August 23, 2006
Water's Warm, But Fishing Is Cool
Yes anglers, the water has gotten a bit warmer than we would like it to be at this point in the season although fishing is still great in a few spots; good in general and a bit picky in some locations.
Striped bass have been on the tails of bluefish along the Sound, with the night bite scoring higher points than that by day and a lot of customers on those North Fork charter and party boats have been limiting out on some really terrific scup with some beyond expectations at more than 14 inches. Capt. Sloan Gurney of the Black Rock out of Orient reported that bluefish were everywhere, allowing some patrons to go home with blues in excess of 10 pounds. He also noted jumbo porgies and nice-sized bass that were both being caught on his vessel (at the same time), due to some well-organized chunking. Double your fishing pleasure anyone?
There was a posted report of a 14+ pound fluke hooked off East Marion about a week ago while Gardiners Island still remains a good location to find a decent fluke if you are patient. The Sound and the Sluiceway both remain strong locations to take a fat porgy or surprise yourself with a decent weakfish.
Everyone I spoke to said that Montauk was the prime spot these past few weeks for bagging that doormat fluke. Vinny from Freddie's Bait and Tackle in Montauk reported that there has been a generous amount of fish on the night bite at North Bar, False Bar, Jones', and along Shagwong. Shagwong has consistently been yielding some fine catches especially if evenings were your venture. Bass and blues are always in the evening mix with best results on poppers and pencils.
In Hampton Bays, Steve from East End Bait and Tackle told me that there were some big fluke out in the ocean in about 50 to 70 feet of water while a few customers to his shop had found a ton of snappers within and just outside the Shinnecock Canal. He explained that striped bass and biggie blues were a frequent event just off the Ponquogue Bridge with monster scup off Rogers Rock and the Peconics. Snappers, he noted, were at least six inches long while many pushed their lengths in excess of eight inches.
George from Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor reported that the fluke off Gardiners were quite impressive along with some decent sea bass in the deeper waters. "There are lots of porgies at Gardiners and you should be sure to chum heavily," said George. He also told me that the biggest blues he'd seen this past week were caught in the rips off Gardiners and a bunch of porgies had moved into the local harbors.
Tight Lines reported that fluking was still good and that weak-fishing had escalated by buoy #16 in the Peconics although they were just a touch smaller than what he'd expect for this time in the season When I asked George about snappers, he said that there were plenty around and they continue to get bigger. Great news for young anglers!
Ken at White's Bait and Tackle in Greenport said that his favorite fish this week was the Spanish mackerel. "It's arrived; they're here," said Ken. They have been seen from Mattituck Inlet and places east while a few were spotted a day ago off Horton's Point in Southold. However, the anglers who found them had no luck in reeling them back to shore.
It seems that Spanish macks, according to Ken, are stealthy and cautious, especially if you are in a kayak, as his buddies had picked for easy angling on a windless day this past week.
Ken recommended that you, "try shiny lures, like bucktails or Hopkins or try small diamond jigs or a small, flashy bucktail. They might just go for it." Then he said, you should spend two days scoping out the area, checking the tides and seeing how flat the surface was.
Ken had also had reports of false albacore, especially to the east and in Montauk while bonito had been observed to the east of the North Fork. White's reported a good bass bite along the beaches although he noted that the local water was a bit too hot and we needed cool nights to put things in proper perspective. Ken told me that sand worms were phenomenal with spinners for striped bass, especially if slow motion was employed in the delivery.
White's weighed in some giant scup from rocky structures in the bay, especially off Plum, Fisher's and Gull islands. Not bad for this time in August when things slow down for a short while in preparation for the tumultuous fall run.
Linda at Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck reported that crabbing was great in all of the creeks and streams while porgies were huge off the local beaches. She noted that weakfish were strong in the bay, especially to our east by Shelter Island and that snappers were keeping all the kids happy.
Steve at WeGo in Southold said that it was "bluefish city" out east wherever you could possibly want them to show up. He said the daytime bass bite was a bit slow these last few days, probably due to warmer waters. He expected that to change with the upcoming new moon and predicted a pickup in night striped bass angling.
WeGo saw a ton of porgies this past week from the waters north of Plum Gut and around the Ruins. Good scupping is always a big draw for our east end economy and Steve noted that fluke were all out by Montauk; the best and biggest being taken on live killies, sand eels and spearing.
Weak-fishing was a spotty business on the North Fork though that should change when the weather and water cools.
So anglers, the fishing is not quite fabulous, but it's certainly more than decent and it holds some amazing surprises this time of year
Good Fishin' to all of you!