Louse Point is a little spit of land in the Springs section of East Hampton. It is a fine place to fish for young bluefish (AKA snappers), porgy, and more. At times it can be a bit buggy, what with teeny buggers landing on one’s hands (which is annoying) or greenhead flies and deer flies. So consider wearing long pants and long sleeves, despite the heat. And bring bug spray, which helps. To get the gear you need to catch snappers and porgies, try the Tackle Shop in Amagansett.
One word: catfish! Well, o.k., you can also snag bass, crappie, and bluegill at Diamond Teague Park. But I come for the catfishing.
Diamond Teague Park’s is located right behind the Washington Nationals’ stadium. It is open dawn until dusk.
Folks can rent kayaks and canoes there, and do. I inevitably fish from the dock, and not once have I been skunked in the 20 or so visits. Which is why I love the place. The view of the Anacostia and southern DC also is grand, and there are bars and eateries within walking distance.
Often the catfish are small: 12-16 inches, so do bring 4/0 circle hooks in case your 6/0 hooks are getting hits but not hook-ups. But bigger fish also can be had. Today, we had three cats 24-28″ in a 10-minute span. I used this Santee rig and this chicken stink bait. I twice have experimented here with fishing for catfish with a big slide bobber—it worked, although not as well as bottom-fishing with Santee rigs.
It is the simplest of rigs: monofilament line tied to a modest swivel, then attach a trim bobber 6 inches above it and put an Eagle Claw snelled hook (size 6) on. Put a worm on (put the hook through both ends and the middle), and cast and watch.
I have had the following fish strike this rig and bait: bluegill, sunfish, large-mouth bass, channel catfish, and a carp.
The map above shows where I have had success—but don’t feel obliged to try only there. Fish run through the canal, which runs from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC. Wherever one finds a bridge or a fallen tree or brush in the water—those are good places to cast your bait.
One question I sometimes get is, “How can fish be in the canal?” Simple: the canal connects to Rock Creek and the Potomac River—so the fish in the latter two end up in the canal.
Bike/walking/running trails (former towpaths) run along the canal—so if you fish one spot and find it wanting, move along!
Fishing for snapper at Louse Point in East Hampton was a blast. It is a tiny spit of land—the road literally ends there. A parking permit from East Hampton is required to park there (there is room for maybe 8 cars), but early in the mornings the city didn;t seem to be patrolling the area.
Every day we caught fish—the hot time was between 8am and 9am. It didn’t matter if it was cloudy and lightly drizzling or sunny. Our first day we got maybe 5 fish in 2 hours; the other days we had 12 and 20 fish in 3 hours.
Thanks to the Tackle Shop (575 Montauk Hwy, Amagansett, NY 11930), we had exactly what we needed to succeed. We took our lightweight 5.6 spincast Zebco and other light rods (with 4 to 10 pound monofilament) and added conic, styrofoam, bobbered rigs with long-shanked small hooks and frozen 3-inch Regal Minnows. There was about 24 inches between the hook and bead/bobber.
We would cast from 20 to 50 feet out, and pretty quickly snapper would hammer the minnows. Rigging the hook through the eye and into the back of the minnow worked best—snapper tore at the bait crazily, often ripping half off without touching the hook.
We swapped on GULP! small minnows, which are made of a rubbery material, and those also got attacked and held up great. When the fish got a bit less excited for eats, slow drawing the bait in elicited strikes. Nearly all the snapper were between 5 and 11 inches, but we also pulled in a Porgy (see below) and a tiny sea robin, which nabbed the bait off the bottom when the rig floated close to shore.
We caught a Viking boat (65 feet, 200 tons) at 6pm, and got off the boat at midnight. It was about 1.25 hour trip out to the Block Island area. The previous night between 12-6am, the boat fished this same area and had 2.5 quiet hours and then 1.5 hours of many fish. The trip cost $85 per person plus $5 to rent a rod. We fished with live eels that we hooked through the lower and upper lips.
Our rods were 6 feet or so in length and very thick. The rig was a big hook on the end of the line, and a three-leaf clover shaped swivel with a line tied to a fat sinker (#12). The line was incredibly thick monofilament. The aim was to sink the line to the bottom and have the eel swim a couple feet above.
In short, it was a “scratch and claw night” as the captains put it—and very disappointing. Two stripers were caught (one more than 40 inches), along with two bluefish (including a 30+ incher by yours truly) during 4 hours of fishing.