampton
beach barrier island. Moriches bay is a meandering
series of flats, channels and cuts that harbor some
of the best striped bass fly fishing around during
April and May. Squid pour into the bay in droves, and
using some of the areas well know fly tyers, like Mark
Gustavsons' Pearl Squid pattern, can prove to be devastating
Outside the inlet along the near shore beaches of Moriches
towards West Hampton, there is a migration of hungry
stripers following the bait along the northerly migration.
West Hampton fishing is accessed through the beaches
although you need a Southampton beach permit. Still further
east is Shinnecock bay.
A BEAUTIFUL STRIPER
Shinnecock fishes very well in the early season all
the way through the end of the fall in to early winter.
Inside the bay there are expansive flats where the
clear water provides prime sight fishing possibilities.
The flats there can be tricky because there is an enormous
amount of current, so while wading be aware of the
incoming tide. The Ponquogue bridge is a favorite for
anglers of all types. This area fishes well at night
in the day and all throughout the year.
The Inlet was created 1938, during the great hurricane,
and now Shinnecock bay is an anglers paradise with
swift currents and cool water flushing in with the
tides. Shinnecock inlet also has a wonderful jetty
where many fly fishermen await the arrival of the false
albacore. This is one area where fly fishermen can
catch these rocket-like fish from the rocks. It is
tricky place to catch them due to the difficulty of
landing them. The fish trap the bait up against the
jetty and travel in patterns up, down, and around the
jetty. Glenn Mikkelson, a local shore guide and renown
fly tier is considered the master the Shinnecock jetty.
He creates some of the most effective flies for fishing
The sandy beaches from Southampton to Montauk are considered
to be some of the most productive striped bass and bluefish
fishing grounds in the Northeast. There are a series
of freshwater ponds that either open up by force of mother
nature's overflowing and the water creates a small river
through the burm of the beach, or the town will send
in a tractor to facilitate the process. When the freshwater
ponds start pouring out bait into the surf, you can be
sure that the migratory fish find them and there can
be fabulous fishing opportunities when it all comes together.
ANOTHER NICE STRIPER
There are also a series jetties from Southampton
to East Hampton that can be fished all summer long.
This is a great place to fish if you aren't too familiar
with the layout of the beaches.
Montauk Point is known for its fall blitzes and false
albacore fishing, but Montauk has great fishing all
In the early season, Montauk has a great early run
migration of stripers. They are on shad, and later
sand eels and spearing. In June and July you can practically
have the waters to yourselves. You are going to need
to get permits to drive on the beaches, but you can
park at the lighthouse and walk to the north or south
side of the light, depending on what tide you are fishing.
Tides factor in heavily when fishing the south side
from shore, so be sure to check the tide table and
take in consideration the currents. The south side
has many coves and points that are worthy of giving
a try. Turtle cove, browns, the sewer pipe, the radar,
and Caswells are just a few. The north side is fished
on opposing tides, and knowing when to be on what side
can during what wind at what time of year or key factors
in cracking this fishery.
The Bay side of the Eastern end of Long Island has so
many fishing opportunities that sometimes it can be daunting.
The beaches from Montauk Point to Montauk harbor are
fantastic from about June till December, but the farther
west you go, the earlier in the season you can start
ON THE FLATS
Peconic Bay is the first area that starts to fish
well from a surfcasters and a flats fishermen's perspective.
The waters have started to warm up here first and the
bait has started leaving the estuaries smaller creeks.
Alewives have started their spawn, and the bass have
started their search for food. The big bunker also
starts to show up in the back bay, and big bass start
showing up on the flats. Sometimes big flies work really
well on the flats, and even poppers can prove to be
devastating. Try Joe Blados's crease fly along the
shore line on foggy, cloudy days. You wont be disappointed.
You can start fishing Peconic Bay as early as April,
but generally the fishing in the shallow water gets
going around the first of May, depending on the weather.
There are so many creeks and estuaries that harbor
bait, like Sebonac creek, north sea harbor, and fresh
pond where at many points of the incoming and outgoing
tides, there are sure to be stripers patrolling inside
as well as out of these estuarial paradises.
As the water starts warming up and the bait begins
to vary in species, the bay opens up with new life.
The areas where you can find fish become abundant and
most shores and effluents will produce some sort of
fishing reward. All around Shelter Island, along the
shores of the north and south fork, the flats awaken
and the rips explode with the arrival of the bass.
Northwest Harbor and Gardiners Bay are now warm enough
in mid may and early June that fishermen can spread
out and find their own watering holes. Many of the
beaches at low tide can be waded and treated as "flats"
because the water is shallow and if you find areas
with sandy or lighter bottoms, you'll, no doubt, run
into grazing striped bass on your watery walk.
While the flats are on fire, the rips and islands
throughout the bay, and into Block Island Sound are
simultaneously alive and kicking. Plum Island, Great
and Little gull and Fishers Island are fantastic fisheries.
During the warmer months of the summer, The fishing
gets a bit more tricky for stripers, but the bluefish
are everywhere. All around Gardiners Island , you will
find mad, roving schools of bluefish, with the occasional
Spanish mackerel. The Mackerel are much harder to land
because they rarely will take a fly with a wire leader.
The bay gets really warm and you have to search for
cooler water and stronger currents for better fishing.
This is a good time to fish the Gulls, Fishers and
Block Island if you have a boat. When fishing the Gulls
try using a small white bunker pattern, one inch. They
are feeding on micro-bait out there in the summer and
can be tricky. These flies have worked wonders for
many fly fishermen in the past few years. If you are
on foot then the time of day makes a huge impact. The
bay fishes much better early morning and late afternoon
during the hotter months. Again, inlets and mouths
of harbors are great locations. Three Mile Harbor,
and Lazy Point are two great places when you fish them
on a moving tide not too bright, but early in the morning.
Using a sinking line can be deadly for the bass.
From Montauk to Block Island we are sometimes blessed
with an invasion of football sized bluefin tuna. These
fish can be well spread out, and you can spend the greater
part of the day just searching for these fish, but when
you finally find them, you are in for the time of your
life. Look for frothing, white foamy water, and you have
either found bluefish or juvenile bluefin tuna.
The fall and early winter are the months that people
salivate over. The waters from Plum gut to Montauk
point are boiling with rain bait, and bring in blitzing
bass, false albacore and bluefish. If you are a shore
fishermen, then the drill is to fish the spots where
you know holds bait, and be consistent. Some of the
better known spots to fish during the fall season,
are on the south ( Atlantic Ocean ) side, and the very
tip of Montauk, along the north side. Shagwon rip,
stepping stones, north bar, scotts hole, all the way
around the point to all spots westward toward shinnecock
are all wide open at any given time, so knowing a whole
bunch of reliable cell phones numbers comes in handy
as well. The Albies usually can be found around Plum
gut, Gardiners Island, the race, and between fishers
and the point, going all the way west to Shinnecock.
They arrive at the end of August and stay until they
feel like moving out, which is usually around the end
of October. One of the best Albie flies to fish during
the fall is Richard Regan's Albie whore. Fishing for
Albies from the shore at Montauk is tricky and usually
lucky. The quarry is generally striped bass. The Bass
are there all year round, but show up in huge concentrations
in the beginning of September.
The fish are easy to spot. Look for a frothing white
and red-brown mass of water and then throw your fly into
the middle and strip slowly. Not very challenging fishing,
but the spectacle alone is worth witnessing.
A FALSE ALBACORE
November and December are spectacular times to fish
Montauk and the sandy beaches down to Southampton.
The hoards of tourists have thinned out and the hard
core, cold hardy fishermen have remained behind to
catch the big cows as they migrate through following
the twelve inch long herring. Montauk point is magical
then, very few boats, and huge fish, any flyfishermens
dream. The surfcasters are in heaven because the bait
gets pushed up on the shore, trapped in the trough
between the outer sandbars and the shore and the bass
slaughter the trapped bait as the patient shore fishermen
reap their long awaited rewards. Eastern Long Islands
fishery dies when the bait leaves, that can be as late
as late December. The rule is that once you have fished
for seven consecutive days, fishless, you are obligated
to turn in your fly rod for the season.