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Montauk: Ground Zero for Stripers

Montauk: Ground Zero for Stripers

Over the years striped bass fishing has become synonymous with Montauk. Located smack-dab in the middle of the annual migration, its ground zero for stripers. This fish can live over 30 years of age and spend most of their adult life migrating north and south each season – passing right through Montauk each way

Starting in April, striped bass swim north from their spawning grounds in the Chesapeake Bay up towards the New Jersey coast and past Montauk towards Cape Cod and Maine.  The striper fishing usually heats up around the end of May and goes strong through June.  Summer months still hold decent amounts of bass, but you need to work harder and longer to get your keeper.      

Bass fisherman employ any number of fishing methods: surfcasting, trolling, fly fishing, chunking and “run and gun” blitz casting.  Over the years we’ve tried most of them but trolling and blitz casting has put more fish consistently in the box for us.  On the troll, we use Penn 113HSP reels spooled with wire line marked off every 50 feet.  The wire line will sink 1 foot down for every 10 feet of line let off the spool.  This allows us to get our lures exactly where we want them – about 5 feet off the bottom.  The ideal bottom depth for stripers is around 30 feet, but we’ll troll anywhere from 25 to 50 feet deep – constantly adjusting the wire length to keep the lure 5 feet off the bottom.  Structure is key, so keep checking your sounder for the many rock piles scattered right off the point.  

On a typical day you’ll see the fleet scattered within a mile or two of Montauk Point.  Tempers flare as charter captains and weekend warriors battle for every inch of real estate while pulling 300 feet of wire behind the boat.  The key is to pinpoint the spots you want your lures over and then work your way through/around the fleet and setup your passes.   

The fall blitz starts when every hungry striper from Maine to Massachusetts passes through here on their southern migration in October and November.  So, grab your rod, head out to the point and fish your next big-bass blitz.   


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