Long Island – New York Fishing Report – July 9, 2020

Adam with a pretty summer striper caught with the author over the weekend.

Great cod bite out east: 20-pound codfish caught in the bay out west!

Great Whites nearshore in Westhampton

Great striper and sea bass bite in Montauk. Bass bite has been hot this week at Gut, Race, Montauk, and underneath bunker schools.

Abundant sharks under bunker schools across the island.

Best fluking on the island could be found off the NoFo, but it ain’t easy.

Party boats are catching big numbers of fish.

Tuna bite is moving east.

Plenty of smaller fish like kingfish, blowfish and porgies.

Vinnie from CrossBay Bait and Tackle in Howard Beach says there are some triggerfish at the point. He ate some just the other night!

He also weighed in a couple sea bass this week that came from the same area, over the reefs.

One angler brought in a codfish that went almost 20 pounds, that he caught in the bay.

Another customer brought home a 20-inch porgy.

The fluke bite are plentiful, but they’re almost all shorts. Vinnie hasn’t seen a keeper fluke in a while now.

Bluefish are still in the bay, hanging out underneath the birds. Vinnie thinks the blues are keeping the porgy bite at bay.

Paul at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin went to the Delaware River for a couple days on Monday and Tuesday. He and his buddy floated the West Branch the first day on lightweight personal watercrafts. They caught a bunch of picky trout, up to 12 inches. It was a tough bite, as those fish are wild and heavily targeted.

The next day they floated the lower part around Narrowsburg for smallmouth bass. They had some smallies, and some chubs, but the main show was put on by the bluegills. They were catching dinner-plate sized bluegills one after the other on bass poppers.

They even came across some stripers there, which would follow their bluegills to the boat, trying to eat them. The guys saw eagles, deer, and beavers, to round out a beautiful couple days on the river.

Back on Long Island, Elwood Flies Bill fished the peconic for some local bluegills. The action there has been ridiculous for him. Crazy amounts of fish will bite in the evenings and early mornings.

In the saltwater, Paul heard from Dave Flanagan that he had been putting a couple mutual customers, Stephanie and James, onto some good sized bluefish.

Blue crabbing has been good in the bays.

Kathy from Freeport Bait & Tackle got a cool report from Guy Fitzsimmons, who was fishing in the ocean just west of Jones’ Inlet. He went looking for stripers underneath the bunker schools, but came across 40- to 60-pound sharks instead. He couldn’t keep them off his line.

Other customers came in, who had been fishing the same area, but on the inside in Reynolds Channel. They had been catching fluke…on clams. They were dropping down porgy rigs with clams and bailing short fluke. They took home two keepers for the table.

Sea bass were reportedly at the Mcallister Reef. That bite has begun to slow down a bit, but plenty of fish (sea bass and more) can be found at the Cholera Banks.

Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside saw some fluke and shark reports this past weekend. On Thursday, DJ, AJ, Karl and Slim sailed seven miles south of Debs to shark fish on the Kookie. They came home with a 365-pound thresher caught on a Bay Park mono shark rig.

On Sunday a couple boats got out for fluke and bluefish. Chris Motto of Fatal Attraction fished the Angler Banks in 80 feet. Bay Park spearing attached to a KO fluke killer rig won him his first keeper fluke at 3.7 pounds.

Anthony Abrami of Our Summer fished a bit shallower water on the inside, 30 feet in Reynolds Channel. Chartreuse gulp and spearing on hi-lo rigs caught him a 3.45 pound fluke and a 4.3 pound bluefish.

Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport says the fishing is still going pretty good unless you ask people about the fluking. The day’s are getting hotter, and boats aren’t really making those mid-day trips as much. The other fisheries are providing plenty of fun and bent rods though.

There are still plenty of nice bass in the area. Mark has been concentrating on the morning and evening tides lately, whereas lots of anglers had been targeting the midday bite this weekend.

Porgies can be found in the sandier areas inside the harbor. They are chasing small baits in there, and aren’t so prevalent on the outside.

Sea bass are holding well in 40 to 50 feet of water toward the center of the sound, and up near Connecticut.

There are plenty of options for the kids as well. Small blues, kingfish and puffers have been providing a nice mixed bag for most anglers targeting them.

I asked Mark whether the swell I expect to see this weekend from the tropical storm will affect the Sound waters. He says that a storm surge does not typically turn up the waters along the north shore. What DOES turn those waters up is heavy boat traffic and heavy winds. He described it as a bathtub, with even small waves reverberating off the shore and combining with larger ones to make for a bumpy ride. I thought that was very interesting, and worthy of mention.

Steven at Wego Fishing Bait & Tackle in Southold says guys are getting plenty of porgies in the surf on the Sound. The striper guys are heading out at night for some quality bass.

Boats are getting sea bass in the Sound. In the bay, they’re finding porgies and bluefish. There are also a lot of weakfish still hanging out in the bay.

Most guys are just picking away at fluke, but there are those who have their honey holes who are bringing home some real nice ones for the table. You gotta fish deeper water if you want to get into some good fluking.

The Gut and Race are very productive right now. Guys are getting the bass real good on the outgoing, using bucktails and diamond jigs. There’s also plenty of bunker, so live bait is doing good work as well.

Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale told me a solid body of fluke finally moved into the bay this week, and lots of anglers finally caught their keepers. Bucktails tipped with a Fat Cow jig strip or Gulp! have been putting in work and catching lots of fish. Even the guys heading outside are jigging them on 4-8oz bucktails. The classic squid and spearing combo will always put fish in the boat as well. 

Sea Bass action is lit up on the reefs and wrecks, and they’re smashing jigs and slurping up clams like there is no tomorrow. Knuckleheads are coming up consistently. 

Striper action is still solid on the bunker schools, you just have to find the right one and it’s on. There are some solid keepers running the beaches and flats as well. 

Bill Falco from Chasing Tails with a nice porgy on the fly.

Weakfish are still going strong on the morning tides, taking small jigs and soft plastics. The docks are loaded with cocktail blues, the occasional fluke, and tons of blowfish and kingfish to keep the whole family happy and catching. 

Captree’s Laura Lee absolutely smashed the fish this week, consistently boating hundreds of fish from multiple species. Before Sunday, each trip would see about 200-300 sea bass, 100-200 fluke, 100+ sea robins, and a good amount of red hake. They also boated a stargazer, some ling, cod, and bluefish. Once the weekend hit, the porgy bit turned on; Saturday afternoon saw 65 porgies, the next morning saw 130 big porgies, and that night two boats caught a total of 660 porgies. Unreal! 

This week has produced similar numbers of porgies, sea bass and fluke. 

If you like fishing on the party boats, it seems like this week is the time to hop aboard.

Rich at Whitewater Outfitters in Hampton Bays says offshore continues to be solid. Tuna is as good as it’s ever been. Lots of guys are still running to the Coimbra, and getting some, but the body of fish has mostly moved 10-20 miles east and south. There are also fish to the west, around the same depth.

A big golden tile and a barrellfish from the Viking Five Star’s recent three day trip.

There were quite a few sharks this week. Some makos are being caught, and some are just chewing on the tuna on the end of your line.

Bass fishing is still very good to the east. It has slowed down a bit locally, and the fish are mainly set up in Montauk. Most local boats are running there to take advantage of the stripers and sea bass. Rich heard of guys filling their sea bass limit in an hour, then heading towards the bass grounds to target slot fish. “Problem” is they’re catching 30-40 fish above slot, and not any to take home.

Inshore by us, the fluking has been very good (relative to what it was). The bite picked up in the bay.

The peconic is still holding some porgies, but not very many good ones.

You can find some good seabass on the reef, if you have the patience to pick through the countless tiny ones.

Bottom fishing in the canal is good, and fun. You never know what kind of mixed bag you’re gonna get, but a typical bag would be a 12 inch kingfish, 12 inch blowfish and a 2 pound porgy. There’s even a few decent weakfish, 20 inches and up, around there.

The blowfish bite is far superior to the west, by Robert Moses. Rich has heard of guys catching 50-60 12-inchers real quick.

The canyons have been a little slow. There are no yellowfin to speak of, but some bigeyes and bluefins. The fishery inshore is far superior to the offshore scene currently.

Rick from Harbor Marina of East Hampton reports:

The full moon delivered for local bass fishermen with numerous reports of quality fish being caught, some in the slot-range. Bottom fishing was tough with super strong currents causing numerous break-offs for folks trying for seabass around rocky structure. A few tasty biscuits came back to the dock, but at a steeper cost than normal.

Some local sharps are still picking away at schoolie stripes and bluefish in the skinny water, on the fly.

Fluke fishing remains spotty, with some folks catching a few quality fish, mixed with shorts, while others strike out completely.

Jumbo porgies are on the scene and we should see better bottom fishing after Friday’s storm passes through and things settle down with the weather and tides.

The offshore scene is moving into mid-summer form, with canyon trips on the menu in the weeks ahead.

Montauk’s Viking Fleet sent the Viking Fivestar on a three day trip before ether weekend. Captain Steven Jr. said the tuna bite was slow on day 1, but the bottom fishing was productive. Steady action was found with Tiles, pollock, hake, Barrelfish, cusk and a few blue line tile. Both mornings and one evening were spent trolling, which produced three yellows and a few marlin bites. Everybody on the boat left with a good load of deep water fillets and some tuna.

The rest of the reports came yesterday. Captain Chris put his charters on the fluke, sea bass and porgies. John Jacobsen of Northport took the pool with a 3 pound fluke.

Captain Dave fished the lighthouse region for a great porgy bite and a limit of sea bass. Don Hyde of the Bronx won the pool with a 3.6 pound porgy.

Last but not least was Captain Chris A driving the Viking Star for a half day. There were just a few keeper fluke, but the fillet table was graced with some monster seabass and porgies to round out the catch. Pool fish was caught by Tommy Keener of Baldwin with a 4 pound 5 ounce fluke.

David at Westlake Marina in Montauk says the bass bite has been really good. All methods seem to be effective, from trolling wire and Shutes, to drifting eels. Drifted eels have been catching VERY well. The flood tide has been the ticket this week, but that can change any given day. Some of the other live baits have been working as well.

The slot strategy seems to be working well. The charter guys are understanding, and they’ve been bringing home plenty of meat for the table.

Fluking has gone from just barely fair, to kind of dismal. It’s a lot of work to catch keepers. You can still catch some shorts, but you’re gonna really have to put in time for a big flatty.

Sea bass has been excellent lately.

The guys that went to CIA for cod fishing have been doing extremely well these past two weeks.

Long Island Fishing Forecast

I am looking forward to the early part of next week. We have a nice swell coming our way, produced by a forming tropical storm heading up the coast. The beaches are supposed to get washed out this weekend, but the action that may follow early next week could be excellent.

I’m expecting this to push exotics into our area. I don’t know exactly what does that (besides east swells), but the timing feels right.

I’m hoping sharks will get riled up near shore, and start blitzing on bunker. I feel like it’s time. I’ve seen a few bunker schools in the past 2 weeks getting tormented by large creatures. It’s still mostly bluefish and bass around the outer bars, but I’m hearing many more reports of sharks under bunker schools to the west. And some of the explosions I’ve seen are way too big to be caused by bass and blues.

I have no idea what’s going on with the smaller bait in Montauk, but this is the time of year when there tends to be acres of it densely compacted along shore. I’ve seen many different fish attack the small bait (which is often sand eels). It’s usually one heck of a show. Porgies and fluke will straight up breach by the hundreds, jumping 3 feet OUT of the water, in just three feet OF water. You could find bonito, bluefish, and lord knows what else. I’ll make it out there some time in the next few weeks to investigate. Here’s some mediocre footage of the flying flukes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlFszGfiN24

These reports just came in, moments before submitting my report:

My friend Eli was has been fishing the Peconics this week, and getting into them. This morning he landed a few schoolie stripes to 25 inches, and some bluefish. There have been plenty of bluefish around. The other day, while he was bailing away at them, he spotted some dolphins porpoise in the bay in just 14 feet of water!

I had just been informed by my friend Brandon that three Great Whites have just pinged on his Ocearch app near shore in Westhampton. My sharky feelings now feel substantiated. It’s about to get real! Stay tuned for drone footage.

I’m keeping me and my charters busy by fishing the surf out front. I had 20 bass last night in an hour and a half. Great bite. And I’m keeping the kids busy from shore on the big-surf days by going for blue claw crabs. No matter what I’m doing, we’re all having a great time. I hope you are too!

Good luck this week everyone.


1 thought on “Long Island – New York Fishing Report – July 9, 2020

  1. B MARKS


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