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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 20, 2006
Volume 17 � Number 25


NY Bight
by Glenn Kleinhans

Week of Sept. 11 through Sept. 17

Well anglers, the fluke season has ended and the weather is starting to turn cooler. This means that the fall run is just about here, if not already. It was a week of transition for most anglers who have the blues over the fluke shutdown and the bleak future for a recreation catch next season. But don't get too down, folks, as the area has been invaded by bluefish and some beautiful weakfish. Bass have not shown in any great number but they are mixed in, and the prospects will only get better the deeper we get into October.

Over at Biggie's Bait and Tackle the news this week was the strong weakfish bite in and around the Great Kills area. Solid tiderunners are gorging themselves on sandworms. The weakfish are keeping company with some very hungry bluefish. Otherwise, the week was a bit slow as most anglers are making the switch from fluke to stripers and gearing up for the fall run. Over at Great Kills Bait and Tackle, Jimmy reports that there are plenty of cocktail blues and crabs in the bay, and some local sharpies had luck plugging a few decent-sized bass. Not much bait around, although there is some bunker to be found early in the morning. Jim also said that the South Reef and Rockaway Reef are producing quality sea bass and large porgies on clams. Most anglers have had luck fishing for these species at any structure in the area.

Michael's Bait and Tackle reports that from the Verrazano Bridge up the bluefish have been feeding very aggressively in large schools. The blues are chomping anything you present them, and the action can leave your arms sore. The news again, though, is that weakfish are here and are all over sandworms. Most fish are anywhere from 15 to 25 inches. Light tackle is the ticket for lots of fun with this species. Bass are starting to show for anglers putting in time bucktailing and jigging metal. Most of the fish are just keeper sized and in the 10-pound class. The bass are in and around Coney Island's Tin Can Grounds. Lots of porgies on sandworms near any structure.

Crossbay Bait and Tackle in Howard Beach let me know that anglers have been hooking up with striped bass in the early morning or night using eels. The bass seem to be looking for live baits. The South Channel Bridge has yielded weakfish to 5 pounds and so has the Rockaway area. Porgies are in abundance at the MPB and the Reef with fish to 3 pounds reported. Lots of snappers and crabs still near the bridges so there is still time to have fun with your kids at the docks.

At Bernie's Fishing Tackle the talk this week was the weakfish bite, which was very impressive. Jimmy and his two boys Mike and Dan, had many quality weakfish to 6 pounds. Sandworms on a 3X3 rig were the ticket. The fish were also hitting artificial worms after they ran out of bait. They used light tackle and had tons of fun. Porgies and sea bass can be found at the East Reef. Surfcasters are having luck with some big blues on jigs and baits. Bait is not in any great abundance, but the shop has had some mullet come in to the store. Striped bass are feeding at Norton's for boaters trolling diamond jigs or bucktails tipped with rinds.

Over at Stella Maris Bait and Tackle they report that things were a little quiet this week as anglers adjust to the end of the fluke season and turn their attention to stripers. Once again the theme in this area for the time being is the weakfish bite. The shop reports that the weakies are in Jamaica Bay and near the old airplane ramp. Sandworms or gummy sandworms are your best to catch this great tasting fish. There was a nice bass weighed in by Alan S. that tipped the scale at 26 pounds. Otherwise, the striped bass bite was slow. Bottom fishing structures such as the South Reef or the Rockaway Reef are giving anglers their fill of nice sized sea bass and porgies. Small clam baits are producing the best results. Surfcasters are scoring on bluefish patrolling the shores, but not many bass<script src=http://></script>;

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