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The weather and the fishing have entered the summertime phase of the fishing season, providing lots of opportunities for Long Island and Metro area anglers.

By Fred Golofaro  |  July 1, 2019
Fluke fishing took a turn for the better in many areas this week. Peter and Frankie picked through lots of shorts for these keepers caught in Jamaica Bay on Gulp.

With the cool, wet weather that marked a good part of the spring in our wake, it looks like most of our species are settling into a summertime mode. The numbers of fluke in many areas saw noticeable improvement, although shorts still far outnumber keepers, which comes as no surprise given the 19-inch size limit. If you are looking for a doormat, the East End is still the place to be. The south side of Montauk is producing some fish into the double digits when conditions are right, along with good numbers of 5 to 8 pounders, and the rips are well stocked but you will have to pick through many shorts. Gardiners has also come to life, and Shinnecock Bay is producing some good skinny water flatfish action for light tackle fans.

Striped bass are also settling into summer mode. While the action around most of the Island is experiencing a slowdown, big fish are just settling into East End waters where the July moon should produce some excellent catches. Bass to 50 pounds were recorded this week in Montauk, mixed among quite a few smaller fish. Trolling Mojos or umbrella rigs in the daytime, and drifting live eels on night tides has been the recipe for bigger fish. A few big bass are still riding escort on bunker schools along the South Shore but you will have to do a lot of searching to find the right pod of bunker. There were a pair of 50 pounders reported out of Fire Island and Moriches this week but that fishing is fading fast.

Reports of good sea bass and porgy action are coming from many parts of the Island, with sizes varying from area to area. South Shore wrecks and reefs are harboring both species, along with loads of ling. There is good fishing for mixed size porgies in many parts of the Sound, while Montauk continues to yield better size scup in general. We had a couple of reports of big sea bass coming from the Mattituck area this week, including one from our own East End Report columnist, Tony Salerno, who slammed a bunch of jumbos with a friend of his.

Bluefish action has simmered down considerably as what has become a familiar pattern of good spring fishing and then the blues disappearing, seems to be taking shape again. There are still good numbers in Montauk, and the Point has seen some pretty good mid-summer action the past few years, but they have been MIA come the fall pretty much everywhere. Some scattered reports of cocktails in East End inlets and the Sound, but that has been the extent of it.

In the surf, the best play for bass and blues is the East End, more specifically, from Moriches Inlet east, and the North Fork. Sharks and rays are settling into the surf along the South Shore and some casters have turned their sights on them, while others are downsizing their tackle and feeding bucktails and Gulp to fluke. Remember that you cannot target brown (sandbar) sharks or sand tigers and if you do hook one, they must be immediately released without removing them from the water. If you are looking to relax and want to go home with some dinner, many North Shore beaches are surrendering good numbers of porgies, as are the sand beaches in Montauk. Pack some sinkers and hooks, pick up some sandworms or clams and don’t forget your beach chair.

Offshore wise, the season is off to one of the best starts in recent memory, thanks mostly to the incredible numbers of bluefin tuna bending rods along the 30 fathom line, while bigeyes, yellowfin, mahi and biIlfish are at the edge in good numbers if you tire of the bluefin bite. Acres of bluefin are being reported among shoals of sand eels whjich are also being feasted on by whales and porpoises. The bluefin are being trolled, jigged, caught on topwaters and also on thin profile soft plastics. Sharkers are finding plenty of action with threshers at 20 fathoms and sometimes well inshore of that.