Long Island Fishing Report- May 5, 2022

The south shore surf yields quality striped bass, and fluke season is off to a steady start.

(Pictured above) Matt Magic using the force to summon sea bass.

Long Island Fishing Report

40+ pounders in the east end surf.
 
Big bluefish in the south shore bays.

Big porgies and weakfish inundate the north shore.

Captain Josh at Gypsea Charters in the Rockaways reports:

“Fluke fishing has been off to a good start considering the cold water temps. We opened the season with over thirty flatties hitting the deck, some of the fish reaching six pounds. Wednesday’s trip saw similar results, but today’s fishing was more of a grind. Some limits are being taken and things should only improve from here. We are sailing daily from 6am-3pm, and reservations are required.” Call/text 516-659-3814 for details.

The Gypsea crew saw some great fluke fishing after opening day on May 1.

Jerry Ruff of Fish Your Way targeted big stripers this week in the surf with bait and a fish finder rig. He used a 9/0 circle hook to catch, and spends time discussing the important difference between 2x and 3x hooks regarding bait fishing. Jerry was throwing big bunker chunks to get the bites just outside the city. A few days prior, he was tossing a sabiki rig from the beach hoping to catch herring. Almost right off the bat, he began catching shad. What he thought was a triple-header or even a striper was actually a couple monstrous hickory shad, some of the biggest he’s ever seen.

Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside reports:

Matt and Mike of “Beast” went out Sunday to target bass on the fly. They ran west to Raritan and found some by the lighthouse in 25 feet of water. Bass chewed on the moving tide, and stopped on the slack. At that point, Steve from 

“Total Chaos” called them in on a bite off Rockaway. They ran back east and started catching bass after bass from under the birds, right on the surface. It was mostly slots, with a few overs and under.

Lloyd Malsin got out last Thursday and had double limits of bass in crummy conditions. They tried for flounder, and only pulled up one keeper on mussels.


Lindenhurst Bait & Tackle reports:

The back bay bass bite is in full effect. More fish are showing daily, even with this cold weather we have been having. The north side of the bay has had the most action. A variety of artificials has been productive, from swim shads and bucktails to swimmers and poppers. A few regulars have been scoring slot fish with our shop’s quality sand worms. Stop by the shop and we shall gear you up with all you need to have an outstanding spring bite.

The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport saw some good fishing for golden tilefish at the Hudson canyon this week. Peter Guano made a cool video edit of the trip, that can be seen on the Capt. Lou Fleet’s Facebook page. Opening day of fluke season was great, consisting of perfect weather, and a decent bite of fluke with some nice keepers. Check out their Facebook page, or their website, to see the other cool trips they have in store, like whale watching and the Jones Beach Air Show featuring the Blue Angles of the US Navy. Book with them at their website: www.captloufleet.com.

Keeper fluke hit the deck on Captain Lou fleet this week.
A quality fluke came over the rail on the Capt. Lou earlier this week.

Point Lookout’s Superhawk opened the fluke season with a bang, catching a bunch of keepers to six pounds. The bite has been solid since, so reserve your spot today. Call today to make a reservation: 516-607-3004.

A quality fluke caught on the Superhawk this week.

Captree’s Laura Lee got on some great striper fishing to start the week, catching 103 bass and keeping a boat limit. Saturday’s AM trip saw 41 cod, 12 tog, 15 sea bass, two fluke, one flounder, and 55 dogfish. Saturday’s 6pm trip caught 22 bass and the 11pm trip caught 51 striped bass.

  • Sunday’s 7am trip caught 87 fluke to 3.5 pounds, six sea robins, and one dogfish. The 1pm trip caught 10 fluke to 4.11 pounds and one sea robin. The 6pm trip caught 21 stripers.
  • Tuesday’s 7am and 6pm trips both had 15 anglers. The morning trip caught 7 fluke, and the afternoon/evening trip caught 10 stripers.
  • Yesterday’s 6pm trip caught 15 stripers, 8 shad and two sea robins.

The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Jamesport hit the scup grounds this week for a consistent bite. On May 3, the weakfish showed up, and there are some big ones down there! Lou even called his shot, saying he’ll get the captain one in the next few drops… lo and behold Lou was hoisting a keeper squeteague a couple minutes later. Some Black Sea bass even came over the rail this week.

Dave Flanagan of North Island Fly in Northport says it’s lighting up! There is plenty of life in the harbors and back bays. A little sun goes a long way in the early season. There is spearing on the move, and grass shrimp all over the place. Some larger schoolies have been chewing, and some teen to 20+ pound bass are making the push towards Dave’s waters. Weakfish are already off to a good start also, and Dave plans on targeting them a bit more this coming week. The east wind this weekend might put a damper on the fishing plans, but next week looks good weather-wise… a perfect week to start up charter season. Dave’s booked all through June, but has good availability in July. He’s hoping to have another year of big bluefish all summer-long. Check out Dave’s website to book him for a charter at www.northislandfly.com.

Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport reports:

Mark’s been working the back bays lately, where there is a good amount of bunker and spearing. He suggests heading out around sunset these days, as the temperature is perfect around that time of day. It does get a bit cold after dark though. There’s been a good bite just off the beaches for those anglers targeting stripers, porgies and fluke. The Nissequogue has been putting up some decent fluke, even for surf anglers. Cow Harbor now teamed up with Lamiglas, as the east coast hub for their warranty, repairs and service. They’re stocked up with Ben Parker Magnum spoons, which have been deadly on big bass over the past few seasons.

The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays is catching lots of big porgies and weakfish, sometimes pulling up both species on one rig. There have even been some early fluke in the mix. Today’s trip will be targeting fluke for the second half of the outing. Call Capt. John for trip info and reservations: 631-728-4563.

The Hampton Lady of Hampton Bays reports:

Gene O. Caught the first keeper fluke of the 2022 season aboard The Hampton Lady on 5/1. They’re currently running the “heaviest keeper fluke contest,” which ends May 8 at 2pm. Winner takes home a free 2022 fluke fishing season pass. Jared Ali is the current leader, with a 2.5 pound fluke taken 2 days ago. There has been plenty of space onboard, so come on down!

Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball hit the Shirley area on Saturday morning. He found an endless sea of short stripers willing to take his light bucktails, 3/4 ounce and under. The water is cold so you have to scale down to fish slowly.

The next morning Bill was out east by 2am. He picked a 30-inch bass on a black/gold SS darter. He had a bunch more bass, but nothing larger than that. A cool sight was the two ospreys he saw, one carrying a bunker and the other a needlefish! Bill fished the Shirley area again on Monday night, for not a tap til midnight.

Timmy fished the Peconics this Sunday after targeting the Hudson all spring and catching nothing there. He picked a schoolie on his second cast under a bridge, on the bottom of the outgoing. That was the last fish on that tide. On the incoming, all he saw was a squid taken by another angler. At the next spot, he found some fish splashing on the surface. After testing out some lures, he managed to pick 5 bass to 28 inches on a tsunami shad fished slowly on the bottom. Subscribe today at www.longislandsurffishing.com.

Chris Albronda gave me the goods on Montauk:

Our first open boat trip was a great success on the fluke opener. We had five keepers for the day, and lost two very big fish under the boat. The big fluke are already here! We also played catch and release with two XXL sea bass. There were a bunch of short fluke in the mix, and one huge Boston mackerel.

The striped bass are here in small numbers, along with a handful of bluefish. So far, the season is off to a great start. Pay attention to our social media for updates, and hop aboard for an all day bottom fishing trip, sailing every weekend, plus Friday afternoons after 4.

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

Long Island Fishing Forecast

This week, It was my great privilege to get in on the best big bass bite I’ve ever seen.

In my time surfcasting, I’ve caught a number of thirty pounders, and one fish that was probably over 40. I’ve hooked and lost larger bass. On one occasion, I found a blitz that was all 25-35 pound stripers working a school of bunker. My friend Matt and I probably caught eight fish each from that school, before they escaped from the structure’s confines and ran offshore. That was the best fishing I’d ever experienced.

There are long-lasting sandeel bites, where you could conceivably pick a 20+ pound fish every morning and/or night for the whole month of October. Those bites are typically widespread, spanning many miles of beach. There’s no guarantee you’ll catch big fish every day, but the big fish tend to hold in an area that is sandeel-rich.

Everything above occurred within the past ten years. I can only imagine how awesome it was even earlier than that. I’ve read of big fish bites that would put this week to shame, and I’ve heard firsthand accounts of herring runs that produced 40 after 40. 

Then, of course, there’s the Cape Cod Canal squid/mackerel runs, the prespawn NYC bite, and the winter river bass; these bites produce huge fish that hold fast in a small area. If your goal is to catch a big striped bass, just fish one of these three scenarios and you are going to do it.

On the other hand, you could fish your whole life on the open beach and never see a big fish bite…. especially at this late-stage in the game, where the striper fishery is a pathetic shell of what it once was.

I hound the beach daily to make sure I don’t miss these bites. I obviously don’t catch them all, and I would definitely catch far FEWER great bites if I didn’t have a network of genuine die-hards. It often takes some from my friends to get the job done, and what goes around always comes around when you work with the right people.

The beaches were rampant with healthy stripers across Long Island this week.

Orson got us all started. What began as a 40+ pound tail-hooked bass turned into a number of fair-hooked 30- and 40- plus pounders by the time the moon began waxing. Orson had the lion’s share of these huge bass, and deserves a friggin’ medal or something for staying on them so well. He had a big bass almost every night and day while this bite lasted. Big ups Orson.

I awoke on Friday to a number of texts from the night owls, who had a night for the books. They caught slot fish all night long, and had plenty of overs. Multiple photos of 30s and 40s entered my inbox while I slept. When I awoke, the other half of the squad was out making reports. A 25 pounder hit the beach shortly after the sun came up. It seemed this bite would persist through the daytime.

My friend Orson and his friend, the striper. (Photo: EJ Shiga)

I had a full day of work Friday, but I needed to get in on this before it passed. Nothing ever lasts very long on the beaches, except maybe those sandeel bites. I halved my day, and headed to the beach for the incoming. Word had gotten out, and I shared the tide with about 8 anglers, most of them friends and acquaintances. It could’ve been way worse. Two or three guys had the sweetspot in the right rip, and were bailing fish after fish. I saw a couple of twenties come up in that time. Then one guy switches up his jig, and ties on the smallest rubber shad I’ve ever seen used in the surf. Moments after he casted it, the surface erupted and he ended up fighting a beast to the bank. From about 50 feet away, I figured that fish was at least 35 pounds, possibly pushing over 40. 

I ended up picking a high teen fish shortly after that on a rubber shad. It was my only fish of the day, and I was stoked to finally be on the board.

I planned my work schedule around this tide for the next few days. When the weekend ended, so did the “crowd.” My friend EJ hit me up one afternoon and told me he had gotten a couple slot fish. The action had slowed considerably by this point. It seemed the primary body of large bass had possibly moved off. The nighttime numbers of large catches were dwindling, and the daytime was beginning to produce mostly schoolies. I rolled up on this day, and EJ and I had the sweetspot to ourselves. 

Remembering the huge fish on a small shad from a few days prior, I clipped on my smallest rubber shad, probably 4 inches. My first cast landed on the upsweep side of the rip. I probably didn’t take three cranks before my 7’ rod bent to the cork. Despite my 10-pound braid and 15-pound leader, I got the fish in quickly. I hoisted it for a pic and then revived it underwater. “That may be my biggest fish of the year,” I thought. Again, the state of the fishery today doesn’t guarantee any big bass will swim by my beaches. I can only hope they will.

It seems that bite is done. It’s felt a bit like limbo ever since, with nothing serious going on anywhere near me. I’m picking at least a fish a day still, but the action is slow. The water is pretty cold, and the fish are only taking my lure if I barely retrieve it. It ain’t easy, but it’s honest work.

Evidence of a crab hatch on the flats.

With some hot days on the horizon, I’m expecting this limbo to lift and the fishing to blow wide open. I know some gator blues are getting caught, although I don’t think we’ve seen the end of them. It’s early for blues, and I expect a huge army of them to show up either this week or next week. Tiderunner weakfish should continue to bite in the bays, especially on those bigger moon tides. We just came off the new moon, and are about five days into it. This next week will be pretty chill tide-wise, which bodes well for lighter tackle. However, play your hand carefully. There are definitely some huge fish around right now, against which your light tackle will likely lose. If you’re fishing at night, you should opt for the bigger guns. If you’re in a big fish spot, don’t use small-fish gear. Your future self will be much happier if you heed that advice.

Another thing to consider is the fluke. I picked a keeper in the surf the other day. I was NOT expecting that. I am expecting there to be some in the bays now that are more willing to bite for the shorebound anglers. If that’s your cup of tea, it might be time to sip.

Whatever you’re after, I wish you luck! 

‘Til next week.

5 on “Long Island Fishing Report- May 5, 2022

  1. Richard

    Hi. I regularly read your posts, but rarely ever see anything about reports abou the Sound up from the Whitestone Bridge through the Bronx, Pelham, New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye and up into lower Connecticut. Why?

    1. luke

      Agreed- would love to see some more from OTW on western sound action!

  2. SJS

    Fisherman who pose to take pictures with their hand in the fishes gills, or holding fish tight by their stomachs, should take note of the photo three up, and the right way to do it.

    1. px

      Your saying you want people to hold a fluke by putting their fingers in its mouth then holding it by the tail? Fluke have teeth not very smart…

  3. peter okeefe

    above posts have to with telling others how to behave?? some cant help themselves…thanx for the report

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