It's a shame the early part of this weekend is likely to be compromised by wicked weather because local fishing action has been quite good. With a little luck, tomorrow afternoon may be fishable, but a better bet is Sunday.
Once conditions have settled enough to get back on the water, there is every reason to expect solid action. Water temperatures -- generally about 55 degrees along the South Shore and East End, and hovering around 60 degrees in Long Island Sound -- are ideal for stripers, weaks, fluke and blues. That said, anglers could use real baits, brightly colored lures and, perhaps, some added scent products to increase the odds of fish finding their offerings should the water be discolored from runoff and a general stirring.
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Heading into the weekend, striped bass were still riding herd on bunker pods outside of the South Shore inlets, inside Jamaica Bay and throughout western Long Island Sound. Quite a few were also being caught on Bass Assassins cast around the Robert Moses Bridge abutments, and on cut bunker fished on the bottom near Ponquogue Bridge and on the Shinnecock Bay flats.
Fluke were also on the feed with solid catches inside the State Channel, in the cuts and drains surrounding Captree Island, and on the flats in both Moriches and Shinnecock bays. Action with the summer flatties also seemed to be picking up steam off Montauk, inside Smithtown Bay, off Port Jefferson and, especially, Mattituck.
"We really had a nice bump in fluke catches late this week," said Bob Ceglowski of the Captain Bob Fleet in Mattituck. "On Wednesday, we found the fluke off Hortons Point and drilled 24 keepers for a light crowd. We are also seeing some bigger fish now, including a 10-pound, 13-ounce doormat caught late last week by Bryan Martin of Little Neck."
Shark tourney time
Offshore action begins to build in June. Shark fishing usually gets things started and there's a slew of offshore tournaments. The Freeport Hudson Anglers Shark Tournament is June 15. Based out of Town of Hempstead Guy Lombardo Marina, entry fee is $350 per boat and prizes can top $200,000. Visit freeporthudsonanglers.com.
The 39th Annual Moriches Anglers Shark Tournament is also June 15. Entry is $300. Call 631-878-9280.
The 19th Annual Woodcleft Fishing Station Shark Tournament is June 22. This contest has a 100-pound minimum size limit and only makos and threshers can be entered. Entry is $300. Call 631-265-1054.
The Great Gun Anglers 37th Annual Shark Tournament is also June 22. Entry is $300 per boat with $24,000 in prizes. Visit www.greatgunanglers.com.
The Bay Shore Mako Tournament is June 29, with more than $50,000 in cash prizes. Entry is $280 prior to June 14 or $300 afterward. Call 631-650-7280.
The First Point Lookout Shark Tournament is June 30. Proceeds go to Ted's and Scotty's fishing stations, both of which suffered significant damage from superstorm Sandy. It's $350 per boat, makos and threshers only. Details are available on the Point Lookout Shark Tournament Facebook page.