According to Capt. George Grosselfinger of the Second Chance, the doldrums seem to have arrived early this season. While June was a great month with plenty of 40-pound-class stripers and a few 50s, you were fortunate to see 30s now during this July moon, which is usually very good. It takes a long night’s tide to score at all on some nights, even in the Race. There’s always the fear that last winter’s slaughter of striped bass in the Carolinas cut heavily into the body of migratory Chesapeake fish this year. Temporarily, Grosselfinger’s charter is out of the water for repairs.
Bill Czech at Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck called the beach scene “quiet” with small cocktail blues early and late. Scup action is “nearly zero” locally, and the far east is really “up and down” with a two-fish night often followed by a dozen-fish night. There are some big bluefish to be found east of the Race, however. The Shinnecock area has a few fluke on the ocean side back toward Moriches while anglers drifting clams around the Inlet take a few bass. In the bay, crabbing has picked up and there are blowfish available, too.
Back west, Stan Hentschel at the Rocky Point Fishing Stop said that Port Jefferson had a ton of small blues with fluke available from local shorelines. Naturally, these are mostly shorts, but action is “ridiculous.” Stripers have gone deep in over 80 feet of water, and there are lots of scup in mixed sizes taken by beach anglers.
Vinnie at Camp Site Sports in Huntington Station explained that fishing was pretty much a night game for those interested in bass. Chunking produces a few big bluefish from Moriches back west to Fire Island while Montauk tends to be slow. Sand beaches have occasional innings, however. There are huge bunker schools located well off the South Shore, which keeps the body of bass too far off the beach for surf sharpies. For fluke action, try using spearing-tipped bucktails while walking the flats on the back side of Shinnecock.
According to Phil Loria at Captain Marty’s Fishing Station in New Suffolk, while fishing has slowed down in Peconic Bay, there are still small blues at times in the South Race along with a few porgies. The best concentration of blowfish is on the Middle Grounds. On moving water during the evenings, bluefish and even a few school stripers can be found off New Suffolk beaches.