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BIG BASS AND BLUEFIN TUNA IN PLAY

Posted By Fred Golofaro, June 15, 2020
BIG BASS AND BLUEFIN TUNA IN PLAY
Jamaica Bay has been the scene of some quality fluke fishing. Here is Sheryl Kallo with two of her four fish limit caught on Sunday.

On the East End, striped bass and bluefish will be this week’s best bet as the fish are as thick as fleas around Montauk Point, along the South Fork beaches, inside the Peconic’s, Plum Gut, The Race and along the north shore beaches. Although many of the bass are under 28-inches at all locations, there are plenty of fish in the 28 to 35-inch range for most anglers to limit out on. There are also quite a few big bass around that must be released. Diamond jigging catches the gamesters. Surprisingly included in this week’s inshore report are bluefin tuna which are as close as six miles from the beach and they are everywhere to where small vessels are catching fish to over 200-pounds. Big eye and longfins are offshore and in good numbers. Porgies seem to be on the move but remains as good as it gets in the Peconic’s, Gardiners Bay, Plum Gut and along the south side of Montauk. For those angler’s porgy fishing along the north shore, nice big chunky porgies are abundant anywhere west and east of Mattituck Inlet with Ducks Point off the Firing Range red hot for scup. Depending on the location and who you ask, fluke fishing ranges from slow to good. The best area seems to be along the south side of Montauk in 40 to 50-feet of water. Inside between the Forks, it seems as the sporadic fluke bite is beginning to pick up once again. Shinnecock Bay fluke fishing seems to finally be waking up while shorts dominate the Sound, especially by buoy 5. However there are some nice fluke around the Mattituck area. Weakfish remains good by Jessup Neck, buoy 17 and up along the north shore. Blowfish remain plentiful inside the Shinnecock Canal along with some porgies and snapper blues.

Along the South Shore, if you want to practice catch and release there are plenty of trophy size stripers on the bunker schools. These bass, all of which are easily over 35 inches, must be released quickly. When the striper clamps down on your thumb, she is ready to be released. Also, when snagging bunker, please reel back to the boat and re-hook with a circle hook. Have fun and practice safe release of these trophies. On the inside, the fluke action is very good in Moriches, especially the Elbow area. In Great South, they are all over, but you have to weed through shorts slip gut. Your best bet for the fluke is the outgoing as the waters are still on the cold side. Weakfish remain good at Tanner Park, and near Ocean Beach. Small tins tipped with grass shrimp, sandworms or soft plastics will get the job done. On the bottom front, blowfish and kingfish should continue to please with clams, worms and clam chum the best option. Crabbing is also picking up at the local docks.

To the west, bass are the most reliable species right now. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in some areas most of the fish being caught are over the slot limit in the 40-pounds plus category. Anglers trolling west and south of Debs and just outside Jones Inlet encountered plenty of big boys. Mojo rigs, spoons and diamond jigs worked well, and bait anglers scored with live lined bunker. Blues action broke wide open and the party boats chasing them had outrageous action. Most are cocktail size but some big gators to 13-pounds were captured. The offshore waters are very fertile as party boats scored on big cod, good numbers of tilefish and even some bluefin. Ling activity is slam bang at the Cholera, Hempstead Reef and the AB Reef.

Up on the North Shore, bass and porgies have been the most active species. Stripers are keeping rods bent in the Harbors at Port Jeff and Hempstead. If you work bass on the inside, offer them swimming plugs, poppers or paddle tails. On the outside you will probably up your score by trolling Mojo rigs and bunker spoons or tossing diamond jigs. Bait anglers should employ bunker. The hot spots have been Execution Light, the Middle Grounds, the Narrows, and buoys 9, 15, 32a and the OB. Porgy activity just keeps growing at Manhasset Bay, Oyster Bay, City Island, Cranes Neck, Old Field, and Rocky Point. Fluking overall was poor to fair. However, it seems there are plenty of shorts in most areas with an okay number of keepers. Check out Manhasset Bay, the waters in and around Smithtown Bay, Cedar Beach, Oyster Bay, Diamond Point, the Brush Piles and the Nissequogue River. Reports filtered in of some weakfish in the Narrows, at the Herd and Execution Light.

In the surf, bluefish continue to provide some solid action in a number of areas, and more big bass are finding their way into reports. The East End seems to have the edge in quality bass and consistent bluefish action but there are enough fish in other areas to keep casters interested. Slip gut continues to plague casters in places like Fire Island where the slimy weed has frustrated those fishing inside the inlet, and also along the open beach at times. The best window for clean water in this area remains the last part of the incoming current and the very beginning of the ebb.

Some big bass are finding their way into the surf with reports of 30 to 50-pound fish coming from the East End, more specifically Montauk’s south side and the Shinnecock area. Justin Rostron bucktailed and released a 50-plus in Shinnecock Thursday night (3 a.m.), and several bass from 30 to 50 pounds were caught and released on Montauk’s south side on night tides this week.

Speaking of Montauk, Mike Addeo relayed word that he fished the open beach near Hither Hills from Monday to Wednesday between dawn and 8:30 a.m. each day. Working the bottom of the tide through the start of incoming, he was into blues ranging from 2 to 13 pounds, with a few school bass mixed in. He also dropped a bass in the mid-teens in the wash. Tuesday at first light saw the best action. He added that bunker pods were moving off the beach just out of range and all his fish were caught on 3-ounce white Super Strike poppers.
 

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