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Posted By Fred Golofaro, September 23, 2019
Weakfishing has been excellent in Great South Bay for much of the season and the action remained strong right into this past weekend. Photo by Kirk Fay.

Out east, a hard east wind and a huge ground swell most of the week made fishing for fluke extremely difficult in very nautical conditions. Some big fluke remain in the deep water along the south side of Montauk, however very few fish remain along the Sound, along Gardiners Bay and the north side of Montauk. There are still fluke in Shinnecock Bay with a few nice keepers among the shorts taking bucktails tipped with Gulp. On the other side of the coin, sea bass and porgy fishing remains second to none locally along both the North and South Forks. While the bottom fishing has been excellent close to home, many of the charter and open boats are steaming to Block Island where bottom fishing is as consistent as it can get and limit catches are common. Striper fishing is also very good near Block Island, especially for those trolling along Southwest Ledge. The bass by Block are mainly in the 25-pound range with some fish to 40 pounds. Most of the bass around the Point are small schoolies with very few keepers, although a 50.9 pounder was landed at Great Eastern. Bluefish are everywhere as are the false albacore slamming jigs and plugs close to the surface. The eastern Sound is finally coming alive with false albacore, bluefish and sea bass. Porgy fishing in the Sound remains steady.

Along the South Shore, the fall run appears to picking up steam with stripers to 43 inches caught in Moriches Inlet, and more keepers to 30 inches in Fire Island Inlet, but the numbers are not there yet. The big news is the fantastic weakfish bite in Great South Bay, especially in the Oakdale/Sayville area, but also along the Fire Island communities and around West Island. Most of the fish are 2 to 4 pounds with a sprinkling of 6 and 7 pounders. The weaks are gorging on peanut bunker which are all over the bay. Live peanuts, small fixed hook diamond jigs tipped with a sandworm or squid strip, or leadheads tipped with Gulp are all effective on the yellowfins. Fluke season closes next Monday and there are still fish in the bay and inlet to 24 inches but your best shot at a keeper may very well be in the ocean by next weekend as the fish continue to migrate offshore.

Further west, the bays are inundated with blowfish, kingfish, porgies, sea bass and weakfish. Break out a chum with clam or bunker chum and you can enjoy some excellent mixed bag action. Weakfish made a good showing in the Copiague Hole and near the Wantagh bridges where they were taking bucktails tipped with squid or sandworms. Bass are in the back bays and around West End bridges taking swim shads and popping plugs during the day. A few keeper bass have fallen to live eels at night. Sea bass and porgies continue to keep rods bent on inshore wrecks and reefs, but fluke fishing at this end of the Island has really slowed. Quite a few blues in the bays and inlets but most are cocktails with a few to 8 pounds occasionally in the mix.

In Long Island Sound, blues are providing solid action in Little Neck Bay and Manhasset Bay where tins and diamond jigs have been effective. Blues and bass are being diamond jigged in the Triangle off of Huntington, while to the west, cocktail blues have been providing solid action at Glen Island and Hudson Park. The waters around Eatons Neck and Caumsett came alive with albies. Light tackle anglers tossing Epoxy Jigs and Deadly Dicks have been connecting with the speedsters. The Middle Grounds are seeing a nice mix of bass, blues and albies. Porgies remain a red-hot commodity throughout most of the Sound for those soaking clams or worms. Bass action continues to improve slowly. Schoolies can be found in the back bays and at local bridges. Fluke fishing continues to fade and with the season ending on the 30th there are no indications we will see a last-minute flurry of activity.

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