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Click on the name or photos to see species photo galleries
Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis)
It’s what every hardcore northeast saltwater fly-angler dreams about. The quick glimpse of those long dark stripes across a silvery flank as a large fish turns on the fly… The broad, torquey tail that powers a heavy and solid run… These are all traits that have created striper addicts across the country. Ranging from a pound to a mammoth 70-pounds, this extraordinary fish can be caught while tossing a fly into ravenous blitzing schools, it can be taken on sinking lines fished down in the murky depths, and, in perhaps the most enjoyable pursuit, stripers can be taken while quietly polling a flat and casting to spooky and clearly visible fish. Truly a magical creature. The best time to target them in Jamaica Bay is late April to Mid June, then Late September to December. Click on the photo above to see our striped bass photo gallery.
Weakfish (Cynoscion Regalis)
They go by the name gray trout, tiderunners or their original Native American name, squeateague, but the most commonly used term - weakfish - comes from its inherently weak mouth structure, which allows a hook to pull out quite easily much to the dismay of many an angler. A weakfish can grow to 3 feet long and over 17 pounds, but a 10-pounder, by anyone’s standard, is a darn good fish. We don't get an awful lot of them in our neck of the woods. But the ones we do get are enormous. We've taken two weakfish which smashed the flyrod world record. However, in the heat of the moment we opted to release both of these fish, as they were full of roe and we see so little of this beautiful species. The best time to target weakfish in Jamaica Bay is from late April to early June. Click on the photo above to see our weakfish gallery.
Bluefish (Pomatomus Saltatrix)
Bluefish are mean toothy fish. They have evolved into exceptionally vicious predators and they provide challenging sport for anglers particularly when they get up in the flats. Their sleek, streamlined bodies, with their large heads, yellow eyes and set of choppers that would make Jaws himself green with envy, give this fish an almost sinister appearance. Their behavior lives up to the outward show, earning them a reputation as one of the most voracious fish in the ocean. When these big predators come into the flats they create some world-class light-tackle opportunities. Because bluefish, when on the flats, are very easily spooked, very difficult to fool and, once hooked, fight harder than anything else an angler will find in the Northeast’s skinny water, they provide one of the most challenging fisheries in the northeast. And, because of their large size and spectacular acrobatics, the reward for fooling one is great. Click on the photo above to see our bluefish photo gallery.
False Albacore (Euthynnus Alletteratus)
This pelagic fish is extremely fast! Better watch your knuckles when they take the fly and you'd better have a lot of backing. These little tuna show up in late August and stick around Lower New York Harbor until mid-to-late October depending on the weather and bait concentrations. They are notoriously unreliable in New York though, but when they show, boy do they show! Chasing around schools of these fish as they crash bay-anchiovies on the surface while birds screech and dive overhead is perhaps the most intense flyfishing/light-tackle experience around. If you haven't tried it yet, we highly recommend it. Click on the photo above to see our albie photo gallery.
Skipjack Tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), Green Bonito (Sarda sarda) & Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus)
These are what we call the "two-week" fish. These pelagics show up inshore during late July and early to mid-August and stay for only a week or two. But when they are here, boy are they fun. Just like false albacore we chase schools of fish busting bait on the surface. Skipjack, if you can believe it, seem to be even stronger than false-albacore. They can also get a bit bigger. We've had several over the years that were around 15-pound. Better have plenty of backing for a fish like that. Skipjack are a regular occurrence in the late summer. Green Bonito are not. Some years we get them, others we don't. We they are around, however, they make great sushi! Spanish mackerel are totally unreliable as well. Some years we get them, others we don't. These are also very good eating fish. Offshore, skipjack are abundant from June on. We can pretty much catch them at will. Click the photos to see our skipjack/green bonito/spanish mackerel photo gallery.
Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus Thynnus)
The bluefin tuna fishing has exploded over the last few years. Starting in June they show up within striking distance, generally 15 to 40 miles offshore, which is a relatively short run in our Contender which can top out at 50mph. Generally we deep jig for these fish, but we do indeed run across surface feeding fish. And when we do, it can be insane fishing. Each year we stick more and more on the fly. These are big, fast and extremely strong fish. 100-pounds on average. It's a relatively new fishery for us, but we've got it wired and last season (2010) was fantastic. Without a doubt, bluefin are becoming more and more prolific each year. You have to try this fishery if you are a light-tackle enthusiast. Check out our bluefin gallery by clicking on the photo.
Mahi-Mahi a.k.a. Dolphin and Dorado - (Coryphaena Hippurus)
These fish are so much fun. Starting in late June/early July they show up under the buoys, lobster-pots and just about every piece of flotsam from 10 to 30 miles out. We catch them consistently on fly and light spin gear. And once you hook one, a whole fleet of them will show up under the boat. These fish leap when hook providing excellent sport. Every year Click on the image to see our mahi photo gallery.