I love Spring Fishing, I love Spring Fishing, I love Spring Fishing! You just never know what you are going to get. Just last evening I got texts/emails from 4 different friends telling me of them catching fish last evening at Dusk. This got me fired up for fishing today. A slow start led to a strong finish and we had an awesome day catching stripers in the sun on the surface. Than the greatest gift of all, I am greeted at the dock by my wife and son and I say we are going to catch James a fish. Well an hour later, three fish on the line and 7 fish missed we still have the skunk on the boat but boy are we laughing and having fun.
I share all of the above, because what makes Spring so much fun is the unpredictability. Some days are awesome, some are ok, but you are always moving and hunting and no matter the results with the fish so close to shore, the fishing scene is always gorgeous and worthwhile.
As for Locations: we are starting to hear of stripers being caught on the South Shore and Low Beach even produced a #releaser on Wednesday evening. We have yet to hear the South Shore get hot and heavy, but this sounds like the start of it. Both harbors are still producing very well, especially in the evening hours. It is hard to point to specific location as most of the shorelines have fish, anglers must be willing to walk them and work them. If possible this weekend, we heavily suggest trying to get out to coatue and work both the bends and the exterior shoreline.
As for size, fish are all over the place. The smallest fish I caught today was 16 and the largest 27. It is awesome not knowing what you are going to get, hence the unpredictability of Spring.
As for what is working: Most anglers are still fishing soft plastics heavily and these are working, but anglers moving on to poppers, walk the dog lures and stickbaits/twitchbaits are getting rewarded. Stickbaits/twitchbaits stay below the surface and dance up and down with a twitch of the rod, much like a soft plastic. Walk the Dogs and poppers are just fun, especially in the evening when fish are active and hunting the surface. It is easy to be a one trick pony, but we highly suggest varying up a lure and its color if fishing slows up.
As for the flies, this is the time of year to throw a fly rod if you have one. The fish are in the shallows and they are active feeding on smaller bait. If you target a sunny day and you find the sand on the points of coatue and eel point you can certainly sight fish, but fishermen are mostly blind casting in 2-3 feet of water and are doing very well. This time of year, you don’t need to go fancy, clousers are king. White and olive and if you want some fanciness chartreuse.
Also remember in the Spring, in the shallow water, you rarely want to have a consistent retrieve. Twitch the rod tip, reel more slowly than you are accustomed to and let a lure “die” for a second or two and when you do this, you will often get a hit. This is true for both fly and spin.
Now that the advice is over, go fish, please. Keepers(releasers) and shorts are being caught, fish are active and moving and whether you catch a fish, miss a hit or enjoy the sunset, we can just about guarantee your time on the water will be worth it.