If you stayed home between the raindrops this week you missed out on some vastly improved fishing action. From Peconic Bay to Jamaica Bay, catches of nearly all local spring favorites picked up steam. Even the North Shore, which had been struggling with cool water temperatures, witnessed stripers and summer flatties beginning to stir.
“Porgy fishing is outstanding in Peconic Bay,” said Capt. Mike Boccio of Orient Point’s Prime Time fleet. “It takes just a couple hours fishing around Shelter Island to pull a limit catch. Some scup top 3 pounds and blues are biting, too. As for fluke, it’s a steady pick of big fish with a few shorts. Joe Decena drilled a 9-pounder on Monday. Most fluke check in at 3 to 6 pounds.”
If you don’t have a boat, you can get in on the East End action by casting from the west bank of Shinnecock Canal. Catches there aren’t as strong as out in the open waters of Peconic Bay, but there has been a steady pick of scup, fluke and school bass — and you can’t beat the access. Catches at this location are usually best when the locks are about to open or have just closed. You can call the lock-tender at 631-852-8299 to find out the lock status before heading out.
Anglers working Fire Island Inlet, Great South Bay and even the Captree dock also have been well-rewarded for their efforts, said Brenden Rutigliano at Captree Bait and Tackle. “Since this rain started there’s been a nice mix on the dock with a few keeper bass, plenty of schoolies, plus some legal fluke. Swimbaits and bucktails tipped with Otter Tails have accounted for the best scores.”
As the action has surged along the South Shore, the Captree open boat fleet has been right in the mix with a solid fluke bite that includes a decent number of keepers. Those boats sailing in the evening for stripers have begun catching bass and blues, along with an occasional weakfish. Most of the bass have been tossbacks, but some ‘teen-class fish are now joining the fun.
Anglers fishing around Jones and Debs inlets have been enjoying some especially diverse catches. Witness the mixed-bag score made Thursday at the Atlantic Beach Bridge by Mike Redmond and Jim Sarnataro aboard the Irish Mist. According to Vickie Keller at Bay Park Fishing Station, they used Spro bucktails tipped with Gulp! to induce blues to 5 pounds, a dozen school bass, plus six fluke, including a keeper. On Monday, Richie Forrentino with Ronnie Lemza hit Jamaica Bay for a 10-pound fluke using glass minnow teasers and Spro bucktails. Wednesday found Lloyd Malsin and crew on the Nansea II trolling Tony Maja Mojo rigs south of Debs Inlet, then anchoring to chum winter flounder with mussels, clams and sandworm baits. They tallied 35 stripers and 15 flounder, keeping limits of both.
Things is still a little hit and miss on the North Shore depending on the port, but school bass and some keepers are now falling for trolled tube-and-worm combos in Glen Cove and Stony Brook harbors, and swimming plugs in Northport Bay. Mark McGowan at Cow Harbor Bait and Tackle in Northport said the best local fluking has been in 20-foot depths between Crab Meadow and Sunken Meadow on squid and spearing baits.