Long Island Fishing Report- July 21, 2022

A great fluke bite and a pick of steady summer stripers island-wide makes for happy anglers amid reports of rampant sharks.

Long Island Fishing Report

  • Great White Sharks are hunting near the beach alongside big bluefin tuna.
  • Bunker schools are holding a variety of species, including a bunch of giant cobia and a few species of sharks. Big bass and bluefish are available.
  • Great fluke bite this week.
  • Big bass seem to be everywhere, but there’s a particularly good bite in Montauk.

Rockfish Charters in Brooklyn reports:

“Striped bass fishing has been great this summer! We’ve been catching quite a few very large ones lately. It’s been as good as it gets. We are live lining a ton, and catching a ton of fish. This approach should remain productive throughout the entire summer. There are plenty of blues and fluke in the area too, so we tend to mix up the bag once we get our fill of bass fishing.”

Rockfish Charters in Brooklyn continues to put their clients on mondo stripers within sight of the city, like this one. (@rockfishcharters)

Josh at Gypsea Charters in Howard Beach reports:

“We experienced excellent fluke fishing this past week, with very good action on most trips! Shorts and keepers alike were flying over the rail one after the other. We saw many limits taken, with fish weighing up to 8 pounds. The fishing should remain impressive for the rest of the summer, so get out on our boat and beat the heat! We’re sailing daily at 6 a.m. from Howard Beach, Queens. Reservations are a must.” Call/text 516-659-3814 for details.

The Gypsea has been on the meat, with nice fluke like these coming over the rail regularly.  

Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside reports:

Two monster cobia were brought in by Ian Glennen and Ronnie Rusnak. They caught these fish in from the bunker schools. They weighed 70 and 65 pounds. Eileen B and Frank S of Krabby Pattie II caught a nearly 7 pound stargazer in Debs by Silver Point with a 4 inch Gulp mullet on the outgoing tide.

The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:

We are choosing our plays this week based on the wind, and yesterday we made the right moves. The morning bite was tough, but the afternoon produced some very good results on the fluke front. Sea bass fishing has also been productive. Any questions, give Captain Willie a call at 631-830-5251.

Captree’s Laura Lee reports:

“The fishing this weekend was crazy, with huge numbers of sea bass and porgies coming over the rail. A cobia came up on Friday, and lots of fluke to about 6 pounds were caught. Solid fishing persisted throughout the weekend. Significantly fewer sea bass and porgies were caught this week, although they still put forth a strong showing. A big cow nose ray came up on Wednesdays dn an unidentified ray weighing about 80 pounds came up on Tuesday. If I’m not mistaken, a single striped bass was caught this week, on Tuesday. Today’s 7 a.m. trip caught 93 fluke, 247 sea bass, 43 porgies, 3 ling and 67 sea robins.”

Capt. Dave Flanagan of “North Island Fly” in Northport reports:

“This week we had all sorts of action. The harbors and back bays are loaded with fry, from spearing to tiny peanut bunker, and everything in between. Sight fishing is still producing some fish; they seem to be targeting shrimps and crabs now, but there are still some sandeels perusing the shallows. We even put the spey rod to work this week, swinging flies on the moving tides; it was a fun method for targeting these summertime schoolies.

On the cloudy days, we’ve been finding bass blitzes on the reefs and ledges, marking fish all the way down and picking them on Hogy epoxy jigs. The bluefish continue to find bait out in the middle, creating some awesome blitzes. Usually they are puking up bunker, but today a few of them spit up tinker mackerel. Dave haven’t seen mackerel in some time! Lord knows what’s in store the next few weeks.” Check out Dave’s website to book him for a charter at www.northislandfly.com.

The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson reports:

“Porgy fishing remains very good on the north shore, with some very nice sea bass coming up as well. Even some fluke mixed up the catch. They’re all chewing heavily on clams.” Book today at www.celticquestfishing.com.

Big porgies like this one are a regular find for the Celtic Quest in the Long Island Sound each summer.

Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:

“The heat is on! Warm temps and warm water make for some hot fishing! Fluke action is finally getting good, and anglers are having a blast chasing some solid flat fish around the bay. Bucktails are the go-to lure, and when tipped with a Fat Cow strip or a Gulp! bait, the action is on fire. The brighter colors are doing very well for us this year. Pink, orange, yellow, and chartreuse have been flying off the shelves. Sea Bass fishing on the local wrecks and reefs is going very well. Limits of solid fish are common, with some knuckleheads in the mix. Epoxy jigs and bucktails remain the go-to lures this week. Porgy action is non-stop at the jetties, toss some clammy hi-lo rigs at them or try some jigging. Some really big pork chops are lurking in the rocks. 

Bluefish aren’t going anywhere. They’re still hanging out, smashing bait apart. Popping plugs are the most fun, but you can entice a bluefish bite on pretty much anything this time of year. Shiny metal lures always do very well. Striped Bass are still around the bay in some low key spots. Cooler water, bait and a good current are key. Those fish are taking small swimbaits, small poppers, and they are taking flies like crazy. Spearing and sandeel patterns are hot. The ocean bite is on fire with plenty of nice stripers, both slot and over-slot. Jigging, trolling, and popping is all working at getting fish from the boat. Live bait always works well too, you just have to be sure to use the approved circle hooks and don’t let the fish swallow the hook. Surf guys are catching bass on the open beaches and off of the jetties. Darters, bottle plugs, bucktails, and shallow divers are working great. Toss a popper in the early morning or the evening for a solid chance at a topwater blow up. 

All is well on the freshwater front; the same fishing “rules” apply. The water is warm, and most fish won’t be too active during the heat of the middle of the day. You may get lucky with a largemouth, a pickerel, or a bluegill as they can withstand a bit warmer water. Your best times to go for any freshwater fish this time of year, is in the early mornings before the sun comes up to high, and in the evenings from just as the sun is starting to set, until dark. These are the best times of day, during the best time of the year, to throw topwater lures at hungry hungry hippo bass and pickerel. These are also the best times of day to go after trout, if you are targeting them in the summer. They are very susceptible to higher water temperatures, which can be fatal for them if they are caught and handled. Terrestrial flies will be getting chomped at, as well as an enticing streamer.”

Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:

“Yesterday’s afternoon trip produced a nice mixed bag for everybody consisting of keeper fluke, nice size sea bass and porgies. The pool went to Paul Byrne from Smithtown, who caught a 5 pound fluke. Second place was Chuck Palmer’s 3.8 pound fluke. The morning trip was very good, with a quick fill of porgies by the light. We picked through a ton of sea bass, and everyone managed a few keepers. Benny from Queens took the pool with a 3 pound porgy. The rest of the week saw solid fishing, with a pick of fluke mainly from 3-5 pounds. The porgies were regularly pretty big, and the seabass were solid as well. Steve Brown from Westchester picked a 4-pound sea bass on Sunday.” Call the office to book at 631-668-5700, or book online at vikingfleet.com.

Captain Paul Dixon in Montauk has been hammering big striped bass in the deeper waters around Montauk this week. A variety of sizes were coming over the rail, with some extra large ones to boot. Check out Paul’s instagram to see some pretty epic rod bends. Fishing has been awesome this week. Check his page out for booking info: www.flyfishingmontauk.com.

Chris Albronda from Montauk reports:

Fluke fishing has picked up tremendously! We aren’t seeing a lot of double digits yet, but there are plenty of limits being reeled up. The half-day tripper Lazybones Montauk has been catching consistently, as has the Miss Montauk. The stripers are still here. The eel bite ate night has turned on. There are easy jumbo Black Sea bass limits to go around. Porgies are also plentiful. Offshore, you can find whales and dolphins; often there are tuna and sharks not far behind. Give Chris a call at 631-830-3881 to book a trip.

Long Island Fishing Forecast

Man, all I can think about is sharks. I’m totally taken by the current situation. The “attacks” are insane. I’m going to keep putting “attacks” in quotes though, because I think that’s a misnomer. Talk about that soon. Let me tell you something first.

Yesterday morning while flying my drone, I saw my first Great White Shark ever. It was a juvenile shark, and I could tell because the bunker it chewed hung out both sides of the shark’s mouth.

Screenshot of the juvenile white shark from my recent YouTube video.

My guess is the shark was under 8 feet long. It was feeding 200 yards from a beach on the east end, alongside a bunch of bluefin tuna. The tuna were quite large. What a ridiculous scene. Check out the shark footage here!

Until I saw that great white, I wasn’t worried at all about the shark situation. Stay away from the fish schools, and you should be fine… but incidents do occur, like all the recent shark “attacks” on Long Island. Should these incidents begin involving great whites, rather than sand tigers or spinner sharks, we’re looking at another level of potential damage to the victims.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, coming out only for this fishing forecast, there has been a slew of shark “attacks” recently. They just keep occurring. I don’t think I’ve read about all of them, but the ones I do know of happened to lifeguards and surfers. The lifeguards were playing “victim” in deep water while practicing a 4-person rescue. Surfers also float motionless in deep water. Wearing a wetsuit exacerbates the issue by creating a stark contrast between your hands, feet and body. To a shark in murky water, your hands and feet match the profile of the bunker they’re feeding on. Put yourself in the shark’s position:
I am swimming and looking for food. A shadow’s ahead. Two white bodies (a human hand and foot) are very visible in front of the shadow, and there are two on the far side of it. The shadow could be a seal, and the white bodies happen to resemble the bunker that I eat. The seal is not moving, maybe it’s dead. Maybe the white is decaying seal skin. I smell neither fish nor seal though. This motionless blob can’t be a serious threat, and that white stuff could be food. I’m going to check it out.

Thinking like this gives me chills, because I’ve swam within a foot of these curious sharks multiple times. Once, I was rinsing the scent of a harvested bluefish off of me just beyond the break, adjacent to a rip current. When I noticed a very large silhouette lingering near me, I sprinted for shore. All good. Another time I was bodysurfing a storm swell, waiting on the larger waves that broke farther out, beyond the sand bar. I kicked a big, hard body in the back. My foot bled a little bit. Today that might be considered a shark “attack.”

I think what we’ve got is curious sharks hanging out in an endless buffet of bunker, and people behaving like food right inside, around, and nearby those bunker buffets.

Just be safe, and stay away from the fish. Try to swim with a friend too, and near lifeguards. It only helps to take precautions.

Fish wise, I haven’t been doing anything really exciting. I’m rigged up for those bunker schools, in case I want to target them in the AM. I’m rigged up for flea flicking, fly fishing, and brackish bobber fishing. The surf’s been badly turned up most of this week, so I put a few sessions in on some backwaters. I put some kiddos on some white perch, and put myself on some better fish around low light. Mostly, though, I worked and I flew my drone, and it was a good week. 

The weather’s still acting weird though. It’s very inconsistent, and borderline eerie. The past two mornings there’s been a dense fog that lingers until about 10am. I get alerts for impending storms that are supposed to do tons of damage, and then I hardly see a raindrop. I know those have been pretty localized, and some towns are just drawing the short straw lately. I would really love to see some consistent calm settle in to our region. That’ll make for some awesome filming and awesome fishing. The weather forecast shows more of the same this week though: Possible storms here and there, with a pretty steady southwest wind most days. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just not what I want. Give me an east wind for a few days, then a calm offshore breeze for two weeks. Whatever comes, I’ll take it. I think I might try to catch a shark this week. I’ll definitely try to get more cool footage. Keep your eyes peeled on my page, and I’ll put up some footage from the days I saw bluefin this week.

Vaya con dios.

1 thought on “Long Island Fishing Report- July 21, 2022

  1. peter okeefe

    Mackeral!!! you guys forgot to even mention the crazy macks everywhere!

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