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Hi. My name is Justin. I live in Islip NY. 31 Years Old and have been fishing freshwater since I was about 6 years old. Started with my own gear when I was about 8. I would walk to Argyle Lake in Babylon from my dads bakery and try and catch carp with my best friend Matt(still my best friend till this day) Somewhere along the line we graduated to trying to catch bass. We were really young, but in the summers we would have our poor parents wake up at 4:30am to drive us to Brightwaters lake and try for carp and bass w/ the occasional small catfish biting our lines. We continued fishing at local lakes (Southards, some other pond in west islip across from the diner off 231, some streams we could find, Hawleys, another unknown lake on the other side of WI right before gardiners park?, you get the idea) until we graduated high school. We used to dream about better lakes but Long Island didnt have much to offer us...
Or so we thought.

With google becoming more prevalent I started to see that other Long Island lakes might be worth trying. Never really had too much desire to fish saltwater. Although we did, it was more of an excuse to drink beers than actual fishing. Plus, I surfed a lot in those days and kinda didnt want to know (or at least be personally introduced) to the fish swimming below my surfboard.

So, with our own vehicle now and some expendable cash we bought an inflatable raft and would use it on the lake on the southside of sunrise highway just west of Bubbles falls south of the Connetquot river. We would do pretty good in there( never realizing we weren't supposed to have a boat in there) especially one particular rainy day...

Fishing with live bait I couldn't spot my bobber( amateurs I know) I thought my line had just caught itself around some weeds. While reeling it in I thought I had a boot or something on it because my pole was bent over completely in half and the reel could hardly manage the weight. Well, I brought in a HUGE bass. She had to weigh 8 pounds. She was 24 inches. Well at least, because the cooler we measured her against(the cooler had measuring marks on it)was 24 in, and she was still a bit bigger. So needless to say, from then on I knew Long Island could produce fish very much worth pursuing. (Yes I have photos but I read somewhere it would be rude to post photos on my first post)

Now as an adult I fish primarily from a boat( intex mariner 4 inflatable with 40lb minn kota) in order of frequency at: Patchogue Lake(Lace mill), Peconic Lake and river, Ronkonkoma, Lotus Lake, West Lake. Others include Swan Pond(Local), the Delaware river a few times, other lakes upstate like Indian Lake, Saratoga Lake, and some others.

I almost always use soft plastics. Favorites include Blacks Lizards, Culprit worms, and Senkos. I never use live bait anymore unless I bring a novice (gut hooking fish breaks my heart). My girlfriend loves to fish and is my primary fishing buddy. Matt (my friend from childhood) rarely has the time. I have my own computer repair business so I am lucky to make my own hours and can fish a lot more than others. I exclusively use a spin casting reel. (15 year old shimano Spirex? 2000. Works as good as the day I bought it.)

I would love to include a report on the lakes I have been fishing the most but this introduction is already way too long. I have only included some more detail than might be pertinent to hopefully spark up conversations that I might be able to contribute back to this great community with some knowledge I have about L.I lakes and patterns. I am heavy hearted that I never got a chance to correspond with Wild Bill. I can see already how much he contributed.

Lastly, I am big on catch and release. I do absolutely everything I can to respect and return our prized fish back to fight another day.(even the snot rockets. I learned that term here!) I have a rule, if a fish dies or is in very critical shape and wont make it, I have to eat it. Ill tell you this, I love freashwater fishing, but dont like at all the taste of freashwater fish. So, I have become a fish surgeon. The rare times I dont lip hook a fish, I have become an expert at delicately removing hooks so that the fish is as ok as he can be. I have studied fish hook removal and timings and release mortality almost as much as I have studied catching them. Out of hundreds and hundreds of catches I have only eaten 5.

I also will take garbage I find with me, line, styrofoam, etc. You guys all know, clean up after the savages and bucket brigade. ( I learned that term here too) I am so pleased that there is this community that feels the way I do about treating fish and their habitat with care and love and respect. Sometimes you feel like you are the only one. Not so!

So thats me. Thanks to the moderators and contributors. I cant wait to start giving back. Please let me know how I can! I cant wait to start meeting you all.

P.S. 2 tips if you stayed with me this long. The DEC is not messing around this year. Have life jackets, a whistle, oars, a light, registration and license. Some of that only pertains to those of us with motors. It can seem ridiculous, but in a way Im glad. I hope they mess with the blockheads we all hate as much as they mess with those of us that aren't. Actually they are always nice regardless the few times I have had run ins with them. #2) I recently changed my prop on my Minn Kota from the stock prop to a weedless prop. It actually WORKS! Works beautifully. Far less weeds and a little more thrust. Best $15 I ever spent.
 

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Unicorn Chaser
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Welcome Justin, great Intro spot on, most the reports I post are from the island, she does hold some good fish as you already known. This is a great site to learn and meet new people, hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
 

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Justin,

Welcome, we look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

If you are having issues with deep hooking when using Senkos, here's a tip; look into getting a Fish Medic De-barb plier. I rarely use Senkos, but when there's a novice on my boat it's the go-to bait for putting fish on the deck. As the hook-sets are not always timely, this simple tool allows me to go in deep to cut the hook at the bend and back it out with minimal damage. It even has a magnet on the tip so the cut piece comes out as well. This little baby has helped me release several bass in good shape without a hook still stuck in them. Just a thought.

Thank you for mentioning Wild Bill. It's been a strange year since his passing, and the anniversary a few days back was particularly difficult on our family.

If you ever have plans of crossing the river into NJ for some fishing, PM me and maybe we can get out on my boat ... or kayaks.
 
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