Long Island Fishing Report
- Sea bass season is now open.
- Lots of good fishing in the ocean: fluke, stripers, sea bass, etc.
- Star gazers aplenty.
- Inshore tuna are showing.
- Big bass near the inlets.
Jerry Ruff of Fish Your Way reports:
Big bluefish were readily taking bunker chunks this week. While fishing right on the open beach near the jetty rocks, he tussled with some gator bluefish well into the teens. Long casts to the edge of the sand bar bought a bunch of bites. A bunch of bites brought a bunch of fish muggers right into his spot. Great action nonetheless! A few days later he hit the sand at Rockaway Beach with some more chunks. Danielle joined him for the fun, and she ended up pulling a big stingray into the beach. Not too long after, they were both fighting with some keeper striped bass.
The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:
Our first ocean fluke trip was excellent, with 70+ fish to 7 pounds. It was nonstop action all day with Capt. Willie. We’ve been pulling up some big, beautiful sea bass too, but haven’t been able to keep them. One small cod came up as well. As of today (Thursday), the sea bass season is open! We’re running sea bass specific trips to the ocean wrecks this weekend.
Point Lookout’s Superhawk reports: We’re now sailing daily in the ocean for sea bass, fluke, ling, porgies and more. Fluking has been great the past few trips, and the crowds have been light.
Josh at Gypsea Charters in Howard Beach reports:
“It was tough weather this past week, but we were still able to get out and make the best of it. We landed quite a few fish over 5 pounds ad had plenty of action with the shorts. Our first ocean trip was successful, with fluke to 6 pounds coming over the rail. We’ll be ocean fishing from here on out, as long as the weather allows.” Call/text 516-659-3814 for details.
Pat Goldsmith of Operation Reel Heroes in Huntington reports:
“We hosted 33 Wounded Warriors aboard a fleet of 24 volunteer recreational and charter vessels this weekend. The stiff southeast winds held the fleet back from its full potential, but a good number of boats were able to sneak outside to troll and chunk for bass up to 42 inches. Fishing was real solid until the water kicked up after the tide turned. The afternoon inshore bite was decent enough to keep the rods bent and put smiles on faces all around. Some captains decided fishing wasn’t enough and treated their warriors to lunch at some local restaurants. Summer and I are beyond grateful for all the Captains, mates and generous sponsors who helped make this dream a reality.” Check out the website at www.operationreelheroes.com
Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
“Man, what a spring we are having! Striper fishing is still going strong; the bays have fish all over the flats, and the open beaches are seeing absolute monsters come in. The full moon tide was very, very good to the hardcore guys that were out chasing those fish. Popping plugs, SP Minnows, bottle swimmers, and bucktails are the go-to lures. Fly guys are having luck with anything from small spearing and sand eel patterns, to big bunker and eel patterns, as well as poppers. Go with the natural colors during the day, and at night toss black, blurple, or black/red at them. I’m having my best luck really early in the morning on outgoing tides. Incoming seems to be more sporadic fishing. The blues are all done spawning, and they’re viciously hungry. Tackle busting 10 pound fish can still be found all over the bay and the inlet area.
Weakfish are still running the tides during the very early mornings and the evenings, in some really impressive numbers. Light tackle is the key to success for this species. Fish for them like a trout, after all, they are known as sea trout. They love bright colors like pink, chartreuse, and white. Fluke action is getting better every day. Some solid fluke are lurking in the flats and channels, as well as outside on structure. Bucktails tipped with a Fat Cow strip or a Gulp! of your choice will have the fluke attacking. All of the fun summertime clam eaters are here! Porgy, blowfish, kingfish! All you need is a few hi-lo rigs and enough clams to last all day! Bring a chum pot and you’ll be the king of the spot.
Lakeside, we have largemouth bass going mad for their favorite summertime lures. Lipless cranks, jigs, soft plastics, and jerkbaits are getting demolished by hungry bass fresh off their spawning beds. Topwater action during sunrise and sunset is phenomenal. Frogs and weightless swimbaits are killers! The yellow perch and sunfish are schooled up, which bring fun and joy to the young and young at heart! They love to hit small in-line spinners, Trout Magnet jigs, and the classic worm and bobber. Crappie are still chasing small jigs and bright colored flies. Pickerel are out roaming the lakes looking for a quick meal. They love swimbaits, chatterbaits, cranks and anything that’s shiny. Big presentations get the most attention. Trout action is great in the local rivers. Hit them in the early morning or at dusk for your best results. Sulphur hatches are still thick during the night, caddis are prevalent and they are smashing terrestrials. Carp are getting more active too, especially regarding surface eats. It’s so much fun to get one of these drag screamers on the end of your line. “
Captree’s Laura Lee picked an unusually high number of stargazers to start the week. The fluking was solid all week, with inconsistent numbers coming over the rail… good numbers no less. The beginning of this week was awesome on the fluke front. Striper fishing was similar to fluking, with some solid outings and some mediocre ones. Some of the striper trips were more like bluefish trips. One kingfish came up on Tuesday, but besides that, it was the usual suspects the rest of the week.
Dave Flanagan of “North Island Fly” in Northport reports:
“The wind kept me off the water from Friday til Monday. When I could get out, I found the fishing to be consistent. The back bay is holding all the stripers you could want, feeding primarily on sand eels. Bluefish of all sizes are in the boulder fields, and alongside them are schoolies and bass to 20 pounds. Sometimes a hooked bluefish will have a couple cow bass trailing it near the boat. We’ve been able to tease up some nice bass for the fly guys using spin gear. The water is in the low-mid 60’s, which is great. The new moon should bring some good fishing. If the water temps remain consistent, this great fishing should last into July.” Check out Dave’s website to book him for a charter at www.northislandfly.com.
Captain Stu Paterson of Northport Charters reports:
“The LI Sound is full of life this June! We have had striped bass to 25 pounds this week. There is an encouraging number of bass here this year. The porgy bite has also been consistent, with some solid fish up to 3 pounds. Keeper weakfish and cocktail blues were also coming over the rail recently.” Check out Stu’s website to book a trip: northportcharters.com.
The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson reports:
“We’ve been finding scup all day when we can get out. The US Luggage Company kept a bunch of porgies and released the rest on their productive trip yesterday. The Ward Melville Fishing Club did a number on the fish as well, picking lots of porgies, a small fluke and a nice striper before the day was out. Quite q few stripers have come up this week on the porgy rigs. A number of them were in the slot range.” Book today at www.celticquestfishing.com.
Chris Paparo of Fish Guy Photos has been keeping an eye on the Shinnecock area for all sorts of marine life. He says the triggerfish and banded rudderfish have moved in pretty thick, likely due to the prevalent east/southeast winds this month. The ocean temps are still cool, at 58-61 degrees. Life-wise, he’s only been seeing dolphins really; the whales and who-knows-what-else haven’t shown up yet. It has been a pretty slow spring in that regard.
The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays reports:
“Fluking in the bay has been excellent the past few days. There are quality fish feeding on grass shrimp and crabs. When the wind blew, we stayed in the bay and cleaned up on the flatties. We’ve been picking a bunch of weakfish too, with Rio’s being the biggest so far at six pounds. That fish took the spearing/fluke ribbon combo. We’re looking forward to getting in on some good sea bass action from here on out.” Call Capt. John for trip info and reservations: 631-728-4563.
Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:
“Striper fishing started out strong this weekend, with a bunch of slots coming up. Pool winners were 12 and 14 pounds. Porgies were pushing to over three pounds. Fluking was consistently solid. Local Seamus O’Reilly took the pool on Thursday with a 6.2 pound fluke. Porgy fishing started out slow after the weekend, but picked right back up on Tuesday. Fluke and porgies were decent starting out, but turned on big time at the end of the trip. Nice keepers were caught all around the boat.” Call the office to book at 631-668-5700, or book online at vikingfleet.com.
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Long Island Fishing Forecast
What a week! I’ve never seen such consistently clear water on Long Island. It’s been like an aquarium most of the week, especially when the sky is blue. When it’s gray, or covered in clouds, you just can’t see through it the same, but the clarity is still there. Monday was all-time.
John Gans hit me up at the end of the day Monday, saying it was one of his top three fishing days ever. The ocean was flat, the water was clear, and the stripers were there, so out came the fly rod. He and I were both presenting the same crab fly that day, just miles away from each other, and the fish were rarely refusing it. The best part is, it was pretty much all sight fishing.
If you have not sight fished the surf with a fly rod, you haven’t experienced one of the most challenging and most rewarding types of striper fishing that exists. With just an hour to wet a line that day, I picked 6 stripers. I’m not sure how long John targeted them, but he had about 25 bass and two of them were over the slot. He had a third large bass break off his fly. A day for the books! The following day I targeted the same bite with a 9 and 11 year old. This was their first time surf fishing. Unfortunately, we weren’t graced with the same clear sky, and visible stripers as the day prior. The boys did manage to pick a bass each before our hour was up though. I think I just nurtured two more surfcasting addicts. Nice.
I ended up fly fishing the surf whenever I had free time after that. Sessions were productive, and I even ended up picking a fluke on my Holy Moley crab fly yesterday at sunset (below).
5 stripers came to hand before the sun fell below the horizon. These are the best days. There are few people on the beach, and the fish are plentiful. I was able to get some drone footage of the action, as well as gopro content. Luckily I caught a fish while filming on that super clear day.
The water is beautiful, and so is the footage. I spent some time just observing from the sky as well that morning. Like I said, the fish are plentiful, and I’m pretty sure I saw some larger specimens cruising around on the sandbar. I’m thinking I’ll be spending pretty much all my time for the rest of the summer fishing the suds.
Bunker still hasn’t shown up in the great numbers I’m used to. We’re patiently waiting out here to see how many of them will show, and what predators will be trailing shortly behind.
On that note, though, there have been some interesting reports of cool sightings. My friend Stephen believes he saw a big thresher tail just outside the breakers, flitting this way and that as it swam parallel to the shore. My roommate came to me just a few minutes after seeing some crazy whitewater in the ocean. He said “four minutes ago, I was having a conversation and I glanced over at the ocean. There were fish being attacked by something moving extremely fast from left to right. I looked away for a minute, and the next time I looked out, the splashes were 200 yards to the west.”
To me, that sounds like tuna. Lord knows if it actually was, but it’s good to hear of SOMETHING wild and mysterious within sight of the beach. I am keeping my eyes peeled. No whales, plenty of dolphins, plenty of ospreys working the ocean, but that’s about it so far. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for those surf fly fishing videos from this week. The action was pretty sweet, and the drone shots are pretty darn cool. Hope you enjoy them.
‘Til next time, tight lines.