Long Island Fishing Report- May 19, 2022

Gator blues and big weakfish keep things interesting during a week of tough fluke fishing.

(Above) When Bill Falco isn’t in the shop, he’s on the water chasing stripes (@chasingtailsbait).

Long Island Fishing Report

Gator blues take over the south shore, attacking squid, bunker and porgies.
Late night moon tides produce big bass for surfcasters.
Tough fluke fishing, but some double digits in the mix.
Big weakfish coming up regularly for porgy and fluke fishermen.

Josh at Gypsea Charters in Howard Beach reports:
“Fluke fishing has been a bit of a grind. We have to work hard for every keeper we get. Most trips see about 15 fish hit the deck, with the size improving ever since the full moon. Big congratulations to Jamaal H., who nailed a 10 pound, 1 ounce doormat fluke this week. We’ve also been seeing a good number of quality weakfish come over the rail. We’re sailing daily at 6am, with reservations a must.” Call/text 516-659-3814 for details.

Jamaal H. joined the 10-pound fluke club on the Gypsea this week. Congrats Jamaal! (@gypseacharters)

Jerry Ruff of Fish Your Way reports:

The daytime bite has consisted of primarily smaller bass working around Rockaway and Breezy beaches. You’ll reel in the occasional keeper, but night time’s the night time if you want to specifically target larger stripers. Check Breezy and Jamaica Bay for your best shot. Jerry’s been soaking bait for some big girls, including the biggest bass he’s seen in over five years. Lord knows what the giant weighed; Jerry said it could’ve been anywhere from 40-60 pounds, but he never found out because he wanted to ensure a quick and safe release. My man.

Jerry worked plugs, and paid close attention to other anglers who did the same. He said the biggest bass he or any plug caster caught was about 30 inches. He’s seen some slot bass pulled from around the bridges, and there has been some decent action over at Jones Beach. Daytime fishing hasn’t produced much in the Jones area, but guys are picking bass and the occasional bluefish. The bluefish bites are quick and fast, occurring in the inlet and on the beach. Jerry expects the fishing to burst open in that area very soon.

Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside reports: Jerry, Mike and Jordan got out on Saturday to fish 16-20 feet of water for fluke. They caught six fish to 3.8 pounds, with a bonus pufferfish coming to hand as well. Pink shine Gulp was the key to unlocking this bite near the Long Beach school.

Point Lookout’s Superhawk says the weather is looking great this week, and they’ll be sailing every day. The last few trips have seen nice catches of fluke, with fish up to 6 pounds 4 ounces. This time of year, the fishing is great in the bay, and light tackle is the ticket to good numbers. Call today to make a reservation: 516-607-3004.

The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport is running back to the canyon this weekend on Saturday May 21. Last trip on 5/14 was very productive. Sizes varied from five pounds to 22 pounds, and many onboard obtained their limit or came very close to it. Angler of the trip was Jack Devoe, who was first out of the gate in the morning and never looked back. Jack went to the jig early on and found his rhythm. He caught most of his limit on the jig with a twist. 

Caught aboard the Captain Lou Fleet during this week’s outing.

Radar officer Peter Undy Lauda came on strong in the 2nd half after giving everyone a lil’ cushion to start with. Alexis Lemus dug deep and took out his limit of Golden Tilefish as did others. Sunday we’ll run a 3/4 day fluke trip in the shallower back waters. Bucktails and gulp should do the trick, so bring plenty. Whale watching trips are going down this Sunday, so sign up through our website. Book with them at their website: www.captloufleet.com.

Captree’s Laura Lee cancelled the morning trips today because of the rain. Yesterday’s 7am trip had 11 anglers who caught 30 fluke and 3 sea robins. The 1pm trip caught 23 fluke. Our 6am trip ran offshore to catch 28 cod, 4 giant flounder, a 25 pound striper, 78 ling, 37 dogfish, 90 sea bass, 4 tog, 3 ocean pout and 4 cunner. What a bag! The 6pm trip caught 13 stripers, 3 blues, 1 squid and a dogfish. Tuesday’s fishing was pretty much on par with that: 30 fluke were caught each trip, with a few sea robins to boot. The 6pm trip caught six bass and one bluefish. Night fishing over the weekend was solid. Saturday night produced 78 stripers to 37 inches. They were just shy of a full boat limit. The next night they had 13 keeper bass and one bluefish.

Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:

What a week of fishing! Spring is finally here! This week we saw a tremendous influx of big bluefish. It’s gator season and boy are they hungry! Big ol’ blues over 30 inches long are terrorizing bunker pods, and local anglers are having a blast with them. A buddy had two hit the lure at the same time, they ran different directions and had the plug explode! These fish are charged up! Poppers, pencils, and top water flies are the go-to for non-stop action. 

Bass action is still off the charts with a solid body of fish roaming around. They’re eating everything from cinder worms to bunker. Throw poppers and pencils when they’re on top, an SP Minnow or a rubber shad when they’re under the surface, and a bucktail tipped with a Fat Cow strip or a Gulp! of your choice when they’re stuck to the bottom. I had bass every morning this week on the flats, smashing popping plugs and surface flies with ferocity. 

Fluke fishing is going very well for the folks that are targeting them. It seems like limits are easy to obtain, and the fish are large! We are getting reports that bucktails are the way to go currently, and they’re all over the bright colors like pink, orange, and chartreuse. Weakfish action is still going well, though the initial run of huge fish seems to have gone. Keeper fish are easily obtainable; use light tackle and some finesse when going after these tide runners.

Freshwater action is consistent all around. The bluegill and yellow perch are schooled up in numbers and feeding heavily. They’re a blast on ultralight tackle. Pickerel are out and about, stalking banks for a quick perch or bluegill meal. They’re gonna smash up swimbaits, jerkbaits, crankbaits, and anything else getting their attention. Bass season is still closed since it’s spawning time, so leave them alone when you see them on their beds. Trout fishing is incredible. The bugs are finally coming off and hatches are around in numbers. Early morning sessions have been the best for the dry fly action. They’ll take nymphs once it gets later in the day. On conventional gear, they’re all over the Trout Magnets and in-line spinners. 

The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Jamesport is out in the rain right now crushing fish! There’s scup aplenty and buckets are being filled quickly. There are even some good-sized weakfish in the mix. The story’s been mostly the same all week, with a couple bass coming over the rail, and even a kingfish to mix up the catch. The bite in peconic bay has been great.

Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport reports:

The full moon that just passed produced some awesome fishing this week. Weakfishing was amazing, plus porgies and fluke moved into the beach. Hudson River stripers moved into our area in huge numbers. They’ve been setting up in deeper waters, and are totally stacked up. Gas prices are messing with everyone. Mark recommends following reports to conserve gas. Look back at Cow Harbor’s reports from years past for a good idea of where you should place yourself at certain times of the season. Lots of Dead Sea robins were left on the beach this week by irresponsible anglers. Each fish is important in the ecosystem, so treat these and all creatures with some respect. Do not be wasteful.

There’s a ton of bait around for all these local fish to feed on. Cinder worm hatches went down right after the moon. Grass shrimp and spearing are everywhere, and killies round out the menu. Adult bunker moved into bay and there are scattered schools of tiny peanut bunker here and there.

Surfcasting guide Bernie Bass had a consistent bite in the surf this week. He didn’t find any big girls despite the moon tides, but he’s always happy catching stripers no matter the size. He also just got over the flu, so nothing better than getting out doing what you love. Mag darters were plucking fish from the rocks at night, and chartreuse bucktails helped pull some shorts from the beach.

The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays reports: Fluke, big weakfish and porgies have been chewing inside the bay this week. Call Capt. John for trip info and reservations: 631-728-4563.

Quality fluke hit the deck aboard the Shinnecock Star.

Chris Albronda gave me the goods on Montauk:

The fishing is picking up out here. We have striped bass, bluefish, cod, fluke and porgies to target. Stripers have been in the rips, on the south side, and in close to the beach. Bluefish are often in the mix. The fluke fishing has been a grind. If you want a limit, you’re gonna have to put in some work. Fresh L&L spearing has been the ticket for Chris.

Cristina Dacosta with her first keeper bass this year.

Out in the deeper water you’ll find codfish and bigger fluke. Check out Chris’ open boat schedule on instagram (@montauk_fishing). If anyone is looking for a deckhand position this summer, reach out to Chris.

Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:

Capt. Dave took the Starlite out to battle a strong moon tide on Saturday. They were able to put together a nice pick of porgies, keeper fluke and weakfish. The pool went to Jorge Davila from NJ, who had a 2.4 porgy. Dave ran another trip Sunday with similar tidal conditions. There was a nice mix of medium-large porgies, and one weakfish came up. The fish seem to be moving closer to land. Roland Dabalos and Elmer Lumapas from Baltimore won the pool with their 2.5 pound porgies. Call the office to book at 631-668-5700, or book online at vikingfleet.com.

Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball took a hard skunk two nights ago in the Mecca. He and Jesse ran all over the point, and even headed west a bit for nothing other than a hit by the light. No bait was present.

On Friday, Bill took Pete K. to the Shirley area for some open beach and back bay fishing. Two bass and a bluefish came on a pencil in the bay. Around sunset they picked a few blues on an sp minnow; word is the bluefish were in tight to the beach all day. At 2am that night, Bill and Andrew commenced another hunt. They stayed close to the light and found fish immediately on SS darters. The guys picked about a dozen fish to the low teens. The bite quit around 4am.

Rob and Jon fished two nights ago in the western north shore region. They hit the upper half of the incoming, and Rob hooked into a solid fish at about 10:15. The fish came off, and that was their last interaction for the night. They heard bunker slapping all night. Two nights prior, Rob took a skunk but observed two 32 inch stripers get caught on bloodworms. Subscribe today at www.longislandsurffishing.com.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain on Long Island

Long Island Fishing Forecast

The epic spring continues. I started my week with about a dozen keeper backbay bass around midnight. The next night I nearly took a skunk, but Stephen proved the fish were still there by throwing big lures and catching fish way bigger than the ones I landed the night prior. The same nights, some of my other friends were just a stone’s throw away, putting 30+ pounders on the bank. EJ Shiga has been on fire this spring; I’m certain he’s completely forgotten what a small striped bass looks like. 

Exhibit A of EJ’s inability to catch small stripers.
Stephen with a nice fish from our outing this week.

A couple long work days ensued, and one forced me to completely miss a day of fishing. No matter, as the reports I’ve been eagerly awaiting finally materialized during my short hiatus: the demons have arrived. I’ve been scouring the flats daily, looking for the telltale tails that would motor my line out until my arms feel like jello. My friend Matt gave me the heads up after he saw a huge mass of bluefish push bunker right up against a pound trap; the blues began massacring the baitfish after pinning them against this obstruction. I showed up with my fly rod shortly thereafter, unable to reach them. Often, when you hook a blue, a group of  blues will follow the hooked fish, trying to steal the “food” (your lure) out of its mouth. So when Matt would hook a blue, I’d obnoxiously launch my fly towards his opponent, hoping that another would be right there to intercept it. No such luck.

I got my redemption later in the day, when my first cast at a different spot yielded a low-teen bluefish. I was fishing a Yo-Zuri spook with the belly treble removed. That way I didn’t need any lippers. I lift the fish out of the water and grab onto the big plug, just a couple inches from those scary teeth. If the fish’s tail is out of the water, though, it can’t propel itself upwards towards your hand, so you’re safe. I unhooked it quickly and sent it swimming. What a way to start. I caught a shorter one next, and then lost an even larger one after that. Since then, I’ve been focusing my effort on filming them with the drone. I got some cool friggin shots; wait til you see them. I’ll be going for more footage today and tomorow.

After acquiring sufficient footage, I focused on the fish. The sun had set, and I knew where this huge school of blues was. I ripped a cast out to them, and had a follower in moments. A few boils later and I was in. It was a tough fight, so I figured it was a very big blue. Turns out this hard pull was coming from a slot striper who had luckily come tight on my one and only treble. With my drone still in the air, I got a cool release video that I just posted on instagram. I’ll post some of that bluefish footage on youtube soon, along with some pretty awesome fly fishing footage. Stay tuned!

It’s hard to imagine that the fishing is going to lose any momentum…especially with the bluefish in town. Even if the big bass move elsewhere, the big blues are going to keep me very satisfied for some time to come.

I remember last year I got into this awesome night bite of big bluefish with Stephen. I figured it was May, but when we went to the tapes, it turned out the bite was actually in mid-June. So don’t expect them to head out too soon!

I’m worried the weakfish bite is going to cease for the shorebound after these moon tides subside. Tonight might be the last night a unicorn remains a possibility. So make sure you get out there and carpe diem.

Throw big lures this time of year, catch big fish. Tight lines!

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