Anglers have been continuing the trend of successful fishing this past week. Fluke have been hot in most waters across Long Island even as porgies and sea bass blanket the bottom. Big bass and blues are making their way east following large schools of bait that are still around. Offshore fishing has reached a point of reliable fishing as tuna and sharks are landing on the docks.
John from Hudson Park Bait and Tackle reports big bass being caught this week, as well as bluefish. Both have been chasing the numerous schools of mature bunker. The blues have run 12 to 18 pounds on the average and the bass have been weighing in at 20 to 30 pounds. Fluking has been good if you can find the right spot. The top of the list caught this week was a 9-pounder out of the New Rochelle area.
At Stella Maris in Brooklyn, Stretch has had great scup fishing with slabs being caught mostly on sand worms. These fish have been stacked up around the Rockaway Reef as well as from shore of the local beaches. Fluke have also been biting on both these fronts with a lot of shorts still mixed in. The striper action has been best at night using live eels. There are still a few blues around, although not the monsters that had been all over at the start of the season.
Musketa Cove owner John, in Glen Cove, has also seen decent bass action. There have been a couple bluefish to be had but it seems they are now heading east of the area. Sea bass and porgies have been the best action in any waters that have structure on the bottom. Sand worms, clam and the squid/spearing duo have all helped anglers to limit out.
Ashley from Bay Park Fishing Station reports awesome catch and release fluke action with an 11.8-pounder weighed and released at the dock. It’s always a great sight to see a monster go back. Ashley confirmed the reports of sea bass and porgies at the Rockaway Reef. There have been some bluefin tuna inshore as well as a few big bluefish, but cocktails seem to be most active in recent days.
At Terminal tackle, John still has some big stripers and blues chasing the bunker schools as they move east. If you can find the schools there is always something feeding on them. Fluke fishing continues to be solid and porgies have been phenomenal. The best action has been off the beach as the scup hold tight to shore to keep distance from the looming bass and blues. Sea bass however, have been deeper; try in 40 to 60 feet of water over any structure. The biggest ones have come in at 3 to 4 pounds.
Brendan from Captree Bait and Tackle has strong fluke reports from right off the Captree Piers. A 3-pound fish topped the scales this week and although not every fish is a monster, there are plenty to be caught. The big blue bite has slowed down as the fish move out of the area but there are still some lingering choppers left behind to bend the rod. There are also still plenty of cocktail blues around. Young anglers will be satisfied with the snappers that are beginning to be picked and sea bass have been consistently good as well. Offshore, shark fishing has been terrific as blues, makos and threshers have all been hooked this week. There was even a small, 4-foot great white caught and released accidentally as these fish are on the endangered list.
Northport Charters’ Captain Stu continued to have strong fluke fishing. His last trip saw about 30 summer flatties come aboard with a 6-pound fish leading the way. Big porgies have also been around with some stretching the tape to 16.5-inches and many anglers limiting out. Sea bass have been good in the right areas and pushing weights of 3 to 4 pounds. Striper action has been picky with most keepers in the 20-pound range. These fish, as well as some blues, have been caught while chunking with bunker. The bluefish have been 13 to 14 pounds on average.
At Cow Harbor Bait And Tackle, Mark has seen an improvement in big blues hitting down the Sound side. Fluke fishing has been active but keeper ratio is about 5 to 1. Scup and sea bass have both been stacking up on rocky bottoms taking clam, squid and sandworms. The bass have been best at first light for those throwing bunker chunks as they are still finding schools in the inner bays and harbors.
Aboard the Jib VI, Captain Joe had his best week since the start of June. Sea bass were excellent, as were fluke, over the past few days. Many on board have been filling their limits on both. The fishing has been best on the end of incoming and beginning of outgoing tide. The night trips have also seen success considering the limited number of bass and blues around at this time. Those trips have been targeting fluke and sea bass.
Craig from Smith Point Bait and Tackle still has plenty of bunker in the Moriches area. Triggerfish have moved into the waters just off the jetty, along with sea bass and porgies. Fluking continues to improve with great action just to the west. A 7.5-pound fish was weighed in by a local angler at the shop. In the back-bay, kingfish have been around and are taking clam strips. Also in these areas have been lots of cocktail blues along with some school bass smacking diamond jigs. For those without a boat, the blue claw crabs have shown up in great numbers and are ready for picking.
Further east in Southold, Steve from Wego Fishing reports that the saltwater fishing is hot. Fluke are still holding steady east of Gardiners Island and on the Sound side. Sea bass and porgies have been all over to the point where it is tough to drop a line without running into a few at this point. The porgies have been on the Sound side too, and the size is increasing by the day. On the bay side, weakfish and cocktail blues have been making their presence known and snappers are finally getting started.
At White Water Outfitters, Jake has seen good action in Shinnecock Inlet with both bass and fluke. The fluke are still a mix of shorts and keepers, leaning towards the short side but improving in size each day. Bass fishing has finally picked up as the big fish continue to make their way east. Offshore, anywhere from 25 to 45 miles, there has been a great run of bluefin tuna as well as a few sharks. The sea bass have also been biting offshore in the deeper waters at about 60 feet.
In Montauk, at West Lake Marina, Tonya reports that the fluke and striper action has continued to produce. A 12-year-old angler reeled in a 45.7-pound bass this week, followed by a 15-year-old bringing in a 43-pounder. The average bass has been around 40-pounds and holding steady since last week. As for the fluke, a 9-pound fish topped the scales at the shop with plenty of other keepers filling angler’s coolers.
TJ from Gone Fishing Marina also has seen strong action with the summer flatties. A number of keepers in the 6- to 9-pound range have fallen for squid, spearing and “Gulp! Nuclear Chicken” baits. Bass fishing has been hit or miss but there are plenty of big fish around. Offshore, there have been some tuna coming in at around 125 pounds. There have been a couple reports of codfish showing up offshore but not in great numbers.
Montauk Marine Basin reported a nice spread of fish: everything from bass, sea bass, fluke and porgies. The porgies have been big in size—up to 16-inches—and are in very large schools. The sea bass have been improving and if you can find a rocky bottom, they should be close at hand.
Joe from Staten Island Tuna Club reports a drop in big bass action. Fluke, on the other hand, have been red hot. There have also been keeper-sized weaks reported out of Raritan Bay.
In Oceanside, Paul from River Bay Outfitters has seen good fishing off the local beaches. The fluke have been around but you have to pick through a lot of shorts for a keeper. The night fishing has rewarded those tossing bunker chunks or live-lining eels with blues and school bass. On the freshwater front, night fishing has been best as the hot summer days tend to slow the big fish down until the graveyard shift.
Ryan Schlichter blogs for On The Water magazine. Visit www.onthewater.com for the full version of this report, including the fishing forecast for our waters and other regional fishing news.