Western Long Island Sound Forecast: June 2014

J une is usually the most productive month for Striped Bass fishing in the Western Sound. Many fish pass through our area, gorging on Bunker after they have finished spawning. The Bass are spread out over the entire area and you’ll have plenty of options on where to catch them. Whether you like plugging the shorelines, chunking, live lining or trolling there are fish for you to catch if you know where to find them.

Early morning plugging is one of my favorite methods of Striped Bass fishing. I love the quiet time before everyone else is on the water, the smells of the different plants blooming, the beautiful sunrises and being surprised by the Bass that attacks my plug right next to the boat. You can catch these fish on any tide as long as you have moving water.

The fish will stage in different areas as the tides progress and you will need to figure out these patterns to be successful. Take notes during your trips about what, where and when your fish were caught and it should be easy to start figuring out the where the fish will be holding. I will drift along shorelines looking for rocks, eddies and anything else that looks “fishy” and cast my lure to them. Usually a slow retrieve works best, with small twitches along the way; but if you don’t get a response try speeding up, stopping for a few seconds and then starting the retrieve again.

Think like a fish; make your lure mimic a wounded baitfish, an easy meal for a Striper. I like using Blue Pencil Poppers but don’t be afraid to use different lure and color combinations. If you raise a good fish but he won’t hit your lure, try a different lure a little bigger and different color, it’s worked many times for me. Be careful when landing your fish, most lures have two sets of treble hooks and with the fish flapping around there’s a lot of sharp steel flying around too.

Chunking works well in June in shallow and deep water, moving tides is essential again and use the freshest Bunker you can get, it makes a big difference! In deeper water with a strong tide you will need to use a fish-finder rig with enough sinker weight to keep your bait on the bottom; in many shallow water spots you can get away without any lead. I like to use “J hooks”; only let these fish run a few feet before you set the hook and do that with enthusiasm, keep your rod tip and steadily reel in the fish, enjoy the fight and use a net to land the fish. Bluefish will start to mix in with the Stripers this time of year; if you catch one be very careful of their teeth, there’re sharp enough to take a finger.

Fluke will be abundant in June also in our area and with the new regulations of five fish at eighteen inches; you should be able to have many Fluke dinners this summer. The freshest bait you can get will dramatically increase your odds of catching your limit. I like to use a Bucktail and teaser combination on a light spinning outfit. I put a 4” curly tail (chartreuse or white) on my Bucktail, tipped with a fresh spearing, drop it to the bottom and bounce it along the bottom as we drift. Set the hook hard when you feel a bite and keep that rod tip up, applying constant pressure on the fish till you get him in the net.

Sand’s Point, Prospect Point, Hewlett Point, Hart’s Island, Gangway Rock, the Blausers, Steppingstone Lighthouse and SUNY Maritime are productive and popular areas to fish for Fluke in our area. Look for drop-offs in other areas too as they can hold fish during the season also.
Always remember to bring lots of fluids to drink during the summer; a good supply of sunblock is also important when you’re on the water all day. A cooler full of ice for your catch will ensure you get to enjoy it that night for dinner!

This is also a good time to get the kids out with you, there is enough action to keep them occupied and you can always take them swimming by Half Moon Beach if it gets too hot. Get the kids hooked on fishing now and it will give them a lifetime of pleasure and maybe they will take you fishing down the road!

Enjoy the summer fishing and always remember safety first.