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Posted By Fred Golofaro, April 27, 2020
A few better size bass, like this slot fish beached by Brian Spreckels on the South Shore, are mixing with lots of shorts.

Stripers continue to dominate reports in our region, but by next week, Long Island, Metro NY anglers should have a whole new set of targets to choose from. Blackfish will be off the menu after Thursday, but blues, weaks and porgies will become options by next week, and don’t forget fluke. That season opens next Monday and a fair number of the flatties are already being reported by anglers targeting other species.

On the East End, cod are again in the picture this week with decent fishing at Outer Cartwright with one in seven fish being a keeper to 8 pounds. Porgies are thick inside the Peconic’s but with all the gusty winds and cold air temperatures this week, the scup suffered from a case of lockjaw. Stripers are also in the Peconics, and along South Fork and North Fork beaches. The Shinnecock and Quogue Canals along with the back bays and creeks in Shinnecock Bay are all producing school size bass, but very few keepers. No reports of weakfish on hook and line, however they have been showing up in local commercial nets. Fluke season debuts next Monday and should start strong inside Peconic and Shinnecock bays.

Along the South Shore, both Great South and Moriches bays are yielding good action with school bass although dropping water temperatures slowed the bite in some areas this week. A couple of hook and line weakfish were caught in boats near Ocean Beach but water temperatures need to get back near the 50 degree mark for the yellowfins to turn on. Flounder remain a tough go, but porgy and cod action on the outside reefs has been rock solid. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the opening of fluke season next Monday as a decent number of summer flatties have already been caught and released by folks targeting other species.

To the west, better quality bass are coming from Raritan Bay and Great Kills on trolled Mojo Rigs and bunker spoons. Good numbers of schoolies are in Jamaica Bay and the West End Bays from Amityville to Oceanside taking Swim Shads and Bass Assassins. Cholera and Hempstead Reef have produced some small cod along with some keeper blackfish. Two small bluefish were landed on the 69th Street Pier and more yellow eyes were reported from North Jersey waters. Look for them to spread east in the next week or so.

Up on the North Shore, bass still get top billing with fish to 30-inches being reported. To the west, Orchard Beach Lagoon, the City Island Bridge, Ferry Point Park, and the upper Hudson at Yonkers have seen consistent action. Little Neck and Manhasset bays, and Hempstead Harbor have seen a few bigger slot fish to 35 inches. Moving east, stripers are getting most of the attention in Oyster Bay, Cold Spring Harbor, Northport Harbor, and out to the North Fork. Soft plastics, swimming and popping plugs, clams and worms have all been effective. Blackfish action has been slow as water temps cooled down, but some were reported off of Matinecock Point, Old Field and Cranes Neck, and from North Fork beaches, on green crabs, sandworms and clam.

In the surf, plenty of school bass continue to keep casters busy around the Island, especially in the bays and harbors. Some areas saw the bite tempered a bit by water temperatures falling back into the mid 40s, the result of several nights of temperatures in the 30s and a steady dose of overcast skies and rainy weather. A few more fish in the 28 to 35-inch slot are being reported but shorts continue to far outnumber the keepers. Some bluefish have made their way into North Jersey waters so we should see them enter the picture here by the end of the month. There have been some weakfish reported in nets and a couple from boats in Great South Bay, but we really need that water temperature to get back near 50 degrees for them to turn on. With a mostly rainy and overcast week ahead, that won’t be easy.

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