Haddock fishing in December

spcharlton

New Angler
Aug 3, 2020
16
24
3
I've heard a lot about winter fishing on boats out of montauk. I only fish on Eastmans, but even they recomend heading down to RI to hit Frances Fleet or Montauk in the winter months. Anyone ever hit those boats in January or February?
 

captmike28

Angler
Dec 21, 2018
668
1,427
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Southold, NY
www.captainstablecharters.com
spcharlton, IMHO and based upon both personal experience from trips I have made along with reports from many friends in the business, if you really want Haddock in any kind of numbers you do have to fish further north. In 2018 we did have a brief shot of Haddock on Eastern LI from Dec to Feb with a few fish caught on deep drops to the west. I made a trip out of Montauk with Michael Potts on the Bluefin in Dec. 2018 and he is one of the best there is at the Cod game. We fished south of Montauk and despite his considerable talents the 5 man crew that day only put away about 16 Haddock, maybe 10 Cod and some white Hake. Last season there were even fewer Haddock caught in NY waters and so far 2020 has been pretty lean on them as well, although we did see a few more school Cod mix in with the Tog on several of our Eastern LI Sound charter trips in November this past fall.

I don't want to discourage anyone but honestly for at least the past 5-7 years the winter Cod fishing off Montauk has been very tough going. The same pattern has formed throughout this time frame with about a 2-3 week decent bite starting around early to mid January which then quiets down until spring. If you doubt my observations, I just read yesterday that almost none of the Montauk charters are Codfishing this winter and even the Viking boats are hanging back until they see if any kind of consistent bite develops.

Having said that, like most fisherman I always remain optimistic, and I am booked on a Cod charter out of Montauk for Saturday Jan. 16. However, I have fished eastern LI my entire life and felt you deserve an honest opinion on what is happening.
Capt. Mike
 
Last edited:

BennyV

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2018
5,241
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113
City Island, The Bronx
spcharlton, IMHO and based upon both personal experience from trips I have made along with reports from many friends in the business, if you really want Haddock in any kind of numbers you do have to fish further north. In 2018 we did have a brief shot of Haddock on Eastern LI from Dec to Feb with a few fish caught on deep drops to the west. I made a trip out of Montauk with Michael Potts on the Bluefin in Dec. 2018 and he is one of the best there is at the Cod game. We fished south of Montauk and despite his considerable talents the 5 man crew that day only put away about 16 Haddock, maybe 10 Cod and some white Hake. Last season there were even fewer Haddock caught in NY waters and so far 2020 has been pretty lean on them as well, although we did see a few more school Cod mix in with the Tog on several of our Eastern LI Sound charter trips in November this past fall.

I don't want to discourage anyone but honestly for at least the past 5-7 years the winter Cod fishing off Montauk has been very tough going. The same pattern has formed throughout this time frame with about a 2-3 week decent bite starting around early to mid January which then quiets down until spring. If you doubt my observations, I just read yesterday that almost none of the Montauk charters are Codfishing this winter and even the Viking boats are hanging back until they see if any kind of consistent bite develops.

Having said that, like most fisherman I always remain optimistic, and I am booked on a Cod charter out of Montauk for Saturday Jan. 16. However, I have fished eastern LI my entire life and felt you deserve an honest opinion on what is happening.
Capt. Mike
Thanks for the lost Capt. Most of what I’m hearing is similar to your post. Might give the Black Hawk or Frances Fleet a shot.
 
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