Over-slot bass crowding the Forks. Big weakfish run just keeps producing. Plenty of 3+ pound porgies in Montauk. Solid fluking around the island. Thresher sharks coming to the scales. Blowfish and kingfish show up.
Long Island Fishing Report
Frank from Bernie’s Bait and Tackle in Brooklyn says striped bass fishing has been very good. Nighttime is the right time, and the boats are finding the bulk of them. Surfcasters are getting in on it too, as there’s a good chunk of keeper fish around. Bluefishing has died down a bit, but they’re still around. Again, there’s no major concentration of them in one area, but they’re spread out all over. The guys targeting stripes at night are usually finding about 6-7 blues per outing. A nice fluke bite is developing in the bay, from Marine Parkway bridge to Canarsie. Frank expects the fluke to move into the back of the bay soon, if they have not already begun to do so. The porgy bite has not materialized yet. By this time in years past, the scup have been chewing well. The catches have been spotty as of late. Kingfish showed up in the Rockaway surf this week. Guys are tossing bloodworms and shrimp on the ocean side and finding a good bite there. A ton of dogfish and sea robins have also shown up, so you can be sure there’s plenty of anglers getting frustrated with these bycatch species. Everything is coming to fruition these days. Some species are coming in bigger and faster than others, but they’re all there now.
Josh at Gypsea Charters in the Rockaways reports:
Bass fishing continues to be excellent, with limit catches on every trip this past week. Every fish has fallen to a live bunker. Fluking picked up tremendously over the last week with over 20 quality flatties being kept on each trip. Those fish weighed up to nine pounds. There have also been some nice weakfish in the mix while fluking. Bluefish have also been providing plenty of action. Rods have been bent all day long. 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 spent two great days floating down the Delaware River this past week. He and his buddy fished from personal float crafts to target the difficult trout in the river. Paul says it’s the hardest river with the smartest fish. Paul caught three and had to earn every one of them. They were feeding primarily on sulfur emergers, the exact fly Paul didn’t have. The 4 weight fly rod did the trick, and a 16 inch brown trout he caught gave him a run for his money on that tackle. Back on LI, his friend Bill fished the Peconic River. Not ten feet from the boat launch, he found all the fish he could’ve wanted to catch that day. He had nonstop action on crappie, bluegill, and other species.
Sara and crew of “Baby Jay” caught a nice 5.55-pound fluke drifting by the hospital in Long Beach, using spearing for bait. Captain Jack Carman and crew brought in the first thresher of the season this Sunday. Bunker chum brought in the shark, and fresh bunker hooked the 280 pounder. Hans Coflesh and the crew of “Fatima C” did an early morning bay trip for fluke this weekend and picked 5 keepers out of many shorts in the Reynolds Channel. Bucktails worked best on a slow tide, and traditional rigs did the work when it began moving. Spearing or 4-inch gulp was all it took. Lloyd Malsin of “Nausea II” took a 5 man crew out to target sharks yesterday. They picked a 300-pound thresher before the day was through.
The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:
Captain Willie put his anglers on a good number of fluke yesterday. There was good short life with some nice keepers in the mix. They took a trip out into the ocean the other day and discovered some life that may provide high potential in the coming weeks. For now, they’re still targeting the bay bite. They’re running whale watching cruises, which have been fruitful. Dolphins and whales are becoming more and more prevalent.
Point Lookout’s Super Hawk is running a few special evening trips in the coming week or two. Check out their Facebook page for details on ling/cod/porgy trips, plus wreck/reef trips and a ling marathon. In the meantime, they’ve been putting their clients on a ton of fluke in the bays. Call Capt. Steve to make a reservation: 516-607-3004.
Captree’s Laura Lee found lots and lots of fish this week. Sea robins were a regular occurrence on almost every outing. Bluefish and fluke were also common catches; nothing huge, but decent numbers of fish. Sundials and weakfish were seen on a few occasions, and a blackfish came up on Sunday. Tuesday’s trip tallied 9 cod, two pollock, 364 big ling, 181 sea bass, 43 ocean pout, 1 silver eel, three dogfish and one sculpin. Wednesday night’s 6pm trip produced a full boat limit of bluefish, plus five stripers to 29 inches.
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
The bay is loaded with multiple species as of late. There are lots of solid bluefish, plenty of bass, off-the-charts weakfish, and a solid body of fluke is starting to move in. For the blues – popping plugs, shallow swimmers, tins, and bucktails are all getting smashed up. Fish in the 6-10 pound range are common. Bass action is getting better by the day, with lots of solid fish being caught inside, and some 30 pounders on the outside. Inside you’ll want to throw small lures like swimbaits, swimshads, and popping plugs. In the ocean, the big fish are getting pulled up by jigs and trolling rigs. Big poppers work too, when they are feeding on top. Weakfish are still out in good numbers, especially on the early tides. Using small soft plastics and bucktails on light tackle is the best way to approach these fish. They love bright colors like pink, white, and chartreuse.
In the fresh – summer weather means high water temps, and that means bad news for trout fishing. Early morning and late evening hatches are the ticket this time of year. Don’t forget your thermometer if you are planning on heading out to target trout. Water temperatures of 68 degrees and up is a no-go, as this proves to be lethal for trout after catching and handling. High temps are great for other fish though: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pickerel, carp, crappie, and sunfish action will be on fire. Fish swimbaits, lipless cranks, jigs, and topwater lures for the bigger species. For the little guys, all you need is some worms and bobbers and you’re set to be on them all day long.
Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport says the fishing right now is out of control. There’s a ton of surface action and sight fishing opportunities to be found currently. The surf bite hasn’t been as good as the boat bite, but choose your tides and spots and you might luck into some serious fish. The trick for the surfcasters is to move around a bunch. For boat guys, the trick is fishing the ledges. Large bass that are usually east by now are sticking around, adhering to the structure. They’ll push baitfish to the surface when they swim by, allowing for explosive action. The fluke are moving deep, also using the structure to feed. They’ll hang behind a rock, disguised as the seafloor, waiting to ambush anything that might swim by. This new moon phase is the holy grail for pretty much any angler, as most fish are in close doing their spawning/migrating/whatevering thing. Sleep when you’re dead, as now is the time to fish.
Dave Flanagan of “North Island Fly” reports:
The fishing is stupid good here. The big bass and big bluefish have made residence all over the Sound. From inshore to the deeper ledges, quality fishing can be found. When weather kept us off the Sound side, we’ve been finding good size bass and blues in the bays and harbors, feeding primarily on sand eels and spearing. The bunker pods are where the real big fish have been hanging. You may have to fight through a lot of bluefish, but there are bass from 20-50, maybe even 60+ pounds out there. I spent the day Tuesday fishing with Phil from Cow Harbor, experiencing a banner day with bass to thirty pounds and blues to 15. It’s been lock and load as long as the tide is moving. I’m looking forward to this lasting all the way into mid-July as long as the bait sticks around. If anyone’s looking to get in on this, Dave still has some good availability in the first few weeks of July.
Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson stayed on the porgies all week, with a bunch of fun bycatch as well. Buckets were filled, and smaller keepers were thrown back long after limits were reached. The porgy fishing has just been nonstop. “Port Jefferson is Porgytown, USA!” They’ll be sailing regularly, weather permitting. Go to celticquestfishing.com to buy a ticket.
Surfcasting Guide Bernie Bass says some quality fish have continued moving into our area, and the week started off great. He found consistent bass action in the surf, and the bluefish kept his rod bent during both the day and night tides. Unfortunately, Bernie had to get an unexpected surgical procedure done mid-week, so he’s out of the game for the next few weeks. Wishing you a speedy recovery Bernman!
Ethan at Whitewater Outfitters in Hampton Bays says bass are moving along the south shore, and some are making their way into the inlet and ocean beaches. Some are flushing into the bay as well, and can probably be found hanging out underneath the bridges at night, smoking cigarettes. There’s a solid mix of fish, from unders to slots and overs. Bluefish are still around, but not like they were, even a week ago. There’s a variety of sizes to be caught. Fluke are moving around, and there’s a decent pick of fish to 4-5 pounds. Some better ones are moving into the bay. A few guys are poking around offshore, but the water is still a bit cold. “Nearby” wrecks will need to heat up a bit before they start producing, but a couple guys had some luck in the canyons with 100-pound class bluefin.
Kenny at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor says Montauk lit up with action during yesterday’s balmy weather. Captain Savio Mizzi was catching some serious stripers way over the slot size. Some of those caliber fish have been reported in the Peconic system as well. Plum Gut and the Race are good spots to check as well. Chris Duryea was there catching 30-40 pound fish (plus plenty of smaller ones) with some regularity the other day. The Peconic weakfish run is still firing as well, with great reports coming in regularly. Fluke fishing is way better than it was during last year’s entire spring run combined. Kenny’s getting reports of a 50/50 split between shorts and keepers. The Peconics are loaded with bluefish. If you can’t catch them, just moved 100 yards and try again. They’re never very far away. Shinnecock East County Park was shut down to all vehicles after a single piping plover recently hatched a pair of babies. You can walk to the inlet, but you cannot drive into the park. The ocean has been very quiet these days. No reports coming from there.
Montauk’s Viking Fleet stayed local this Tuesday and got on a slow pick of big porgies, some keeper bluefish and a large number of seabass that were returned to the depths as the season’s still closed. The pool went to Mr. Lee of NYC who caught a 19 inch, three-pound porgy. Fluking went well over the weekend, with some great jig fishing for porgies to boot. Lynn Huebner took the pool on Sunday’s afternoon trip with a 7.25-pound fluke. Dennis Edwards of Queens had taken the morning pool with a 3.2-pound porgy. Nine-year-old Richard Parisi from the Bronx won another morning pool with a 7.5-pound fluke. On the same trip there was a keeper cod, big porgies and some gator blues coming over the rail. Another youngin’ won the pool on Saturday: Jack Goldberg from Commack took it with a 4.5-pound fluke. Friday marked the end of an offshore tilefish hunt, which was described as “tremendous.” Tiles, pollock, hake, and cusk came up on nearly every drop. The next spot produced tiles, barrelfish, and hake. Wreckfish showed up in the evening. A massive silver eel came up as well, weighing almost 50 pounds with a length of six feet, two inches. George Spath fought that one to the deck. Henry Rudolph landed an 18-pound snowy grouper as well. Pool winners from this trip are as follows: Dennis Leahy with a 43-pound tile, Dwayne Sherard with a 38-pound tile, Paul Ryan with a 34-pound wreckfish, and Brad Bergen with a 28-pound barrelfish.
Surf Guide Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball saw Jay Hanecak move into first place in the SRB tournament, with a 45-pound bass taken on a plug in Connecticut waters. Mike Kandrach is a close second with a 44 pounder caught in Montauk on a blurple darter. Kyle Kennedy’s 41 remains the third seed, taken on a metal lip in Cape Cod. Bill chartered Doug in the Peconics this Monday and managed a couple weakfish on a bottle plug and SP minnow. The next night was a Montauk trip with Brian and Paul. They picked a few blues on the north side of the point that were spitting up squid. They then ran to the south side to find some bass. Bill picked one on a bucktail with a pink trailer, and they found a few more before calling it a night. The final fish were taking sp minnows and darters.
Chris Albronda gave me the goods on Montauk:
Striped bass fishing continues to improve. With keeper-size fish to over-slot fish, the action is seemingly endless. They’re taking just about anything as well. From boat, drop a green-tubed diamond jig, or a bucktail plus fat cow fishing strip. From land, topwater has been the preferred approach, day or night. Bluefish are as thick as fleas on a dog, ranging from cocktails to gators. Judging by the size of these fish, we could potentially see a new state record this year. The porgies have returned in massive numbers. They’re not only chewing bait, they’re attacking epoxy jigs, deadly dicks, and small soft plastics bounced off the bottom. The sea bass fishery is ridiculous this year, and although it’s not open yet for recreational harvest, Chris has his pin hooker license and is available for hire. Blowfish have shown up en masse. They can be taken in the surf, and in shallow water in rocky areas. If from boat, anchor up and make sure you’re using very small hooks. A phenomenal weakfish bite occurred for three days recently. The fish have since vanished, but Chris is holding out hope for another quick stint. The first thresher shark sighting occurred this week, so that’s on the radar for the near future. Chris is doing open boat trips with Tailwrapped Sportfishing charters. Check them out on social media, and/or give Chris a call to book a light tackle trip at 631-830-3881.
Steven at Wego Fishing Bait & Tackle in Southold says the fishing is ridiculous right now. The surf boys are starting to get into some heavy bass at night. Solid stripers can be found at the Gut and Race too. Weakfishing is just ridiculous. Guys are laughing about how good the action is. Drop anything down, and you’ll probably pick up a weakfish. Luke Lowell-Liszanckie reeled in an 11.85-pound tiderunner from the surf. Joe Mazza brought in an 8.35-pound weakfish. Porgy fishing picked up good. Check the Sound side for scup. The bay’s holding weakfish and bluefish. Find bluefish out by Goldsmith’s inlet as well. Fluking picked up. Drop down by Bug Light and by Claudio’s. The ruins are also a good option. The offshore guys started to buy up a ton of gear. The chum Wego makes is extra special. Make sure you pick some up if you’re going sharking.
Long Island Forecast
I began the day in a groggy state, beat up from a late-night skunk fest. I could sense the presence of big fish last night, but they wanted nothing to do with me. No matter, I’ll be back after them again tonight. The potential is way too high this week to begin slacking.
Massive bass are here; giant blues are around; and the quality of the weakfishing is extraordinary. Couple that with the many 3+ pound porgies reeled in this week, and the knothead seabass coming up despite being out of season, and we’re looking at a week ripe with opportunities to achieve “personal bests.”
The fishing potential is exhilarating, but what excites me most is the offshore marine life’s potential to come inshore. I got to film my first summer humpback whales three days ago. They were lunge feeding just a couple hundred yards from shore, alongside what looked like hundreds of dolphins. The dolphins were acting crazy, and the whales were loving life in the bunker-filled ocean. And then this morning I saw my first non-cetacean explosions, like little volcanoes erupting. I thought I saw a big tail in the first one, and I thought “thresher.” The second one looked just like a giant body slam, and I figured “tuna.” That was maybe a mile out, and they were moving too fast to capture on my drone. Not to mention the wind picked up and the cloud cover prevented clarity. Cool sights, nonetheless. There are scattered schools of menhaden all over, so the coastal buffet is fully stocked and ready for some frenzies. Who’s going to catch a surf tuna this year???
Well, just wait until the bunker consolidates for those thoughts. Right now, focus on what’s here: some of the biggest fish of most local species. Carpe diem, and sleep when you’re dead. Fish the back end of this moon HARD!
Go get ‘em. Tight lines.