The Prime Time III out of Orient by the Sea was “catching everything under the sun,” according to Capt. Mike Boccio on Monday morning. Scup numbers are up, and there are so many bluefish, they interfere with the bass fishing. Fishing for all bottom species is good, and there are more sea bass now. A few triggerfish still show up in catches along with an occasional six-pound summer flounder that comes up with the porgies.
Liz Caraftis at Charlie’s Mattituck Marina and Fishing Station explained that lots of small sea bass mix in with the local scup along Long Island Sound. Porgies, too, are mixed sizes with the largest fish now about 12 to 13 inches in length. The only fluke in the catch are shorts showing occasionally among the porgies. Blues are mixed sizes from cocktails to large fish, and no one has seen any weakfish of late.
Steven at WeGo Fishing on the Main Road in Southold termed the Peconic Bays “alive” with weakfish, blowfish, and “kingfish” (northern whiting). Action breaks out daily from Greenport all the way back to Roses Grove. Scup are everywhere; there are still cocktail blues at Jessups Neck while the best action for larger blues is in Plum Gut or Fishers Island Race.
Matt at the Rocky Point Fishing Stop has been bass fishing frequently with Capt. George Grosselfinger on the Second Chance out of Orient. They’ve been seeing a lot of teen-sized bass on the night shift with occasional large fish in the usual spots out east. Back west in the Shoreham area, there are some small bluefish to three pounds along the beaches, with bigger slammers to 10 pounds off Mount Sinai. Scup haunt the beaches along with the first blowfish seen in years. Abundant snappers are now three to five inches in size. Along the South Shore, the bays have lots of short fluke to 18 inches, with occasional keepers. Triggerfish are also common. Montauk has big bunker schools with consequent action on stripers. The best bass catches are on eels and scup (live baits). A few bluefish come from the Montauk surf as well.
Warm water (84 degrees in Long Island Sound) hasn’t hurt the scup fishing according to Dave Brennan, skipper of the Peconic Star II out of Greenport. Overall, the fishing is O.K., says Dave, with porgies still available in good sizes and in all depths. Sometimes the pick is slower when certain drops don’t pan out or when tons of tiny sea bass interfere. Boat traffic and bad manners among boaters make some days challenging.
Kyle Baugher at Captain Marty’s Fishing Station in New Suffolk was impressed by continued summer action and figures this bodes well for the fall, too. Scup around Buoys 22 and 24, fish to 16 inches, and weaks to 25 inches off Roses Grove highlight the catches. In mixed bags are blowfish and “kingfish” (whiting), while both the North and South Race produce cocktail blues. Ted At We Go Fishing in Southold pointed out that summer weaks are also available off Shelter Island around South Ferry. A smattering of weakfish came from Long Island Sound off Greenport recently. Fishers Island Race continues to produce bass by day and night while Montauk seems to be “on fire” for stripers, fluke and sea bass.
A lengthy report came from Bill Czech at Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck. Czech calls the Peconic Bay action “the best we’ve had in 20 years,” suggesting that the weakfish in the hole between Nassau Point and Robins Island are often larger than expected for this time of year (up to five pounds). The Race and Plum Gut feature big blues to 12 pounds, and night bassing continues to hold up. Spot (members of the croaker family not usually seen north of New Jersey) show up in catches of scup and kingfish in the western Peconics, surprising DEC fisheries experts. One keeper fluke came from the Greenlawns, but Shinnecock is the place to go for summer flounder, especially Buoy 17, Pine Neck, and Buoy 7, the Basket area. Long Island Sound beaches continue to produce scup and nothing else.
Mark at the Rocky Point Fishing Stop mentioned local snappers and blue claw crabs as well as blues and bass in 80 feet of water. Just as they are at points east, scup are the big draw off the beach. Predators are absent among the schools of peanuts and large bunker spotted locally, and the South Shore beaches remain quiet, without any bait schools by day.
We talked at length on Monday with Capt. Bob Ceglowski, skipper of the Captain Bob Fleet out of Mattituck Inlet. Ceglowski has been running combination trips for scup, sea bass, stripers and blues with quite a bit of success, despite warm Long Island Sound temperatures (up to 81 degrees in recent days). An abundance of stripers, some in the 18-to-24-pound class, up to nine keepers a day, and a blast of porgies last week have given anglers a lot to be happy with. Nevertheless, fishing can be “picky” at times, and the fade of fluke action since early July has been disappointing. Often the targeted fish are not in the usual places, and it may take 10 or more drops to produce limits of porgies.
Charlie Caraftis at Charlie’s Mattituck Fishing Station and Marina on Mattituck Creek noted action off Hortons on stripers to 20 pounds and “gorilla” bluefish in teen sizes. The largest scup taken by small craft fishing 30- to 40-foot depths are 14 to 15 inches in size. Anglers fishing on the drift pick up sea bass to 16 inches, and there are quite a few triggerfish around. One boat had six. A steady pick of weakfish to 21 inches makes a nice bonus.
Steven at WeGo Fishing in Southold explained that the Peconic porgy fishing was very good and that there were lots of summer weakfish available in the Noyac and Greenport areas. Some pods of summer flounder appeared recently off Trumans Beach, and scup action remains very good on the eastern Long Island Sound. Plum Gut and Fishers Island Race continue to produce nicely with bass on the ebb, both day and night, and bluefish by day. Chris at Captain Marty’s Fishing Station in New Suffolk described good catches of porgies — the best fish in that area are around 12 inches — and weakfish to 20 inches, particularly off Nassau Point, Buoy 22. Snappers and blue claw crabs continue to please locals around the docks.
Finally, from the Rocky Point Fishing Stop to the west comes a description of “the doldrums” off the beaches with hints of success only “in the middle of the night.” While there are still scup off local beaches, there are no predators working the bunker schools tight to the shores.
Steven at WeGo Fishing on Main Road in Southold told us scup action continues from Buoy 16 in Little Peconic Bay out to Noyac with cocktail blues numerous off Jessups Buoy 17. Long Island Sound porgy fishing is still excellent with bluefish out east. While there are some keeper fluke off Gardiners Island, better action can be found in Shinnecock Bay. Steven said the striper action on the morning ebb Monday was excellent out east with lots of throwbacks from the 20s into the 40s.
Charlie Caraftis at Charlie’s Mattituck Marina on Mattituck Creek liked the striper action before daybreak off Hortons Point on live eels. He has weighed some fish in the 40-pound class recently, too. Once daylight comes, large bluefish appear on the scene and chop up the eel baits. Anchoring and chunking will produce not only blues, but also the occasional sand shark to six feet in length. Scup fishing continues torrid from Iron Pier past Hortons Point, with the largest fish usually in more than 40 feet of water. There are some weakfish to 20 inches mixed with the porgies as well as triggerfish of around two pounds. The best scup of the week was a jumbo 21-inch fish, taken from shallow water and stuffed with mussels. A few small blues can be found early and late on local beaches.
Bill Czech at Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck liked the weakfish numbers around Nassau Point, Robins Island and in Roses Grove. Hi-lo porgy rigs seem to score pretty well. For Peconic scup, go to Buoys 22, 24 and 30 rather than Jessups Buoy 17. With warm bay temperatures (up to 82 degrees!), the incoming ocean water in Shinnecock Inlet produces the best fluke fishing, fish to 23 inches, but there are some good fish some two miles out in the ocean; sea bass can be found in the ocean mix, too. Montauk bassing is best for boats using baits while the beaches don’t seem to be producing at all.
Vinny at Camp Site Sports in Huntington Station filled us in regarding action to the west. South shore beaches are best for chunking now while the inlets are good for bucktailing by night. Bluefish range from cocktails to seven-pound choppers. Offshore sharking is quite good for blues with some threshers thrown in, and the tuna bite is now far offshore. The 40-to-80-pound tuna “close in” have dissipated.
Capt. Dave Brennan on the Peconic Star out of Greenport was enthusiastic about the scup fishing this month. Usually you wait for August for the better fishing with fish difficult to find in July. Not this year, though fish are in somewhat different spots. Some of the jumbos are spectacular, 18 to 19 inches! There are plenty of bluefish around, but blues are not yet a nuisance.
Liz Caraftis at Charlie’s Mattituck Marina on Mattituck Creek said there were plenty of scup in mixed sizes everywhere from the Northville Pipeline to Hortons Point. The biggest fish, jumbos to 15 and 16 inches, can be found in 40 to 45 feet of water. Bass fishing off Hortons continues to be quite good on chunks and live eels, even during daylight hours. Fish over 40 inches, including one 45-pounder, were reported. Summer flounder are all shorts. Hortons Point also has its share of large bluefish.
Linda Czech at Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck told us beaches were quiet. Excellent striped bass fishing still continues by night in Plum Gut and Fishers Island Race while a new wave of smaller summer flounder seems to have moved into the area around Gardiners Island. Stan Hentschel at the Rocky Point Fishing Stop also spoke of good fluke numbers but sub-legal fish. The overall porgy fishing close to the beaches and in boats impressed him. Snappers in four-inch sizes are showing along Long Island Sound, and blues from cocktails to slammers are also in the area. If you find them, keeper stripers are in up to 70-foot depths now.
Our final report came from Captain Marty’s Fishing Station in New Suffolk where porgies and weakfish are principal attractions. Scup are west of Robins Island while the weaks, fish to 24 inches, are taken on high-low rigs off Roses Grove. Porgy sizes have declined somewhat in recent days, and short fluke have pushed into the area near Jessups Neck. Cocktail bluefish can be found in both the North and South Race around Robins Island and off Jessups. In the latter zone, anglers should try diamond jigs to four ounces.
The Fourth of July week looked awfully good for fishing, all the way from the Peconic Bays to Fishers. At Captain Marty’s Fishing Station in New Suffolk there were lots of scup, fish to 16 inches, around Robins Island. Blowfish and kingfish (northern whiting) were in the mix as well. Most bluefish are still in the Jessups Neck area with some cocktails in the North and South Race. Weakfish to 22 inches are consistently taken by porgy anglers using clams (for scup) or bucktails. Suggestion: Try Roses Grove or Buoy 22.
Nighttime bass fishing during the period around the Fourth of July impressed Bob Haase at Orient by the Sea Marina. Ramp traffic has picked up thanks to scup action, and specialists return daily with catches of bluefish anywhere from three pounds to slammer sizes. Steven at WeGo Fishing on the Main Road in Southold advises serious scup anglers to chum rather than pick fish on the drift. Rocky Point and Trumans Beach areas are excellent as well as Plum Island and slack water in the Gut. He described the night bite of striped bass as an “ebb, not flood” situation. Gardiners Island has the steadiest fluke fishing for specialists working Eastern Plains Point, not the Ruins, with a recent 9.65-pounder weighed at the shop.
On a busy Tuesday, Bill Czech at Jamesport Bait and Tackle Shop in Mattituck told us that scup were everywhere in the Mattituck-Southold area, with favorite spots from Mattituck Inlet back to the Pipeline. The best fish still approach 16 inches. In the Peconic Bays, Czech likes Buoy 22 for porgies, and advises anglers who pursue summer weakfish to try little tins or bucktails. Except for a few larger fluke near Bug Light, keeper summer flounder are hard to find in the Peconics, with smaller fish making up all but a few percent of the catch. Long Island Sound beaches are relatively quiet save for cocktail blues.
Stan Hentschel at the Rocky Point Fishing Stop figures that most keeper fluke in the western area have dispersed with shorts now dominant. Bluefish are sporadic, and boat fishing is best now for both blues and stripers with larger bass in 70-foot depths. A two-day shot of weakfish, four to six pounds, and the sight of scup anglers catching kingfish and blowfish made the week interesting. Triggerfish are already numerous off the South Shore.
Local writer Tom Schlichter figures that the best bets on the North Fork are open boat fluke aboard the Captain Bob out of Mattituck Inlet or the bass off Orient for myriad party and charter boats. Shoreline fishing on Long Island Sound is pretty quiet, although scup action is everywhere.
Capt. Dave Brennan, who skippers the Peconic Star and the Peconic Star Express out of Greenport expected to be shifting to porgies at the time of this writing. In the last days of his fluke excursions, he was regularly seeing fish over nine pounds. Post-spawn weakfish also showed up recently, fish in the four-to-eight-pound class, a very good sign for the future.
Charlie Caraftis at Charlie’s Mattituck Marina on Mattituck Creek is coming off a terrific scup run with many fish in the 17-inch class over the weekend. There were not a lot of keeper summer flounder in the near inshore, but one porgy angler had a 25-inch fluke over the weekend. Around mid-May, Caraftis was surprised by the number of four-to-five-pound weaks in his catches. Small bluefish are also quite abundant. Beach stripers are quiet now, but boats fishing Hortons are producing some bass day and night. Back west, the Caraftis Fishing Station in Port Jefferson had lots of sub-legal fluke and schoolie stripers on tap off Buoy 11, working on sand eels.
Bill Czech at Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck detailed catches of the largest jumbo scup we had heard about in recent times. Fish of 20, 21-1/2, and 24 inches were measured at the shop. Finally, Stan Hentschel at the Rocky Point Fishing Stop liked the local porgy action and was impressed by the blowfish (puffers) along the beaches. Fluke tend to be short, smaller than those taken farther east. Bass were not plentiful with occasional keepers and better fish outside the shoal areas. South shore beaches were also quiet, with bass schools working on bunker in 50 feet of water, although Montauk appears to have a reasonable run,
Capt. George Grosselfinger, who runs the Second Chance charter out of Orient by the Sea, called to say that boats are doing very, very well on nice stripers to 40 pounds, especially at night. Grosselfinger expressed disappointment with the early-season beaches for bass, but there was simply no bait on the beach in April, although the boats did well.
Capt. Rich Jensen, getting ready for a night bass trip on the Nancy Ann in Orient, had an excellent day on a scup trip. He told us that bassing is a little better than last year; it’s a good sign that there are lots of smaller fish around, too. The second run of fluke seems to have arrived off Gardiners Island with many keepers in the 21-22-inch range and pools over six pounds. Jensen wonders if the first run actually went through before the season opened.
Steven at WeGo Fishing on the Main Road in Southold felt that the Long Island Sound bite on fluke was also good now. For scup, the best Sound action was off Rocky Point, East Marion. Beach fishing is best along South Shore beaches while the Race and Plum Gut are tops for boaters pursuing bass. Steven has weighed three linesiders around 38 pounds at the shop in recent days. Jessups Neck is loaded with small “cocktail” blues to three pounds.
Phil Loria at Captain Marty’s Fishing Station in New Suffolk is seeing abundant porgies, but the sizes have dropped considerably in the last weeks. The best scup posted this season was an 18 1/2-inch silver platter. One bright spot was a showing of weakfish in the 22-23-inch class west of Robins Island. Fluke are plentiful, but all are sub-legal, 18-19-inch fish.
Stan Hentschel at the Rocky Point Fishing Stop was happy now that Shoreham has opened its beaches to fishing although the $25 fee for entry is steeper than expected. There was excellent fishing in the area, with some bass to 30 pounds and good fluke fishing. The Captain Bob, sailing from Mattituck Inlet, reported summer flounder to eight pounds, and scup to three and a half pounds have graced the shop scales in recent weeks as well.