“Summertime and the livin’ is easy … Fish are jumpin’…”
For those familiar with American composer George Gershwin and his
lyricist brother, Ira, who wrote the song, those first few lines might
aptly describe angling conditions in our local waters. Both the inshore and offshore bite has accelerated, in spite of an extended spell of hot, humid weather. Most impressive has been the fluke bite, especially near Fire Island Inlet, , Orient Point and Montauk.
Shinnecock Inlet, this past weekend was eventful for those fishing on board the Hampton Lady. Nice fluke and sea bass were caught on a Saturday evening trip with Mike hooking the pool fluke winner weighing in at just over nine pounds. Austin had his personal best with a large eight-plus-pound flattie; numerous big sea bass were put into the coolers as the sun was setting. The early morning trip held a monster 12-pound doormat on board and, under some difficult afternoon conditions, one fisherman reeled in a nine-pound fish, shortly after losing another biggie that swam free as it was pulled close to the boat.
Monday's action on board the Hampton Lady saw an east wind that kept the boat moving at a good clip to allow one angler, who fished with a whole squid, to triumph with two keepers. The largest measured 26 inches, a good five-plus inches longer than the minimum required. Eleven flatties over six pounds came over the rails, including the nine-pound pool winner with some huge sea bass in the mix. It illustrates how a sometimes a bumpy ride, which the east wind produced, can still translate to strong catches.
Captain Scott Jeffrey of in Hampton Bays reported that “both the ocean and the bay have begun to produce keeper fluke. The ocean bite is out in about 80-feet of water to the west of the sea buoy and the bay bite continues to be best at the inside of the inlet, the Basket and the area west of the bridge around Rampasture point. All bait seems to be producing and those targeting the fluke out at the Shinnecock reef have been rewarded with some very nice size sea bass.”
Scott went on to add that sea bass fishing "has been great on a regular basis outside the inlet with both squid and clam bait doing well.
The Ponquogue Bridge has also seen a few keeper bass come up on clams and live baits and trigger fish are holding steady in the inlet as well.
"The bluefish of the very large variety are in and around the inlet, spoiling bait for the live baiter. Bassing is still producing for the night fisherman drifting live baits," he said.
East End Bait & Tackle's shore and surf report included bass, blues, triggerfish, sea bass and fluke all being caught in Shinnecock Inlet.
Scott said, "The bass caught have been on the night tides with clam and bucktails, while the blues have made their rounds on the morning and evening tides with tins and diamond jigs producing. Trigger fish have been caught regularly in the daytime on porgy rigs with clam baits, and although the sea bass are on the small side, they can make some youngsters very happy just to bend a rod. Squid or clam baits work best."
Out at Orient Point, last week and weekend aboard the Orient Star II included impressive catches of striped bass, bluefish and porgies. A science trip for campers at Camp Quinipet on Shelter Island aboard the Orient Star II had a marine biologist on the boat, who worked with the campers to dredge part of the bottom of the bay for conch, clams and crabs. The educational experience helped all to learn about the value of our local waters and how the abundance of sea creatures and sea plants work together as one of our island's finest resources. What could only be described by one young camper as a "monster scup" (porgy) was recorded in the student's log.
Keep in mind that the Molnar's Landing 21st Annual Fluke Shootout will take place Saturday, Aug. 6 with a captain's meeting the night before at 7:30 p.m. at Molnar's Landing in Hampton Bays. Cash prizes are in place, as well as a barbecue and awards after weigh-in. Call Lanny at 631-728-1860 for details.
Be sure to also answer Patch's poll: We want to know where the best fishing spots are.