For local anglers, late August is sometimes associated with a period called the “summer doldrums.” It’s a time when warm water temperatures and several months of continuous pressure tend to put a hurt on catches, especially inshore favorites such as fluke, sea bass, porgy and stripers.
That doesn’t seem to be the case this year, however, as fishing remains remarkably steady at most ports — and now you can add snappers to the mix. The juvenile blues are available at most South Shore docks, across Peconic Bay, and are absolutely swarming North Shore beaches where they are easy to catch on snapper popper rigs.
“Just about everything seems to be biting well on the East End,” said Capt. Mike Boccio of the Orient Point open boat Prime Time 3 and charter vessel Jengol. “We have an abundance of big sea bass, bluefish are everywhere, and there’s a nice pick of striped bass taking place. When we run across to Montauk, we’re still catching plenty of big fluke at the Frisbees. Even cod are biting well. We decked 50 keepers to 20 pounds, plus a bunch of fluke and sea bass, on an offshore trip last week.”
Capt. Dave Brennan of the Greenport open boat Peconic Star agreed fishing is holding up very well for this time of the season. “It’s been an unusual year, weather-wise,” he said. “The east winds and occasional rain have made it tough to get out some days, but it never really got hot for a prolonged period of time this summer so the porgy fishing has remained really good every day. Mixed in with the porgies have been plenty of tasty triggerfish.”
Sea bass and fluke have been the main targets all along the South Shore and off the West End, too. While action with the summer flatties and a mixed bag of sea bass, blues and triggerfish has been a little soft outside of Shinnecock Inlet, catches both inside and outside of Moriches and Fire Island Inlets have ranged steady to good. In the Jones Inlet area, the better scores with keeper fluke and sea bass have come from ocean waters, especially around the Cholera Banks.
“Action on the North Shore continues to be solid across the board,” said Capt. Jimmy Schneider of Huntington Capt. James Joseph Fleet. There’s no end in sight to the porgies, blues are pulling together, and our fluke and sea bass trips remain productive.”
Proving there are still doormats to be culled from Long Island Sound, Saturday’s pool winner aboard Schneider’s Capt. James Joseph II tipped the scales at 11 pounds.
As for the snappers, they are an option inside just about every bay, river mouth or harbor across Long Island at this point. On the North Shore, try your luck at Huntington Town Dock, Cedar Beach Dock in Mt. Sinai, or off the beach anywhere between Miller Place and Riverhead.
On the South Shore, you’ll find plenty of snappers at Shinnecock Canal, Union Avenue Dock in Center Moriches, Patchogue L-Dock, the Captree Piers, Babylon Village Dock and the Jones Beach Piers.
Keep in mind that the limit for bluefish, including snappers, is 15 total. Of these, there is no minimum length requirement for the first 10 fish. The next five, however, must all measure 12 inches or greater.