Long Island Fishing Report – August 31, 2017

Why are we seeing so many whales, dolphins, and sharks lately around Long Island??? The answer…bunker, bunker and more bunker! Bunker (aka Atlantic menhaden, pogies, fatbacks) are the most important forage fish on the east coast and as soon as we started regulating the fishery, we saw a resurgence of the animals that depend on them for food. Southampton, NY Video taken with a @djiglobal Phantom 4 Pro+ equipped with a polarizing filter from @tiffencompany #bunker #Menhaden #baitfish #tiffenfilters #tiffenflightteam #tiffencompany #tiffen #drone #dronestagram #dronephotography #drones #dronelife #djiphantom4 #fishing #fishin #fish #fishinglife #fishingislife #saltlife #saltwaterfishing #guyharvey #onthewater #onthewatermagazine #sportfishing #angler #fishingtrip #longisland #discoverlongisland #discoverearth #fishguyphotos

A post shared by FishGuyPhotos (@fishguyphotos) on

Solid fishing across Long Island continues to take place in all depths. Fluke have been the surprising leaders it seems as the season begins to near the end. Scup and sea bass are still showing strong numbers along the bottom also. With all the bait we’ve been seeing through out the year, bass, blues and a couple albies are showing up and preparing themselves for what should be a fall to remember.


At Stella Maris, Stretch reports that the best bass action has been around the Verrazano Bridge at night for anglers using live eels. It’s been picking up over the last two weeks or so and is now showing some decent results. Along the sea bed, porgies and a couple weakfish are jumping on the high-low rigs tipped with sandworms or clam. There’s still plenty of bait around in these waters, so be prepared for fish to be around here for the weeks ahead.

In Oceanside, at Bay Park Fishing Station, the fluke have been turning up as boats pick away at the local reefs. This week saw a 9.1-pounder hit the decks along with multiple fish in the 4- to 7-pound range. This has been leading to lots of limits being filled as it seems anglers have begun to turn their attention back to the summer flatties. Live snapper is still the bait of choice for bigger fish as this time of year the snappers are all over. Sea bass have been good in these waters with a mix of keepers and shorts but the number of bites has been impressive.

South Shore

At Causeway Bait and Tackle, fluking is the hot ticket for this week. From Wantagh to Meadow Brook, there have been lots of fluke falling victim to live snappers as well as the old fail safe of squid and spearing. Scup and sea bass can be found on high alert on the local reefs and looking to reclaim the top spot in angler’s logbooks, but for now, it belongs to fluke. Bass and blues have been very slow in these waters lately, but there continues to be strong signs from bait and as we move into the fall, these fish should begin turning up and lighting up the waters again.

Over in Shirley, at Smith Point Bait and Tackle, sand tigers off the beach are still fishing very well. Mackerel chunks have been the best bait and if you’re down on the shoreline till dark, try working some live eels as anglers have been running into some decent stripers in the last hours of the day. Mega shads and Tsunami’s have also worked well. Most have been in the 10- to 12-pound range, but it has been solid action lately. It’s a process of trial and error to see which bait is best on any night, as most fishing is. Bluefish have been in and are chasing diamond jigs almost to the shoreline in some cases. Most of the fish are still cocktail sized, but as we all know, can still put up a good fight. On the bayside, blowfish have been hitting hard along with some kingfish. Snappers are all over the local docks and blue crabs have been turning out in numbers.

The fall run is almost here. #stripedbass #striper #moronesaxatilis #catchandrelease #nofo #onthewatermagazine

A post shared by Russell Hirsch (@russpect) on

Paul from River Bay Outfitters reports that there continues to be huge amounts of bait around and has been keeping hopes high. Marko, a friend of the shop, had a few yellowfin tuna this week on the ocean side as well as lots of mahi-mahi surrounding the lobster pots or any other floating debris. With all the baitfish around, Paul expects it to be a banner year once the bass, blues and albies really begin to make their fall run. On the freshwater side, all the local parks and streams are fishing very well. Another friend of the shop, Mike P, went out to drop some of his own flies and had an impressive day with a couple of big fish. Best times to hit the lakes is still first and last light but if you only have time during the day there are plenty of hungry fish still feeding that will take the bait.

North Shore

In Kings Park, at Terminal Tackle, John reports that the fluke are hot from the triangle to Smithtown Bay. A couple doormats have been amongst the bottom dwellers and are favoriting the snappers as well. Scup and sea bass are all scattered across any of the local beaches or rock piles and make for an afternoon of bent rods. The bigger sea bass have been holding steady in about 40 to 60 feet. Stripers, on the other hand, have been spread across all depths. John had a few fish out in 40-foot depths as well as so close to the beach you could throw a rock at them. As the fall moves in and the water temperature begins to drop, the bass become more active and numerous. Blues are also in, taking chunks and trolling tubes. Some have weighed as much as 14 pounds. Closer inshore, snappers are thick enough to walk across and cocktail blues are hitting the smaller bait schools hard.

Best time of year! #montauk #fall #fish #lamiglas #vanstall #ocean #saltlife #stripedbass#onthewatermagazine

A post shared by Russell Valle (@russellvalle) on

At Miller Place Bait and Tackle, the Middle Grounds have been producing bluefish up to and sometimes over 10 pounds. Porgies have been hitting hard near Old Fields, as they have all year, and sea bass are picking up again around buoy 9. These fish have been a nice size stretching out to about 22 inches at the biggest. As with most other places, snappers are waiting for anyone looking to mix things up and kill some time and crabs are clinging to most bulkheads.

East End

In Southold, at Blue Water Ventures, Chris reports that porgies, weakfish and fluke are fishing well in Peconic Bay this week. In Mattituck Inlet, stripers have been moving in and are up to 35 inches, some bigger. Bluefish have also been found here but not in great numbers just yet. Weakfish have been hitting well in Noyak Bay too and make for a nice change of pace. The gut at night has picked up over the last two weeks as guys are using eels and red bucktails to find their fill of bass.

At White Water Outfitters in Hampton Bays, there have been a couple schoolie bass and cocktail blues in Shinnicock Canal but the overall action has been slow this week. There are still plenty of great signs of bait around which should lead into a nice striper and false albacore push soon but for the time being, the better action seems to be further east in Montauk. A couple fluke are still being picked here and there but has also been on the slower side of things.

In Montauk at West Lake Marine, the bass action has been great. A 43-pounder was landed a few days ago near midway and there have been a decent number of others in the same class. Yellowfin have been cruising these waters as well as a 66.1-pound tuna was wrestled in aboard the boat “Last Minute” this week. Fluke have been steady but not on fire. A 12.7-pound doormat did hit the deck this week which alone makes a trip out worth the work.

Fishing Forecast for Long Island

Fluke fishing is very hot across Long Island and as the season winds down, now is a great time to head out and score a few more fillets for the winter. Some big fish have moved in and it only takes one to make a memory. Also keep a keen eye on the bass, blues and Alvie movements as the bait has held strong and should make for a fall for the record books.

1 thought on “Long Island Fishing Report – August 31, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *