(Above) The Gypsea’s Jess Rogers with a doormat nearing ten pounds.
Long Island Fishing Report
- Surf and bay are producing huge bass for surfcasters. North shore chunk bite is stellar.
- Gator blues continue to ravage the flats. Medium blues to 12 pounds are biting in the surf.
- Weakfish bite remains solid.
- Fluke fishing remains tough, but solid. Double digit fish still in the mix.
The blues have mostly moved on. But, earlier this week, Kevin Unrein of Smithtown caught his biggest ever bluefish in a bay on the North Shore.
Josh at Gypsea Charters in Howard Beach reports:
It was another week of grinding for the flatties. Those who remain at the rail have been rewarded with quality keepers each trip. The short life has improved immensely, keeping everyone entertained throughout the trips. Gypsea Jess had the biggest fish of the week. We didn’t get an official weight, but this mama had to be near double digits. We’re sailing daily at 6am out of Queens, with reservations a must. Call or text 516-659-3814 for details.
Paul at River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin reports:
Lots of bluefish have already moved out of local waters. The water is still a bit cold too, and there’s not a tremendous amount of bait. Dennis has been plugging the south banks regularly at sunrise, and doing well. He likes a high, dropping tide. He reckons the bite should be good this week as long as the wind stays down. Paul’s been checking on the Jones Beach area a bit… no fish for him but it’s important to keep tabs. Some guys at the inlet were catching both bass and blues. Word is that the bite out east has been awesome. On the freshwater side, the ponds are coming alive. When the weather’s decent, the bite tends to be as well. Bluegill fishing should be good. They’re hanging shallow.
Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside reports: Lloyd Malsin of “Nansea II” caught and released a bunch of cod last Thursday on local, small pieces of bottom. Constant action kept the crew entertained, and 5 keepers came home with them. We also had a couple of nice fluke on hard structure.
Lindenhurst Bait & Tackle reports: A nice mixed bag came in over the past week, with a variety of anglers bringing in a variety of species to weigh at the shop. Multiple keeper fluke, plus an upper-slot striper and a tide runner weakfish were some of the specimens we saw.
The Capt. Lou Fleet in Freeport is running a whale watching trip this Monday, but also have weekend trips available. The Jones Beach Air Show is this weekend from 11-3:30 on the 28 and 29. We’ll be sailing to watch them from the water! Book now at their website: www.captloufleet.com.
The Atlantic Pearl sailed offshore to target golden tilefish this week, with limits being acquired all around the boat. Capt. Willie took a bunch of anglers out on Saturday and got on lots of short fluke. Some beautiful keepers came up as well, including Dizz Costa’s 6 pound pool winner, and his son’s near-6 which took second place.
Point Lookout’s Superhawk says light tackle is bringing in a ton of fluke off the bottom in the bay this week. The last few trips have seen some really nice ones come out of “jumbo alley.” They are sailing every day to target them.
Call today to make a reservation: 516-607-3004.
Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport reports:
This is one of the best springs Mark’s seen in a long time. There’s a lot of trolling going on, scooping up big bass. Guys are jigging and chunking as well.
Be careful on the water this MDW. The fishing is red hot and there will be a ton of boat traffic.
Chunks are pulling up a lot of big bass from the beach. Weakfish and fluke are a regular catch this past week as well. Fluking is red hot, as is scup fishing. There are some beautiful sea bass in the mix. Mark emphasizes taking care of these big striped bass. If you need a picture, be prepared to get it before you catch the fish. Get your picture quickly and get the fish back in the water. We have to make sure these big fish survive to spawn once again, and then again and again.
There was a huge cinder worm hatch this week. The squid run is thinning out, so fish are transitioning to sand eels. There is big bunker everywhere as well. When the stripers find your lure, they are going to hit it hard.
The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson is going to bring back their “kids fishing fun days” for the 2022 season. They’re for kids from 4-8th grade. Check out details on their website, www.celticquestfishing.com. The scup bite this week remained awesome, with many bucket fulls going home. Some nice weakfish, bluefish and stripers were caught as well. The Port Jefferson Middle School fishing club got out this week and did a number on the porgies. They ended up reeling in some huge scup!
Surfcasting guide Bernie Bass found a consistent bass bite this week. He was finding stripers out front in the surf, and bluefish pretty much everywhere. Bluefish were demolishing topwater presentations… one of them cut a plastic plug of his in half! Good times.
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
“Bluefish have rolled into the bay in big numbers to do their thing, and anglers are taking full advantage. Schools of tailing bluefish are crushing everything in their path. They are all over topwater poppers and pencils, inhaling spoons, destroying swimbaits, and ripping bucktails apart. Bass action remains pretty consistent even though the blues moved in so heavily. They’re on the flats chomping up poppers, shallow swimmers and bucktails. Lots of schoolies and plenty of chubby slot fish around. From Manhattan to Montauk, it seems like the bass are sticking around for a while!
Speaking of Montauk, I took a trip out there to fish with a buddy for stripers. We found a ton of schoolie to low slot sized bass crushing bait in shallow water about two rod lengths away from us. We tossed a number of flies at them until we started to connect, then it was one after another until the tide slacked out.
Fluke fishing is pretty great right now too. Bucktail rigs are the way to go currently, and they’re all over the bright colors like pink, orange, and chartreuse. Add a Fat Cow strip or a Gulp! for extra color, scent, and action. Some jumbo flatties are coming up over the rails. Weakfish action is still non-stop when you get on them. Use light tackle and some finesse when going after these tide runners. Get out there early for the best luck.
In the sweetwater, the bluegill and yellow perch are schooled up in large numbers and actively feeding. On ultralight gear, they’re so much fun. Pickerel are out and about, stalking the banks for a perch or bluegill. They will crush swimbaits, jerkbaits, crankbaits, and anything else getting in their way. Bass season is still closed since it’s their time for spawning, so please leave them alone when you see them on their beds. The season opens up next month. Trout fishing is beyond great. The hatches are consistent. Early morning and evening sessions have been the best for the dry fly action. They’ll take nymphs once it gets later in the day. On conventional gear, Trout Magnets and in-line spinners will do the job.”
Captree’s Laura Lee got out almost every day this week. They began on Friday, which yielded good fluke in the AM and PM. 3 bass and 3 blues were caught on the 7pm trip, but the 11pm trip caught 38 stripers to 37 inches. They kept 22.
The fluking was even better on Saturday, with over 100 caught during the day. Striped bass fishing slowed down this night, but they managed to pick up a weakfish and a couple blues.
Sunday’s fluking was solid, with about 80 caught by the end of the day.
The bluefishing on Monday was pretty epic, with 42 gators being boated for a full boat limit. Four stripers were taken, to 30 inches.
The fluking action was solid during the day. One sundial was caught on Tuesday, among others. Yesterday’s 6am marathon trip had 19 anglers. They caught 375 big red hake, 3 cod, 190 sea bass, 7 dogfish, 3 cunner, 6 ocean pout, 1 tog, 1 mackerel and 3 silver eels. The 7am trip caught 35 fluke, 3 ea robins and a dogfish. 31 more fluke were caught on the 1pm trip. The 6pm trip caught 5 bass, 6 blues, 1 weakfish and 2 sea robins.
The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays reports:
The fishing’s been consistent all week, with a good bite of fluke, weakfish and lots of porgies. Richie pulled up a keeper fluke on his first drop, then proceeded to get a nice hat trick of fluke, scup and weakfish. The day prior saw three of those hat tricks caught. There was even a weakfish blitz going on. Call Capt. John for trip info and reservations: 631-728-4563.
Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:
We had a tough time finding the scup for Friday, but we motored around until we did. Once we got on ‘em, it was red hot and everyone filled buckets. The porgy action was solid the next day too, until we hit slack tide. At that moment, bluefish raided the area. We had about 20 blues from 5 to 8 pounds. A father and son won the pools today, with 9 year old Oscar Luna taking 1st with a 2.8 pound porgy. His pops won the edible pool with a 7 pound 15 ounce bluefish. Sunday went similarly, with scup until the blues showed. The blues were a bit bigger on Sunday though. The edible pool went to Dalton Johnson of Amityville., who caught a nearly 12 pound bluefish. Victor Ramanand from Baldwin won the porgy pool with a 2 pound, 12 ounce fish. Call the office to book at 631-668-5700, or book online at vikingfleet.com.
Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball fished Montauk on Friday with Bobby M. They targeted both the north and south side, skunking at both, and finally got into fish back on their second stint on the north side. As soon as they found them, the skies opened up and turned electric. Fast forward to 10:30pm on Saturday night. Jack G and Rob would join Bill til 3:30am. Some big blues welcomed them to the north side, whacking their gold SS darters. There was a ton of weed up there, and it was unmanageable at points. We picked one more short bass before the night was through. On Monday evening, David K met up with Bill on the north side. They picked a quick blue on a pencil, and then headed to the south side rocks. Two big blues took Bill’s plug before sunset, on black/gold SS darters. They ran to the north side after dark for a good pick of bass willing to eat anything fishy. The bass were just short and slot-sized. Tom P. was fishing the same region the same night, and found a ton of bluefish to keep him entertained until his arms got tired. Tom has been hitting the sand beaches too, for not a lot. Most of the bass he did find were under 24 inches. Rob hit the Jones Beach area on Tuesday for a couple hours midday with Jon. The tide was around low slack. The guys hit 7 blues from 5-10 pounds on tins. He hooked a shad too, and the poor fish got ransacked by a bluefish before Rob could bring it to hand… chopped its tail right off! Subscribe today at www.longislandsurffishing.com.
Dave Flanagan of North Island Fly in Northport reports:
What an amazing week of fishing. This whole spring has been one to remember and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down, right into summer. The back bays and shallow waters of the sound have been teaming with bass and bluefish. Most of the bass have been in the 28-35 inch range with some larger ones up to 20 pounds lurking, but the smaller fish are way more aggressive and have been making their way to our offerings first. I’ve been throwing big bunker patterns to entice these fish to eat.
Working intermediate lines and letting the fly get down into the zone and then retrieving quickly has been key. On the overcast days, nothing beats a Bobs Banger. Given the great midday low tides of last week and some sun, we were able to do some sight fishing for Stripers and bluefish up to 12 pounds! I noticed the first real presence of sand eels in my area this week and there are a lot of them. This should make for some great fishing, particularly on the flats up here. The deeper waters of the sound are full of big bass on bunker pods and giant bluefish getting ready to spawn. It’s hard to choose between skinny water and deep water fishing, but that’s a good thing! I look forward to seeing what the month of June will bring. I still have dates open for July if anyone is looking to get out before I fill up.
Chris Albronda gave me the goods on Montauk:
“Striped bass fishing has really turned on. In the surf and by boat, there are fish up to 43 inches being caught. Alongside them are chopper bluefish. There is some great shad fishing to be found at sunset if you whip out the light tackle.
All the fluke coming over the rail on the Miss Montauk have been decent. There are plenty of large fish and limits to be taken. Plus, there is a lot of bycatch jumbo sea bass, which makes for a fun, consistent bend. We’re planning on open boat trips all season, and we have two spots available this Saturday.”
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Long Island Fishing Forecast
The spring to remember continues! I’ve been lamenting all week about how my work sitch always hits the fan this week. A decade of the same story has convinced me that it’s the worst week of the year to NOT fish. Big bass abound at the end of May, and I swear there’s always fifties caught in the surf this week. In fact, a good friend caught a 50+ inch bass just the other night. However, I’m stuck doing 12-14 hour days of manual labor.
Such is life. One of these seasons, I’ll get mine. I’ll spare you any whining in the meantime. Life is good.
When I do get out, bluefish are the obvious choice for an almost guaranteed bend. They have totally saturated east end waters. They’re not everywhere, but if you find one, there are probably a few hundred with it. Topwater seems to be a foolproof method to reveal their presence.
I targeted bluefish six days this week. They were there every time I was, except for one. On the higher tides, they’d be cruising right in close to the bank. On the lower half of the tides, they’d be out farther in deeper water. Check out this video of a bluefish daisy chain from the other day… it helps clarify how bluefish and stripers might relate to a specific type of structure:
The tide was almost halfway out there.
I put some blues on the spin rod, on the 9 weight fly rod, and a few on the two-handed fly rod. Gotta say, the two handed fly rod was the best. That 10-weight lays the smackdown on even the largest gators. Unfortunately, things got crazy and I lost my expensive skagit head. A knot in my running line was exploited by a mid-teen bluefish, and I watched it swim off with about 50 feet of line trailing behind. Sarah McLachlan played in my head as the line swam off. Vaya con dios.
Funny enough, my deliberate focus on bluefish tended to yield striped bass quite regularly. Twice a striper was the first fish to take; and on the day there were no blues, or seemingly any life, I managed to hook a small bass. What a treat, on topwater no less.
Different sections of beach have been producing differently this week. By me, the beaches seem barren at most times of the day. The morning has been producing some fish. Out east and out west, there’s a variety of situations. It’s mostly mid-size blues from 6-12 pounds… but if you search, you might find some 15 pound gator blues and some 40+ inch bass cruising slowly behind them, picking up their scraps.
The bays have been spectacular. In my mind, you have to pick your spot correctly. I spent way too much time this week focusing on spots and tides that were not a sure thing. Nothing wrong with that… I got to see some beautiful sunsets, and soak in some serious tranquility. Meanwhile, my friends are putting in hours here and there, picking big bass on the reg. The amount of big stripers these guys have been catching is absolutely staggering. I have never seen such consistency in big fish landings. I did not think it was even possible for a surfman in this day and age. These guys have been doing this a long time though, and they are truly dedicated to the hunt for large. Big ups fellas.
So, my plan this week is to bug their cars and follow them. If that fails, I will have to photoshop my face on their bodies while they hoist their 40s and 50s. Work smarter, not harder.
Kidding aside, all I can say is get the heck out there for these coming moon tides. We’re in the thick of it right now, and the absolute best fishing of the year will occur in the next 6 days.
Godspeed to all of you. Put in the work!