Western Long Island and NYC Fishing Report- June 29, 2023

Bluefish are thick on both shores, sea bass season opened with a bang, and big stripers roam the increasingly-sharky south shore surf.

Western Long Island & NYC Fishing Report

  • Striped bass fishing is still consistent thanks partly to the snotty weather 
  • Schools of cocktail and gator bluefish explosively feed on small bait all around the island 
  • Fluking improves on the South shore with more keepers caught by the bridges; party boats on the North and South shores report happy customers bringing home flounder.
  • Sea bass season is open – try slow pitch jigging! 
  • South shore is getting sharky 

Petey Trovato from Lindenhurst Bait and Tackle reports: 

“Anglers are still catching big weakfish – we had 5 and 9 pound weaks reported at the shop this week. Fluking-wise there is still a ton of shorts around and hardly any keepers. Sea bass reports have been quiet so far but the season just opened so I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about them soon. Plenty of by-catches were reported while fluking prior to opening day. The bass bite out of the surf is doing well: we’ve had two customers report stripers off the beaches up to 30 pounds. On the shark note, plenty of threshers are getting weighed and one was spotted in the Great South Bay.”

Brandon Weitz from Causeway Bait and Tackle in Wantagh told me:  

“My friends and I had a great day shark fishing with 3 browns, 2 sand tigers, plus striped bass on bluefish on bunker chunks. I haven’t seen much bunker close to shore though. It’s been a weird season for them. Fluke fishing in the bay has been great though, we weighed an 8 pound fluke today at the shop! The bridges have been producing keepers it seems. Tuna season looks to be starting up, so hopefully I’ll be getting after them on my boat. It seems like a slower start this year vs. last year.”  

Jamie from Bay Park Fishing Station said: 

“In-between all this rain the fluke bite has remained steady. Bay park is getting threshers weighed in regularly now, and most are being caught on bunker pods outside the inlets. There have been rumors of bluefin outside Rockaway, but no confirmed catches yet. Stripers at the bridges has been the thing to do, with most being reported during the nighttime incoming tide on clam bait.” 

Paul Mccain from River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin said: 

“Even though we’ve had rain its still below what we should be getting. Fly fishing in rivers and streams has been tough for that reason as the water is very low.  

As far as saltwater – a lot of bluefish. Bass are being caught, but most are finding success with the Bluefish. They’re just everywhere and biting like crazy. The back bays of the North shore and South shore are absolutely loaded with them and its definitely going to make striper fishing a bit harder with a lot of competition for your flies.” 

John from Freeport Bait and Tackle reports: 

“The ocean fluke bite has been doing well. We’ve had good catches reported on Sea bass out at the reefs. They’re mixed in with porgy too and its been very fast action. We’ve also heard reports of sand tigers in the surf.” 

Here’s what anglers have been sharing on social media: 


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A post shared by @blastin_bass_fishing


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A post shared by Brandon Weitz (@bweitz1)


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A post shared by Petey Trovato (@petey315691)

Sea bass season is upon us! Find a submerged boulder or wreck and drop a line. Or maybe try slow pitch jigging. Similar in theory to flutter spoons for striped bass, the idea is to jig slim metal lures that shimmy through the water column on their way to the bottom, imitating a dying baitfish. Typically, these jigs get hit on the fall which is a much different feeling than getting bit on a tight line while jigging bucktails and the like.  

Its a niche way of fishing for our bottom species like scup, fluke, and even – striped bass! I tried slow pitch jigging from my kayak this week and was surprised to land a nice 20-incher on a 40 gram (1.4 ounce) Sea Falcon slow-pitch jig in 40 feet of water. 

This striper hit a 40-gram Sea Falcon slow-pitch jig in about 40 feet of water. (@outie_fishing)

I only have a couple of striper missions left in my pocket. Then I’ll be experimenting with slow-pitch jigs at my local fluke and sea bass honey holes all summer.  The bass fishing this week was consistent however, thanks to the snotty weather. Sunday’s epic fog made for a great day-time bass bite and I was able to pick a few schoolies on topwater. I was marking quite a few active bass on the bottom with my sonar in 15 to 30 feet of water on rocky points and plenty of cloudy-looking bait schools.  

In two outings this past week, I landed multiple 20-inch class fish, two slots, and one overslot with only a handful of bluefish in the mix. A buddy I was with tallied similar results, but a couple more overslot fish. My usual repertoire was the tube-and-worm, topwater spooks, and paddletails.

A striper that fell to the tube and worm rig comes yak-side. (@outie_fishing)

This has been a pretty awesome year for bluefish so far. They’ve completely taken over some of the back bays on the North and South shores and on one occasion I’ve had a topwater fly get smacked beside my kayak while answering a text message. Any fly anglers targeting bass or fluke on the shallow flats have my sympathies. May your chopped up flies rest in peace. 

What to Expect This Week

The gates are wide open for bottom fishing. Target wrecks, boulder piles, and reefs for sea bass and scup, or throw hi-lo rigs with clam, worms, or squid from your local pier or jetty for a mixed bag.

Chunking bunker off the beaches can yield big bluefish, striped bass, and sharks. The beaches on the west-end still hold stripers for the dedicated surf angler. Try casting sand fleas into the beach lip if you haven’t yet. Likewise, give slow-pitch jigs a try if you’re fishing from a boat or kayak. 

On the North shore, the back bays are still loaded with bluefish and can provide easy topwater action. The South shore is no exception. Keep your eyes open for bait schools and topwater boils. Work inlets, points, and bridges during the incoming and outgoing tides for fish chasing bait schools with the moving current.  

If you have a recent fishing photo you would like to share, DM me on Instagram @outie_fishing to be featured in next week’s report!  

Thanks for reading. Tight lines.  

2 on “Western Long Island and NYC Fishing Report- June 29, 2023

  1. B MARKS


  2. peter okeefe

    they wont ever!!! too scared of the marxists coming after them. If the regs made any sense why such conflicting rules between states?? its nothing but robbery by ticketing the working man. Meanwhile drag netting and throwing back over catch truly decimates the fish

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