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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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October 15, 2015

Fishing Shinnecock East County Park

by Bob Banfelder

On October 1st, I covered Cupsogue Beach County Park on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach. Several phone calls and e-mail replies from friends and acquaintances prompted me to continue writing about the six other Suffolk County Park beach access areas for those who purchase a Suffolk County Green Key card. Refer back to my October1st blog concerning general information referencing a Green Key card for residents, nonresidents, seniors, et cetera. For specific seasonal information regarding each of the seven Suffolk County beaches, it is best to call the park ahead of time. Shinnecock East County Park's phone number is (631) 852-8899. To get to the park, go east on Montauk Highway to Halsey Neck Lane. Make a right and continue to Dune Road. Make a right turn onto Dune Road and head west to the park entrance.

Donna and I have learned that regulations vary from county park to county park. A set of regulations at one park does not necessarily apply to another. For example, at Shinnecock East County Park, you are required to leave your Green Key card on the dashboard. However, at Cupsogue Beach County Park, it is not required. Also, rules and hours may change according to the season, so be sure to not only call but to carefully read posted signs on arrival as they apply to the activity you are considering. You'll note the ATTENTION sign below as instructions not only pertain to displaying your Green Key card but information referencing hours and night fishing (by permit) as well. Googling respective beach information is not always accurate, so be sure to check out those regulation signs upon entering the park, especially if the entrance booths are unmanned.

Flanking the eastern border of the Shinnecock Inlet where it meets the Atlantic Ocean, this rugged, undeveloped barrier beach park includes both ocean and bay beach recreation areas. Shinnecock East County Park in Southampton offers good fishing. One hundred campsites along the outer beach are available to those with self-contained campers and a valid Outer Beach Recreational Vehicle Permit; those vehicles must park on the beach. No tent camping is permitted. A small parking lot is available for Green Key card holders who do not have an Outer Beach Recreational Vehicle Permit. The walk from the parking lot to a midway point along the jetty is approximately 360 yards. This is where you'll find anglers lined all along those boulders, especially when the bite is on. Bait, spin, and fly fishermen abound. Bluefish, black fish, black sea bass, and stripers are the main attractions. "Ah, but you ‘should've been here yesterday' for the bonito and albies!" were the sincere sentiments sounded by angler after angler we spoke to whose only catch of the day was limited to skates and sea robins.

Navigating those boulders that form ocean jetties can be treacherous when wet. For warmer weather, a pair of cleated sandals as shown provides safety and comfort

For those colder months ahead, either boots offering interchangeable sole technology or overshoes with threaded or push-through carbide spikes (cleats) is a good choice. Whatever style you select, stay with a winner whose name has stood the test of time for fifty years: Korkers. As I already have pairs of general footwear for virtually all seasons and reasons, but not those jetties, a pair of cleated overshoes was a good choice for keeping me safe on those slippery, mossy surfaces. Referencing this arena, one has to decide among three Korkers' models; namely, CastTrax ($100), RockTrax ($70), or RockTrax Plus ($80). The main differences concern the threaded versus push-through carbide spikes; also, the number of spikes per pair. The RockTrax overshoe model has threaded spikes whereas the other two models have the push-through spikes. That is why you are paying more for the CastTrax model. However, the CastTrax model only has 18 spikes per sole, whereby the RockTrax Plus model has 26 spikes per sole. The lower price RockTrax model has14 spikes per sole, but it comes with 12 additional spikes and receptacles for you to customize the overshoe. Therefore, I elected to go with the RockTrax $70 model (which is on order) for its customization feature. To my way of thinking, fifty-two carbide spikes per pair translate to better traction on those slippery boulders. Yes, I'd be sacrificing threaded spikes in lieu of the push-through type, but the RockTrax model, unlike the RockTrax Plus model, allows for customizing the toes, heels, and balls of the soles.

All three models come with easy/off release buckles and strap system, extra strap, and spare spikes. The overshoes are constructed of rubber soles and wall surrounding the toe, heel, and sides for a secure fit. Check out Korkers online at Depending on the season, determine what type of footwear is best for you, sandal or overshoe, then get out there for some rock-solid fishing.

Robert Banfelder
Award-Winning Thriller/Mystery Author & Outdoors Writer
Senior Editor, Broadwater Books
Co-host, Cablevision TV, Special Interests with Bob & Donna

October 01, 2015

Fishing Cupsogue Beach County Park

by Bob Banfelder

At the extreme west end of Dune Road in Suffolk County, Long Island is Cupsogue Beach County Park in the town of Westhampton. In a morning's jaunt, the beach offers the best of three worlds for anglers: ocean, inlet, and bay fishing. It is also a perfect area for RV trailer campers, scuba divers, and surfers. With rod and reel in hand, Donna and I were ready for a long walk, about to learn the lay of the land. We first stopped and chatted with a woman and her son referencing the fishing scene as well as inquiring about RV trailer camper information. Trailer campers, like the one shown below, are allowed to stay for a seven day period; reservations are to be made well in advance. But for a morning of fishing, taking in ocean, inlet, and bay, Cupsogue Beach County Park is most enjoyable. From the parking lot, it is a forty minute westerly walk to the ocean jetty, which one can see in the distance on a clear day.

Along the way, we spoke with an angler who had inadvertently caught and released a sea gull that hit one of his lengthy plugs in the surf.

Near the jetty, we chatted with another man who said he had a nice bass on the other day but lost it. A fair size sea robin was but his only catch of the morning. The fish was quickly released and it was back to the business of bass for the fellow. The tidal action was especially powerful that morning, and you'll note the size of the sinker. It did not hold bottom but traversed the sea floor at breakneck speed. With the far lighter spinning outfits that Donna and I carried, it would first be a walk to the jetty then around Moriches Inlet to the calmer waters of Moriches Bay, just to the north.

Continuing along the ocean side, we reached the ocean jetty and waved to a young lady who had passed us earlier on a steady run from the parking lot, out along the boulders, then up the 38-foot privately maintained jetty marker. No, I did not ask her to keep an open eye for birds or baitfish. After Super Storm Sandy (October 22–31, 2012), half of that triangular sign you see just to the left of her was missing. Mariners are advised to obtain local knowledge before navigating this waterway due to frequent shoaling issues. As a matter of fact, from the RV trailer park camper area, a sandy roadway just to the right, running between the ocean side and the Moriches Bay side, is still closed to vehicles at a distant point because of Super Storm Sandy.

A resident three-year Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation Green Key Card costs $11. Additionally, seniors (60 years and older) pay $8 on weekends, free on weekdays. Under 60 years of age, residents pay $24 for three years. Non-residents pay $40 for one year. Be advised that on weekends the beach is extremely crowded during summer months. The park opens at 8:30 a.m. Get there early or you may not be able to get in at all, for there have been days that the parking lot was filled by 11:30 a.m.

There are many Suffolk County Parks that your Green Key covers; however, I'll list seven of those with beach access.

South Shore ~ East to West:

Montauk County Park, Montauk; Cedar Point County Park, East Hampton ; Shinnecock East County Park, Southampton; Cupsogue Beach County Park, Westhampton; Meschutt Beach County Park, Hampton Bays; Smith Point County Park, Shirley.

North Shore:

Indian Island County Park, Riverhead.

Donna and I continued around the inlet, heading east and back toward the parking lot while fishing Moriches Bay. With our lighter spinning outfits, we covered the water column, casting tins, shallow-water divers, and poppers. I did see a small fluke along a rocky shoreline, but that was it. As anglers have more excuses than a pregnant nun, we blamed a late start and heavy boat traffic for getting skunked. More importantly, we had a great time and learned a good deal about the area. So get out there and try one our area beaches, especially now that the weather is turning cooler.

Robert Banfelder
Award-Winning Thriller/Mystery Author & Outdoors Writer
Senior Editor, Broadwater Books
Co-host, Cablevision TV, Special Interests with Bob & Donna

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