Long Island reaches an abrupt end at Montauk Point State Park, where bluffs drop to the ocean's edge and the waves rattle over loose rock-strewn beaches. For surf anglers from anywhere on the remaining 110 miles of Long Island to the west (or any state between New York and Florida for that matter), Montauk is an otherworldly coastline. The Mid-Atlantic is known for its monotony of sandy beaches, and anglers are used to guessing at which sandbars will produce a fight. Montauk Point marks a transition to the bouldery coasts of New England.
Piercing out into the Atlantic, it’s no wonder Montauk is often referred to as, “The End.” A panoramic blue horizon stretches out with nothing to the east but Portugal. And to anglers, Montauk is known as, “The Surf Casting Capital of the World.” With Block Island Sound to the north, and the Atlantic to the east and south, the point captures the attention of migrating sport fish—most notably, striped bass and bluefish.
The predators chase balls of bait fish toward the rocky shoals and reefs at Montauk Point using rock structure to trap and ambush. When the breaking waves batter and disorientate the bait fish, the game fish feast. Or, as anglers like to call the visual display: a blitz. Fishing Montauk Point is not just another day at the beach, it’s a pilgrimage—one every surf angler should make regularly.
Montauk Point Fishing Factors
First off, fishing Montauk is often an immersive venture. Casting to the bars and structure where you’ll likely hook up with fish can require wading. The water is cold and surf casters typically wear waders accompanied by a surf belt worn around the waist to keep your waders and gear secure. Cinched up, they can help keep water from filling your waders, too, should a wave crash on you. Montauk is also one of the few places you will see rod-and-reel anglers donning a wetsuit. The large boulders sticking out of the water off Montauk Point provide great casting positions to reach spots other anglers cannot. When you first see a neoprene-clad angler swimming out to one, holding an 11-foot rod above their head, you’ll understand how immersive (and hard-core) the locals can be.
Another factor sometimes overlooked by first-time Montauk anglers is that the rocks are SLICK. Studded wading boots, or a pair of water shoes with good sticky rubber, is an absolute must to avoid a wipeout.