With light winds and little in the way of precipitation predicted through Sunday, anglers around Long Island should have no excuses when it comes to heading out in search of their favorite species this weekend. The possibility of gentle seas comes at a good time, since fluke action has been on the upswing around much of the Island, porgy and sea bass remain abundant and offshore skippers could use the opportunity to search for a more consistent bite with tuna in the canyons.
Montauk remains the hot spot for big fluke, with catches solid over the past week at the Cartwright Grounds and down the south side. As was the case last year in mid-August, the size of the summer flatties has been outstanding with plenty of 4- to 7-pounders hitting the deck, plus a surprising number of doormats in the 8- to 10-pound class. Squid strips and Gulp! grubs remain the top baits here.
While “The End” remains the hottest spot for doormats, action with the summer flatties has also improved significantly along the South Shore with the Freeport and Captree fleets catching well inside the State Channel, Fire Island Inlet and in ocean depths of 50 to 70 feet. The Atlantic Beach Reef and the Cholera Banks have seen some especially good action with fluke in the 5- to 7-pound class taken. In many cases, anglers are also creeling a limit of sea bass while targeting the flatfish.
In Peconic Estuary, a pleasant mix of school weaks, porgies, kingfish, blowfish and snappers continue to keep rods bending in Noyac Bay, Southold Bay and off the southwest corner of Robins Island. This is great fun for kids and beginners and usually results in a mixed bag of fillets that can be perfect for a fish fry or fish chowder. A simple bottom rig baited with clam or squid is all that’s needed to get in on the fun.
Over on the North Shore, porgy fishing continues to shine and the tight-schooling bottom dwellers are spread thick from Prospect Point to the beaches of Riverhead. Shore-bound anglers should try to set up on sandy beaches adjacent to prominent rocky points and fish clam baits right on the bottom. Boaters, on the other hand, will do best to drift until encountering a substantial school, at which point a switch to fishing with clam chum at anchor should quickly fill your cooler.
Sign up for hunter’s ed
Hard to believe, but opening day for Long Island’s whitetail archery season on Oct. 1 is less than eight weeks away. If you are thinking about heading afield to hunt for the first time, be aware that you’ll need to first complete a mandatory hunter and bow-hunter education course before you can purchase a bow hunting license.
Each year, more than 45,000 New Yorkers take the DEC’s hunter and trapper education courses — but they fill up quickly so don’t delay. To locate a course, visit the DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/hunting.html and select <Hunter Education>.
New York’s hunter education courses are highly effective in promoting safe hunting. Approximately 500,000 licensed hunters in New York State spend an estimated 10 to 15 million days afield each year. In 2016 only 13 hunting-related shooting incidents were recorded. That’s the lowest number on record since the DEC began compiling hunting-related shooting statistics in 1958.