The offshore tuna fishing continued to improve, with 20- to 40-pound bluefins moving to within 12-miles of Shinnecock Inlet in quantity, reported Scott Jeffery at East End Bait and Tackle. Bluefins were also reported along the 30-fathom line south of Jones Inlet, around the Coimbra wreck and west to Montauk Point. Feathers, cedars and small plastic lures all produced well for anglers trolling in search of the schools of bluefins.
Once the schools of bluefins were found, anglers fishing diamond and butterfly jigs were rewarded with outstanding light-tackle fishing. Six-inch sardine and mackerel patterns tied on 3/0 to 5/0 short shanked hooks provided a world-class opportunity for anglers using 12-weight and heavier fly rods and casting into the bluefin schools pushing bait to the surface.
Further offshore, larger bluefin, and yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds, were trolled on plastics at The Canyons and The Flats. The night chunk bite has yet to kickoff.
Most shark anglers have switched their efforts from the blue sharks that are still roaming the 30-fathom line due to the cool ocean temps, to the improved mako bite at the 20-fathom line, Glory Hole, Linda Wreck, Chicken Canyon and in 150 feet of water south of Montauk Point. Most makos averaged 125 to 150 pounds, with a few weighed in over 250 pounds. A few brown sharks around 50 pounds were reported with the makos.
Thresher sharks in the 40- to 60-pound class continued to be caught only a few miles off the South Shore beaches by anglers targeting fluke in 40 to 60 feet of water and by those targeting stripers and bluefish under the schools of bunker in the same areas.
Threshers to 400 pounds were caught as close as the 20-fathom line, but the better reports came from the 30-fathom line south of Shinnecock and east to Montauk Point.
The South Shore inlets and ocean surf striper fishing remained good but has begun to slow a bit, with anglers were reporting fewer large fish. The most notable exceptions were off Montauk Point and Orient Point, where reports of 40-pound stripers were common, especially for anglers using live bait off Montauk and drifting bucktails or live eels in The Gut off Orient Point.
Along the North Shore the best striper fishing was reported by anglers targeting small schoolie stripers in the Nissaquogue River, along the Mount Sinai jetties and from the beaches east of Horton’s Point. Tins and poppers were the best daytime lure, while spearing imitation flies and small swimming plugs were the top nighttime producers.
Bluefish to 5 pounds continued to be caught in all areas. Blues up to 10 pounds were reported by offshore anglers and also off Montauk Point. Blues to 12 pounds were caught under the bunker schools in the western Sound during the day and were also caught diamond jigging and drifting bunker chunks at night.
Overall, the fluke fishing was inconsistent. This may be due to the fact that few large schools of squid were found offshore and there seems to be fewer spearing in the bays and harbors. The good news is that the fluke were typically keeper sized east of Fire Island Inlet. West of the inlet, most fluke were shorts with only a few keepers mixed in. The fluke action from both the North Shore and South Shore beaches was good on both bait and bucktails.
The porgy fishing continued to be excellent off Port Jefferson and east to Orient Point for both boat and shore anglers. The porgy fishing was good off the western Sound beaches around Glen Cove and Huntington Harbor.
The porgy fishing in Gardiners Bay, around Shelter Island and in The Peconics remained excellent. Porgies were caught on the South Shore artificial reefs. Clams were the top bait in all areas.
The freshwater fishing for pickerel, largemouth bass and panfish was very good in all the local lakes and ponds. The best fishing was reported in the Peconic River system. Early mornings and near dusk were the best times to fish.