Map of Montauk Surfcasting Beaches

Here is where to fish in Montauk


Here are the good locations to surfcast in Montauk along with a discriptive essay that continues below.. For one thing, at any given time, there will fish at any location, but for fish to hold on these perches for any length of time is something rare, indeed. This list will be in order of volume of fish to be had. The best are the first on the list. Some are dangerous, some are crowded, some are secret….

The most productive location in Montauk for volume and quality is under the Montauk Lighthouse. I have seen many great bass taken from this spot over the years. The best time to fish here is during the flood tide with a N.E. Wind in your face. Bucktails and lures are prevalent. THIS LOCATION IS EXTREME! You will need to be equipped with cleats, waterproof jacket and waders. It will be crowded at the lighthouse (Up-front) during a chew, newcomers to the sport should not attempt to fish here. Along with this area are Scott’s cove, Jones’ Reef, the Weed Bowl and the Bluffs. These areas are within walking distance of the lighthouse on the northern side.. Hardcore rocks, such as Evans’, Weakfish, Shark and Blackfish rock are located in the deeper waters of this area. Turtle cove is at the southern end of Montauk Point State Park. This is a beginner’s location with a soft sloping beach that leads to a deep water cove. It is very productive starting in mid September and is often very crowded with amateurs when the fish are blitzing. The western end of Turtle cove is often overlooked because of the rocky coastline which begins there and extends west for several miles. More on this location later…

The North and False Bars are also located in the Lighthouse vicinity. You will travel west of Jones’ reef on the north side to find these grounds. These are superior sites that are very hot in a dropping tide with a North wind in your face. Bucktails and darters work well here. Because of the ease of access, the sharpies tend to hang out here in a caravan circle known as Murderer’s Row. Patience and etiquette must be observed to fish this hotspot.

The sand beaches of Montauk town and points west are quite productive in the early summer, right through the fall. A mile west of Montauk town has been holding fish since May. You will need a 4WD beach permit (East Hampton Town) for the privilage to cruise this beach. Passed the resort of Gurneys’ Inn begins Hither Hills State Park ,where you will need a NY State Beach Vehicle permit to proceed.. East of town are the areas known as Indians’ Dead man’s, Ditch Plains and the trailer park. These spots are a bit more hard core and require heartier equipment.

Shagwong point is next on the list. A Sufflok Co. Permit is required to drive the mile+ beach to this sandy location. Shag is very productive on a dropping tide for most of the season. the bigger fish are taken here while working a N.E. Wind. This is another favorite of the hardcore enthusiast. Bucktails are used in the daylight here, with darters, needlefish and bottle plugs utilized in the dark. Beginners should keep to the west end of the point. Seasoned fishermen will find three or four big rocks at the surf zone known as the rock pile which begins the hot spot that is prized by the pros. Storm tides bring big fish here in the fall. Fluke and blues may be taken from the beach west of the point during the summer months.

Camp Hero (located within Montauk Point St. Park) encompasses a good portion of the action packed striper surf. This is not an easy coastline to fish, and it does require extensive equipment and a hearty individual to reconnoiter this area, with ¼ mile walks over rough terrain being common. Brown’s is located under the cliffs just west of the lighthouse and is popular for casting live eels from the many flat rocks that set between five and twenty yards from the surf line. Here, blitz action is common in the fall. Night fishing will produce fat stripers. The Sewer Pipe cove is a rock strewn cove at the end of the access road that may be traveled with a Camp Hero Permit (NY State). It has easy access, so it may be crowded during a day with a lot of action. Just west of the Sewer Pipe are The Rat Hole and King’s. These are rock shoals with many good and deep rock perches that hold nighttime trophies. The daytime scene is known for the blitz action here and should be a go to location from September till mid October. This is a popular site for the skilled caster, because of it’s shear beauty and convenience.

West of Kings begins the area known as the Land Of the Giants because of the shear size and quality of the striped bass that dine there. You will have to be able to walk several miles under extreme (rocky) conditions to fish these spots. Driftwood cove begins the journey, with the Stone House jetty and associated rocks being a trophy bass location. The sandy beach of the cove is also a good place to throw bait. Just past the cove begins Caswell’s reef, which is very hard core. Eels, plugs and bucktails are thrown in the dark from deep rocks to yield gigantic fish. I personally love to skish the Caswell’s reef at its’ east end, just into Driftwood cove. This is done in the dark of night. The remotness is a draw for me, as are the big fish. Further west still, are The Tea House, known for it’s oriental style estate with a sweeping blue tiled roof. Coconuts and Tuma’s reef will be even further west. The Ranch and the Cottages continue our westward trek, with the Cottages being about five miles from the lighthouse. All these spots are remote and more often than not, secluded. These waters are not for beginners or the faint of heart. It would take a week to find your body……

From Ditch Plains and the trailer park and points east are Hoffman’s (bird **** rock) which features a flying staircase on the face of the bluff. Bragan’s rock is at the eastern end of the reef at this point, about 75 yards from the beach, in seven feet of water. Many fine rocks are to be had for night fishing here. This is also a favorite of mine to skish in the dark. Cavet’s cove comes next. It is very sandy, with a big drop off. Both the east and west ends of this cove hold fish. Church’s is the following point to the east. This is the site of an old fishing pier and gentleman’s club which was active in the late nineteenth century. There are still several large boulders with holes drilled in them, midway in the surf zone. Here once stood anchor polls for planked surf fishing stands. Some great fish may be taken here. Again, this is a spot which is for those who are comfortable walking a mile or so in the dark. I have also skished here under certain conditions.

Even more obscure spots exist in Montauk. Culloden (which is west of the Montauk inlet on the north side) is a favorite for fly casters because the wind is often at your back. The jetties at the inlet to Montauk Harbor are popular for day trippers to cast a hunk of bait from. The harbor docks produce bass to 30 inches and 3 pound fluke on live bait which you can snag right at the site. It is a hoot to reel in a nice fluke as the Viking Star pulls away from the dock, loaded with $50 a head fairs, who gawk in disbelief at your catch. The Cattle Fence and Goff point are located at the northwest end of Hither Hills St. Park. These spots can land some quality fish, and are also very secluded spots on Gardener’s bay. The Pier at Navy road is a great location to bring your kids for a day of picnicking and dock fishing. This is located at the west end of Navy road. Turn west on Industrial road (off Edgemere, just north of the Surf Lodge) and then turn right at the sharp bend in the road, just past the lumber yard. Over the tracks to the sound. Turn left down Navy road. There you have it. The site of the pre-war navy base and fishangri-la of the fifties. Picnic ables, porta potties, a grassy field and nature trail is a swell place for the wife and prodginy.

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