With bluefish now firmly established on both the North and South Shores, striped bass keying on bunker and scup within casting distance of most North Shore and East End bay beaches, opportunity abounds at the moment even though the fluke bite remains lighter than expected.
“South Shore fluking action actually slipped a bit over the past week in response to cool water temperatures,” said Cat. Anthony Gillespie of the Capt. Lou Fleet in Freeport, “but it did show a little more life on Thursday morning.”
Gillespie has been targeting summer flatties in bay waters between the Meadowbrook Bridge and Debs Inlet with the best scores made on nuclear chicken Berkeley Gulp! baits tipped with fluke belly. “Our best trip this week,” said the skipper, “was actually Tuesday’s offshore venture to look for cod.”
Gillespie and crew found the tasty bottom dwellers in a feeding mood and hauled a bunch weighing up to 38 pounds over the rail. Seventy five percent, he estimated, weighed 15 pounds or more. The boat has two more codfish trips planned: June 5 and June 25. Call the office at 516-623-5823 for reservations.
Bluefish action has really turned on in the waters of Great South Bay between Ocean Beach and Fire Island Inlet. Captain Walter Czekaj of the Captree open boat Fishfinder II has his customers using small diamond jigs on evening trips to drill choppers to 10 pounds, along with some schoolie stripers and a few weakfish in the 3- to 6-pound class. Day trips for fluke, he reports, continue to see spotty action in the bay while ocean adventures have produced mixed-bag catches that include some fluke, ling, sea bass (released) and monkfish up to 15 pounds.
On the North Shore, Bobby Bernier at the Campsite Sports Shop in Huntington Station called fluke action “picky,” but said there are “tons of stripers in the area.” He suggested using bunker chunks for bass to 30 pounds in the open Long Island Sound. Swim shads will connect you with school bass and blues inside the harbors.
“Peconic Bay is offering some really fun fishing right now,” said Ken Morse at Tight Lines Bait and Tackle in Sag Harbor. “Bass to 30 pounds are taking mojo rigs and parachute lures off Cedar, Nassau and Paradise points, plus Jessup Neck. A slow pick of solid fluke continues around Shelter Island, and porgies to 20 inches blanket the bottom throughout eastern Peconic Bay. There is also a decent weakfish bite south of Robins Island.”
Skinner creates on-line fluke class
Long Island fishing author and on-line videographer John Skinner is known for his willingness to share how-to information. Now he’s taking things a step further by creating a comprehensive and interactive online fluke fishing course that uses both on-water and off-water videos to help anglers maximize their summer flattie potential.
Both in-depth and easy to follow, the online course tackles fluke behavior, rigging, presentation techniques, gear selection and drift strategies, plus a series of case studies that cover fishing from boat and kayak in environments ranging from shallow bays to deeper ocean waters.
Developed in association with Salt Strong, an online fishing club that helps saltwater anglers through online courses and a community of helpful anglers, the course is available for $47 though Skinner’s page on the Salt Strong website: www.saltstrong.com/skinner.