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From the bays to the blue water, anglers found lots of species in a cooperative mood, and the weather couldn’t have been better.
By Fred Golofaro  |  June 24, 2019
Pete and Jeff with fluke to 8.50 pounds caught in Montauk aboard Top Hook. Fluke fishing improved dramatically in some parts of the Island this week.

Let’s hope this past weekend sets the pattern for the rest of the summer as the fish and weather combined to make it the best fishing weekend of the young season. As expected, sea bass season got off to a fast start around many parts of the Island, following weeks of frustrated anglers having to return numerous sea bass, some as large as 5 pounds, as by-catch to other species. Fishing was especially good on the East End and on South Shore wrecks and reefs, where lots of ling helped fill buckets. The sea bass limit is currently 3 fish but that expands to 7 fish from September 1 through December 31. The size limit is set at 15 inches.

Whether it was the moon or warming water temperatures we can’t be sure, but fluke fishing improved dramatically in the ocean, inlets and bays this past week as a new body of fish moved inshore along the South Shore and out east. That’s good news for those participating in this weekend’s Duke of Fluke Tournament sponsored by Comb’s Bait & Tackle in Amityville. It takes place on Sunday and you can still enter at the shop.

Lots of stripers have settled into the rips off of Montauk and Orient Point, with good numbers of big fish, especially in Montauk, sharing the grounds with many smaller fish. Bass fishing also took a turn for the better in the central Sound as bigger fish have worked their way east.

Porgies continue to oblige in bucker filling numbers in Long Island Sound and out east, while some outstanding weakfish catches continue to be made in Great South Bay and Noyack Bay. Good numbers of blowfish are also being reported from boats and docks in the bays. Bluefish are spread from one end of the Island to the other, although the Sound has yet see blues in any numbers. Some southern visitors also got into the act as several cobia and black drum surprised anglers this past week.

Offshore action continues at a torrid pace when the weather allows. The hot bluefin run continues, with the fish spread from Jersey to Montauk and beyond, and sharking heated up just in time to accommodate several weekend tournaments.