The ocean fluke fishing improved significantly, with fluke to 10 pounds weighed in at all the bait and tackle shops along the South Shore and in New York Bight around the Ambrose Channel. The best fishing was in 80 feet of water with the top bait whole squid since there is an incredible amount of squid offshore. In the South Shore bays the fluke fishing was best in the inlets during the incoming tide as the water was cooler and cleaner than during the outgoing tide. The bays are filled with spearing, making the squid and spearing combination the top producer.
The fluke fishing on the North Shore was good from Port Jefferson to Orient Point. Bucktails tipped with squid strips or spearing were consistent producers. Good fluke fishing was reported on the south side of Montauk Point.
The South Shore artificial reefs yielded sea bass, porgies and trigger fish, as well as the occasional ling on clams and squid strips fished on high-low rigs. Live killies worked especially well for the larger sea bass, as did 2-ounce diamond jigs. The reefs are fished hard this time of year so the best fishing was tight to the structure. Large fluke were also caught on the fringe of the reefs as well as in between the rubble. There was excellent sea bass fishing off Block Island. Large triggerfish were caught on all the South Shore inlet jetties and bridges.
The porgy fishing in the Western Sound and the Peconics around Robin’s Island has been very good, with porgies to 3 pounds taken on clams. The porgy fishing off Orient Point was outstanding, with some of the best fishing in recent memory reported.
Small snappers were caught in the South Shore canals, including the Shinnecock Canal, on spearing and small tins. The snappers will grow about an inch per week and should move into the Sound in fishable quantities during the next few weeks.
The striper and bluefish action, both inside the South Shore bays, the North Shore harbors and in the surf has slowed due to the high water temperatures. Schools of dolphin continued to harass the pods of bunker in the ocean, creating tough fishing conditions. There was good striper and bluefish action off Montauk Point for trollers working Great Eastern and Pigeon Reef and for live baiters fishing in front of the light. Some of the best striper fishing was on the mid-Sound reefs for anglers fishing fresh bunker chunks. The best bluefishing has been on the night trips in New York Bight for anglers fishing both jigs and fresh bunker chunks.
The offshore tuna bite was mostly bluefin tuna around the 30-fathom line. Most of the bluefin were in the 30-pound class, with the occasional larger fish. Small cedar jigs and plastic lures provided the best action. A few yellowfin tuna in the 40- to 60-pound class were caught on the troll in the canyons. Mahi were caught under the lobster pots on cast and trolled tins.
The shark action has slowed, with a few small makos caught on the 20-fathom line and closer wrecks. Blue sharks thinned out and were caught along the 30-fathom line and further out. A few monster bluefish were caught by shark anglers.
The blue crab fishing in the South Shore bays is excellent from both the docks and by boat. Moving water was the key for successful crabbing. There was also a bunch of small blowfish in the bays.
The freshwater fishing has slowed with the warm water, but a fair number of largemouth bass and panfish were caught in the ponds on the North Fork as well as the deeper lakes in Nassau County. Small swimming plugs and nightcrawlers were the top producers. A mixed bag of pickerel, largemouth and panfish was caught on live minnows in the Peconic River. The best freshwater fishing occurred at first light.