I’ve dabbled with the sweet on LI over the years. Mostly the tidal regions for winter white perch or pre-season trout. Got a few small mouths from a certain East End lake (if you fish the fresh you know where I’m talking about). But that’s the extent of it. Always seemed like the best freshwater time was during my prime surf time. I knew there was more there, seen some bass in the lakes, but didn’t put much time in.
Until this year.
For the last couple of seasons I felt like I was in a fishing rut. Fish the creeks through the spring, summer fluke or bass nights, hunt for albies in September, then do the cold night trips for bass for the remainder of the year. Maybe an offshore trip here and there. But otherwise the same thing year in, year out. Each year I told myself I’d break the routine and try some different places, different things. In a way I did 2 years ago when I got the Goldfish. The yak did open new opportunities. But this year I decided to go for broke and put my time on for some freshwater action on LI.
I started in May exploring spots along the Peconic River and found some good places to put the yak in the water. I fished a couple of the sections of the river and found pickerel, perch and pre-season bass (can’t help what jumps on my spinner!). I read more online articles, picked up a copy of Long Island’s Best Freshwater Fishing and got as much info off the NY DEC site as I could find.
So recently I decided to try an East End lake that kept coming up as a good spot for big largemouth bass. I got on the water a little after sunrise (should have been there earlier, next time I will). Started working the edges of the lake with a Panther Martin spinner (it also holds pickerel and I wanted to try for one) and a popper. Got some perch and a few smacks at the popper but nothing else.
Then I switched to a rubber worm – BANG! That was the ticket. The first time I hooked up I thought I was snagged (my Texas rigging skills need more work). Pulled back and it didn’t move. So I pulled back harder and the rod started to pump – what a thrill!
I followed all I could remember from the articles and ESPN fishing shows about working the structure, getting in the snags, etc. The yak was an excellent platform for this kind of fishing. Just a few gentle paddles was enough to propel me silently along the shore line. Sometimes I even let the breezy push me into the shore weeds to hold myself with in casting distance of good looking structure.
I was very happy with my results. I still have much to learn but I’m so excited to try!
Since then I have caught a variety of freshwater fish on Long Island and have been having a great time!
Long Island really does have some very nice freshwater action.
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