Long Island Fishing Report
Mahi Madness! Big porgies and sea bass have provided bites well worthy of mention aboard charter boats. Big fluke are out east. Real good variety of fish in the bays, chewing heavily before they depart. Weakfish run in full swing across the island. Fall blitzes are beginning to occur, with peanuts and anchovies getting ravaged by blues, shad, and stripers. Stripers are retaking the main stage as the fall run really begins to settle in.
Jim from Bernie’s Bait and Tackle in Brooklyn reports:
Porgies and weakfish are dominating the scene locally this week. The bay is where the bulk of the action is, and you can find lots of big porgies back there. Guys are getting them good on jigs and bloodworms. The weakfish bite has also been good, with plenty of small fish, and plenty of big fish! Jim said there’s more right now than there have been in years. Sandworms and lures are doing the trick for the weaks. Rubber fish and jigs are typically the best bet. In the ocean, bluefish are being caught alongside fluke. The striped bass bite has not yet been too good, but they’re expecting that to pick up once the fall really kicks into gear. Some guys are waking up early to get after the false albacore and mackerel, which hasn’t been too productive thus far. Boat guys are still trying to get after the bluefin tuna, but it seems that bite has moved elsewhere.
Josh at Gypsea Charters in the Rockaways reports:
With a big ocean heave, we decided to pass on fluking this week; we switched gears over to striped bass instead. We were not disappointed, as we found some good fishing on most trips. A few trips achieved boat limits of slot-sized bass. We will continue to bass fish until t blackfish opener on the 15th. We have space available this coming weekend on the 5 am-1 pm trip. Fare is $120, for a limited amount of passengers. Reservations are a must. Text or call 516-659-3814 for info, or to book.
John McMurray of “One More Cast Charters” in Oceanside had an insane week targeting Mahi and tuna. The Mahi are large (and growing), and they’re taking everything from bucktails to poppers to flies. He found some yellowfin tuna willing to take poppers as well, including one beast that got away. Back near shore, the bass and blues are biting up a storm. It’s looking like blitz season there. He’s looking to book some local skiff trips this week with the big water forecasted this weekend. Get in touch with him via www.nyctuna.com
Lindenhurst Bait & Tackle reports:
Richard Miller has been getting in on some quality fluke fishing before the season ends on September 30th. He’s fishing inside Great South Bay, achieving easy limits with his daughters and his buddy Bobby Buddenhagen. Live bait and 6-inch Gulp grubs are doing the trick.
Captain Willie of the Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:
There was some great fishing this week, with triggerfish up to three pounds and sea bass/porgies galore. Some trips were better than others, but patience was the key to filling buckets. Captain Anthony also put his clients on the meat. The fluking trip was sensational, with Undy getting his limit on the first drift. Other anglers caught their limit of flatties as well. The Starstream VIII is sailing two 1/2 day trips daily. Book your trip at www.captloufleet.com.
Point Lookout’s Super Hawk says the crowds are thinner, but the fish are thicker! They’re sailing every day, catching lots big sea bass. Fluke and porgies are also coming up from the bottom. They’re finding some big green bonito out there as well. Call Capt. Steve to make a reservation: 516-607-3004.
The reports from Captree’s Laura Lee on Wednesday were probably the most diverse I’ve seen this year:
Today’s 7 am Local bay trip caught 151 fluke; 129 sea bass; 34 sea robins; 3 blowfish; 2 kingfish; 3 porgies and 2 cape shark. Today’s 1 pm trip had 18 fishermen. They caught 58 Fluke, 34 Sea Bass, 14 Sea Robins, 1 Bluefish, 1 Banded Rudderfish, 2 Kingfish, and 6 Blowfish. Tonight’s 6 pm trip caught 13 Weakfish, 5 Bluefish, and 2 Striped Bass. That’s a good variety, and a good sign for fall fishing. Their full-day trip on Tuesday was also pretty awesome. They caught 832 Sea Bass, 350 Big Porgies, 3 Tuna, 75 Red Hake, 2 Codfish, 4 Fluke, 4 Pout, 12 Cunner, 42 Mackerel, and 7 Bluefish. I think it’s really cool that they went from catching porgies to catching tuna. Weakfish have been common catches all week, with decent numbers coming over the rail. They did a few bay trips, and happened upon some toadfish and a stargazer. Blowfish and kingfish came up a few times. The fluking went well in the bay, with fish over 5 pounds. Stripers are finally becoming a regular catch on the Laura Lee.
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
First this week, the Chasing Tails crew would like to pay its respects to Fred Golofaro. We lost an absolute legend this week. Fred was a dear friend of the shop, and helped us quite a bit especially in our early years. He even donated his personal mounts to help decorate the shop when we opened up. May his insight and conviction live on. He will be deeply missed. As for the fishing reports, weakfish are in the bay in massive numbers from Montauk to Jones. Lots of solid tide runners and plenty of little guys which is great to see. Finesse gear is the best way to hit them, and use bright-colored soft plastics for jigging. Hardtails are still here but more difficult to spot thanks to the rain giving us some colder water to deal with. Albies, Spanish mackerel, and frigate mackerel are harassing all sorts of small baitfish. Toss diamond jigs, epoxy jigs, or small baitfish flies like Surf Candy and Albie Snax at them for the best results. Fluke action is still hot on the inside. Lots of solid keeper flatties around, slurping up Gulp! and smashing jigs. The classic squid and spearing combo will always do the trick too. The ocean bite is going well on the reef and local wrecks. Just size up your bucktails or sinkers to get down to the action. Sea Bass are on fire at the local wrecks, with lots of big fish coming up over the rails. 4-pound fish are coming up often. Clams on the shop chicken rigs always do the trick. They also like diamond jigs, epoxy jigs, and bucktails sent down. The fall run is coming fast and so are the stripers! A few anglers have gotten lucky already with fish up to slot size. In the freshwater, the fall transition is beginning. For bass, start fishing shallow then head to the deeper water. Work the flats and channel structure. Timber and channel drops are great spots to check too. As for lures, you’re going to need some finesse worms, jigs, crankbaits, and some topwater lures. Pickerel will go for the same things, as well as swimbaits and inline spinners. Yellow perch and sunfish will be schooled up and plentiful, and they are a blast on ultralight tackle.
Surfcasting Guide Bernie Bass found some shorts and slot stripers this week in the surf. Dirty water made for some unproductive nights, so the week had its ups and downs. Other nights provided some rather consistent catching. The bait is abundant, so there’s some good potential for this coming week.
Dave Flanagan of “North Island Fly” reports:
There are peanuts galore! Lots of bluefish are blitzing upon the schools of peanut bunker. Most of them are 2-5 pounds. There are some slot-sized bass out in the rips, but you have to get down deep to finagle a bite. Big bluefish are also showing in the deeper waters. More importantly, big bluefish are showing along the beaches and boulder fields now. Dave expects some bass to be making their way into the beach as well in the early morning hours and late afternoons. He’s still waiting for Mr. false albacore to make his grand appearance out his way; he’s got a good feeling that they are going to ride this next full moon tide into the western parts of the Sound. Dave has a lot of openings in August. Book him for a charter now at www.northislandfly.com.
Captain Stu Paterson of “Northport Charters” reports:
The porgy bite is still on fire, with 3+ pounders coming over the rails. There are keeper sea bass in the mix, and some fatty fluke! There are adult bunker all over the bay and LI Sound mixed in with spearing, bay anchovies and butterfish. Bluefish are coming in all sizes, and are blitzing all over the place. There has been a great jig bite the past three weeks with 10-12 pound blues and bass tearing up bait schools. The potential for this fall run is extremely high! Call or text today to make reservations: 631-707-3266. Or check out Stu’s website at northportcharters.com.
The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Mattituck made their way from Port Jeff to the North Fork this week. They’ll be spending the fall there. They found fruitful waters there, with a good number and variety of fish this week. Porgies, sea bass, bluefish, weakfish and keeper fluke all headlined trips this past week. A kingfish was taken on the 13th. They’ll be sailing regularly, weather permitting. Go to celticquestfishing.com to buy a ticket.
Steve at Wego Fishing Bait & Tackle in Southold reports:
The Bay Area is still chock full of blowfish, cocktail blues, weakfish and porgies. The porgies will probably head out very soon. The weakfish bite has been stupendous. The same can be said for the Sound side. Albies have started running, but there aren’t a lot by the beaches just yet. Most would be found by Gardiner and the north side of Plum. There should be a ton coming this way shortly. Montauk is loaded right now. The shop is loaded with gear for targeting them. There are bass and blues in the Gut and Race. The bass bite should pick up along the beaches soon once the water cools down. The water is still warm, so we’re not in full “fall mode” just yet. We’re on the cusp of it though.
The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays says the skinny water bite is smokin’ hot right now. They left them biting two days ago. Alan Okeefe absolutely killed it by using snappers for bait.They’ll be targeting this bite for as long as it lasts, but also looking to get back out in the ocean once the conditions calm down.
Bryce at Whitewater Outfitters in Hampton Bays reports:
There are a fair amount of bass around right now, predominantly in the inlet and bay. Guys using live bait and doing well. There aren’t a ton of bass reports coming from the open beach. The bay fluke bite has been very good. There are lots of keepers and lots of fish. There is a very good amount of triggerfish as well. Sea bass seem to be marching offshore a bit. If you can get to a wreck, you’ll probably find some really good fishing there. Weakfish have been chewing real well in the deeper peconic waters. There are rumors of weaks in skinny, deep water for the shorebound anglers, but no true confirmation on that. Albies have been sporadic at best. We’re waiting for a real good push of them to kickstart the fall action. There are some small bluefish around, plus bullet mackerel and shad that are creating some small blitzes, but nothing to write home about. Offshore has been a bit of a grind locally. There are fish in other areas, but it’s tough back home.
Montauk’s Viking Fleet found some good porgies and sea bass this weekend. Porgies were found in the shallower water by Block Island, and the deep drifts produced sea bass. A couple of cod and fluke came up this week as well. Sea bass were up-to-and-over four pounds, while porgies surpassed the 3-pound mark.
Chris Albronda gave me the goods on Montauk:
Striped bass fishing has picked up. Beautiful slot-sized fish have entered the fray. They have been chewing white bucktails with red trailers. Bottom fishing is better than ever. Jumbo sea bass are being caught on everything from bait to jigs. The porgy fishing has been good, with some really nice fish being taken from the jetty. The Miss Montauk has been on the fluke all week, so it’s definitely a great time to hop aboard. Offshore, the Mahi fishing has been phenomenal. They’re eating bait and artificial. The trick is to have lots of bait for chum, and to toss at them once they get going. Tuna fishing has been good, with yellowfin and bigeyes being landed. Chris is headed to the Florida Keys for two weeks, and will be posting about his adventures on his Instagram, @Montauk_Fishing.
Surf Guide Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball reports:
Dominic tackled a central north shore boulder field about a week ago to find redemption for a missed hit from a big bass a couple days prior. Nothing huge found him this night on the incoming tide, but he managed to catch a bunch of schoolie bass to keeper size on darters. He said the spearing were in thick, and there were schools of peanut bunker mulling around the rocks. There were no visible signs of predatory behavior from fish or birds. Bill hit the North Fork with guide Craig Cantelmo yesterday to keep a certain spot honest. Craig said the spot had been slow lately, and Bill found that out firsthand on this trip. There was a bit of spearing and squid, but most of the bait that had been there seems to have moved out.
Long Island Forecast
It is a sad day for the Long Island fishing community, as we lost a staple player, Fred Golofaro of The Fisherman Magazine. I did not know him personally. I did, however, read many of his articles and watch most of his fishing reports on YouTube over the years. The man was a fishing encyclopedia, with an endless supply of anecdotes and knowledge about our local waters. When it came to conservation issues, he was one to consider both sides of the aisle, offering a voice of reason that resounded much louder than the biased talking heads on either side. When he spoke or wrote, I took in all he had to say, and did my best to comprehend his perspective. I knew that I wanted to be able to think as rationally as he did, and be able to convey my messages as righteously. I did not know him, but I felt like I did, and he certainly influenced me greatly. Some years back, I realized that he is somebody I want to emulate. I’ll continue to strive for that, and I’ll always remember him fondly. Rest in peace Fred.
The forecast for this coming week gets me very excited. The sweep I dealt with last night was ridiculous. It’s not often I’ll throw over 1.5-ounce bucktails on the sand beaches, but yesterday definitely called for it. It had me down, as the night prior I was hooking into a bunch of weakfish on the beach (which is another event that seldom occurs for me). I couldn’t buy the bites again last night. I fret not, as the forecast shows some good offshore winds and some moderate swells. I read that as calm water on the beach that will clean up. It isn’t till next week we’ll see more longer-period east swells, which could result in tougher fishing, but also cleaner water.
This forecast just screams albacore to me. Being that we had almost no run last year, and the run thus far this year is sporadic at best, one should take my optimism with a grain of salt. I have albies on my mind though, and they’re not going anywhere.
The days the ocean is calm are the days I usually don’t run to the inlet or Montauk. I watch my local ocean water instead. I like to be on the beach early, as that’s when the early fall action typically climaxes. It sounds like Montauk is where it’s at right now, so I could definitely foresee a trip or two or three happening this week. But the bulk of my focus will be bound to the local suds.
I’m hearing of crazy offshore experiences occurring almost right on the beach this week. It’s not too insane by me, but the closer you get to Montauk, the better chance you have of seeing tuna within 100 yards of the beach, or shark blitzes, or whales breaching and dolphins as far as the eye can see. Before I finished typing that previous sentence, I convinced myself that I will be going east this weekend.
I think this week is going to be awesome. Make sure you get a piece.