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Posted By Fred Golofaro, June 29, 2020
Fluke fishing in Shinnecock Bay took off this week with warming water temperatures. The Willy Wall at Molnar's Landing was graced with fluke of 8-3/4 pounds by Jamie Farrell, 10 pounds by James LaRosa and another 10 pounder by Joseph Gazza over the weekend.

Sea bass season opened last Tuesday with some areas producing very good action and others seeing a fair to slow pick of fish. If you are looking to catch and release a trophy striper, now is the time. There are still cow bass on bunker schools along the Island’s southern shore with better numbers to the east, and Montauk’s rips are holding lots of big fish as well. The tip of the North Fork is also producing some very good bass action. Fluke fishing has come on strong in some areas as water temperatures continue to rise, and bluefish remain abundant around many parts of the Island. Lots of porgies are keeping sinker bouncers busy, with kingfish, blowfish and triggerfish adding to mixed bag catches. The offshore scene is alive with bluefin tuna and sharks.

On the East End, big cow bass continue to dominate the rips that surround Montauk Point. In fact, it’s quite difficult not to hook several no matter which striped bass tactic is being employed. There are plenty of legal-size bass also in the mix to keep the charter boats fillet tables busy. The waters east of Orient Point are also alive with stripers of all sizes including loads of slot size fish to fill out creels. Therefore striped bass will again be this week’s best bet. Porgy fishing is a close second, especially if you are looking to stock the freezer with quality and tasty fillets. Most scup haunts are producing loads of mixed size fish, except for the lighthouse out in front of Montauk Point which is producing mainly large to jumbo scup with a mix of stripers, fluke, and bluefish. Diamond jigs are duping the jumbo scup and sea bass. Fluke are plentiful on both sides of Montauk, however most of the flatties fall short of legal size. The fluke with shoulders can be found east of Gardiners Island and in the deep water south of Montauk. Weakfish are still top notch inside the Peconic’s and in the Sound with all the fish you care to catch to 8-pounds. The sea bass opener was surprisingly spotty with some areas doing better than others. Shinnecock Bay is seeing much better fluke fishing this week with many keepers to 10 pounds coming from skinny water. Bluefish remain abundant across the East End and range from cocktails to gators.

Along the South Shore, sea bass are on the ocean reefs and wrecks with better action out of Fire Island as Moriches has been slow to start. Clams, squid and jigs will score sea bass, along with porgies and ling. For fluke, the bay is okay with fish from the Elbow to points west in Moriches. In Fire Island, the inlet to the CG Station has been best. As for stripers, large bass are still on the bunker pods and anglers are having a blast catching and releasing big fish. Cranberry Road Dock on the Narrows is hot for kingfish and blowfish. Tanner Park on Great South Bay is producing crabs, kingfish and blowfish making for a fun time with the kids.

To the west, opening week for sea bass was fair to good. Most charter boats were able to get limit catches. The party boats reported decent action on the sea biscuits. The Hempstead Reef and McAllister Grounds seem to be the places to go right now. The 80 to 90-ft. drops are also loaded with plenty of ling. Fluke activity has picked up a tick. Reynolds Channel saw very productive fishing, especially near the Lindell School. Anglers scored by offering the flatties bucktails, spearing, squid and occasionally Gulp. Reports indicated that ocean fluking is showing some improvement. Flatties to 6-pounds were decked in Debs Inlet. Bass were biting well at local bridges on clam bellies and were responding to swimming plugs in the back bays. If you head west, the bass bite is better at night. Porgies are just starting to build up at the local wrecks and reefs. Porgy activity is also good in the Rockaways, Jamaica Bay and the Canarsie Pier. Bluefish reports indicate that most fish are in the 3 to 5-pound class with the occasional 8-pound plus chopper.

Up on the North Shore, bass remain the best option for reliable action on shorts and keepers. Larger bass have moved into the Sound and are congregating in deep water areas. Tappan Beach saw some fish in the 15-pound range while Matinecock Point had bass near the 20-pound mark. The 32 buoy had some slot fish available. Anglers also scored on stripers at 32a, 11b and the Obstruction Buoy. Bunker chunking and trolling were the preferred methods. Fluke activity was decent and saw a slight improvement in the number of keepers. Anglers experienced decent catches at Ashroken from the Causeway to the Nissequogue. The Sand Hole in Cold Spring Harbor had some flatties as well. Porgy action is holding very steady and in some areas the evening bite is better than the daytime. The top spots have been Cranes Neck, Old Field, the Middle Grounds, and the Center Island Reef. In some areas the scup are congregating in the deeper water at 40 to 65-ft. Sea bass activity is just starting to warm up. Some were taken outside Oyster Bay and in the Middle Grounds.

In the surf, The South Shore inlets and Montauk were the places to be as ocean water temperatures finally begin to climb. Unlike recent years, bluefish remain fairly abundant and the numbers of quality bass coming from the surf far exceed each of the last few seasons. Most of the bigger bass have come from Demo in Fire Island Inlet, Old Inlet (The Breach) at FINS, Cupsogue on the east side of Moriches (west side closed due to plovers), and Shinnecock. In Montauk, the south side, as well as the north side have yielded some quality stripers over the past couple of weeks. A few big fish have also come from the North Fork. The showing of big stripers around the Island has benefitted Long Island casters competing in Bill Wetzel’s 15th Annual SurfRatsBall.com East/West Striper Tournament, as all three top fish have come from the Island’s beaches. Andrea Caruana leads the way with a 48 pounder caught this past week. Jonathan Bruzga sits in second with a 40 pounder, and John Hall is in third with a 38 pounder. The tournament ends July 8th and is followed by a Shindig Barbecue on Saturday, July 25 at Captree Bait & Tackle. Everyone is welcome to come and participate in a big tackle raffle that raises funds for MORE, an organization that provides for sick children. This a great event for a great cause and I make it a point to attend every year. If you are interested in contributing product to the raffle, contact Bill at 631-987-6919.

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