This week saw fluke season come to an end, but the big flatties didn’t go quietly into the night. As the attention now turns fully to fall species and a highly anticipated
fall run, early signs of action are giving anglers high hopes for the coming weeks.
John from Hudson Park Bait & Tackle excitedly reports there has been a run of bonita this week, blowing up on the surface like small footballs in big schools. Blues and bass are working the baitfish as well and showing good size as a 28-pound striper was landed just days ago on a popper, close in the rocks. Scup, weakfish and sea bass are still a consistent catch and mostly mixed all together on bottom structure and wrecks.
In Brooklyn, at Stella Maris, Stretch continues to run into porgies all over the local waters. A few weaks have been found patrolling the bottoms, but the best fishing has been for sharks. At about 15- to 30-miles out, a 365-pound thresher was caught along with a number of others that were released. The bite has been red-hot and the way to go if you’re looking for a truly challenging fight.
Bay Park Fishing Station found Mark also speaking of some good action with threshers this week. A 299-pound and a 235-pound shark were caught on consecutive days using bunker chum about 30 miles offshore. Inshore, off Hempstead Reef, sea bass and scup are still tearing up the bottom along with a couple kingfish in Reynolds Channel. There are also keeper sea bass in front of Ambrose Lighthouse, and even a few cod were caught this week.
At Terminal Tackle, last week’s action has, for the most part, stayed true through this week. Tons of blues and scup are in all the local waters. Fluke season is now closed, but the bite was on up to the last drop. Bass have begun to show more of a presence this week and are mixing in with the bluefish on diamond jigs and along the beaches at night. Most fish are in the schoolie size range, but more keeper-sized fish show with each passing day.
Mark from Cow Harbor also has porgies running wild and grabbing every clam strip they can find. The sea bass action has finally begun to pick up in 28 to 30 feet of water in front of the lighthouse and off buoys 13 and 11B. Also ravaging the local baitfish have been gorilla blues. Schools are popping up all over the Northport waters and are proving the necessity to have a pole ready at all times. False albacore continued to bite this week and are often mixed in or not far behind the blues.
From Northport Charters, Captain Stu reports that there are bunker completely filling the harbor with big bluefish hot in pursuit and weighing up to 16 pounds. The best action has been jigging in The Triangle on the moving tide. A couple of schoolie bass have been picked out of the mix. The scup and sea bass bite has been lights out with decent size fish in both species.
Aboard the Jib VI, Captain Joe wrapped up his fluke season with a pick of a few nice keeper fluke accompanied by plenty of shorts. He is now targeting porgies, sea bass and triggerfish, which are all biting great. Mixed in have been some small blues and weakfish as well.
At Captree Bait & Tackle, Brendan reports that the albies are hot inside both Fire Island and Jones Beach inlets. Anglers have found bass as well, with cows up to 30 pounds reported. Sea bass and porgies are on fire and available off the local piers, but they have less size than the deeper fish. Also off the piers, blue claw crabs and snappers are still hanging around. The blues are averaging about six pounds and are taking poppers and 007s. Weakfish have been numerous inside the inlet and off the beaches for anglers attacking from shore or boat.
Scott from Bergen Bay Docks has a mixed bag of action going on this week. Sea bass are great in the bay and off the local beaches. Weakfish are being pulled from the Fire Island side of Ocean Beach and some schoolie bass are also around. The offshore fishing has been hit or miss with a couple of early morning tuna and albacore smacking daisy chains about 20 miles off. The shark bite is terrific, as a 421-pound thresher was hauled in this week.
At Campsite Spot Shop, Jason reports the striper action is picking up in the Sound on bunker chunks in 30 to 60 feet of water. Bluefish are around and growing in size. This week they are ranging from seven to nine pounds. As with most places this time of year, scup are big and aggressive as the bite continues with fish in the 2-pound class.
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.