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LI anglers find a bounty of thresher sharks off the South Shore

Capt. Nick Savene of No Time Charters in Oceanside has been on a hot streak of late. Even while most offshore anglers have been focusing on the great offshore tuna fishing this year, he and his fares have been concentrating on shark. Each of his past four trips have been successful and, he says, he’s not running that far offshore to get the job done.

“We’re seeing a lot of nice thresher sharks in the 120- to 200-pound class,” said the salty skipper in an interview earlier this week. “We’ve brought home our limit of one per day each time out while releasing several more. The fishing really has been pretty good.”

Savene has been working mostly southeast of Jones Inlet with catches in water depths ranging from 95 to 125 feet of water. “Really, the entire 20-Fathome line has been productive off Long Island’s South Shore,” he said. “We’ve been using mackerel and fresh bunker, mostly. The macks often swim into our chum slick so we catch them and live-line them right back out into the slick. In case we don’t see any mackerel we always carry fresh bunker on board and that’s been working good as well.”

Surprisingly, Savene says he hasn’t seen a lot of other life in his most productive shark areas. In fact, with few porpoise, whales or diving birds to cue on, he’s simply running out to “clean, good-looking water,” setting up a steady chum slick of ground mackerel or bunker, and waiting for the sharks to show up. Most days, he said, it doesn’t take long.

“Of course, you want to investigate any life you come across,” offers Savene when it comes to selecting a spot to set up. Whales, diving birds, and tightly packed schools of bunker on the surface, that’s all worth investigation. But if there’s nothing apparent, simply working the 20-fathom curve should put you in the ballpark. If you have luck one day, that’s your starting point for the next. Keep things simple, don’t worry about the water temperature, and don’t run too deep.”

Is the solid shark fishing likely to hold up? “That’s hard to say,” says Savene. “This is a pretty good shot of fish but there’s no telling how long it’s going to last. This has been the best action for the threshers in a couple of years, but runs like this typically only last a few weeks. The action has been solid for two weeks already, so I wouldn’t wait.”

On Savene’s most recent trip earlier this week, the Steve Sakis group drilled a 135-pound thresher. Previous trips saw threshers of 219 and 193 pounds. In addition to the tasty “whiptails,” brown sharks, blue sharks and hammerheads have also been caught and released.

Tuna action farther offshore around the Coimbra Wreck and spreading east the length of Long Island remains reliable, even it not as spectacular as it had been two weeks ago. Inshore, fluke fishing has picked up in ocean waters outside of Fire Island, Jones and Moriches inlets, with good action inside Shinnecock Bay and off Montauk.

Porgies off the points in 25-foot depths remain the top option throughout Long Island Sound, with some keeper fluke available in the Eaton’s Neck Triangle and between Port Jefferson and Wading River in 30-foot depths.

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