Long Island Fishing Report
- Offshore scene comes to the beach. Tunas on the outer bar.
- Long Island is sharkier than ever.
- Cobia scene stretches eastward.
- Over-slot stripers on the north and south forks.
- Phenomenal fluke fishing this week, both east and west. Double digits near both ends of the island.
Captain Josh at Gypsea Charters in Howard Beach reports:
“We saw another week of awesome fluke fishing aboard the Gypsea II. Most trips were action packed, with countless throwbacks and nice keepers hitting the net each drift! We saw many quality fish in the 4-6 pound range this past week, with Pete Berardi taking the big fish honors with an 8.5 pound fluke. The fishing should continue to remain very lively over the course of the next month. We’re sailing daily at 6am from Howard Beach, Queens.” Reservations are a must. Call/text 516-659-3814 for details.
Bay Park Fishing Station in Oceanside reports:
Connor, Danny Ambrosio and Jon Gladstone on the “Paddy Wagon’” fished out of Debs Inlet last Thursday, using whites pro bucktails with pink shine gulp. Conner nabbed an 8.1 pound fluke.
Jerry Gimmi of “Abel” caught an 8.15 pound fluke in the same waters on Saturday. He picked the fish on a 3/4 ounce blue bucktail tipped with Gulp.
John Gwinner caught an 8.4 pound fluke that measured 28 inches on Sunday. He pulled the fish from the AB Reef in 63 feet of water, using live killies and a 4 ounce green bucktail while drifting.
Lindenhurst Bait & Tackle reports:
Jim Miller picked a huge mahi off an inshore wreck early this week.
Bill Falco from Chasing Tails Bait and Tackle in Oakdale reports:
“Fluke action is red hot in the bay and outside on the structure. Inside, a bucktail tipped with a Fat Cow strip or a Gulp! of your choice will get them in the boat. Squid and spearing combo on a shop rig will always get the job done as well. Outside, use the same rigs but with scaled up weight. Some big fish have finally showed up again. Sea Bass are coming up over the rails in impressive numbers and sizes. Epoxy jigs and bucktails are the hot lures this season. A shop hi-lo rig with some clams works very well too. Bring a chum pot for increased action. Stripers are out deep in the cooler water, fattening up for the fall run. Most anglers are out jigging, popping, and/or trolling. Live bait also works wonderfully, just be sure to rig it with the proper hooks. Bluefish reports are consistent, they’re in their usual spots crashing bait schools and destroying tackle. Tins, popping plugs, bucktails, and anything else you toss at them will get smashed. Small snappers are showing up at the local docks, along with the kingfish and blowfish. They are tons of fun on light tackle. Snappers are just like their big brothers, they’ll smash up anything shiny. Inline spinners, spoons, snapper poppers, and the shop’s famous “snapper slayer” rigs will have your rods bent all day. For the kingfish and the blowfish, a small hi-lo rig tipped with clams will have them on the end of your line in no time.
Early morning and evening fishing holds the best potential to go hit the sweet water for some sweet topwater action. Bass and pickerel love to come up and smash lures this time of year. Frogs, mice, poppers, ploppers, and weightless plastics get whomped on. Mid-day, you’ll want to go slow and low. Jigs and senkos are perfect for fishing that time of day. Trout fishing is still best just before dark, and at first light. The heat puts them right down. Dry flies are the best choice. The sunfish and yellow perch are all schooled up and easy enough to catch with a classic worm and bobber rig. They’ll have you hooked up all day, perfect for a day at the lake. “
The Capt Lou Fleet in Freeport reports:
Fluking has been awesome on the outside this week.There’s been a ton of rod bending action, with a good amount of keepers coming over the rail. We’ll continue to fish the ocean as long as the weather allows us to. We’re sailing two trips daily, from 8-12, and 1-5. Whale watching has been outstanding, with the leviathans putting on a jaw-dropping show feeding on the bunker schools. Hyde Rock once again got some outstanding photos of the spectacle. Check some of her pics out at the Long Island Whale and Seal Watching Facebook group. This week, we’ll be doing some ocean wreck black sea bass trips. They’re our most popular trip, running for 3/4 of a day. We’ve been catching jumbo sea bass, red hake and some big fluke out there. Any questions, give Captain Willie a call at 631-830-5251.
Point Lookout’s Super Hawk has been finding loads of good fish to bring home this week. Big fluke, triggerfish, jumbo sea bass, monster porgies and more have been coming over the rail with great consistency. Call for info: (516) 607-3004
Captree’s Laura Lee reports:
We found consistent fishing this week on almost all species we targeted. Daily Kim picked a 9.49 pound fluke, earning her the honor of “free trips for life!” 387 other fluke were caught on that same trip on Friday. Sea bass and porgy catches also numbered in the hundreds on Friday. The fishing only escalated through the weekend, but slowed down a touch afterwards. It’s probable the slow down was only a result of fewer fishermen though. Hundreds of fish were still being pulled over the rail on most trips. Besides those species which produced hundreds of catches, anglers found a bunch of bluefish, mackerel, some tog and lobster, a cod, a ton of sea robins, some triggerfish, a lot of ling, and some squid to take home. It was a banner week for the Laura Lee.
The Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet of Port Jefferson reports:
The bottom bite on the north shore has been consistently good this week. The catch consisted of endless scup, good eating size sea bass, and a bonus gator blue here and there. Some weakfish also came over the rail, as well as the usual greedy dogfish. Book today at www.celticquestfishing.com.
Capt. Dave Flanagan of North Island Fly in Northport reports:
Fishing is still steady on the north shore with the big bluefish. There are still some bass to be had if you can find some cooler water, or if you have a look in the usual deepwater rips. The amount of bait up here is insane: butterfish, peanuts, spearing, tinker mackerel, rain bait, snappers, and the list goes on. Cocktail blues have been ravaging the peanut bunker schools. There are still some schoolies in the usual spots, but the main game lately is bluefish. Dave’s anticipating an early pelagic season, and he’s got his eyes peeled. He’s got plenty of dates available in September and October, but call soon so you don’t miss out on booking.
He got a great report from Andrew Deutch the other day. Andrew bought Dave’s former boat, a Jones; he christened it with a 10 pound fluke on his first trip! The thirty inch fish ate just outside of Jones Inlet.
Check out Dave’s website to book him for a charter at www.northislandfly.com.
Capt. Phil of Fishy Business in Orient had another awesome week. The Shamrock Tree Company joined us for some productive bottom fishing the other day. Angers had steady action with short life, and a nice pick of keeper fluke and sea bass. A half dozen big triggerfish also hit the deck. The Goode group got out with us to target stripers, and every angler was able to take a fish home for the table. We also released a few overs and unders, making for a fun day of striper fishing. They sail out of Duryea’s in Orient. Give Phil a call to book a trip: 516-316-6967.
The Shinnecock Star in Hampton Bays reports:
We’ve been picking limits of keeper fluke out of the skinny water this week. Herb won the pool on his birthday, picking five fish between him and his friend. Two of the fish were over 5 pounds, and they were taken from 7 feet of water. Eddie Shores had a limit-plus earlier this week. Schools of spearing are growing quickly. A plain hook above a sinker or bucktail, baited with just one spearing has been getting the job done on some big fish. Call Capt. John for trip info and reservations: 631-728-4563.
Chris Albronda from Montauk reports:
Fluke fishing is the highlight of the week in Chris’ opinion. Some would argue that the 50+ pound stripers would be, but nope. The fluke bite is dynamite, with boat limits and fish up to 11 pounds (caught on the Miss Montauk). Half-day fluke boats are doing stellar work. Sea bass and porgies are in the mix. Striper fishing has been amazing, with schools of XXL fish being found feeding on squid off the surface. Offshore shark fishing is as good as it gets. Hammerheads, thresher, mako, white, blue, and brown sharks were all reported caught and released. There’s a few tuna around close, you just have to be in the right place at the right time. Give Chris a call at 631-830-3881 to book a trip. He’s available this Sunday for a “fluke til you puke” trip.
Montauk’s Viking Fleet reports:
Yesterday was very productive, with nice keeper fluke, sea bass, porgies and jumbo trigger fish. Julian Rella from Smithtown won the morning pool with a 5.2 pound fluke. The afternoon pool went to George Reid’s 2.5 pound porgy. Tuesday went similarly, with a lot of sea bass getting caught. After picking through a bunch of little ones, we managed some knuckleheads to 4 pounds.
Monday was a bit different, with a productive morning and a slow afternoon. Regardless, we were able to put a catch together. The afternoon pool went to Nick Bosticco from Mahwah, NJ who picked a 4 pound fluke. The morning, contrarily, was awesome. We found some great fluke fishing, with lots of keeper size fish. There were some beautiful sea bass in the mix as well. Andrew Krammer from Coram took the pool with a 5 pound fluke. Fishing is often slow on the slack tides, but picks up tremendously once the water gets moving. Call the office to book at 631-668-5700, or book online at vikingfleet.com.
Bill Wetzel of the Surf Rats Ball reports:
White bait has been here since June, and he spearing is gearing up in the suds. With all this hot weather, we could be in for a real treat in August. You’ll just have to put in the time to reap the rewards. Come on heat! It’s been slim pickings for big fish this summer so far. Bill hasn’t caught any large. A few guys have picked a few large out here, but not without long hours and extremely hard work. Boats are still picking fish, but it’s not as crazy as it was in June. Part of that might be due to the fact that quality eels are tough to come bu these days.
On the 31st, Bill took Elliot and Paul deep into the south side for a trophy trip. Bill picked 3-5 schoolies on needlefish and Elliot picked a rat on an eel. One more rat came on a mag darter later in the night. There seem to be plenty of small fish hanging around. On Tuesday, Dylan joined Bill for a trip into the south side. Nothing in the deep water, so we hunted the whitewater, only managing to pick one rat on a chicken scratch bomber.
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Long Island Fishing Forecast
Happy August! It’s about to be the most insane month of fishing ever. I have so much to say, and I’ll try to do it concisely.
I just experienced the coolest week of my life. I spent 6 days on the hunt for sharks with the SOFO Sharks crew, who work with Stony Brook University and the South Fork Natural History Museum. The captains are shark experts who are trained in tagging different species for scientific research. They have expensive tags which are tracked by either satellites or “ping stations” (my words, I don’t remember the correct name), which provide data on movement. They also connect DNA from the sharks, which is essentially allowing them to trace shark family trees. Here’s a pretty incredible example:
One juvenile white shark they tagged and sampled had a specific mother and father. Years later, they tagged another juvenile white shark, which would have been the next generation, that had the same exact mother and father. As I understand it, this means one of two things. Either the female stored the sperm from the original father, using it to give birth a second time years later; or the female and male white shark mated twice, suggesting some level of “monogamy” in the white shark world.
I’ve never thought of sharks in this way before, so it felt a bit mind-expanding.
So, day 1 and 2, we went out with Greg Metzger of “Reel Science Charters.” He’s the man. We launched from Captree and prodded the waters around those parts. I believe we ended up tagging a spinner and a dusky shark on day 1. On day 2, we hooked into a small tiger shark, which is the second one Greg’s ever caught. It was about 6 feet long, and super feisty at the side of the boat. We thought it was so feisty, that it had completely spent all its energy. After attempting to revive the shark for almost an hour, driving with it next to the boat, Greg got on the horn with one of the world’s leading tiger shark scientists. According to her, this laziness is totally typical of tiger sharks, and we had nothing to worry about. Apparently, if they’re hitching a ride, they’ll just “play dead” and let you do all the work of moving FOR them. As soon as we loosened up our grip on the shark, it kicked off strong, which brought smiles back to our faces. What a relief, and what an awesome catch!
The next two days we sailed with Matt Berkhout of “Stay Salty Inc” Charters. He’s based out of Moriches, so we got a little taste of east end waters for a couple days. He is also the man. We got to see some amazing stuff those two days. It was a bit less sharky on the east end, but the bunker congregations were absolutely stunning. Plus, the water quality was pretty pristine. At one point, we cruised full speed by a bunker school located about 200 yards from the beach. A giant blue body ran out from underneath it, about 20 feet away from our boat. Matt and I both saw it and gasped in unison. I assumed “blue shark”quickly, until I saw the forked tail; then I figured “white shark.” Then Matt goes “was that a bluefin tuna?!” and I realized “oh my goodness, that was definitely a giant bluefin tuna.” The fish had to be at least 250 pounds. 20 feet away from us. 200 yards from the beach. Ridiculous.
Has anyone caught one of these nearshore giants yet?? Let me know!
I can’t not mention the tuna bite that’s going on. Sounds like everyone’s talking about it anyway. According to John McMurray, who may be the most avid tuna angler on the island, there has never been more boat traffic on the tuna grounds, and there has never been less decency. The yellowfin tuna bite has been wild; the fish are ravenous, often feeding at the surface. Lots of the anglers targeting them are even more ravenous, keeping 10+ big fish for the boat. To me that sounds like a lot. John assures us that it is a lot… perhaps too much, most of the time. So take a second to think about that if you’re participating in this bite… maybe just one fish or two will do, especially if you’re going out again in the next week or two. But hey, you do you. Have fun!
I want to mention, those were two of the coolest, smartest guys I’ve had the pleasure of sharing time with on a boat. They run charters for fish, as well as their shark research charters. I learned an absolute ton this past week. I highly recommend them as charter captains, if you’re in the market. I can’t imagine having had a more fruitful time than I did. Thanks guys.
We spent the final two days with Greg again, and saw some of the coolest, sharkiest stuff I’ve ever seen. It is wildly sharky to the west. Honestly, it’s wildly sharky to the east now too. Two days after my final day with Greg, I was filming the same waters we were surveying. The amount of life seemed to have grown exponentially in that short time. I also saw life I never imagined I would see.
I saw a number of huge bluefin tuna swimming around on the outer sandbar, about 200 yards off the beach. I saw a monster cobia, swimming all by itself.
Matt Haeffner wrote an article recently about the “hunt for the hundred pounder.” I think I got it, just on film, not hook and line. Does that count? Whatever. Counts as an awesome experience if nothing else!
I saw three hammerheads hunting the same small area of water. They hunted fish, and they appeared to be hunting other sharks. Yeesh.
What a pleasure it is to have had the bunker population rebound. Life is better for everything in the ocean, and better for us as well, who get to watch everything in the ocean.
I’ll put out some footage for you guys to salivate over soon. These have been the fishiest days I’ve ever seen.
Don’t waste another minute inside on your butt. Call out of work, get in your car, get on the boat and go get in on some of this insane potential. Have fun!