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Posted By Fred Golofaro, July 27, 2020
Quality fluke like this one caught aboard the Montauk open boat Ebb Tide have been the rule in Montauk and in the ocean along the South Shore.
On the East End, fluke fishing continues to improve and anglers who have them zeroed in and are putting in the time are being well rewarded with limits of quality flatties to 12 pounds. Cartwright and the Frisbees Grounds are producing quality over quantity while the North Grounds and the Midway Rips producing loads of short fluke. Most of the cow bass that have swarmed the rips in sight of the Montauk lighthouse have moved off to the waters of Block Island. Some big female bass still remain in the local rips, however the rips have been taken over by jumbo porgies and some giant sea bass to 5-pounds. Sea bass fishing remains top shelf and will earn this week’s title of best bet, being abundant just about anywhere you find a rock pile or a wreck along the East End including the Sound and ocean. Scup fishing remains off the charts and would be the best bet if you haven’t had your fill yet. If you want to fill a cooler with ling and even a cod or two, the CIA and Cartwright Grounds are loaded with the red hake pestering anglers hunting down big fluke at the latter spot. Summer weakfish are providing great fishing inside the Peconic’s with porgies, kingfish and blowfish mixing in especially in Noyack Bay.

Along the South Shore, head outside Fire Island Inlet and try to find a new body of fluke. A vertical presentation will work well with larger whole squid or bluefish fillets, plus Gulp in 5 and 6 inch sizes paired with heavier bucktails. If the drift is faster, try using a sea anchor to slow you down. Another fun option would be to break out the shark identifier guide and hit the bunker pods and see how many different types you can hook. From what I have heard, there are many to be found. The kids will have a blast at the docks too as crabbing, snappers and blowfish remain a great option. For anglers wishing to stay in the bay, the two best fluke options remain Harts Cove in Moriches and from the CG Station to the Lighthouse in Great South Bay. The top of the flood continues to get the nod for the best bay fluke action.

To the west, fluke action is gaining ground and the ocean areas are heating up quickly. The incoming tide was very productive at Cholera, Hempstead Reef, the Tankers SW of Jones, the Wolcott Wreck, Fire Island and Jones inlets, the Meadowbrook, the Wantagh and Reynolds Channel. Bucktails, bait rigs, spearing, squid, sand eels and Gulp were the tickets. Porgies were doing their thing at Hempstead and AB reefs and the McAllister Grounds. Kingfish, porgies and blowfish are doing well in the bay. Spanish mackerel are putting on a show at Jones Inlet and Ambrose Channel. Have your diamond jigs and epoxy jigs handy. Schoolie bass can be taken at local bridges on clam bellies.

Up on the North Shore, porgies remain a hot ticket in several areas such as Rye Playland, Little Neck Bay, Manhasset Bay, Old Field, Cranes Neck and City Island. Sea bass can be found at 32A and 9. Worms for scup and clams for the sea biscuits. Fluke action saw plenty of shorts but a shortage of keepers. Try the deep-water spots with structure at 28C and west of 11B. Bass anglers saw the better action at night. There are a few in Little Neck Bay. Bass at the Middle Grounds were trolled or duped on live eels.

In the surf, go east is the word if you are looking for the best opportunity to tangle with bass or blues in the waning days of July. Rising water temperatures and crowded beaches have plunged most of the Island’s shorelines into the dog days of summer, while Montauk continues to provide consistent action with bluefish and a reasonable expectation to connect with a slot or better striper, or decent numbers of schoolies. Along the South Shore, sharks dominated this week’s reports. Up on the North Shore, porgies rather than bass or blues seem to be the only species that can be relied upon for any consistent action. The other option entails traveling up to the Cape Cod Canal where casters enjoyed some solid action with quality bass this past week.
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