Outstanding fishing all around this week. Double-digit fluke in Montauk. Great fluking across most of the south shore. Weakfish make a reappearance in bays and north shore. Small bluefin by Block, bigger ones outside. Seemingly infinite sharks attacking bunker. Huge variety as well. Pelagic species showing up inshore slowly but very surely. Huge bass in Montauk.
Long Island Fishing Report
Josh at Gypsea Charters in the Rockaways reports:
Ocean fluking continues to be very lively, with consistent action and plenty of keepers in the mix. Bass fishing also remains excellent, with limits and releases on all trips, with plenty of action throughout the day. We anticipate the great fishing to continue throughout the next few months. When Josh sent me his report this morning, they had already acquired a boatload of fish. 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.
Kathy from Freeport Bait & Tackle got hooked up with some yellowfin tuna steaks this week from one of her customers who launched from Fire Island inlet this week. Charles McKeon had a working man’s trophy, a 1.5-pound sea robin, to enter in a tournament. He also brought in a keeper fluke that day. Guys are fishing McAllister Reef and catching lots of sea bass, porgies, and fluke. Hempstead Reef has also been very productive on the sea bass front. Kathy’s friend Lou caught some whopper scup in Jamaica Bay the other day. The boats around him were pulling up shorts that were eating bait. Lou’s trick was using a 3/4 ounce butterfly-type jig that the big fish couldn’t resist. There have been reports of bluefish just outside Jones inlet. Guys are starting to pick up bass outside Lido on the troll. Mojos are the lure of choice. Lots of customers are coming in to buy tuna gear, so Kathy reckons there’s a good local school of fish moving inshore. She had trouble getting bloodworms and sandworms this week because of the weather, so she started selling these juicy lugworms. Customers have reported great results. They’re a bit juicier than sandworms and more durable.
Jamie, Caiden and Broden of “Lizzie D” picked about twenty short fluke in the back bays last Wednesday morning. Broden took the fish of the day at 20 inches. Lloyd Malsin of “Nansea II” got out Saturday to target some seabass. He bagged three keepers right away. He boated an additional 16 sea bass and some big ling before calling it a day.
Captain Willie of the Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:
Fluke fishing in the ocean yesterday was excellent. Even in the extreme fog, they were able to bring some doormats over the rails. Some seabass hit the deck too; 1/2 day trips have been very productive. The ocean is the place to be; bay trips will only be taking place if conditions get extreme. The pictures coming from their whale watching trips are outstanding. They’re seeing lots of life out there, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Point Lookout’s Super Hawk has been bringing a variety of quality fish up from the deep lately. Porgies, sea bass and fluke are common catches. It is a great time to get some meat for the table. Call Capt. Steve to make a reservation: 516-607-3004.
The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson continued to boat innumerable porgies this past week. Fluke were coming over the rails as well.
The bite is good as always on Captree’s Laura Lee. Lots of porgies and seabass are chewing, and a variety of other species. Mackerel showed up in big numbers for recent trips. Fluke and sea robins are quite numerous as well. Triggerfish were landed yesterday, and a bunch of bluefish. Most notable are definitely the huge numbers of sea bass and porgies, plus the influx of mackerel. Surely some more exotic species will follow this week.
Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport says there’s nothing but good things this week, but it’s a toss of the coin with the weather. There’s been a ton of fog rolling through, which can be dangerous for boaters, especially since there’s so many boats in the water. Keep the speeding down and stay alert. Radar is almost a must-have these days. The fishing has been dynamite. There are porgies everywhere. The fluke are going deeper, but they’re still chewing. There are stripers in the mix, with smaller bass in the bay. Bluefish have been busting up schools of bunker. Something new is the thousands of tiny snappers moving into the harbor. The schools of huge spawning blues a few weeks ago probably birthed all these new “angry mini-me” bluefish. Pretty soon we’ll see the bigger fish transition from eating adult bunker to these snappers and peanut bunker. There’s lots of blue claw crabs around. For the past three years we’ve been getting more and more, indicating improving water quality. We’ve even seen some dolphins to the west up here.
Dave Flanagan of “North Island Fly” reports:
I’m seeing the biggest class of bluefish to hit the Sound so far this season – real brutes whose tails you can barely wrap your hands around. Big bass are still patrolling the deep water as we confirmed last night when two 40+ pounders followed a hooked seven pound bluefish to the boat. There are also big bass on the bunker pods in the late afternoon hours, my favorite time to fish. Sand eels are abundant, and there are loads of spearing in the back bays; bay anchovies are even making an appearance back there. Bass in the back bays are always reliable for consistent action along the beaches and boulder fields. The reports are similar week in and out, and that’s a great thing! It doesn’t appear to be slowing down. I even did a bit more fluking and found some keepers in 15-35 feet of water.
Steven at Wego Fishing Bait & Tackle in Southold says offshore is the place to be right now. The sharking picked up real good, and tuna fishing is off the charts. Wego made some really nice chum this year, which not a lot of shops are doing anymore, so stop in to pick some up before you head out to sea. Up in the bays we still have weakfish, porgies, and even fluke if you work hard enough. There are plenty of bluefish by buoy 17. On the sound side, it’s mostly porgies. Some weakfish made their way out here though, and were getting caught near Rocky Point. Most guys targeting local bass are doing so around sunrise and sunset. At the Gut and Race, we’ve got bluefish with bass mixed in. A lot of guys are heading over to Gardiners and Montauk for the same. Montauk actually just had an awesome week on the fluke front. Definitely stop in before you head offshore. They’ve got all varieties of bait and lures to target the tuna and sharks.
Anthony at Whitewater Outfitters in Hampton Bays says the tuna bite off Block Island has been a lot of fun. They’re all small fish there, but guys are catching ten at a time. There’s been a great bite out at the dip. Some good water has been moving in over there. The Coimbra area to the Ranger has been kind of slow. It’s hit or miss, with some boats catching one or two, and other boats taking the skunk. Striped bass fishing in Montauk and Block Island has been phenomenal, you can’t beat it. Shinnecock and Moriches inlets have been seeing some decent bass action as well, inside and outside the inlet. Bryce was trying to catch bluefish over there while trolling wire and he couldn’t keep quality bass off his line. Fluking has been slow, and sea bassing has been really good by the reef and wrecks. A bunch of yellowfin and a couple of bigeye were taken at the canyon as well.
Chris Albronda gave me the goods on Montauk:
It’s been another action-filled week in Montauk. A lot of personal bests were shattered this week. The striped bass are producing fish upwards of sixty pounds and getting released to get bigger and get caught another day. We are seeing a lot more slot fish being caught this week. The bottom fishing has been extremely productive. Many double-digit fluke hit the dock this week, and more were released by the sportsmen. During our last Black Sea bass drift, we had multiple knuckleheads up to three pounds; on the last drift of the day, while reeling up a jumbo sea bass, a big sandbar shark ate the whole thing. It was an amazing fight on 30-pound test braid with a medium-light spinning rod. Offshore fishing continues to produce. Inside, there’s bluefin tuna, threshers, mako and blue sharks, bonito, and albacore being landed. Further out, at the canyons, the bigeye have been very cooperative. Yellowfin are chewing as well. 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 trip at 631-830-3881.
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
Sea Bass action on the local wrecks is going very strong, with bigger fish the farther out you go. Fish in the 4-6 pound range are common out there. The big fish are smashing jigs, and you can send down clams or Gulp! on a rig for them as well. Fluking in the bay has gotten better by the week, and there are some solid keepers lying around in spots the party boats luckily can’t reach. Work those spots with bucktail rigs with teasers and you’ll load up! There are lots of shorts, but there are also some really good fish in the mix. Bluefish are still around – rig up a popping plug and roam the flats. Bass action is pretty good inside, with some good slot-sized fish showing up. They take some work to find, but they are here. Clams are pulling them off the structure, and the fish that are on bait can be pulled with topwater or swimming lures. The ocean bite seems to be to the east and west of us, with not much happening right outside. Taking the trip is worth it though; some good fish up to 30 pounds have been caught. In the freshwater – the water is warm, so trout fishing and mid-day fishing are going to have to wait. In the meantime, you can target largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pickerel, carp, crappie, catfish, and sunfish. They are all active in the warmer water and they are hungry! Swimbaits, lipless cranks, jigs, soft plastics, and topwater lures are all great choices for bass and pickerel in the summer months. Throw topwater lures for the morning and evenings, and everything else mid-day. Work the grass lines, lily pads, stumps, logs, and any other structure. For the sunfish and perch, all you need is some worms and bobbers and you’re set to fish all day, or you can toss an inline spinner or small soft plastic jig for some really fun active fishing!
Long Island Fishing Forecast
Sorry in advance for the brevity of this report. Personally, I’ve experienced very lackluster fishing. I’m catching more in the creek than the ocean. It’s mostly hickory shad up front. Not far from shore, there are a growing number of sharks and offshore species moving in on the bunker schools. You never know what each new day will bring. One day there were big dolphins bulldozing the helpless menhaden. The next day, bluefish and striped bass showed up, wreaking havoc for two days straight. The following day was foggy and I could not find a single predator fish, but I found a single shark on the pods; the next day there were a couple dozen sharks all spread out amongst the many small bunker schools; today is the climax, with a ridiculous amount of sharks schooling up and angrily attacking the bunker. I even saw an enormous tuna (bigger than the sharks) swim by the bunker schools, just a few hundred yards off the beach. Just wait until you see the friggin’ footage. Mackerel were blitzing not too far out either. Pelagics are getting dangerously close to surfcasting range.
I had been droning almost daily, whenever I had a free fifteen minutes. The fog was extremely detrimental to the visibility, creating a terrible glare on the water’s surface. Today it’s all sun though, and I can see nice and deep. The sharks are sharply contrasting. What I thought were blacktips the other day, I now KNOW are blacktips. There’s some big ones in there too.
It’s funny how I can be down in the dumps about there being so few stripers along the shoreline, and then the sun pops out, I see sharks, and it’s all of a sudden probably the best week of the year. The ups and downs in this sport can be crazy.
Judging from reports, the summer fishing has just begun to take off. All reports were positive this week, and they coincide with the stellar sights I’m seeing. I am optimistic that the next few weeks are going to be ones for the books. Make sure you get out there this week and write some history.
I put a little teaser up on youtube for you guys, to get excited about the fishing potential. Check it out!