Eastern Long Island Fishing Report- June 1, 2023

The strong weakfish bite continues, big fluke become more abundant in the bays and striped bass fishing is most productive early and late in the day before blues crash the party.

Eastern Long Island Fishing Report

  • Weakfish bonanza! “Best weakfish run since the 1970s.”
  • Fluke getting larger and more numerous. 
  • Very productive bottom fishing.
  • Striper bite remains strong. Gator blues have inundated our waters as well.
  • Whales return to the east end!

Bill at Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:

“It seems like everyone has bluefish fever! Reports of massive yellow eyed devils roaming the entire island have people excited for big blow ups, hard hits, and screaming drags. Blues over 10 pounds are common, and some are getting real close to that 20 pound mark! These monster tackle busters are finning on every flat possible, chasing down unsuspecting baitfish. Poppers, SP’s, and bucktails are getting chomped up. Stripers are still around in impressive numbers and great size. The early morning and evening bites have been the most productive. They’re eating bunker whole, so toss big stuff like poppers, darters, bottle plugs, and SP’s. The bass are also eating mouthfuls of spearing and sand eels, and the fly fishermen are taking full advantage, landing “over slot” sized fish on tiny baitfish imitations. Weakfish are moving in and holding in their usual spots. They’re all over the bright pink soft plastics and bucktails. Fish light tackle; the bites are subtle and you need to play the fish to land it. The bite has been very good so far. It’s great to see a resurgence in weakfish populations. Fluke action consists of non-stop slab flatties. The channels and flats are loaded with big fluke. Bucktails or a classic fluke rig tipped with bait will get the job done. 

On the sweetwater, bug hatches are going off like crazy in the evenings and early mornings, and the trout are loving it. Hendricksons, drakes, BWO, sulphur … they’re all around, making for a tasty trout buffet. If they’re done coming up, drag a nymph under your dry fly, or toss a streamer at them. Carp are busy doing carp things, spawning up in the shallows and taking your baits down deep! Carp are lots of fun to catch, especially with light tackle or a fly rod. Bass and pickerel are out lurking for an easy meal. Swimbaits, inline spinners, underspins, crankbaits, and even a classic Senko will entice a bite. Panfish like bluegill and yellow perch are swimming around in big schools, making them easy catches for the entire family. Worm and bobber rigs always do the trick, or you can use inline spinners and small jigs if you prefer casting.”

The Fishfinder of Captree reports: 

“We began the week with a good pick of bluefish, keeper stripers and weakfish on light tackle and Bass Assassins. The weakfish bite tapered off as the week progressed, but the gator blues and bass kept coming over the rail. Our 10 a.m. fluke trips have seen some quality fish come aboard. The bay has been productive, with salmon and pink Gulp being the most productive presentations.”

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

Andrew and Abby brought their grandpa Sal out for their annual trip on May 28. Last year, Abby caught a 46 inch bass on the same exact day. This year, we boated a 49 inches, with a 28 inch girth. Gator blues were biting up a storm as well, making for a very exciting trip. The blues stuck around all week, and we managed to boat some stripers before the blues would show up every day. Check out Dave’s website to book him for a charter at www.northislandfly.com.

Dave Flanagan and Andrew with a beautiful bass from the Long Island Sound earlier this week.

The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson reports: 

“We picked a lot of quality scup yesterday, as well as a few hefty stripers. There was a pile of bass under the boat, but they were tough to hook. A handful of our anglers landed a slot striper. There was a nice oversized bass that came up too. Three days ago, the scup bite was still steady, and we caught and released one small tog. The scup bite was solid all week. We picked a solid weakfish or two earlier in the week.” Call them at 631-928-3926 for booking info, or check the website/Facebook for more info.

The Peconic Star of Greenport reports:

“We picked boat limits of porgies this week, even on the windy days. Most fish were in the 14-19 inch range, and we found some weakfish to 5 pounds yesterday. It’s been the same story all week, as this fantastic spring run continues. Bluefish and stripers have come aboard as well. We’re fishing daily for jumbo porgies and weakfish at 7:30am. For booking info, call Captain Paul.”

Capt. Phil of Fishy Business in Orient reports:

“The Ward Melville Fishing Club came out this weekend for their annual trip. We targeted stripers, which have been good to us, but the bite was hampered by boat traffic and a soft tide. The young anglers put together a nice catch no less: slot stripers, big blues, and short life of both.

Some guys from the Merrick Rod and Gun Club came out the other day to target fluke. They put 11 flatties on ice, along with a few weakfish and scup. They released a few shorts as well.” They sail out of Duryea’s in Orient. Give Phil a call to book a trip.

The Ward Melville Fishing Club enjoyed catching some big blues aboard the Fishy Business this week.

Surfcasting guide Bernie Bass reports:

“It was the same story in the surf this week, with a bunch of little bass during both the day and night tides. Big blues are still in the area, tearing up lures. Hopefully there’s some big bass to catch, now that June has arrived.”

Rosie Fishing of Moriches Bay reports:

“We’ve been on a great fluke bite this week, with almost 30 keepers to 7 pounds hitting the deck yesterday. There is a good amount of short life as well. Water is super clean, sans weed. Even with a hard east wind, we were able to put a few good ones on the deck, alongside some nice blues and monster sea robins. The fluke grounds have been producing all week, so come on down! We’re doing evening trips starting this weekend, from 5-9pm. Give us a call for booking info!”

The Hampton Lady of Hampton Bays reports:

“Memorial Day Weekend provided some great fishing, with a variety of species coming over the rail. Ron B. had the pool winner weakfish on Monday. Some solid codfish, Black Sea bass, ling, fluke, and stripers were also caught. Weakfishing remained awesome throughout the week, with full boat limits taken. Text Capt. James for reservations, we’re sailing 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.”

Ron B. with his pool-winning weakfish aboard the Hampton Lady.

The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays reports:

“Yesterday we caught so many weakfish that we were trying to get away from them! We caught a boat limit, and then got after the scup and fluke. On Sunday and Monday we picked some fluke despite the tough bay conditions. Saturday’s trip saw a good pick of weaks and big bluefish on the prowl. Danny picked a big over-slot bass on his porgy rig. Marty took the pool for fluke.” They’re sailing out of Oaklands Marina daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Text or call Capt. John for info.

A nice fluke caught aboard the Shinnecock Star this week.

Kenny at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor reports:

“Weakfishing is the best it’s been since the 1970s. The average weakfish being caught in the peconics is 4-10 pounds. The striper bite has been good and consistent as well on the bayside. Giant bluefish have been getting caught from Shinnecock Inlet to Montauk Point, and around the point all the way to the Shinnecock Canal. It’s mostly big gator blues too. There are so many that it can be tough to get down to the weakfish.

Fluke fishing was awesome this week. It’s been a dismal season thus far, until very recently. There are a lot of fish getting caught around Shelter Island. There’s a lot of short life, with keepers here and there. Porgy fishing is also awesome. Every fish is over 14 inches, and there’s a lot that are 18-19 inches. Heaps of blowfish have also been getting caught off the bottom. Come June, the stripers will start acting a bit more nocturnal, so the shoreline opportunities will begin to wane. It’ll get better for the boats, but for the surf guy, you’re gonna wanna target the night tides.”

Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:

“Yesterday’s trip was very good, with a mix or large and jumbo porgies to 3.3 pounds. On Monday we made our way to the porgy grounds and had a really good session there. We picked some jumbos, and almost everyone left with a limit. Omar Ibanez won the pool with a 2.7 pound scup. The rest of the fish were medium to large. The morning trip was slower, but we pulled up some monster bluefish as consolation. On Sunday we saw stripers with those blues. We’ll be offering striper trips this weekend.” Call the office or book online at vikingfleet.com.

Eastern Long Island Fishing Forecast

I have this feeling that there will be a big bass bite on the open beach in June, judging by how many fish have been swimming right near the beach this spring. All we need is a ton of bunker to show up to slow the bass down and keep them here for a few days. I’ve seen signs of bunker so far, but nothing steady. It’s crazy how different sections of ocean can be completely different. I’d like to figure out just where the cutoff is. You can imagine that inlets are probably cutoffs… but once there are no more inlets, and it’s all open beach, at some point the ocean changes. For instance, this week we had some east winds blow clear water in. Thing is, by me it wasn’t very clear at all until you got a hundred yards off the beach. It was all sandy and murky looking up front. If I headed east like my friend Stephen recommended, I would’ve found the clear water right up on the beach, and that water would have been filled with fish. 

It’s all very interesting. I’ll certainly be learning until I’m gone.

The flats have been lit up with action. The last two times I went, an influx of bass followed and I was able to sight cast to at least eight opportunities. With the glare and wind chop yesterday, I spooked another eight fish before they turned into opportunities. This one was crazy, I saw the fish moving really slowly about ten feet away, swimming right towards me. I lifted my rod to get my fly close, and whipped a low-angle roll cast from behind my head so that my fly landed right in the fish’s trajectory. I stood deathly still as the fish approached and investigated my fly. When the fish was two feet away from me, it caught my gaze and bolted away. I managed to hook two bass. I watched one disappear into the glare as it ran down my fly; moments later, I felt the hit and strip set. The fish came to hand, a near-slot.

This mid 20-inch bass put up a fun fight on the flats earlier this week. (@southforksalt)

The second fish was swimming right at me from about 30 feet away. I casted 20 feet, and waited for the hit without stripping. I felt the strike and strip-set the hell out of the thing. It ran and tightened the line, and I held on tight, setting the hook home. The striper went wild, jumping out of the water as it went to sprint away. 5 seconds later, it pulled my knot. It was probably a mid-teen fish.

Then came the bluefish invasion. Hundreds of toothy bullies roamed the flats; the biggest ones couldn’t keep their tails under the surface. I switched to a fishy fly and began sprinting the thing through the big schools of blues. I lost a half-dozen flies to the blues as they cut right through my 12 pound fluorocarbon tippet. The 7th was a charm; it was a larger presentation, making it more of a “cut the tail off” size rather than an “eat it whole” size. I pinned the fish right in the lip. A couple minutes later, my right bicep was sore from a powerful pulling match and the fish was in my grip. I was happy with the fish and tired of losing flies, so I switched back to the crab and waited for more stripes to show.

“Match the hatch” on the flats to maximize your chances at deceiving, hooking and landing fish. (@southforksalt)

The bluefish remained for a long time, but once their presence dwindled, I began to notice the stripers again. I had a couple more chances before the glare drove me off the water. I was just blind casting at that point.

The bluefish invade towards the top of the tide as the shallows flood with bait. (@southforksalt)

I get the feeling that other areas are experiencing the same exact kind of bite. Dave Flanagan had some dudes out this week and managed a few stripers before the bluefish invaded. Then it was gator mania for the rest of the day. Get your stripers in before the tide gets high enough for the marauding schools of bluefish to enter.

I’ve got big fish spots on my mind, now that it’s June. With the moon coming up, I know now’s the right time to be there; and with my wife on vacation, I reckon I’ll be able to spend plenty of time on those perches. I’ll definitely be hitting the flats more too. In fact, I’m going to roll out as soon as I finish typing, and hit the incoming tide. Hopefully there’s some more sight fishing opportunities. I’m becoming addicted to sight fishing… and I’m getting better at it!

The weather forecast couldn’t be more perfect in my mind. We’ve got mostly calm winds leading up to the moon, and then a strong wind and rainstorm on the weekend. That means I can stay out later and wake up later, unhindered by the weekend crowd I’m supposed to be serving. I can afford to be a little bit dumber during the day when there’s less to do, so sleep won’t be as crucial to my survival. Then, more beautiful weather starting on Monday. Couldn’t be better, in my mind. I sense a fishy week ahead. I’d like to fluke. My friend Derek has been catching some seriously good flatties from shore lately, and I’m trying to get on that train. 

The surf fish still seem to be running and gunning; it’s mostly been dirty water up front lately, so I’m not seeing or catching anything surfside really. Once the wave of large begins passing through, I expect stripers will begin to take up residence in the surf. We’re getting there.

On a final note, I heard of the first bluefin tunas being taken this past week or two. My friend Brian’s dad runs the Hot Potato on the east end of LI, and he got into some good tuna fishing. ‘Bout that time. I’m hoping I see some on the drone soon.

OH MAN! The whales!! Can’t believe I almost forgot to mention them. They’re passing through the area just as fast as the fish are. If you’re looking often enough, you might get lucky and witness an epic show. I got lucky twice this week, once midday and once around sunset. A humpback was jumping clear out of the water… its entire body was clearing the water’s surface, and causing HUGE explosions when it would land! Seeing that literally made me euphoric. I don’t know if that’s just me. I’ve gotta imagine it would do the same to anyone. The sight is absolutely majestic. So keep your eyes open, and enjoy the show!!

All right, time to go fish. Enjoy yourself. Take care of your fish. See ya next week.

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