July turned out to be an amazing weather month despite tropical storm Fay. There were many days where Mother Nature cooperated keeping wind and rain at bay. The beginning of the moth we saw more fog than normal, but sea surface temperatures rose significantly both in shore and offshore to help burn it off. Bait pods remain strong which helped bring fish in and will keep them here.
July is always an interesting month at the point. This year did not disappoint and hopefully will set the course for the rest of the season. Fluke fishing has been strong with a good mix of shorts and keepers. Mark Giovanni from Krystyna Maria Montauk charters mentioned; drifting spearing squid combos or bucktails topped red/green gulp has been the ticket. Bass fishing has been incredible so far this year. The slot regulations won’t allow you to keep most of what you catch (too big). There have been many 50 plus pound fish caught, weighed on a boga grip and promptly released. Live lining snagged bunker around the pods, buck tailing, trolling red umbrella rigs, and white or chartreuse parachutes have all been productive methods. Late July saw inshore thresher sharks move in and harass the same bunker pods. These can be a lot of fun to catch on chunked bunker baits or strips. Please keep in mind how fragile this fishery is and release as many of these sharks as possible. They are juveniles that have not reached reproductive age.
Jennies and Ryan’s horns as well as the near by butterfish hole produced many sharks. Makos tailed off towards the end of July. Threshers, brown and whites have still been reported. Don’t forget you need a NOAA Pelagic permit to harvest a shark and there are many restrictions on size and species. As the waters around 30 fathoms warmed to the mid seventies mahi mahi and yellowfin tuna showed up. There was also some white marlin caught there through out the month. In August we should see the number and size of mahi increase. John from Gotta Go has been reporting slow but consistent big eyes off the edge. Latter in the month finally some yellowfin mixed in and they were surprised to catch a few longfin albacores. There is a good mix of life out there. It has mostly been an early and late troll bite but chunking historically starts producing in August too.
Shinnecock to Debs
The inshore fluke fishing has been ok. For the most part decent numbers have been put up, but most fish are shorts. Thank good for the reef and wreck sea bass fishing. Jigging bucktails and small diamond jigs or double hooked rigs with clams and or squid have been the go-to methods. The bass fishing off the bunker pods is simply epic this year. Live lining bunker and pod hopping are the best ways to find and hook a trophy fish. Bluefish have made a comeback this season. Cocktail blues and snappers have been inside harassing the bait in marinas and back bays. Ocean gorilla blues seem to be everywhere. Inside weakfish have still been reported from Ocean beach to Point of Woods and in all their usual haunts. The inside “skinny water” fluking has been strong with cocktail size blues mixed in.
The 30-fathom line from the Bacardi to the Coimbra has been consistently producing bluefin tuna. Things slowed down a few days around the full moon. But if you did your work feeding fish could be found. Later in July we saw albies and yellowfin show up along with some mahi. In August, if you come across any large debris floating you have to stop and try chunking it for mahi. In the canyons from the Hudson to the Tails there were plenty of big eyes taken in the deep, with makos, and swordfish also reported at night. Yellowfin have slowly made their way in and August promises to set up nicely offering many pelagic species. Both trolling and chunking will produce. Shark tournaments have been dominated with large thresher sharks from 300- 500 pounds. Bay Shore’s tournament saw three sharks weighed in around 425 pounds.
Long Island Sound
Mark at Cow Harbor Bait & Tackle in Northport said the fishing outside of Huntington Bay is still pretty good. Fluking has tailed off a bit with the warmer dog days of summer. Other fisheries especially porgies, are providing plenty of fun and bent rods though. There are still plenty of nice bass and some bluefish in the area. Mark mentioned the morning tides have been very productive throughout July. Porgies can be found in the sandier areas inside the harbor. They are chasing small baits and are attacking clam baits. Sea bass have been caught outside on structure in 50 feet of water. Snappers have appeared and the action at the docks should pick up as we head into August.
Captain Desmond O’Sullivan; of Celtic Quest Fishing Fleet commented that the porgy fishing remains strong and is expected to stay that way through out August. Rigs with small hooks and clam baits have been the most productive. Sea Bass have also made their way over the rail making for a bunch of fun and great mixed bag action. Fluke has been slow, as the water temps have really warmed up.
Be safe and take someone fishing. It’s a great way to have fun, get a fresh meal, and pass on one of Long Island’s best traditions.