Eastern Long Island Fishing Report- September 22, 2022

Albies are biting around the inlets and beaches, meanwhile the back bays hold quality fluke and weakfish.

Eastern L.I. / Suffolk County Fishing Report

  • Albies everywhere!
  • Epic fluke action, with many doormats. 
  • Bottom fishing is on fire. Big scup, sea bass and weakfish.
  • Awesome tuna bite in close range.
  • Stripers and fluke in the surf after dark.
  • Incredible wildlife shows on the South Fork by big predators.

Captree’s Laura Lee reports:

Tuesday morning’s trip sounds like my idea of heaven: 217 bonito, 1 yellowfin tuna, 68 false albacore, 308 mackerel, 12 porgies, 10 sea bass, and 11 fluke were caught. Fluking remained good throughout the day, and 89 sea bass came up on the 1pm trip. The 6pm trip caught 37 weakfish, one bluefish and three sea bass. Yesterday’s 7am trip produced 72 fluke to 5.5 pounds, 47 sea bass, a toadfish, a porgy and 11 sea robins. The 6am trip crushed the pelagics. They caught 197 bonito, 55 albies, 175 mackerel. 7 fluke, 18 sea bass, 25 porgies, and three bluefish.

Monday’s 7am full day wreck trip caught a 45 pound bluefin tuna, 134 bonito, 21 albies, 950 big porgies, 115 sea bass, 224 big ling, 12fluke and 82 mackerel. Kind of an epic day. The other full day trips this week produced more bluefin and yellowfin tuna, plus an amazing amount of porgies. Saturday’s trip produce 1,050 big scup.

Weakfish have been caught on all 6pm trips this week. They only caught two stripers this week.

Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:

“Fall run fever has hit hard! Stripers are on the brain of everyone who isn’t currently targeting the albies that showed up this week. Pelagics are in, and everyone’s going crazy for them. Spanish mackerel, bonito, and false albacore are around the usual spots absolutely annihilating bait schools. An epoxy jig or Deadly Dick ripped across the surface is the best way to get on. Fly guys will have luck on small baitfish imitations. 

Striped bass have started to show face up on the north shore, and out way east. There is a ton of bait around, which should make for an incredible fall striper run. Fluke season is going stronger than ever. They are on their way out of the bay, so hit the far side of the bay near the inlet for your best chance. We are doing well with bucktails tipped with jig strips in bright colors like orange, pink, and chartreuse. Weakfish are roaming around as well, in their usual spots. Pink, red, and purple soft plastics on a jig head are the go-to for weaks. Light tackle is the way to go. Sea bass action on the reefs and wrecks is non stop with consistently large fish. They’re crushing bait on our shop rigs, as well as big bucktails and epoxy jigs. The local docks are still swarmed with blowfish, kingfish, and snappers. These fish are easy to catch, and they all provide fun, consistent action. 

Sweet water is getting sweeter by the day, this cold snap has fish on the feed. Largemouth and pickerel are out and about, looking for easy meals to crush. Swim baits, lipless cranks, senkos, and jigs are the perfect lures to target those species this time of year. Sunfish and yellow perch are out in schools, eating all sorts of tiny baitfish. In-line spinners and small jigs will have them biting all day. Trout fishing is getting better too, the cooler weather brought down water temps to a safer point and the fish are active! They’ll take dry flies in the mornings and evenings, and you can fool them with nymphs for the rest of the day.”

Bill Falco of Chasing Tails found some largemouth bass at a nearby pond during sunset this week. (@fishlongisland)

Rosie Fishing of Moriches Bay has been hammering some serious fluke this past week. The bottom has been extremely productive. Rosie regular Mike limited out before 2pm on Friday, and Ed had his limit not long after, with a six pound fluke to claim the pool. Trips tend to sell out quickly when the fishing’s this hot. Give them a call today: 631-905-5829.

Surfcasting guide Bernie Bass tried intercepting some albies this week, to no avail. The cocktail bluefish blitzes kept his rod bent though. He had a steady pick of bass after dark, and the fluke kept chewing into the night as well. He picked one on a mag darter, and said the bite was consistent although he wasn’t targeting them. Bait is everywhere, so fishing should continue to improve. Keep your line wet to catch the big girls; they’ll be here soon.

Phil and Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport got out with Dave Flanagan of North Island Fly yesterday to target some north shore albacore. Some teen blues were blitzing earlier in the day on peanut bunker in the bays. They expected to encounter more out in the Sound, but chasing birds resulted in a ton of albies for them to battle on light tackle. Stripers, porgies and fluke have been biting very well.  Mark likes the top of the outgoing, especially around sunrise or sunset. It sounds like you can’t really go wrong regarding location.

Captain Stu Paterson of Northport Charters reports: 

“We’re still bending the rod daily and getting them over the rail. We have had bluefish to twelve pounds on diamond jigs and umbrella rigs in the rips inside the Triangle off Eaton’s Neck. Presently, there are lots of adult bunker schools all over the bay and LI Sound; every ledge and rock pile we fish on it full of bait and life. We are still catching big porgies to 2.5 pounds, with keeper sea bass in the mix. Fluke fishing slowed down, but there’s life everywhere. The fall run is setting up great. Stu’s booking fall blackfish trips now.” Call/text Stu at 631-707-3266 or check out Stu’s website to book a trip: northportcharters.com.

The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson reports:

“Big sea bass and scup were the main catch this week. Limits were earned by many who put in the work. We picked one beautiful weakfish early in the week, and had a couple nice triggerfish come over the rail midweek. Even during difficult conditions, the fishing remained red hot!” Call them at 631-928-3926 for booking info.

A big sea bass came over the rail aboard the Celtic Quest for this young angler.

The Hampton Lady of Hampton Bays reports:

“We’ve been picking from piles of sea bass and porgies on the ocean side. This Saturday’s trip was spent outside with hopes of intercepting some of the many species making their way west along the south fork. We’ve seen fluke, Spanish mackerel, bonito, triggerfish, cod, scup, sea bass, false albacore, mackerel and ling in just a few days’ fishing. Fluke are beginning to make their final push out of the bays, following the ton of bait that is exiting through the inlet. It’s anchor season! Lots of fish are passing by, and we are catching tons of them. “Check out www.thehamptonlady.com for booking info.

The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays reports:

“Fluking has been excellent in the bay this week. We’re constantly getting limits around the boat, and then some. Yesterday’s trip wasn’t a boat limit, but we had our best trip yet considering the number of keepers that came over the rail. William Morrison was on the trip, and he said the bite was insane for almost the entire 4 hours. The squid and spearing combo has been very productive. They pulled a jury sea bass out of one keeper’s belly. Lee picked himself a doormat, at 10 pounds and 2 ounces. The fish bit in 15 feet of water. Every single day has been insane.” Call Capt. John for trip info and reservations: 631-728-4563.

Squid strips and spearing got the job done for this double header fluke catch on the Shinnecock Star.

Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:

“Block Island has been holding some serious porgies and sea bass lately.Pool winners were regularly 3-4 pounds on the scup side, and same with the sea bass. One striper took an edible pool, at ten pounds. Sunday’s pool winners were both 4 pound fish. First place went to Juan Cautla’s big scup. The edible pool went to the sea bass by Mr. Park from Bayside.

Other species came up as well. Cod were actually quite a common catch this week, and we had some big ones in the mix. There were a good amount of keeper cod coming over the rail. Mackerel were ever present. We picked some large striped bass out in the deeper water, and slot size stripers a bit shallower.” Call the office to book at 631-668-5700, or book online at vikingfleet.com.

Chris Albronda from Montauk reports:

“It was another exciting week off Montauk. The striped bass are oversized and plentiful; now is the time to catch and release your personal best. Slot sized fish have been taken in the surf this week.

Fluke fishing has been phenomenal. We are seeing a plethora of double digit doormats hitting the scales. Black Sea bass and porgy fishing is producing XL fish.

Albies have showed in a big way. Offshore, the yellowfin are in the 40-100 pound range. Mahi can be found on nearly every pot or flotsam. They can be tricky unless you have live bait. Bluefin have been in the mix with yellows.”

Eastern Long Island Fishing Forecast

Every week I take a look back through my pictures as a little refresher course on what went down. It helps me write more quickly and thoroughly, and I’d forget important things if I didn’t…. gotta make sure I get you fish fiends the goods. My photo album acts a lot like a fishing log. My photos don’t record details like wind direction, air temp, yada yada, but I can often infer what I consider the important details from the context. I like to take a lot of pictures, but I’m selective about what I record. Nature-wise, it’s usually new sights or ideas that I’m experiencing for the first time… which is a testament to how incredible nature is. Every single day I learn something new about nature, or I see something completely unique, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The pictures are proof, and I have an endless supply at this point. Life is exciting when you’re constantly learning about something you love.

I feel like I took more of those pictures this week than I ever have. I write that with a smile, because that means my week was outstanding. I hardly even realized that when I began writing today. It’s raining, the surf’s picking up, and I have mounds of work to complete… my mind’s a bit preoccupied; but after taking a quick glance through my photos, and reliving those educational experiences I had, I’m practically euphoric.

I’m going to tell you about some of these experiences. Some of you may have seen it all, and I’m late to the show. Some of it you will never have seen or heard of though, same as me. Consider them in the setting of the burgeoning fall run. It feels like a ticking time bomb on my beach. The ocean is inundated with bunker. Sharks are here, dolphins are there. Tuna has been everywhere. Lots of fish are here, and way more are going to be here any day.

This is an underwater bunker shot I took yesterday. The water clarity was insanely good, with about 15 foot visibility.

Thursday’s discovery was a single sand eel on the open beach, found during a beautiful sunset skunking. 

Here’s a sandeel I found washed up on the beach. This is a good sign for the Fall Run!

I saw my first live lady crab the next morning. I see their pretty shells scattered along the wrack line daily, but I’ve never seen a live one. That felt like a milestone. Later in the day, I struck out on albies for probably the 5th day in a row. I hadn’t been able to attend the inlet when they were biting; felt like I was always there on the wrong tide. When I saw whales spouting just off the beach, I launched my drone. First, I filmed two breaching through the bunker schools. A short while later, there was just one left up front. I filmed that giant humpback surf a wave into a school of bunker to feed. First whale I’ve ever seen surf. Another milestone.

After that whale left, I peeked around a bit and came upon a Great White Shark. It had a large group of King Mackerel swimming just behind it, doing their best to avoid the vicinity of the shark’s mouth.

Here is the Great White Shark with two king mackerel on it. This was 100 yards from the beach in Southampton.

The white shark kept shaking its rump, trying to spook one of the mackerel forward. Alas, I did not witness a bloodbath. But it was extremely cool to see these creatures just a hundred yards from the beach.

Of course the show wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t see some bluefin tuna. These two tunas came closer to the beach than any I’ve ever seen. They were running through the bunker schools just 60 yards from dry sand. I could’ve casted to one of them. I filmed it instead.

Awesome drone session. I didn’t catch any fish besides hickory shad. Saturday, I spent dealing with that awesome footage from the day prior. I made moves immediately once Nico texted me though. He was following a small school of blitzing albies along the open beach in Water Mill. I got there in record time. Last time he saw the blitzing fish was thirty seconds prior to my arrival. I figured my appearance probably ended it; ‘twould be just my luck. Nico described the blitz as “the size of a ping pong table.” Which isn’t very large in such a vast ocean. We lost them for about twenty minutes. Nico used his sixth friggin sense or something to rediscover the blitzing fish about a mile east. I found him and parked right in front of the blitz. I launched a cast into the school and hooked up. As I was fighting my first albie of the year, I saw some big mackerel getting chased out of the water 15 at a time. That was wild.

Here I am with an open beach albie, my first of the year. Nico put me on the bite.

Just like that, I had the albie monkey off my back. Time to do more work. The free time I took was spent getting slow motion footage of cocktail bluefish blitzing on bay anchovies. The footage came out pretty cool. I’ll post that video on Instagram today.

Work took another back seat on Tuesday morning. The seas were flattening, and a soft offshore wind was forecasted. Perfect drone flying conditions. I headed towards the inlet early and found little occurring on the fish front. There were some bunker schools to the far east, with nothing bothering them. I casted for a while with my friend Chris, for a shad or two. Dolphins were swimming by all the while, looking juiced up. My other friend Cam was supposed to be surfing this morning just east of where I was fishing, so I headed there to see him, and see if the dolphins would be surfing the same wave.

Turns out they were.

The dolphins decided to join the lineup right as I drove up to the group of surfers. They rode a few waves as I launched my drone. A bunch of bunker schools had appeared out of nowhere. The first thing I saw after the surfers was a few dolphins pushing one of the schools into the beach. They’d end up right in the wave with all the surfers. The dolphins ended up surfing the waves as way to gain speed and attack the bait school. That was an absolutely incredible sight. Find those videos on my instagram too.

Whales and dolphins surfing in one week. It could’ve ended with that, and I’d be more than happy. But I got to witness some friends catch a few albies, and I took a SUP out in some extremely clear water and found some sharks.

I took this photo of a spinner shark on the outskirts of a bunker school yesterday.

I don’t typically do underwater photography, but this litte stint kind of makes me want to start. The drone stuff is cool, but underwater shots of life are just so gripping. And MAN was it a rush seeing these creatures on my screen. My heartbeat just increased tremendously thinking about it.

I can’t forget to mention the seagulls! Two nights ago, as the sun was setting, I noticed them all behaving strangely. They were eating bugs out of the air! According to many people who’ve seen this before, they are eating flying ants. For me, it was a first!

That’s pretty much the jist of my week. I didn’t catch a lot of fish, but I caught a ton of memories. Awesome.

Today is the fall equinox. It is officially Autumn. Coming out of that amazing week, my spirits are high. My expectations are even higher. I expect this fall run will be the best I’ve seen in some time. I just feel it. Like I said, it’s a ticking time bomb. So much bait, so many predators, so much opportunity. I’m going to get some incredible footage of this run for you folks to watch, and I’m confident I’ll enjoy catching some big fish.

We’ve got some big water coming our way. The waves tomorrow are supposed to be amazing. Big waves are often accompanied by a few-day-streak of dirty water. I don’t think that will negatively affect the fishing. With the upcoming new moon, I actually think this will create a perfect opportunity for surfcasters targeting large. Montauk and the inlets are at the front of my mind. It’ll also get cold. Air temperatures will reach the 40s. The combination of the storm, the temperature drop, and the moon will get lots of fish moving out of the bays.

There will be crazy mullet blitzes. Anchovies and spearing will be getting hammered by albies. The sharks will make their way south. I don’t know if they’ll move west along the coast, hugging the beaches to stay close to the bunker. I hope they do. They’ve been very fun to film, and I still haven’t caught one this year.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough. Hope you enjoyed the story of my week, and I hope you get into some really awesome fishing this week. Go get ‘em.

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