Long Island – New York Fishing Report – May 14, 2020

Steve Bechard with a mid-30 inch striper on the fly this morning.

In five regions of NY (Central NY, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier), for-hire fishing vessels and services will be allowed to resume operations beginning May 15. Click this link if you are a fishing guide/captain and want to take out clients.

Stripers are starting to exceed 30 inches.

There was some great fluking this week in the bays.

Bluefish are trickling in. Some areas have seen hot bites, but the gator blues have been elusive so far.

Winter flounder is on the menu, as are big blowfish.

Squid are in.

Trophy-sized porgies and searobins have invaded the island.

Vinny from CrossBay Bait and Tackle in Howard Beach says a bunch of guys came in this morning saying they killed the fluke yesterday from the local piers. Most guys were jigging Gulp for mud-covered fluke up to nine pounds. Other guys were doing just as well on the squid/spearing combo.

The Raritan has remained productive, with guys still catching plenty of stripers. Back by the airport, they’re getting fish to about thirty inches. There’s a lot of bass; most are shorts, with a handful of keepers in the mix. Mojos, rubber shads, and bloodworms are all pulling up fish. Kayak guys are jigging for them around the bridges.

Two bluefish were caught last week, and that is all Vinny has heard about so far this year. He’s weirded out by the lack of blues, as am I.

Paul at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin says when the weather’s been good, the fishing has been good.

He went to Connetquot on Sunday with his wife and fished one of the upper beats. He did well, caught some fish, and he said every fish he saw was over 20 inches. It’s a bit tougher on those upper beats though, where the water is skinnier and the fish are more easily spooked.

He’s seen guys catching keeper striped bass in the saltwater over by Robert Moses.

Kathy from Freeport Bait & Tackle says people are buying up lots of bait. Bloodworms, clams and bunker have been picking plenty of fish from porgies to stripers.

Guys are running to the north shore and fishing for big porgies near Sunken Meadow. They’re taking bloodworms.

Striped bass are being taken in the bays. Kathy heard of some nicer fish over 30 inches being taken by some of the bridges on bait.

No word of bluefish yet, but Kathy saw a few injured bunker that looked like they might have narrowly escaped the wrath of some yellow eyed demons. On that note, there is a ton of bunker in the area.

Fluke are in, and anglers are getting them around the lower stages of the tide in warmer bay waters.

One boater got out to the AB Reef and encountered a good amount of large sea bass.

Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside put out its first fishing report of 2020 the other day. Bob and the team of “Safari” had a great morning fishing in Raritan Bay trolling plugs. Yellow and white were the most effective colors, and the fishing was awesome.

Lindenhurst Bait & Tackle reports a productive week of fishing despite the heavy winds and chilly temps.

Gary Nankervis and Matt Ervolino boated a 6 pounder when drifting the state boat channel last week. They boated several other keepers on the outgoing tide.

Gennaro Piciullo and Ronnie Sciortino Jr. set up a clam chum slick off the Babylon Village pool dock last Thursday. This brought loads of blowfish to the pier and the boys cleaned up. Clam strips helped Gennaro bring about 30 jumbo puffers home.

Chuck Weinscheimer drifted the state boat channel on Monday, boating a 3.7 pound fluke using bait near Frank and Dicks.

Harvey Mueller caught a 29 inch striper on fresh clams in the surf the other day, alongside a few other anglers who did the same.

The north side of GSB has been overrun by schoolies lately. SP minnows, 6 inch paddle tails and Guides Secret baby bottle pops have been working well. 

The annual multi-species season-long tournament is underway and open to anyone. Sign up by phone or at the shop.

Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale says the bay is loaded with schoolies, and those putting in the time are getting a keeper or two. Bass are eating little soft plastics, poppers, small mag darters and SP minnows. Bluefish are around in the same areas, eating the same lures. The bluefish are mostly cocktail-sized but there are some gators in the mix.

The fluke bite has been very good in the bay. Plenty of guys are catching plenty of keepers on the flats. Bucktails tipped with Gulp are getting crushed.

Bernie Bass with a nighttime striper.

Some nice keeper blowfish are getting caught. They’re perfect eating size.

Porgies are getting caught along the north shore.

There are some flounder, but not a ton of people going for them. Those anglers who ARE on the hunt are usually able to find some, using bloodworms and mussels as bait.

Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport says the fishing up there has been great. There have been consistent bites for bass, porgies and blowfish. The guys targeting porgies are even catching flounder quite consistently. Fluke are also biting in the warmer shallow areas.

The mag darter has been the hot ticket for consistent striper action.

The blowfish are coming from the south shore.

Short fluke are being caught around Asharoken, and by the east side of the coast guard station.

There’s a little local weakfish run occurring. There aren’t any big tide runners Mark’s heard of, but the little weaks are chewing!

Night time has been good, and the day time has been fun. The biggest bass he’s seen locally was between 15-20 pounds. Bigger bass are mostly to the west.

Dave Flanagan of North Island Fly” guide service in Smithtown says the bluefish showed up this week, but not in abundance. There are also teen sized fish in the bays and harbors.

Schoolies stripers are just about everywhere and they are decent sized. Dave expects we’ll have a good population of 10-15 pound fish this season.

Kenny at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor says it was a tough week with the weather. The wind was relentless and the water was cold. 

Guys are still catching a lot of fish in the peconics, despite the temps. There’s plenty of bass back there, and very large porgies being caught from the beach. There aren’t very many boats on the fish yet. Kenny and his daughter did some topwater popping the other day, and the bass seemed lethargic to him. They’d rise but not commit. He thinks the cold water is causing that behavior.

Fluke fishing is very slow. It has been a slow start since the water is so cold. As frustrating as that is, the colder temps now likely mean better fishing in the long run. Kenny reckons fish are going to be hanging out in the back bays longer, as a result.

Nobody’s catching blowfish yet, but commercial guys are starting to find them in their nets.

Kenny heard of a local bluefish here and one there, but they are not around in numbers just yet. 

Rick from Harbor Marina of East Hampton reports wind, wind and more Wind. When it’s not windy, it’s freezing cold or it’s raining. Did I mention that it’s been windy?

In spite of the poor weather there are fish around. Local commercial fishermen are catching a nice mix of porgies, fluke, striped bass, bunker and squid. A few weakfish, but not many. There have been some nice local squid hitting the docks. Even the local draggers had to take a weather break this week in spite of the good fishing.

Rick finally got out this morning early before work. He took a skunking at two productive, early season, light tackle bay spots. When he got back to the docks, he observed a group of near keeper-sized bass lolligagging right outside Harbor Marina. Go figure…

Rick believes inconsistent temps and the wild weather swings are impacting the bite, and that there are some nice fish around. That said, he plans to fish at every fishable opportunity and get this strange season underway once and for all. 

Please stay safe and be patient with other boaters on the water.

Chris from Double D Charters in Montauk says the bite is starting to heat up. 

The porgies have moved in, and they are very large and plentiful.

Fluke fishing is steadily improving; a few more upticks in the water temps and we should start to see some pretty epic early season fluke fishing, hopefully lasting right through the summer.

The cod haven’t stopped chewing. Some larger fish are being culled.

Black sea bass are in, and they’re jumbos.

Keeper striped bass have joined the ranks and are bending rods in the surf and on the boat.

Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball hit the Montauk suds on Tuesday morning after seeing some big baits washed up on shore the day prior. Before dawn, he saw no action and began to notice the water was a bit murky. Regardless, a nice striper inhaled his super strike popper as the sun rose. The fish went 18 pounds.

Surf fishing guide Bernie Bass had a decent week in the surf. The fishing was inconsistent but he caught a good number of small fish. The inconsistent fishing has been a result of the cool and fluctuating temps we saw this week. The warming trend this coming week should kick these bass into high gear.

There’s plenty of bait on the north shore between the forks, and also in the Great South Bay. Both areas are set up for some potentially great action in the coming weeks. Hopefully the bigger fish will be moving in too, as the bluefish have been popping up in the bays.

Long Island Fishing Forecast

Hard winds have been the flavor of the season, and this past week stuck to the recipe. The wind forecasts have been pretty accurate lately, so it pays to develop a gameplan for when there’s a forecasted lull. Which direction has the wind been blowing, how hard has it blown and for how long? The answers to these questions paint a picture of different waters’ textures and clarity. I consider how the wind’s blown for the past few days, and how it’s supposed to blow for the next week, when choosing my windows and spots.

The next few days are about to be the longest stretch of “calm” that we’ve seen in a while. By “calm,” I mean winds under 20mph. There’s some good rains coming too, which typically translates to calmer (albeit dirtier) water.

This weekend is going to provide some great outdoors conditions, so expect crowds. When it rains and everybody heads home, that’s when I’ll be out.

Before this morning, I’d have said “I think bigger fish will move in this week,” but it appears some already have. I was supposed to fish with Steve of Rise Fishing Company this morning, and it seems I missed out. He had a mid-30 inch bass covered in sea lice, probably 15+ pounds, on the fly.

Usually when the big blues arrive, we’ll start to see more quality bass coming to hand. That seems to be going according to plan.

I lost sync with any decent saltwater fish about halfway through this past week. My mind has been on bluefish, and I just haven’t been able to locate one yet. I’ve been focusing my efforts in weird spots at weird times, versus smart tides and well-known spots. I’m trying to avoid crowds, but I’m avoiding my target.

I did have my first fluke and sea robin a couple days ago, though. I stuck some late night largemouth and crappie afterward. Gotta stay bent somehow. It’s worth mentioning that the sea robins around right now are HUGE! Someone may catch a new world record this week.

Well I’ve begun to glorify sea robins, and that sort of feels like rambling. I hope you were able to take something away from this at least. Good luck out there folks.

 

2 on “Long Island – New York Fishing Report – May 14, 2020

    1. Kevin Blinkoff

      Thank you for pointing that out Matt. We’ve edited the report to make it clear that for-hire vessels are resuming operations only in regions entering Phase 1 of reopening.

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