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Long Island Fishing Report

I’m not going to sugar coat things. I have lived on Long Island for the past 12 years, and by far this has been the worst fishing season that I have seen. A lot has to do with the wind and brown tide (Great South Bay area). The good news is we still have half the year left. If the second half of the season turns out to be as good as last year’s fall run, I will be thrilled. Let’s be honest, weakfish in the spring were a no-show. However, the last few years the month of August has been great for “summer weaks.” Most of these fish are on the smaller size; however, don’t be surprised if you pull out a few fish in the 6 or 7 pound range. These summer weakfish are usually found in large schools. It makes for a great day with the kids before they head back to school. My go to lure is a simple 1oz jig head rigged with a Zman minnow. There is a good chance that you will come across small black seabass, porgies, blowfish and snappers while you are targeting these weakfish. All of these fish can be a nuisance as they tend to bite the tails of your swim baits. That is why I suggest you use a swim bait from Zman. You will be amazed at how well they hold up. These baits have 10x the elasticity of most swim baits. When it comes to summer weakfish I prefer Zman over Gulp! Fluke in August is a safe bet for those that don’t fish in areas that hold summer weakfish. Whether you are fishing in the bay or out in the ocean this month historically produces most of the season’s double digit size fish. If you have your heart set on a doormat, I suggest you take some time before your trip to catch a few snappers. A live snapper is much better than a dead one. So that means you need to catch your snappers with care. Do not use snapper hooks with long shanks that are usually sold attached to a bobber. I cut the hook off and attach a very small circle hook. When placing them in your live well use a de-hooker instead of grabbing the snapper with your hands. If you prefer to use only artificials, I recently tested a product called squid strips. They are made by Fat Cow Fishing. They are meant to replace natural squid strips. I suggest you give them a try. They are scented and will last you the whole day and then some.

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