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BLUEFISH INVADE THE ISLAND

Posted By Fred Golofaro, June 1, 2020
BLUEFISH INVADE THE ISLAND
Bluefish, from cocktails to slammers like this one, are entrenched all around the Island. This one was decked Saturday night aboard the Captree open boat Fishfinder.

Bluefish continue to dominate the fishing scene but there are plenty of other species making for some excellent mixed bag opportunities as we slip into the sixth month. Porgies continue to please in a big way, and some bigger bass are making their presence felt, while good numbers of schoolies continue to keep rods bent. Weakfish are finally up to speed in Great South and Peconic bays with some fish hitting the double digit mark. Fluke continue to get mixed reviews but the action is improving as bay and ocean waters continue to climb. Blowfish are around in good numbers and ling are plentiful on inshore reefs and wrecks. Long Island for-hire boats are sailing at limited capacity, while New York City boats are anxiously awaiting the green light for them to kick off their season.

On the East End, it’s porgy mania inside both Big and Little Peconic bays with the best fishing as far back as Rogers Rock, all the way to Jessup Neck. If that is not enough, Southold and Gardiners Bays are also filled with jumbo scup, especially inside the shallow waters of Cherry Harbor. If that still doesn’t fill your plate the south side of Montauk is also chock full of scup. It would only make sense to declare porgy fishing as this weeks best bet. Along the Sound beaches porgies are building momentum by the day as water temps continue to rise. Weakfish and blues are mixing in with the scup in both the Peconic’s and in the Sound. Fluke fishing has been okay in the usual haunts surrounding Shelter Island and off Bug Light. The fluke that are being caught from here are quality fish to 9-pounds. Fluking in the Sound and around Montauk continues to be slow keeper wise unless you happen to drift over a pod of big flatties. Striped bass just as last season are exceptionally plentiful although most are shorts. However that should all change to cow bass in the coming weeks. Sea bass are thick at most of the fluke grounds but must be released until June 23rd. Blowfish are plentiful inside the Peconic’s if you can get past the porgies.

Along the South Shore, warmer temperatures this week should turn the fluke bite up a notch. Fish the edges of the channels leading to deeper water with bucktails tipped with Gulp or Fishbites, or go with squid and spearing combos. The blowfish bite in Great South Bay remains rock solid with little and big puffers throughout the bay sucking down clams and worms. A chum pot with clam chum will boost your catch. Want to battle hard fighting, tackle busting blues? Head to the flats in Moriches and Great South bays for topwater bluefish action. Choppers to 12 pounds and larger have been roaming these areas in the early a.m. and dusk hours. Reports of small weakfish are being heard from the north side of the bay, while on the south side, near Ocean Beach, fish to 6 pounds were reported. As always, this fishery is usually a real early a.m. bite with soft plastics or small jigs and sandworms or grass shrimp. The party boat fleet is up and running with most boats by reservation only due to social distancing and capacity limitations, so check out your favorite boat’s website and hit the water.

To the west, bass activity is solid with a good number of shorts and a decent number of keepers. Clam bellies on the outgoing tide helped anglers score big at the Meadowbrook and the Wantaghs. On the outside, trolled Mojos and bunker spoons nailed bass at Great Kills and along Roamer Shoals. Fluke are doing okay in the bays. They are still being affected by cold water, weed and in some cases dirty water depending on the tide. Try the 4 Corners in Massapequa, the Wantagh and Meadowbrook Bridges and the back bays. Gulp and Fishbites are working but the natural baits of spearing and squid seemed to work better in the cooler water. A 6-pound, 9-ounce flattie was caught aboard a party boat. Ling are building up in good numbers on outside wrecks and reefs, and porgy action has been decent so far in Jamaica Bay.

Up on the North Shore, it seems that all species were in play and keeping rods bent. Bass are continuing to gain momentum with plenty of schoolies and an increasing number of keepers. Along the Sound, check out Glen Island, Execution Light, Rye Playland and Pelham Bay. Eatons Neck saw bass to 42-inches and a decent number of stripers were reported in the Port Jeff area. Trolling is key as the bass were eager to slam parachutes, bunker spoons and Mojos. Inside the harbors, trolled worms are the ticket. Fluke activity was pretty good, with the harbors yielding some fish – mostly shorts. You have a better shot at keepers off of Cranes Neck, buoys 13 and 15, Sunken Meadow and the Nissequogue River. Porgies are taking worms and clams throughout the western Sound, Cranes Neck, Eatons Neck, Centerport and Marshall Fields.

In the surf, bluefish action remained strong this week, especially in the inlet areas, but also inside the bays. The choppers have also established themselves in many areas along the North Shore. Striper action continues to be dominated by schoolies but there has been a noticeable increase in the number of better quality fish finding their way into Long Island waters. Far and away the most impressive bass of the season was the 55 incher beached by Skip Dippold at dusk on Wednesday. He was throwing a Super Strike Popper when the big bass interrupted the bluefish action on Montauk’s north side. He was able to safely release the big girl. We also heard of a 40-plus pound striper from the Peconic Bay shoreline this week, along with a couple of fish in the mid-twenties. A few weakfish are beginning to enter the surf scene, while weakfishing really improved for boat anglers in Great South and Peconic bays this week.
Another reminder on the new regulations for striped and blues in the Marine District. We now have a slot limit for striped bass. only fish measuring 28 to 35 inches may be kept. Less than 28 or larger than 35 they go back and we still have a one fish bag limit. The season runs from April 15 through December 15. The bag limit on bluefish has been reduced to three fish for recreational and five fish for those fishing aboard party or charter boats, and that includes snappers. There is no size limit or season for bluefish.
 

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