As the late days of August begin to slowly slip into September, the fishing around Long Island continues to produce plenty of action throughout all water levels. Bottom fishing for fluke, sea bass and porgies has been red hot. Blues and bass are starting back up after cooling off for a bit in recent weeks. The heavy rainfall we had midweek may have slowed things down across the board for a day or two, but with the amount of bait we have spread up and down the Island, it was only a matter of time before the fire was lit again.
In Brooklyn, at Stella Maris, Stretch has been seeing almost a carpeting of porgies. They are seemingly everywhere. Off the piers, the beaches, in deep water and shallow, it’s almost tougher not to be on them than it is to hook up. The bass, on the other hand, have been tougher to locate. A few here and there can be tempted into a bite, but the action hasn’t been great. The same can be said for the blues. Right now, there just doesn’t seem to be many around these waters.
Ashley from Bay Park Fishing Station reports that the fluke action has been great over the last few days. Between the boats fishing at Cholera and Atlantic Beach Reef, there were multiple fish taken over 7 pounds, with one topping the scales at 9.6 pounds. Live snappers seem to be the best bet when looking to land one of these doormats. Since many anglers turn their attention to other species this time of year, here’s an opportunity to get on your favorite spots without the big crowds. Short productive drifts have been a good strategy, just continuing to work over the areas you know the fish are stacked up. Sea bass are also fishing very well here with a couple pushing the 3-pound mark. There are plenty of 2 pounders as well, but the bite has been hot.
At Causeway Bait and Tackle, fluke fishing has been strong especially between Wantagh and Meadow Brook. The bite has also spanned across Cholera and the Middle Grounds waters as anglers continue to pluck the summer flatties off the bottom. There has been plenty of action with a fair amount of keepers worked into the mix. Schoolie bass have been found off the beaches and are responding well to clam on the bay side. There are bound to be some bigger fish mixed in as fall continues to creep in. Shark fishing has slowed a little from the beach as the weather may have pushed them off.
In Kings Park, at Terminal Tackle, John Sr. reports that the striper bite has slowed down this week. Some of the bunker schools have moved out to deeper waters, and it seems the bass have followed. There are still some bunker working their way around the harbors and closer waters, but there haven’t been many fish in them. Gator blues can be found out towards the middle of the sound on some of the bunker schools out there. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for these fish to move closer to shore.
For now, there are lots of cocktail blues patrolling the shorelines and making for plenty of action to hold you over. Porgies continue to be the hottest item off the beaches, in the harbors and out in deeper waters. When the tide slows and the sea bass get a chance to make their move, the bite has been good but it’s tough to reach them when the tide is active. Fluke are hitting well on the drop offs in about 40-feet of water. Closer to shore on the flats, there are plenty of short fluke with an occasional keeper mixed in, but it seems a majority of the bigger fish have taken refuge in the deeper waters. Snappers continue to grow but are still a great size for bait or just taking a kid down to get in on the fun.
Ryan Schlichter blogs for On The Water magazine. Visit www.onthewater.com for the full version of this report, including the fishing forecast and other regional fishing news.