This section is from the book "Frank Forrester's Fishermens' Guide", by Frank Forrester.
The blue-fish is taken exclusively in salt water, and only through the three summer months, at which time he comes in from the sea. They are generally fished by trolling, though in some places on Long Island, experienced fishermen take them with a rod on shore. The tackle is very easily prepared, and costs but little, and the fish bite readily and are caught without much trouble. A sail boat is necessary, and if you want good sport, you should procure a guide who knows the ground where the blues delight to congregate. A large size cotton line is used, and it should be very strong, and 100 to 150 feet in length. An artificial squid made of bone, mother-of-pearl, or metal, is the tempting bait. It should be four inches long, of flat oval shape, and should have a good sized Kirby hook on the end. The size No. 0000 is about right. The hook must be so placed that its point is on a range with the flat side of the squid. Let the boat be sailed some four or five miles an hour, and should you be able to discover the exact position of the school, (they usually go in schools,) you must cross and re-cross the spot constantly, as the fish will not generally be moving about. When a fish is struck, the line should be pulled in steadily - do not jerk it, or let it slack, or you may lose your fish. On getting the fish in hand, you can easily shake him off the hook by holding your squid with the hook uppermost. Always haul in your line when tacking the boat, or you may lose your squid in the grass at the bottom. The grounds for blue-fish in the vicinity of New York city are in Fire Island Inlet, South Bay, opposite Babylon and Islip, Long Island, and also in Pine Neck Inlet, opposite Quogue, at the East end of Long Island. Shrewsbury Inlet is also a good place for fishing the blue-fish.
The down-east fishermen use the common pewter spoon, in trolling for blue-fish, which they call a jig. It is used in the same manner as the squid before described. In pulling in the blue-fish, you must not let your line slacken in the least, and you should lift him into the boat the moment he gets alongside. Sportsmen who neglect this precaution will lose full half their fish by their disengaging themselves from the hook.
The blue-fish is singularly erratic in its habits. A century ago it was plentiful on our coast, and was held in high estimation as an article of food. During the last half of the last century and earlier years of this, it disappeared entirely. Within forty years it has returned, first appearing on the coast south of Cape Cod, near Natucket, New Bedford and Martha's Vineyard. In course of time it made its way into Massachusetts Bay, and appears to be gradually working to the northward. They have passed Cape Ann within a year or two, though not in great numbers, and a few have been seen as far north as the Isle of Shoals, off Portsmouth. They are very plentiful off Montauk Point, Long Island.
The blue-fish belongs to the mackerel family. The upper part of his body is of a bluish color, whence his name; the lower part of the sides and the belly are whitish or silvery.