Eastern Long Island Fishing Report- August 17, 2023

Stripers and blues are piled in the L.I. Sound rips, fluke fishing is good in south shore bays, and bluefin of all sizes linger at the mid-shore tuna grounds.

Eastern Long Island Fishing Report

  • Porgies pave the bottom of Long Island Sound
  • Decent run of weakfish on the north shore
  • Stripers in the L.I. Sound rips
  • Bluefish from cocktail to gator size hit everything from topwater plugs to baited rigs
  • Rays and sharks abundant in the south shore surf
  • Yellowfin, bigeye and bluefin provide plenty of opportunity mid-shore and offshore

Bill Falco at Chasing Tails Bait & Tackle in Oakdale shares what’s happening on both saltwater and freshwater fronts this week. He said:

“Consistent local fluke reports this week. The inlets are holding solid fish, lots of shorts but plenty of keepers. Biggest seen this week was 7.8 pounds. Our shop rigs are putting in work, the bucktail rigs are a local favorite of both angler and fish. A lot of the bigger fish have been taken on lighter, more sensitive tackle. Our local reefs and wrecks are loaded up with fluke, as well as quality sea bass. The sea bass are hitting jigs hard, as well as the classic rigs with clam. Slow-pitch jigs are getting absolutely hammered. Cobia action is still going well, lots of solid fish are lurking around the local bait pods. A few early pelagics have been caught as well.

In the freshwater, toss frogs, spooks, jitterbugs, and poppers during the early morning and evening hours for bass and pickerel blow-ups. Senkos and jigs fished around logs, weeds, lily pads, and stumps will pull the bass out of their hiding spot. Panfish like bluegill, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch are all super active, and they can be caught with a basic worm and bobber rig. Dawn and dusk bug hatches are still the best times to target trout. Watch the water temperature on the warmer days. Terrestrial flies like beetles, spiders, and ants put up numbers. Mayfly patterns like sulphurs or BWOs are doing very well. When they’re done rising, hang a nymph down deep and keep casting!”

And on the north shore, the Celtic Quest out of Port Jefferson has been running half-day bottom fishing trips targeting mainly scup and sea bass in the Long Island Sound. They’re cleaning up on big porgies with clam-baited high-low rigs and have even seen a decent run of weakfish recently, along with a few run-ins with racer bluefish, which is a refreshing change of pace. Check out their website and book your trip while the fishing is good!

The Celtic Quest has capitalized on the weakfish bite happening on the north shore this week.

Captain Stu Paterson of Northport Charters said the fishing has been great this week at their kids fishing camp. In fact, the fishing was so good that there was a new record set for most fish caught in 100 minutes. The young anglers reeled in 138 keepers, 130 of which were porgies topped off by 8 cocktail bluefish. Talk about fast action in the Long Island Sound! There were even some fluke in the mix, but unfortunately, no keepers on the flattie front. Porgies are the best thing going in the Sound right now, with sea bass and blues rounding out the catch. Check out northportcharters.com to book a charter with Captain Stu this fall.

From Orient Point, Captain Rich Jensen of Nancy Ann Charters continues to put his charters on quality stripers in the rips of the Long Island Sound, with both quality and quantity hitting the deck. The blues have mostly cleared out of the rips, so bass fishing has improved overall. They’re still doing well on the bottom fishing grounds too, bringing in some jumbo sea bass here and there. Check them out at nancyanncharters.com to book a trip or learn more about the charters they offer throughout the year. They sail out of Duryea’s in Orient.

Nancy Ann Charters is finding good bass fishing off the North Fork this week, with a few good-size eater bluefish in the mix.

Steven at Wego Fishing Bait and Tackle in Southold reports that Peconic Bay has porgies and weakfish biting alongside northern kingfish and blowfish, a.k.a. northern puffers. There are also a lot of people going out for big blue crabs recently. The Sound side is fishing well for fluke in areas of sandy or muddy bottom, as well as around reef sites. Meanwhile, surfcasters are enjoying good fishing for stripers that are taking eels off of some of the rocky beaches between Jamesport and Orient. Porgies are in thick, but anglers want something different this time of year to keep things interesting. Thankfully, sea bass fishing has been good in the Sound too, but according to Steven, you’ve got to fish 85 feet and deeper to find the keepers. Steven said they’re moving a lot of clams for those sea bass, but it always helps to go out armed with some Gulp in the event that sea bass are turning their noses up at the natural baits.

From White Water Outfitters in Hampton Bays, OTW Contributing Writer, Jeff Lomonaco, reports that inshore bass fishing in the bay is very good considering it’s mid August. Jeff said there are lots of fish in the inlet and throughout the bay, with some anglers even finding decent fishing on the flats. The class of fish is anywhere from schoolies to slots, and there are even a few overs mixed in. Montauk has been good for larger bass too, especially for the surf fishing crowd. On the bottom fishing front, fluke fishing is good, but it’s better inside the bay than in the ocean. There are a few boats scraping together a few keepers out front, but flattie efforts are better focused in the backwaters. Offshore, yellowfin tuna are being caught on the flats near the canyons, and bigeye are showing up more and more. At the inshore tuna grounds around 15 to 40 miles out, mixed yellowfin and bluefin are entertaining the masses, with bluefin ranging from the little football schoolies to giants, which, as Jeff said, poses a problem to anglers who prepared for one or the other. It’s nice to catch a couple surprises when tuna fishing, but not when you’ve got spinning gear rated for football-class bluefin and commercial size fish come put to play.

When I spoke to David at Westlake Marina in Montauk he was watching a band of anglers butcher 3 yellowfin and 1 bluefin right there at their fish cleaning station. David said there has been excellent fishing for yellowfin tuna recently, and some smaller bluefin mixed in. The yellowfin are hitting live bait, poppers and jigs, and some anglers are still finding success by trolling. Closer to home, the bottom fishing is good, but the sea bass fishing isn’t what it should be. There are a ton of shorts that make finding the keepers tough, but porgies are saving the day, per usual. David also reported a few triggerfish coming in regularly as bycatch, which are tasty specimens that have become more common here in recent years. The fluke fishing, sea said, has been much better than last year, and although there haven’t been any giants brought in recently, there are quality keepers being caught regularly. As far as striped bass, there’s not much to be said unless you’re a wet-suiting surf fisherman or a boater willing to run to Block Island.

Eastern Long Island Fishing Forecast

Over the next week, the best opportunities for inshore anglers are going to be chasing fluke and striped bass inside Shinnecock Bay, or by the inlet. With stripers from schoolie to over-slot size cruising the flats, where there could also be fluke staging along the drop-offs, fly fishermen have great opportunities for a couple multi-species outings. Get your fix of stripers and perhaps put a couple flat fish in the cooler while you’re at it.

Bottom fishing is good in Peconic Bay too, especially if you’re interested in keeping a smorgasbord of species. Not going to lie, a bottom-fish fry is a favorite late-summer/early-fall pastime of mine to enjoy with friends. In the bays, kingfish, puffers, porgies, fluke and more (like triggerfish) can yield a nice mixed bag for the dinner table. If you’ve never fried up a jumbo northern puffer, I highly recommend it.

And for those heading offshore, or at least to the mid-shore tuna grounds, come prepared for bluefin of all sizes. They continue to take live baits and jigs south of Montauk, while further offshore, yellowfin and bigeye are the name of the game.

Surf fishermen need not worry, the time for stripers in the suds will soon be upon us. Montauk is still giving up fish here and there, but it’s a grind, and many anglers—like Brandon Sausele and Kenny at Turtle Cove Tackle— are reporting run ins with brown (sandbar) sharks when fishing at night. Until the striper bite picks up a bit, bluefish are here for the taking, and anglers should keep an eye out for albies and bonito—both of which have shown up just north across the way in Rhode Island and Cape Cod.

It sounds weird to say, but soon enough, fall run fishing will be upon us. Start prepping your gear for hardtails now, and if you’re like me, grab some sand eel imitators for the fall run before the tackle shop rush. Last year, when sand eels came in shallow around mid- to late-September, I was glad to have done my shopping in advance. Slug-gos, Joe Baggs sand eels, needlefish, grab ’em all while they’re available!

Thanks for reading, enjoy the fishing this week, and don’t forget to give it your all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *