West End II - Beach
The West End II Beach is one of my favourite fishing spots on long island for a few reasons. It is a beautiful place, a hike to get to, slightly off the path and many days you will have the whole beach to yourself. Many days a year I will fish all day and not see another soul on this stretch of beach. Of course the depends when you head out. There is a lot of wildlife too that you will see with all different species of birds. In fact many birders come here to take photos of some of the rarer species of birds. I just brought up the bird stuff to give you an idea of the space you have here. Another reason is that the beach has some nice structure, some of which is hard to walk away from because it just looks so good! And of course finally the fishing can be fantastic at times. Many folks had some amazing days on the sand here with tales to tell. One thing about the beach here is that it can be a trek to get to it.
There is a long seemingly never ending path which leads to the beach and at time it can be wall to wall with mosquitoes. There is however a shorter path to the right side of the lot opposite of the old concession stand you can walk straight down. When you finally get down to the water you will be pleased. If you plan to fish at night make sure you get a night permit, the park police come around often and they will ticket you after sunset. Daytime your good to go you just have to leave before it gets dark with out the permit. If its your first trip out there try to go during the low tide or better yet get there as the water is dropping so you will see the the structure. At high tide a lot of structure is covered and it can be a intimidating place to fish for a beginner, so if you can do a little scouting first. As a final intro note to take down, the jetty is right there so if the fishing is beat on the beach sometimes the jetty will produce for you. Something to keep in mind.
There are some hot spots along the beach and you'll see them if you know how to read the surf. I will be writing some articles on that topic soon but I will describe the basic surf structure West End II has to offer. The beach there basically has a long trough with a few cuts in it right along the beach. It shifts time to time and changes slightly every year so you will have too see it while you are there for its current state. There are several points where the outer bar is cut and these make great spots to cast to. Also don't leave out the lip of the beach and the white wash There will be fish literally feet from you in the wash. You just have to get out to see it and make the most of what it offers. If the beach does let you down and you feel like doing some walking you could easily access the jetty of inlet from the beach and fish two totally different environments and a change of pace.
You will find a nice gamut of fish which inhabit the shorelines of West End II. The primary three species are stripped bass, bluefish and fluke. You will have the chance to catch all of the big three in a single day and it happens often. The stripper will generally come in first with some nice 30lb class fish in early spring till June which I found is a great month for them here. Stripper action will taper off but there will be schoolies in the wash through the summer but if your looking for bigger fish try night time in the months of May and June. Some guys swear by the clam in early spring, and it does work great, and even some bigger fish will take the clam but I like big chunks at night for the big guys. I tend to toss artificial in the morning to early post dusk evening switching my lures in accord but I do prefer the proven big bait at late nite if I am looking for big bass. There will be blues in and out through out spring to fall and most years you will see plenty of blues. Some years may show more strippers then blues. But there are always plenty of blues to be had here and they will be happy to destroy any lure you give them. The fluking here is alright too. You will catch some nice fluke here while fishing for bass. If you wish to target fluke here there are two methods which proven deadly for me. First is with Gulp Swimming Mullets. The Gulp Swimming Mullets have proven to be a deadly bait if rigged properly, if you don't catch any fluke with them in July you are plum doing something wrong. If you frown upon the Gulp and throw hard baits try tossing your favourite jig or bucktail with a teaser. You should nail most of your fish on the teaser and you will find there are days you will out fish the Gulp fisherman! Both methods work and are great for fluke. If you are a new angler try the double Gulp rig, if you a more skilled surf angler try the jig and teaser. Both methods work with equal results. The last several years there has been some good sharking in the heat of the summer. They were around during the hottest months of July and August and the ones I have seen and caught were between three and five feet. While your fishing keep in mind you probably will either snag or hook into some monster sting rays. I have seen some that had to be over one hundred pounds. Be careful if you land a sting ray because they will do a number on you if you get poked. There is a chance you will run into weakfish time to time but don't count on it here but some guys have caught them here as well I heard of a few coming out over twelve pounds.
The beach at West End II is a great place to fish. Keep in mind it may not be suited for the beginning angler because it can be an intimidating and daunting piece of water to fish. However it does hold some nice fish and great structure once you get familiar with its topography. There are plenty of trophies to be caught and plenty of action to be had for the skilled angler here.