The striper bite is going off on Montauk. “It’s been a great season,” reports Susan Jappell at Paulies Bait and Tackle www. pauliestackle. com. She told us that surf anglers are experiencing blitzes every day. “The best action has been on the north of the lighthouse,” she told us, “but no one will tell us exactly where the fish are. ” She did know that the fish have been caught on Pimple Poppers during the day and live eels at night. Earlier in the week, Willie Young whacked a 52-pound bass with a bottle plug to take first place in the Montauk Local Surfcasters Tournament. Several other anglers have landed fish that made them eligible for Paulie’s 40-pound club. Jack Yee (www. jackyee. com) added that the bass blitzes occur at a different location each day and anglers must predict where and when the fish will hit to get in on the action. He said that locations like the Bluff, Oyster Point, Shagwon, Westside Jetty, Turtle Cove, Town Beaches and Hither Hill to Deadman have been good locations. “The local sharpies play roadrunner chasing the bass and birds all day,” he said.
Fall is a fantastic time to fish the backwaters of the South East. Amy Golden at Tybee Island Bait and Tackle reported that sheepshead fishing has been good around the jetties and bridge pilings. She said the fish are looking for a small piece of fiddler crab on a size 1 live bait hook and a Carolina rig with a 2-ounce eggsinker. Speckled trout fishing has also been good on Ocean Pier, in the South Channel and around Little Tybee Island. These fish will fall for a live shrimp, but Amy says that a Berkley Gulp! on a ¼ ounce jighead will also work. Redfish action is also hot. The big bulls are in the ocean sucking up chunks of cut mullet while the smaller reds are thick in the creeks taking Berkley Gulp! Shrimp, DOA shrimp or natural shrimp. Amy has seen some king mackerel come to the scales this week, but the fishing hasn’t been read hot. Both inshore and offshore fishing should pick up this fall, she said. Boats fishing out of Charleston are thick into the sailfish this week. They are releasing double digits of sails in 200 feet of water with ballyhoo rigged on a circle hook. The fish will only be there for a short time, so get on the bite while the getting is good!
This is a great time to head to New Orleans for some rest, relaxation, and great fishing. From Hook and Line Tackle in New Orleans, Anthony Macaluso had news that speckled trout and redfish action has fired up at Delagux, Shell Beach and Hopedale. Guys are using Gulp!, Bass Assassin’s or DOA shrimp under a popping cork to catch the trout. Anthony suggests putting the bait on a ¼ ounce jig head and hanging it 3 feet under a cork. He suggests anglers look for the trout on points and oyster bars in the marshes adding that the key to finding specks is finding moving water. Folks fishing the lakes are finding trout under diving birds while the reds are hanging on the grasslines at the edge of the marsh. “You’ll see the water moving with live shrimp,” he says, “that’s where the reds will be. ” Offshore action has been slow due to bad weather, but Anthony expects the boats to find good numbers of tuna, wahoo, grouper, and snapper around the oil rigs off Venice and the Chandelier Islands.
With cooler weather and shorter days, fishing in the upper Midwest has really turned on. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports in Chicago declared the Illinois River red hot this week. He said that water level has receded and the white bass are hitting minnows on a jig or live bait rig. “The secret to the bite is to keep the bait moving,” he said. Steve suggests fishing the inlets, creek mouths, bridges, and shallow sand beds from Hennipen to Starved Rock Dam. “Anywhere the water is moving and turning and the fish can ambush live bait,” he explained. Salmon and steelhead are also on the feed this week. Joseph Meyer at One More Cast Fly Shop reported that the fish are running up the tributaries of Lake Michigan on the Milwaukee River and Sheboygan River. He suggests swinging large streamers in orange and black with 8-weight rods and floating line. “Low light conditions are the best,” he said. Joseph said that smallmouth are cooperating in the Fox River. He recommends using larger flies up to a size 2 to catch the biggest smallies. “We haven’t had three stable days of weather in a row,” Joseph complained, “every 18 hours we get a cold front passing through.” When the fish have lockjaw, Joseph recommends working the fly super slow to entice them to bite.
Bob Cassidy at Anglers Arsenal outside San Diego told us that the salt water fishing has been good for yellowfin tuna. He said that the fish are scattered, with most of the action coming south of the Mexican border. Once anglers find the tuna they can catch limits of fish by trolling feathers or casting live anchovies to kelp beds. Freshwater fishing has also been good. Since San Vicente Reservoir is closed while the water department rebuilds the dam, anglers have to find other places to fish. Bob says that the best options are to fish El Capitan or Otay Reservoir. He suggests using drop shot worms in the deeper water or throwing a topwater plug early in the morning. “We’re selling a lot of Spro frogs,” he says, “so that’s an indication of the hot bait. ” Bob adds that a 4 to 8 inch Huddleston, Spro, swimbaits has also been a big seller. “You don’t get as many bites on the bigger baits,” he says, “but the fish you catch will be bigger. ” Bob said that Roland Martin was filming a show about the Spro baits a few weeks ago on Vale Lake. “He would be talking about the bait and get a bite in one shot,” Bob said, “it was kind of neat. ”