September can be a tricky month on the local fishing front. Summer favorites like fluke, porgy, sea bass and weakfish have begun to depart while fall targets including false albacore, bluefish and striped bass are only just beginning to reassert themselves. Some years, as the various migrations begin to get underway, the fishing grows inconsistent.
Not this year. Porgy, sea bass, fluke and blues are all in good supply at the moment, while false albacore beginning their initial forays at North Fork beaches and along the South Shore. Fluke fishing has been impressive with Montauk still leading the doormat charge. The season for the summer flatties ends on Thursday, so get your last licks in now.
“We’re not catching amazing numbers,” said Capt. Jamie Quaresimo of open boat, Miss Montauk II,” but we are getting 8- to 10-pound doormats every day.”
Quaresimo, speaking from his wheelhouse at lunchtime on Thursday, already had an 11.4 pounder on deck for Paul Cabrera of Stony Brook. He said working squid strips or 6-inch Gulp! Nuclear Chicken grubs in 55-foot depths produced the best results.
Fluke action has also been fairly reliable at Shinnecock, Moriches and Fire Island inlets. Due to some serious groundswells this week, most of the fleet stayed inside the bays but still came away with a decent number of keepers, plus pool winners to 7 pounds.
On the Freeport open boat, Starstream III, part of the Capt. Lou Fleet, Capt. Chris Gables found the ocean fluke bite somewhat lackluster Thursday morning so he pushed out to 95-foot depths and rang up a mess of solid keepers to 5.5 pounds. Anglers using 6-inch Gulp! baits in Nuclear Chicken or Pink Shine patterns scored best.
Captain Walter Czekaj of the Captree open boat Fish Finder II has been fluking during the day but targeting weakfish and blues after dark inside Great South Bay. On Tuesday night’s 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. trip, the boat actually limited out with weakfish (limit: one per angler; minimum size is 16 inches) weighing 2 to 7 pounds, plus plenty of blues as well.
On the North Shore, Candy Caraftis at Caraftis Fishing Station in Port Jefferson said that big bluefish have been targeting bunker inside Port Jefferson Harbor while porgies are stacked-up off Cranes Neck and Oldfield Point. For keeper fluke, she suggested anglers drift over 60-foot depths.
Capt. Jimmy Schneider of the Huntington based Capt. James Joseph has also had good scores of late, mostly jigging blues and targeting porgies. He said the biggest scup are in 90 to 120 feet of water, but there are plenty of smaller keepers in shallow water around Marshall Field. Of the blues, most have been in the 2 to 4-pound class but Nick Nickas of Garden City did drill a 19-pound brute on a porgy rig Wednesday morning.
Montauk Surf Fishing Classic
The Montauk Surf Fishing Classic, hosted by The Fisherman Magazine and Long Island State Parks, is slated for Sept. 22 through Sept. 24. The contest begins at noon Friday and continues through noon on Sunday. The weigh station will be Paulie’s Tackle Shop, which will remain open 24/7 throughout the weekend. The in-person entry deadline is 9 a.m. on Saturday morning at Paulie’s. The entry fee is $15 per angler.