Eastern Long Island Fishing Report- September 1, 2022

Doormat fluke fishing continues and cobia become less concentrated, while bluefin and yellowfin fishing picks up offshore.

(Above) Bill Falco of Chasing Tails in Oakdale, hit the deep last week for an unforgettable swordfish trip.

Eastern L.I./Suffolk County Fishing Report

  • Fall run seems to have commenced pre-September:
  • Peanut bunker bonanza in the surf.
  • Albies and bonito on the beach.
  • Solid striper action on the big moon tides.
  • Primo canyon action. Tuna bite is top notch.
  • Shark blitzes nearshore. Spinner sharks doing their signature leaping spins around sunset.

Bill Falco at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:

The good fluke reports continue to flood into the shop. The bay has a lot of nice fish hiding out, and the ocean is stacked with some big flatties. Jigging bucktails is the go-to technique, although the classic shop rig with squid and spearing will always do the trick. Sea bass action is on fire this week, many anglers are pulling up limits of big fish, with a few solid knuckleheads mixed in. They’re loving epoxy jigs and bucktails… the brighter the better! Clam or squid on a shop rig works wonders. Cocktail blues are running around the flats and channels, eating from bait schools and destroying light tackle. Swimbaits, shallow divers, and poppers are all getting crushed with consistent action. Weakfish are popping up here and there, which should make for another great fall run. Small, light jigs are key. They love bright colors in the red spectrum, including purple and pink. 

Cobia are starting to move around, and some lucky anglers have found them locally. Look for pods of bunker or rays, and toss an epoxy jig or bucktails at them. They will even strike a small popper. Striper action is slow locally, but pretty good out in the ocean. Some fish in the 30 pound range are being found on trolling rigs and big jigs. Tuna reports are small yellows in close that you can jig and pop, with some big eye and good-sized yellows out in the deep on the troll. 

Snapper action at the local docks is lit up! They’re getting bigger by the day, and some really fun-sized fish are ripping around. The snapper will crash on small shiny lures, snapper poppers, and spearing on bobber rigs. Kingfish and blowfish are down at the docks with the snapper as well. Use some clam on tiny blowfish or flounder hooks and bring a chum pot along with you for constant action.    

If you’re going to hit the sweet water for some bass or pickerel fishing this week, you should go in the early mornings for the best chance at some action. The cooler nights will bring the water temperature down enough overnight that you can catch some fish in the mornings. Topwater lures, swimbaits, inline spinners and crankbaits will get some hits.  Bass and pickerel will be out of their pockets and patrolling for meals in the shallows. Mid-day is rough, so low and slow will get you a bite or two. Jigs or Senkos are the best for that. Carp are fun to catch in the summer, they love to eat and are so much fun on the end of the line. The easiest way to fish for them is to chum with some bread or corn, and toss rigs with that same bait on it. For some ultralight fishing, sunfish and yellow perch are plentiful, and a ton of fun to catch for every age group. They are hungry, and eager to bite. Worm and bobber rigs will always get the job done. Inline spinners catch non-stop too. Trout action is beyond slow this time of year, and the rivers are extremely hot; even our spring fed rivers and creeks get way too hot by mid-day. Get in the water as early as possible for your best chance at a good catch with a safe release.

Captree’s Laura Lee reports:

Fluke fishing was especially productive this week, with good numbers coming up, many of them quality fish. 7.24 pounds was our biggest fluke this week. Mackerel were chewing pretty regularly; they came up on a good number of trips, as did bonito. Squid was another bait species that kept appearing throughout the week.

Bluefish chewed well throughout the week, coming over the rail every day. Many triggerfish were caught this week, alongside tons of porgies and sea bass. No matter the time of day, the bite was good, and lots of fish came home to fill the freezer.

Rosie Fishing of Moriches Bay has been hammering the fluke in the bay the past couple days. Over 60 keepers hit the deck this morning. There have been a number of limits with fish to 6 pounds. 5 days ago, Mel picked a pool winner at 7.1 pounds; Skylar picked a limit by 9:30am, with fish to 5.5 pounds. They run private charters and open boat trips alike. Give them a call for info.

Captain Stu Paterson of Northport Charters reports: 

The fishing is great, attributable to the massive amount of bait in the bay and L.I. Sound. Bay anchovies, spearing and peanut bunker are everywhere. Tinker mackerel and adult bunker are also present. Thursday was the last day of summer fishing camp, and we saw a bald eagle chase down an osprey with a bunker in its talons. The eagle ended up stealing the bunker from the osprey!

We’re still bringing keeper fluke over the rail daily, and there are some nice sea bass coming up alongside them. We’ve been getting sea bass to over five pounds. The porgies are still thick and feisty in our area. Gator blues showed up this week and we caught a bunch of them to 14 pounds. They were smashing topwater plugs and putting on acrobatic shows for us. Call/text Stu at 631-707-3266 or check out Stu’s website to book a trip: northportcharters.com.

Big blues have stormed the north shore in pursuit of large clouds of rain bait. (@northportcharters)

Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport reports:

There’s a ton of fishing opportunity out there right now. Although there hasn’t been much word on the sea bass front, fluke and porgy fishing are both super hot. Guys are doing best jigging around sunset and sunrise to beat the heat. Whether you’re on a boat, on the beach or on the dock, there’s good opportunity to catch from Caumsett to Stonybrook.

You can get snappers and porgies off the dock, along with big eels and blue claw crabs. Good, fun, rod bending action. There’s a ton of bunker in the back waters, from 1-6 inches long, and a good population of adult bunker too. There are also tinker mackerel, and the killies are gigantic right now. Fish are keying in on these baits.

Try to get out during these moon tides right now, they’re flooding some serious backwaters right now, and sucking all sorts of life out into the main channels. Mark likes the outgoing right about now.

The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson reports:

Yesterday’s trips were awesome, especially on the striper front at night. They caught about a dozen slot fish, a couple over slot bass, and a bunch of shorts. The blues were biting all night too, so all our anglers got a good workout. The scup bit nonstop during the daytime, and some nice sized sea bass were also on the menu. Some keeper fluke and bluefish, plus a bunch of nice weakfish were an added bonus to the week’s catch. The striper and bluefish bite has been top notch lately. They’re running special trips for them, and reservations are required. Call them at 631-928-3926 for booking info.

Capt. Phil of Fishy Business in Orient reports:

Jumbo sea bass, scup and large bluefish highlighted the catches this week. They’d start their trips culling a quick limit of knuckleheads, then start bucktailing for blues to get a nice workout in, and maybe some meat for the smoker. Scup would mix up the bag before going home. The SS Electric Group did that just yesterday. The Enders and Taurisano groups both got in on the good fishing this week as well. They sail out of Duryea’s in Orient. Give Phil a call to book a trip: 516-316-6967.

The Hampton Lady of Hampton Bays reports:

The fluke fishing is phenomenal right now. We picked three double digit fish before Friday. Sabrina caught herself a pool winner on Friday that weighed 10.1 pounds. Danny picked one two days prior that weighed 10.4 pounds. Danny Dinofrio picked a pair of 6 and 7 pounders, and Kevin Kelly had got his new PB at 8.2 pounds. It wasn’t just good sized fish either, there were good numbers of them. Lots of anglers caught their limit this week. Sea bass have served to mix up the bag. The weather has been awesome this week and so has the fishing. Check out www.thehamptonlady.com for booking info.

The Hampton Lady shared this picture of pool winner, Sabrina, with a 10.1 pound fluke!

Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:

We’ve been finding very big porgies around the shallow rock piles the past couple days. Sea bass and fluke were biting well during the week, with sea bass  and porgies to around 3.5 pounds. Jeffrey from Islip picked a 5 pound triggerfish on Sunday.

The fluke weren’t huge, but there were a bunch of keepers out there, to about 5 pounds. Most were in the three pound range though. Mackerel also made a guest appearance. Call the office to book at 631-668-5700, or book online at vikingfleet.com.

Chris Albronda from Montauk reports:

The highlight of the week is definitely the tuna bite. Locally, bluefin and yellowfin were caught in bigger numbers than we have seen out here in a long time. The canyons are hosting some incredibly productive bigeye and swordfish fishing. Inshore, the striper fishing is still top notch, providing anglers with fish from slot size to over-slot.

Bottom fishing has been phenomenal. Black sea bass are plentiful as always, and jumbo porgies are in the mix. Fluke fishing has been excellent too; Chris recommends going aboard the Miss Montauk to get on the meat. Give Chris a call at 631-830-3881 to book a trip. 

Eastern Long Island Fishing Forecast

Every week I think the surfside spectacle can’t get any awesomer, and each week I’m proven wrong. The spinner sharks are still feeding voraciously, even breaching from the water as they attack. The past three days around sunset, I’ve even seen them doing their leaping spin-move, from which their namesake derived. I’m assuming today will produce more of the same.

For the beach bound folks, here’s the deal: bunker are right on the beach in the morning. You can spit from dry sand and hit them. There’s not a ton of predator activity in the morning though. Granted, you’ll catch a shark or a ray up front if you soak some bunker, but you have to pick your bunker carefully. From what I’m seeing from the drone, the predators are few and far between up front in the morning. Fast forward to the afternoon though, and you’ll begin to see some serious action. By now, the peanut bunker have been separated from the packs. They get pretty easily pushed up front, into and just outside of the surf. There are small bluefish, bonito and albies working the peanuts. Yesterday I saw an all out albie blitz on the peanuts. It was a pretty big area of fish, and they were getting smashed from above by terns as well. That was about 75 yards from the beach. At the same time, the sharks began to get feisty.

I launched my drone when I heard the two beaches by me got closed. I thought they closed because of those blitzing albies, but I’m told somebody else was flying a drone and saw a shark. I went a’hunting, and only found sharks on the bunker schools about 200 yards off the beach… not nearly close enough to warrant closing the beach, in my opinion… there weren’t even that many sharks, anway.  I’m guessing somebody was seeing those spinner sharks leaping and spinning though, which would explain the beach closure. I don’t think people cared about not swimming at that point though, because the spectacle of hardcore predation is mesmerizing. Lots of people were lined up at the water’s edge, staring and waiting… much like we anglers do all the time. I love seeing casual beachgoers do the same. Being observant is an incredibly fun and interesting skill.

Enjoy the spectacle until the sun goes down. Likely, there are whales passing through at the same time. I’m told the beaches farther east are seeing an incredible amount of whale action this week. There have been 4 or 5 moving, feeding, breaching and breathing together in the same place at the same time. These are the kinds of sights that will be forever forged in your memory.

Although I don’t think we’re seeing the same quantity of cobia on the east end as they’re seeing near Jones Beach, they’ve become quite a regular occurrence out here on the east end. I saw pairs of cobia and individuals about 150 yards offshore swimming in and around the bunker schools. I was lucky to see that two or three times this week. There have been tuna tearing through the bunker schools late in the day, when the bunker begins to push offshore. It’s crazy to see from the air, you just see acres and acres of fish disappear in an instant as the giant tunas rocket through them. They flash like lightning all at once, and then disappear. An acre’s worth of bunker will have like ten lightning flashes in a second and a half, and all of a sudden there’s no more fish. All that remains is the sharks that were swimming around underneath them, completely hidden from my drone’s camera. It’s so cool.

I’ve been putting most of my free time into flying the drone. I have very little free time right now. Summer grind. That ends on Monday afternoon though. Once Tuesday hits, I’m going all in on these fish, in terms of catching them on both camera and my fishing rod.

The albie sightings have me all juiced up though. I can’t wait until Tuesday to get in on some of this awesome fishing potential. You literally can’t go wrong right now.

All the bottom fish around are huge. Stripers are looking up to attack fish, and they’re getting real thick as a result. Different species are moving out of the bay, like weakfish and resident cow bass. Before we know it, the mullet will be running and it’ll be blitz season for real.

For now, I’m gonna try to get me one of these beach albies. I have a half hour free every few hours, so I’m on it! Hopefully I have a picture to post with this report within the next few hours.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend. Definitely bring your gear with you to the beach, and be safe on the roads! Tight lines y’all.

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