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Long Island’s fluke action finally warms up

Mate Zach Hindin, brings aboard a fluke during

Mate Zach Hindin, brings aboard a fluke during an afternoon fishing trip in the Great South Bay on Captain Tony Greco's boat, the Dolphin, based out of Freeport on Aug. 10, 2013. Credit: Steve Pfost

It’s taken a while for fluke along Long Island’s South Shore to get into a serious feeding mood, but the past few days indicate that things are headed in the right direction.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday saw increased action and more keepers caught inside Shinnecock and Moriches Bays, as well as in Reynolds Channel to the west and the ocean waters outside of Fire Island Inlet. Fluking also remains very good out of Huntington Harbor on the North Shore and seems to be picking up outside of Hempstead Bay, Port Jefferson and Mattituck, too.

Capt. Steve Kearney, aboard the Point Lookout open boat Super Hawk, has done most of his fluking in Reynolds Channel and west toward Atlantic Beach. He noted that anglers using light tackle and a rig consisting of a fluke bullet for a weight and two teasers tipped with spearing or squid were most likely to take home some fillets. Among the keepers his fares accounted for this week were two doormats weighing over 8 pounds.

“We had our best fluke trip of the year so far on Wednesday,” said Capt. Mike Wasserman on the Freeport open boat Starstream VIII. “Our half-day morning trip saw most anglers ice two or three keepers to 5 pounds in Reynolds Channel. Those using Gulp! swimming mullets for bait racked-up the best scores.”

Fishing outside of Fire Island Inlet, Capt. Jimmy Higgins of the open boat Captree Pride said fluking was quite good on Wednesday. Fishing in 50- to 70-foot depths, his fares tallied 150 summer flatties between the morning and evening trips, with 36 keepers. His fares also scored best using swimming mullets for bait.

Moriches Bay seemed to perk up, too, over the past few days — and not just with fluke. Capt. Joe Tangel’s Center Moriches charter vessel King Cod scored with a decent number of keepers to 6 pounds pulled from The Narrows area between Forge River and Smiths Point Bridge. Chet Wilcox of B & B Bait and Tackle, also in Center Moriches, added that a new set of stripers has moved into the area with several 30-pound class fish and plenty of 15-pounders caught inside the bay on live bunker. Blues, ranging from cocktails to ’gators, were also pursuing the bunker pods.

Substantial sized stripers slipped into many of their other favorite haunts on both the North and South shores this week. Boats and beach fishermen soaking bunker chunks on the bottom have drilled quite a few 25- to 35-pound stripers outside each of the Western Long Island Sound harbors. In the Northport and Port Jeff areas, a run out to 60-foot depths in the Middle Grounds will find the fish hitting bunker chunks, trolled spoons and Mojo rigs.

Striper action has been good out of Orient Point, too. Capt. Phil Kess on the charter boat Fishy Business has seen plenty of linesiders in the 30- to 36-inch class hit the deck in recent days, plus a few weighing 35 pounds or more.

“It’s been a lot of fun with the bass lately,” stated Kess, “but the porgy fishing at Cherry Harbor has also been excellent and fluke, while not especially plentiful off the Greenlawns and Bug Light, often stretch the tape well beyond the 19-inch minimum size limit.”

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