Long Island/NYC Fishing Report – September 4th, 2015
The offshore waters reached 78 degrees this report period, which is a few degrees above normal and will likely extend the offshore fishing season late into the fall. The warm water has slowed the striped bass fishing significantly but has brought mahi mahi within the 10-mile line along the South Shore beaches, along with large amounts of triggerfish. The mahi were caught trolling small feathers, spoons and on chunk baits and flies cast to lobster pots and along weed lines.
Mike at Saltwater’s Bait and Tackle reported that there were schools of mackerel just offshore. The mackerel have been hanging around for the past few weeks. This is very unusual as mackerel are typically a mid-winter fish and even over the past 20 or so winters have been spotty. Mike mentioned that this is the first time he has seen this abundance of mackerel in the summer. The mackerel schools are likely contributing the large numbers of inshore sharks that were being reported by nearshore boaters as well as surf anglers.
Surf anglers were catching sandbar sharks or brown sharks, while the boaters were also catching threshers, makos to 100 pounds, hammerheads and a few dusky sharks a few miles out of the inlets. A few of the threshers have worked their way into the South Shore bays. Surf anglers have regularly reported seeing sharks cruising the surf line attacking bluefish, bunker and mackerel. Mike also reported that large fluke were being caught in the Great South Bay, with a 10.1-pounder being weighed in by Billy Wax. Mike also weighed in a 62-pound yellowfin caught at the Hudson Canyon.
Scott Jeffery at East End Bait and Tackle reported that there were plenty of sharks feeding on the huge amount of bunker and mackerel offshore. Most sharks coming back to the docks were threshers. A few bluefin were caught inshore, as well as some mahi. Out at The Canyons the best action has been concentrated in the Hudson, with bigeyes accounting for most knockdowns. This is by no means a hot bite as most guys are having a hard time coming home with a tuna. Striped bass were hanging around the Ponquogue Bridge and in the ocean surf in the early morning and late evening. Most fish were of schoolie size.
Quite a few cocktail-sized blues were being caught in the North Shore harbors and South Shore bays. The best fishing was at first light and in the late afternoons on small tins and flies. The blues were feeding on small bay baits, making them a good target for flyrodders tossing 1/0 spearing imitations. Larger bluefish were jigged at night on the open boats running out of the South Shore inlets and in the western Sound. A few stripers to 15 pounds as well as weakfish to 8 pounds were caught during the nighttime bluefish jigging trips.
Frankie at Bernie’s Bait and Tackle reported that the snapper fishing is very good. The snappers are around 8 inches long and are attacking spearing, snapper poppers and small tins. Overall, the crabbing was good, with some very large crabs reported, but in general the numbers of crabs caught was down. Frankie also reported good fluke and northern kingfish fishing off Beach 8th street to the mouth of East Rockaway Inlet. A few stargazers were also caught in the same area.
In general, the sea bass fishing was slow inshore and good offshore. With the warm water temperatures the best sea bass fishing was on the wrecks and hard bottom between 90 and 120 feet of water, and in Block Island Sound. The sea bass fishing off Montauk Point was excellent, with fish to 4 pounds reported by many anglers and open boats. A few jumbo porgies were mixed in with the sea bass.
The sea bass fishing on the South Shore artificial reefs was good, with the majority of the sea bass reported as small but enough keepers caught to make targeting them worthwhile. Clams, squid strips and small diamond jigs were all productive.
The fluke action on both the North and South shores was good, but the number of keepers was down. The usual baits, including squid and spearing combos, Gulp! baits and bucktails all produced well. Inshore, the incoming tide is best as the offshore water is a bit cooler and cleaner than the inshore water. Offshore, the fluke were scattered from just off the beach to about 90 feet of water. The largest fluke were caught on fringes of the offshore wrecks, at Cholera Banks, in Ambrose Channel and off Montauk and Orient points. The fluke fishing in Ambrose Channel from Sandy Hook to the Verrazano Bridge was good, but anglers had to cover a lot of water to find fish.
The water temperature in the East End bays and Sound was reported to be 80 degrees, resulting in slow porgy fishing. The best porgy fishing was in Gardiner’s Bay and off Orient Point on clams. Good porgy fishing was reported off New Rochelle in the western Sound. Heavy chumming with clams improved the fishing significantly.
Carp continued to be caught on corn and doughballs. The panfish action remained good. The best largemouth bass fishing was reported by anglers fishing early morning using poppers and spinnerbaits.