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EXCELLENT WEAKFISH, BLUES & SCUP

Posted By Fred Golofaro, June 8, 2020
EXCELLENT WEAKFISH, BLUES & SCUP
Weakfishing has been hot in Great South Bay and the Peconics. Joseph Pappone caught this one near Point O’ Woods in Great South Bay.

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, fishing for all the usual species has busted wide open all over the East End. Porgy fishing remains phenomenal in the Peconic’s as well as in Gardiners Bay, especially in Cherry Harbor. Many of these scup have big shoulders, so I’ll assume that they are returning to the deep ocean waters now that the spawn is nearly complete. Weakfish are also abundant in both Little and Big Peconic Bays as well as in the Sound, especially around the Mattituck area. My son John and I fished with my buddy Ron Suda aboard Ron’s boat on Friday just east of Mattituck Inlet in 30 feet of water where we tallied up 9 weakfish to 5-pounds on the start of the outgoing tide using Smackdown and Dirty Boxer Fishbites. We released all but one for photo ops, then transformed into a pair of dinner fillets for Charlie and Liz at Mattituck Fishing Station. Striped bass are plentiful as are bluefish throughout Montauk waters, the Peconic’s and in Plum Gut with the latter producing excellent bass fishing and keeper ratio to 20-pounds. Fluke have come on strong in recent days and continue to gain momentum as the days and water temperatures grow warmer along Montauk’s south and north side as well as the Sound and the Greenport and East Marion areas. Grab your masks, keep your distance and head for your favorite fishing grounds and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed no matter what you decide to target.

Along the South Shore, bluefish are still your best bet for hot and heavy action. The choppers are still pushing the 10 to 12-pound mark, with smaller ones from 2 to 6 in the mix. The blues are from Moriches to Great South Bay. For fluke action, the bite is gaining speed daily, with fish to 7 pounds reported this week. On the striper front, all the school sized bass you want can be had at the Moses Bridge, especially after dark. For larger fish, keeping in mind you cannot keep fish over 35 inches, fish are on the outside chasing the bunker pods. This year, please do not snag and drop a bunker. Reel the bunker back to the boat and re-rig with a single circle hook. This way the larger bass can be easily released. Blowfish are all over Great South Bay and make great table fare, plus the kids – young and old – will have a blast catching them. Clam on the hook with a chum pot and clam chum will surely make for a fun day.

To the west, fluking varies from fair to good so it’s worth your while. The tried and true methods so far are bucktails with spearing or squid, or Gulp. They are being found outside west of Jones in 60 feet, the 2nd Wantagh, 4 Corners, the Freeport Canal, the Loop Parkway and Great Kills in Staten Island. Bass are being clam bellied at local bridges and in the early morning and early evening in the channels. On the outside troll your Mojo rigs or bunker spoons. Party boats making the long runs found large cod on the offshore wrecks. Weakfish are making an outrageous run at Ocean Beach so grab your sandworms, Bass Assassins and Dirty Boxer Fishbites.

Up on the North Shore, bass activity was pretty solid this week. The preferred method was to troll Mojo rigs or bunker spoons, but anglers who bunker chunked also did well. Execution Light near City Island saw nice size bass to 40-inches. Other top areas were Matinecock Point, buoy 15, and 32a, the Middle Grounds and the Triangle. The harbors at Huntington and Cold Spring saw good activity but most bass were schoolies. Porgies are already strutting their stuff in the Sound and elsewhere. It was lock and load at buoy 13, Target Rock, Old Field, Cranes Neck and Rocky Point. Clam and worms are the baits. Fluking was pretty good with more keepers showing up as the waters warm up. Top spots included buoy 9, the Brush Piles and the Nissequogue River. The top tickets were spearing, squid and bucktails.

In the surf, Bluefish continue to dominate the surf scene, with good action being reported from around many parts of the Island. Sizes are ranging anywhere from cocktails to the high teens, depending on the location and the day. The numbers of blues in our waters this spring are a welcome change from what have been a few relatively lean years blamed on overfishing, which resulted in bag limits being dropped from 15 fish to three for recreational anglers and five for those aboard party and charter boats. Some people are apparently still unaware of the new regs since I’m hearing a lot of complaints concerning people keeping many more than three blues.
Ditto for the new striped bass slot size limit which requires any bass under 28 inches or over 35 inches be released. I’ve received a number of photos of dead bass quite a bit larger than 35 inches that were obviously not released. There was no upper size limit on stripers through last season, only a 28-inch minimum. This past week saw a definite increase in the number of slot fish being reported, along with improving numbers of big fish ranging from 20 to 40 pounds in some areas.
Fluke fishing from shore areas also improved this week as inshore water temperatures continued to rise. Fluke, including some keepers, were reported from a number of bay and inlet shorelines this week on bucktails tipped with Gulp, Fishbites, squid or spearing.
 

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