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Posted By Fred Golofaro, September 9, 2019
School stripers were assaulting schools of mullet in Fire Island Inlet following the effects of Dorian. Photo by Capt. Ed Walsh.

While Dorian managed to knock a couple of days off the fishing calendar for many boatmen, raising tides and kicking up some big seas, it amounted to little more than a good nor’easter in our region. Its passage did set the stage for fall fishing, as albies finally showed inshore after weeks of harassing tuna fishermen on the offshore grounds. Fluke look like they are beginning to stage around South Shore inlets in preparation for their offshore migration, while bonito and Spanish mackerel seem to be thinning out. The storm also appears to have fired up the striper action in some areas, although it continues to revolve around mostly small fish.
Out east, Fluke fishing remained strong with plenty of double-digit flatties reported from Cartwright and the North Grounds prior to Dorian. With 15-foot seas pushing through Friday into Saturday, we are still waiting to see what affect it had on the fishing. Sea bass and porgies bounced right back for those working deep water in the Sound and off of Block Island as it was business as usual with jumbos of both species by Sunday. Striper fishing was pretty good before Dorian and it too bounced back with good fishing for some quality fish in the boats and lots of small bass in the surf. False albacore began showing prior to the storm and that fishing should continue to build as the month progresses.

Down along the South Shore from Shinnecock to Fire Island, there is still some decent fluke fishing inside the bays, but a better concentration and more keepers towards the inlets and out in the ocean. Stripers seemed inspired by the effects of Dorian with some blitzes of small bass reported from the inlets, along with a few more keepers or better reported the past few days. Great South Bay saw a repeat of the excellent weakfishing of the spring last week, especially for those drifting soft plastics in the Point O’Woods area. Look for them to begin staging in the inlets as water temperatures begin to drop. On the docks, snappers and crabs are at their peak in numbers and size, with plenty of blowfish to round out the action.

Further west, the bays are seeing some very good mixed bag action for blowfish, kingfish, snappers/snapper blues, and porgies for those chumming with clams or bunker. Fluke were still holding on the Hempstead Reef, at Cholera and at the Tankers as seas settled down, and porgy action picked right up where it left off on the reefs and wrecks. Fishing for small blues and bass picked up during and after the blow as baitfish like spearing, mullet and peanut bunker began moving from deep inside the bay and mainland creeks. Jamaica Bay is currently enjoying a very good run of weakfish, particularly in the Floyd Bennet area.
Up in the Sound, porgies continue to bite well in places like Execution Rock, Orchard Beach and the City Island Bridge. It remains equally as good through most of the Sound to the east. There has been some good action with cocktail blues to 4 pounds and small bass in most of the harbors and also along Sound beaches from Manhasset Bay to the Nissequogue River. They are also in the Huntington Triangle and along buoy 13. Fluking remains just so-so with the occasional large keeper.

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