Endless bluefish. Big bass getting caught in Montauk and in the bays. Big bass being trolled up to the west. Ocean seems to be ramping up rapidly. Great freshwater opportunities during the rainy days. Fluking is picking up. Tuna bites are materializing.
Long Island Fishing Report
Frank from Bernie’s Bait and Tackle in Brooklyn says the action this week was slightly dampened by the rain. Bluefish action remained nonstop however. There’s a lot more cocktails around than there are gators at this point. They are spread out all over the place. There was a crazy bite prior to the rain around the Coney Island pier. The striped bass front has been improving near Staten Island. Boat guys have been buying up spoons and mojos to trying to troll up a big girl. Surf guys are encountering schoolies for the most part; no word of any big fish bites on the beach. Some large bass were caught this week over by New Jersey and Staten Island by anglers using live eels. A majority of the fluke action is occurring by the Coney Island flats over to the Verrazano. There’s a decent amount of fish, but not a ton of keepers. You’ll definitely have to pick through a few fish to find slot-sized fish. Most of the action is outside of the bay, probably due to temperature issues. As the weather warms, there will be more anglers targeting them and therefore more feedback. Porgy action has been solid, with word of some good action to the east. They’re waiting on some local action to fire up. One angler headed a bit farther off the beach and got into some big stripers and a 70-80 pound bluefin tuna.
Josh at Gypsea Charters in the Rockaways reports:
Bass fishing remains top-notch, as quality fish of all sizes provided consistent action throughout the week. Live bait was the hot ticket this week. This action should continue until at least the next moon. Fluke fishing picked up a bit over the last week. More life is in the area, so rods are remaining bent, and the quality keepers they’re seeing are keeping fluke fishermen fed. There were also some nice weakfish in the mix! Their two boats are sailing from Howard Beach; the Gypsea is a 6-pack and the Star runs an open boat every weekend, by reservation only. Text for booking details: 516-659-3814.
Paul at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin began targeting the freshwater a ton this week, mainly due to booking guided trips. He hit the Carmans River the other day in Southaven County Park. There, he and his client encountered a bunch of 10-12 inch native brook trout on light fly tackle, enjoying the gorgeous scenery immensely. He took a beginner angler to the Connetquot on another day, and once they got the casting and mending down, they began picking trout on ant patterns. There hasn’t been much word on the saltwater side, but Paul’s been hearing from the local guides that the flats are beginning to be productive. Jamaica Bay has been a hub of action. The poor weather lately means inconsistent reports though.
The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:
Capt. Willie put his clients on some wild fishing yesterday! The action is non-stop, with some nice keeper fluke in the mix. Nice weather should only improve the fishing potential. They’re running some whale and seal watching trips this week too.
Kathy from Freeport Bait & Tackle heard from Chris and Christopher of “The 4 Bells” about some good bluefish and striper fishing in local waters. They pulled up eight bass, tagged, and released them all. One of those fish was their thousandth tag! The bluefish that were hitting ranged up to about nine pounds. The Chris’ were chumming with clam bellies to create that great bite. People are catching bluefish everywhere these days. Whether you target the inside or outside, the bite has been excellent. Diamond jigs and spoons are doing the bulk of the damage. There are plenty of fluke down on the bottom; the challenge is getting your bait down through the bluefish schools. Guys have been coming in to buy trolling spoons and mojos for larger striped bass. Kathy hasn’t received any reports on that front yet, but it’s an option on the table.
Point Lookout’s Super Hawk says “jumbo alley” is heating up. Fluke anglers fishing with light tackle, working their baits have been doing the best. They’re sailing half-day trips for fluke daily. They’re running sunset and moonlight cruises now too, so if you have an even you want to host, check them out! Call Capt. Steve to make a reservation: 516-607-3004.
Captree’s Laura Lee put in work this week, finding a wide variety of fish. The week started pretty strong, but only improved as the seas calmed. Yesterday, the 7 am trip’s bounty consisted of 110 fluke. The afternoon trip had about 50 fluke to 7.4 pounds. The nighttime trip caught 35 bluefish, 3 sea robins, and one sundial. Other catches this week included cunner, blackfish, cod, big ling, flounder, monkfish, whiting, and skate. This coming Tuesday’s trip will be a 16-hour deepwater wreck trip, targeting 150-200 foot depths for big cod and pollack. The second half of the trip will be targeting big red hake. There is a strict 25 passenger limit.
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
Unfortunately, the holiday weekend was pretty shot as far as weather goes. However, a few anglers got out this week and were able to catch some solid fish. The bluefish have taken over the bay; they’re all over the place, especially the flats and channels. Popping plugs and shallow swimmers will pull fish all day long. Striped Bass are back and biting. They’re inhaling clams and bunker off the town docks, and boat guys are smashing them on swim baits and popping plugs. A few solid fish have been seen on the open beaches as well. My father and I were able to get out on the boat Monday afternoon, we had schoolie stripers and cocktail blues going off like crazy, and we left ’em biting. I was fly fishing for them and using clousers and bangers, while the old man was throwing popping plugs on a spin rod. Fluke action is starting to heat up. Some solid fish are roaming the bay, well into the 20 inch range. This warm weekend should have them going crazy. Weakfish are still out, and in numbers. Soft plastics and small bucktails on finesse gear are the best way to target them. This rainy weekend was pretty great for the freshwater anglers. Trout were active all day long on bug hatches and fallen terrestrials. Morning and evening fishing has been on fire. Bass and pickerel are on their normal patterns for this time of year, and the fishing is good. Swimbaits and lipless cranks have been doing work for the locals. Sunfish and yellow perch are schooled up and are tons of fun for every age and skill level. All you need for them is some worms and bobbers and you’ll be on them all day.
Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson says the wind and rain made them really work for the bites this week. They found some decent porgy action in a pile of fish, but the fish just didn’t eat like they should’ve. As the weather improved throughout this week, the bite rebounded a bit. They put together a solid catch of nice scup. Some pinfish even found their way up to the deck. They’ll be sailing regularly, weather permitting. Go to celticquestfishing.com to buy a ticket.
Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport saw and heard of some out-of-control action this week. Fish were stacked on the ledges for boats, and in close to shore for the surfcasters. The bass run occurring along the north shore is producing fish from 20-40 plus pounds, one of the best runs in years. Pick your spots and tides correctly, and you’ll probably find a PB bass. Sandeels are prevalent from Northport to Sunken Meadow and Asharoken. These should bring the big bass in shallow pretty regularly. There’s enough small bluefish (1-4 pounds) to keep the bait corralled as well, so the stage is set for excellent fishing in the near future.
Captain Stu Paterson of “Northport Charters” reports:
The conditions this past week were very challenging, with strong northeast winds and lots of “wind versus tide” situations. Everything is beginning to bite though. We had fluke, porgies and blues show up locally, and stripers are settling into their annual haunts in the LI Sound. It was pretty cool when big shad started hitting our fluke rigs. Things started to settle down this week, but June usually lights it right back up. It is the best month in our local north shore fishery, especially on the striper front. Call or text to make reservations: 631-707-3266. Or check out the website at northportcharters.com
Surfcasting Guide Bernie Bass found consistent action in the surf this past week. Some decent bass found their way to the end of his line. Plenty of bluefish did as well, enacting mayhem upon his tackle. Dirty water plagued the latter half of the week, as the weather kicked up the seas.
Rick from Harbor Marina of East Hampton reports:
Weakfish continue to be the main event in the peconics. Boats are spread out around Noyac Bay as both angler and fish alike are seeking reprieve from the marauding bluefish. This week’s trip up in the peconics yielded some quality tiderunners. It is great to see the Bluefish back in strong numbers. They can be a challenge when targeting other gamefish, but overall I see them as a net gain to our local fishing experience. I would have to say that the stricter limits on take by both the recreational and commercial sectors is helping. The Porgy fleet is still working at Great Peconic Bay. Head Boats are seeing a fair amount of bluefish and an occasional weakfish in addition to the good run of scup. Striped bass are starting to filter into some of the deeper channels and structure of the eastern peconics and Gardiners Bay; tide is important. The first decent reports of a fluke bite came in from Montauk this week. Unfortunately, this is our third year in a row with a very weak fluke bite in the peconics. I am not sure if this is an abundance issue or a pattern change in feeding and/or migration. Certainly some feedback to regional fisheries’ managers is warranted. The weekend looks good weather-wise, and after last weekend’s blowout I am sure there will be a lot of interest in both fishing and boating. Plan accordingly.
Surf Guide Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball commenced the 16th annual SRB catch and release tournament on June 1. Kyle Kennedy kicked it off by catching a 41 pounder on a metal lip swimmer on day 1. Bill picked a thirteen-pound bass before the weekend, and a couple SRB members were able to find some fish before the winds and surf picked up.
Montauk’s Viking Fleet began the week strong with a bunch of porgies taken by the light. Charles Vaillant Jr. used his birthday luck to cull the pool porgy at 2.25 pounds on Monday. Capt. Dave sailed the Starlite out to the lighthouse on Wednesday to pick up a mixed bag. They caught keeper bluefish, some big porgies, a half dozen short stripers and a bunch of throwback sea bass. Julio Rebot from the Bronx won the pool with his three pound porgy.
Chris Albronda gave me the goods on Montauk:
The fishing just won’t stop improving. The last blow over the weekend put the big bass on Montauk’s shores. Fish of all sizes are being caught: slots, overs, unders, arounds and throughs. Diamond jigs and bucktails are doing a fair amount of catching, which makes for great light tackle outings. The bluefish are getting bigger, and their numbers are also growing. Every trip, they’re keeping rods bent from beginning to end. Bottom fishing is producing some fluke, and some of them are extra large. Bycatch of XXL sea bass is common, as are consistently bent rods. Pink remains the hot color. Chris is available for charters, and can be reached via text/call at 631-830-3881.
Kenny at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor says the reports have been real sparse this past week. The weather and wind has been keeping anglers off the water most days. He did receive a text from his buddy fishing the peconics just last night, though, and he apparently got into a fish fest up there. Weakfish, stripers, bluefish and porgies were all there; just about everything but fluke was reported. Kenny said some over-slot stripers have been trolled up in the peconics this week too.
Long Island Forecast
I am most excited about the potential in the ocean in the next couple weeks. Mid-June is when I’ve seen the craziest striper action of the year occur on the beachfront. As long as there’s bunker, there’s a very good chance of seeing some life intercept it. This week I flew my drone over the surf and there is bunker galore. It was impossible to tell if they were there when the storm swell occurred, but I was nervous there were no more bunker in the area as we’ve been seeing small bait for weeks now. I thought it was spearing, and other guys thought it was bay anchovies. Either way, it wasn’t bunker… but they’re definitely back!
Dolphins were attacking them yesterday, which is always a fun sight to behold. Now I’m waiting excitedly for the whales to show up. Apparently some bluefish found the bunker, and stripers have also returned to the surf scene. I was watching my friend Jerry’s youtube channel (Fish Your Way) this morning, and it was cool to see him get under the numerous bluefish to find a big old striped bass looking for chunked bait.
I haven’t had so much luck lately, since the only tide I’ve been able to intercept is low. After the east swell, we have some long, shallow troughs that need filling in if any fish are going to mosey into the surf zone. High tide is what you want to target. A south wind will also help fill in those troughs, upping your odds.
Up in the bays I found better action. I went looking for weakfish and striped bass, but found a plethora of bluefish on top and sea robins on bottom. All I really needed was a bent rod to relieve some work stress though, and who’s better for that than bluefish?! Mission accomplished.
It’s “large” season though. As the new moon phase approaches, the potential grows higher and higher for anglers interested in big striped bass. Really, any night until then will provide chances at finding a cow. I don’t have to tell you that live eels and bait are probably your best bet at culling a giant, but artificial lures and big flies will get the job done too, due to the presence of adult menhaden.
This week I’ll fish the bays pretty hard, and keep a sharp eye on the oceanfront as well. I have a feeling something great is going to happen.