Families looking to get dad out on the water for a little Father's Day fishing would do well to roll the dice with fluke this weekend. While stripers, blues, sea bass, porgies and even offshore shark are other possibilities, the fluke clearly have been the most reliable target.
When the weather has allowed the fleet to sail, anglers have found the summer flatties, including a fair number of keepers, stacked along the edges of shallow flats inside bays and harbors. A greater percentage of bigger fish, but lesser numbers overall, have been culled from 20- to 40-foot depths off prominent Long Island Sound points and in open ocean waters outside each of the South Shore inlets.
Out in the open waters of Long Island Sound, catches have been solid in 12- to 17-foot depths just outside of Huntington Harbor, inside Smithtown Bay, East of Port Jefferson Harbor and slightly west of Mattituck Inlet. That last spot produced an 11-pound, 3-ounce doormat for Andy Kalina of Medford on Monday -- the second double-digit fluke on the Captain Bob Fleet in the past eight days.
If you have the opportunity to time your trip for optimal tides, look for the start of outgoing water to bring out the best of the bite. For this coming weekend, that will mean getting out right after sunrise for North Shore fluke fans, or starting your day between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on the South Shore. Fret not if you can't match these prime time slots exactly, however, as the bite generally has been strong throughout the day.
While fluke continue to burn up the inshore scene, shark fishing is hitting stride offshore. Despite unsettled weather, Mark Keller at Bay Park Fishing weighed a 196-pound mako for Capt Lloyd Malsin and Team Nansea, plus a 262-pound mako for the crew of The Gambler. Several thresher sharks also were hooked this past week.
A few good reads
Several local outdoors scribes have released fishing books this spring. Covering everything from fly fishing in the surf to live-lining for monster stripers, the collective knowledge contained in these efforts is quite impressive and any would serve well as a gift or as an addition to your outdoors library. All three are available from the authors.
Captain Tom Mikoleski's Bass Buff: A Striper Fishing Obsession Guide (Grand Slam Montauk Press; bassbuff.com, $19.95) offers a solid nuts-and-bolts approach to deciphering lunker linesiders and leans heavily on the author's well-earned reputation for putting big bass on deck aboard his Montauk charter vessel, Grand Slam.
In Caught: One Man's Maniacal Pursuit of a Sixty Pound Striped Bass and His Experiences with the Black Market Fishing Industry (Amazon; Kindle, $19.95), author Jeff Nichols takes a tell-most approach in an attempt to lift the shroud that cloaks Long Island's illicit bass trade while also providing insight into the obsessive pursuit of big fish that has wrecked many an angler's life.
Angleo Peluso, author of several popular books on fly fishing, has struck paydirt again with his new Fly Fishing the Surf (Skyhorse Publishing; email: APdotcominfo@aol.) This is a comprehensive effort dedicated to surf and wade fishing along the East Coast from Maine to Florida. There's something to learn in the pages of this work for anglers of every level. Pick up a copy.