Right on time for tournament season, big sharks have filtered into Long Island waters. Blue sharks have led the parade so far, but it's been threshers and makos that have turned the most heads.
"Guys did well Saturday in the Freeport Hudson Anglers Shark Tournament," said Richie Rosenkranz at Woodcleft Fishing Station in Freeport. "Glenn Kapoussian from our marina won that contest with a 542-pound thresher caught aboard his Reel Games. He ran 43 miles south of Jones Inlet to find that fish."
Rosenkranz expects Kapoussian to be in the running again for Saturday's 20th Annual Woodcleft Fishing Station Shark Tournament (516-378-8748). "With relatively calm seas predicted for this weekend," he advised, "I'd take the long run south or south/southwest toward Monster Ledge or even Chicken Canyon. That should help you reach out to the migrating makos and threshers that haven't quite gotten here yet."
Out on the East End, sharking remains super off Montauk. Ed Groppe and skipper David Walters Jr., teamed to wrestle a 377-pound thresher on the Reel Deal to win last Saturday's 28th Star Island Shark Tournament, with many of the top contenders coming from waters roughly 25 miles south of Montauk Point. A 390-pound mako was also caught by the Top Hook but missed the weigh-in deadline.
The 44th Montauk Marine Basin Shark Tournament (631-668-5900) runs from Thursday through next Saturday and marina owner Carl Darenberg expects it to be quite a contest. "I'm guessing some of the biggest fish will come from an area about 25 miles south of Block Island where there is plenty of squid to attract the predators," he said.
The 38th Great Gun Shark Tournament (631-697-3021) run out of Moriches Inlet is slated for Saturday.
Of course, you don’t have to run offshore to enjoy a little fishing competition. In fact, you don’t even need a boat to enter the Showdown at the Shore (631-559-5938) scheduled for noon Fridaythrough 3 p.m. Sunday. In this contest, entrants fish for stripers, blues and fluke from shore between Debs Inlet and the Fire Island Lighthouse. "I wouldn't be surprised if some of the winning fish came from the Jones Beach Fishing Pier here at field 10," said Capt. Ed Walsh from Jones Beach Fishing Station, a sponsor of the event.
If you just want to get out and fish without the weight of competition, you've got plenty of solid options. Porgy fishing is on fire along the North Shore between Eaton's Neck and Port Jefferson while Long Island Sound fluke are hitting well out of Huntington, in Smithtown Bay, east of Port Jefferson and west of Mattituck Inlet. Striper action has also picked up in the Eatons Neck Triangle, and in the Race off Orient Point.
On the South Shore, look for trophy stripers to hang around bunker schools between Debs and Jones inlets. There are also plenty of fluke in Great South, Moriches and Shinnecock bays. For an East End shot at porgies and fluke, head to the Greenlawns, Jessup's Neck or Robins Island. Montauk, meanwhile, has both fluke and stripers in the local rips.
Out in the canyons, small bluefin and yellowfin tuna are along the West Wall and at 100-Square in Hudson Canyon, and mahi can be found around the lobster pots.