The migration……..of the surfcasters

Here is an interesting phenomenon …surfcasters can’t wait till spring to wet their lines. That much we all know for sure. In New York, once bass show up in Little Neck Bay and bite becomes more or less predictable, place gets crowded in the hurry. Many of those who toiled in obscurity before bass showed up choose to find other places to wet the line as the crowds become too close for comfort

Manhasset harbor gets an influx of guys not wanting be crowded at Little Neck, plus they get accompanied by locals who are getting back into it after hibernating. They pick at small, barely legalish fish and those who fish at night see some respectable fish. But big fish, 20 pounds and up ? Most of the time they only see it, they rarely never catch it. Because many of those very early spring cows want no part of plugs or teasers. What they crave is bait, either freshest kind or live. The pluggers go home in frustration and come back with bigger rods, bigger reels and bigger lures…and incur same results .

Anyway, this has been my observation over the years. I will never forget calling my buddy who lives in the area at midnight one night after landing numerous fish over 20 pounds…on April 15!

He came ,he plugged and next night for the first time in his life, after 30 years of only plugging he bought bunker. …..

But this is not bait over plugs, not at all. That is the subject that is about as interesting to talk about as it is to  watch the paint dry.

Here is what puzzles me. A lot of effort is being applied to north shore harbors in April and early May. Lots of hours throwing plugs, lots of hours throwing bait and for some guys I know, doing both at the same time. Success rate? Depends on how you quantify success…Some days are better than others and some years are better than others. But fishing is only getting better in early May. Many big girls that constitute Hudson river spanning class are still coming down the river and into the sound. As they find acres of bunker in the harbors some of them choose to stick around…

But then the most peculiar thing happens. Bluefish show up on south shore and whoosh…..the north shore harbors empty out , like the sink does  if you removed the stopper . I understand the need to go tangle with blues, I will be first guy in the line up in the spring doing the same. Actually any time, I like catching bluefish to be honest. Landing them not so much.

But not only do all the pluggers change latitude but chunkers do too. All of a sudden the bunker is flying out of the shops and bluefish are main culprits. Then someone will nail a 30 or 40 pound bass and north shore becomes an afterthought……just as big cows are herding bunker in the tight harbors, surfcasters are tossing chunks in the vast ocean of south shore and praying for a hit.

Seriously, if you don’t know what happens on north shore after you leave, you are excused. If you are a local and are not aware of it, you deserve a beating 🙂

6 comments on “The migration……..of the surfcasters

  1. Geo67

    Hate to admit it, but gas prices are starting to affect the Surfcaster migration patterns this year. I know I am less likely to hit the south shore this spring to “have a look”.

  2. woodwker99

    I agree with Geo, gas has made my migration up and down William Floyd highway. no Mecca this year.

  3. Irish

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fall believe it or not. As a NS guy who really hits way out of the way spots, I and those north shore guys with me, are quick to abandon the NS in the fall as it clears out of fish much earlier than the south shore, ( I dont think anyone disputes this), so in the spring once guys start tangling with gators on the south shore, I think the NS guys who abandon their shores in fall when they MUST are just comfortable re-locating in June.


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