There is a long established axiom in our area that mid-summer heat puts a hurt on fishing scores. That may hold true in terms of quantity catches, but I’ve never been convinced it applies to trophy fish.
Certainly, the offshore tuna bite grows more intense as the water heats up in late July and August. Right now, solid action is underway with a mix of bluefin and yellowfin delighting anglers from Moriches and Shinnecock inlets. Centered between the 30- and 40- fathom lines, and around the Bacardi wreck, some of the yellows have topped 70 pounds.
For those with enough boat to make the long trek out to Atlantis Canyon, more big tuna await. In this instance, bigeye to 150 pounds have grabbed the spotlight, smashing trolled diving plugs like the Bomber 3D-30, according Brian Brown at White Water Outfitters in Hampton Bays.
The recent heat also seemed to turn on big stripers at Montauk where both private and charter skippers have been using live eels during daylight hours to pound linesiders in the 30-, 40-pound and even 50-pound class at The Elbow and Flood Rip. It’s likely the bass action will tail off somewhat as we move further from last week’s full moon, but for now it continues unabated.
Fluke action picked up in several areas around the Island this week. In Great South Bay and Fire Island Inlet, where brown tide had slowed the flattie bite, the water seemed to clear up a bit recently resulting in several doormats in the 6- to 8-pound class being quietly taken on large strip baits. Fluking in the ocean outside of Jones, Fire Island, Moriches and Shinnecock inlets seems to have improved a bit, mostly notably in 40 – to 50-foot depths.
“Striper fishing has been the highlight in the Huntington area,” said Carmine Petrone at The Campsite Sport Shop in Huntington Station. “Quite a few cows in the 30- to 40-pound class have fallen to bunker chunks and live bunker baits at buoys 13 and 15.”
That’s not a surprise to Petrone, who noted that the heat of late July and early August usually sees an uptick in big stripers off Eaton’s Neck and Asharoken Beach. Petrone suggests making your stand in the early morning.
Fluke action on the North Shore remains fast-paced but you’ll need to cull through a ton of small fish to pull together a limit. Porgies, on the other hand, are running as big as ever off West Meadow Beach. Seek them out around mussel beds in 30- to 40-foot depths.
Flax Pond internships
The Flax Pond Summer Research Institute, an intensive internship program for adults, high school and college students, is now accepting applications. The week-long program is conducted at the Flax Pond salt marsh and West Meadow Beach, among other salt marsh locations.
Interns in the program work with marine scientists, gathering data to document changes in the marshes. The program provides an opportunity to learn about the critical functions of salt marsh ecosystems and the role of research being done by scientists from Stony Brook, Cornell and Hofstra universities.
Cost to enroll is $125, but some scholarships are available. Spots are limited. Apply by Aug. 7. Visit: www.flaxpondfriends.org or call 631-767-6287.