Saltwater fishing action continued to pick up steam this week with porgies the hottest game in town but some quality summer flounder also turning heads.
Striped bass also seem to be sliding into more of their spring haunts and big chopper blues have put in sporadic appearances. The early edge continues to go to Peconic Bay and the western South Shore as North Shore waters east of Glen Cove harbor, being a little cooler, have yet to produce significant scores.
“Porgy fishing has been on fire,” said Capt. Dave Brennan of the Greenport-based open boat Peconic Star. “We’ve been coming in early every day with full buckets of scup weighing up to 3 pounds.”
Captain Mike Boccio on the Orient Point Prime Time 3 noted similar results, as has the Hampton Bays open boat Shinnecock Star, which cuts through Shinnecock Canal to access the Peconic fishing grounds. While you can find the silver-sided panfish just about anywhere in Peconic Bay from Greenport Harbor to Jessups Neck, the Greenlawns area south of Shelter Island has produced best.
The same area remains your best bet for catching a doormat fluke, even if the summer flatties still seem a little sluggish on the bite. Several double-digit fish have been culled from this area since the beginning of the season, including an 11.5-pound brute taken by Craig Jobes of Southold as he ran Rainbow Charters out of Orient Point. According to Jobes, who you may recognize from his work behind the counter at WeGo Bait and Tackle in Southold, the big fish smacked a piece of fresh spearing paired with squid on a teaser fly at the Greenlawns.
Capt. James Foley of the open boat Hamptons Lady, another South Fork vessel that cuts through the Shinnecock Canal to access the early season action on Peconic Bay, also scored some huge fluke this week. On Monday, he put angler Mike Ingrassia of Ronkonkoma on an 11-pound doormat plus a 7- and a 5-pounder. On Wednesday, Dave Speil of Bayside, Queens, cranked up a 10.25-pound doormat. Big porgies have filled the gaps between keeper fluke to ensure everyone goes home with some fillets, added the captain.
Along Long Island’s South Shore, fluking has been a little better than expected inside the bays and channels. On Moriches Bay, Capt. Joe Tangle’s charter boat King Cod has seen 10 to 20 keepers per trip for six anglers in the shallow waters around Smith Point Bridge. Farther west, the Captree Pride is seeing 10 to 20 keepers per trip, plus 50 to 100 shorts and plenty of sea robins in the State Channel and around Robert Moses Bridge.
Inside the bay waters near Freeport, Capt. Mike Barnett of the charter boat Codfather called fluke action “really good,” as his fares have seen summer flatties topping out at between 5 and 7 pounds on every trip. He noted that big blues, some in excess of 10 pounds, have also surprised anglers as they drift the bay for fluke.
Capt. Steve Kearney of the Point Lookout open boat Super Hawk has seen similar results with the summer flatties in local bay waters and added that action on offshore trips for cod, pollack and ling remains solid with the pool winning bacala generally running 25 to 30 pounds.