NYC dispatch: Weird weather, big blues, stripers on the fly

From our man in Manhattan, Capt Ken Jones:

Walking down the street I overhear individuals muttering to themselves, small groups of Greenpeace folks chattering away about climate change. In New York’s Northeast Marine Environment, I have experienced some of the strangest and most irregular weather patterns this year, which has translated into seemingly erratic behavior of the fish I pursue.

Having studied the sea surface temperature charts religiously for the last three months, I have witnessed the Gulf Stream reach the Hudson Canyon a month early, and 70 degree water temperatures only 4 miles from the dock when most people would expect to see water temps in the high 50’s.

There is a recipe for success in nature, and angling, and that is “ADAPTABILITY”.

NewYork Saltwater Flyfishing

There have been SST temperature breaks ranging from 10-25 degrees difference and this means moving around a lot to get keyed in on the water temperatures that our gamefish prefer.

Time on the water, dedication, persistence and patience all play a major role when searching the saltwaters of NY for striped bass and bluefish. On any given day you may not cross paths with the heroic striped bass, but just over the next swell may be the biggest feeding frenzy you have ever witnessed.

And this could mean following a large school of blood thirsty bluefish for so many miles and for so long that the fleet disappears completely and you look around to find yourself all alone in the midst of these creatures taking part in their rituals of life. Eat or be eaten.

NewYork Saltwater Flyfishing

Last week on Father’s Day, within 3 miles of shore we noticed tons of tuna chicks flying just above the water’s surface, so we decided to take a leap offshore 10-15 miles to see if there were any hard-tails running around.

We found lots of promising signs but the absence of small tunas became apparent after an hour scouting around out there. We ran back inshore and within another hour we were on top of some very large schools of menhadden or what the locals call bunka!

Finding a pod of bunker off the east coast could spell out olympic fishing, but that day there were clear bluebird skies and only 1-2 bass prowling the edge of each pod. Definitely not gangbusters, but the day grew promising as the afternoon settled in.

On one particular throw into a school of baitfish with a treble snagger, I notice my Dad hook into a nice feisty bunker! Within seconds the snagged baitfish takes off to the left, and 30 feet away I notice a shower of bunker leap out of the water.

Some stuttered words of coaching fall out of my mouth. I watched the rod tip flex under the crushing jaws of a striper, and I yell to Pops to “SET THE HOOK, SET IT DAMMIT!!!”

Less than 10 minutes later, this gorgeous mature striper is boatside begging for a photo shoot and I am proud to announce that this HEFTY fish was released alive!

NewYork Saltwater Flyfishing

Measuring 45inches long and 24inches in girth, this fish bottomed out the 30lb boga-grip like none other, and was estimated to weigh between 37-42lbs breaking my all-tackle all-time boat record which was first set last year.

Congrats to my Dad, who played this fish with respect and with a true mariners honor, and allowed a fish of this caliber to swim away! All it took was putting the boat in gear, and letting the fresh seawater breathe life back into her,

This by far has been one of the most memorable fishing trips of my life!

If you’re headed to NYC for fly fishing for stripers and bluefish, give our buddy Captain Ken a call: 646-280-8511 or email

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4 Responses to NYC dispatch: Weird weather, big blues, stripers on the fly

  1. Bruce02 says:

    Amazing tale !!!!!!! and a great fish . I hope to one day boat a fish of this size and release her back into the wild.


  2. Rob R says:


  3. Capt. Nate says:

    Capt. Ken has already been chasing Bluefin offshore! Can’t wait to see him catch one on a fly rod popper…

  4. Capt Ken says:

    Yeah buddy! Got some 25-turn bimini’s all tied up with master blaster poppers and sliders ready to throw! Just recently got the 12wt fine tuned with a tarpon line, which should perfect this time of year for throwing chunky flies long distances!

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