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Aug 6, 2019 10:28 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Calm Seas For Fishermen This Summer

Michael Strauss and Cozy Friedman caught some nice fluke outside Shinnecock Inlet last week.
Aug 6, 2019 10:28 AM

It has been a wonderful summer for fishing, relative to the conditions anyway.Coming off a nearly three-week period of mostly light winds, there have been only a smattering of days when getting to the fishing grounds in the Atlantic hasn’t been a smooth ride.

That has meant lots of hours that anglers have spent hunting tuna, fluke and striped bass, with plenty of side-piece sea bass and porgies in the mix.

The tuna fishing has been excellent. The near-shore bluefin bite has persevered through July and into August, which is a rare treat for the small boat crowd and has been a boost for the tackle shops selling tuna-ready jigging and popping set ups that have previously had little demand locally other than for anglers heading to Cape Cod or overseas.

The canyon bite has been outstanding, also, though mostly only in a small area that has been sliding steadily to the east throughout the last eight weeks. Bigeyes are still the main prize, but there have been lots more yellowfin mixed in this year than in the last few seasons. There have been more of the larger class of bigeyes this year, too, with fish in the 200-pound class coming back to the gaff from time to time. It’s not the big-fish madness of 2014, but it’s been better than the rat-fest from last year.

Fluke fishing has been OK. The deep runs off Montauk have had very good fishing on some days with plenty of big fish in the mix, which is definitely the best bet. Shinnecock-based boats have been getting in their licks in the ocean and in the bay. The size ratio is better outside the inlet, but there are keepers to be had in the shallows, and there’s tons of bait.

Striper fishing has been very good in Montauk for a fairly hot first week of August. The night tides have been the best, but the charter boats working wire in the rips during the day have been taking lots of big fish for their customers as well.

Surfcasting has been fairly quiet. There are fish to be had for the hard-cores at night, and there are schoolies in the surf zone, though not as packed in as they were at this time last year.

There have been a few signs of the season progressing. Some bonito have been popping up along the South Shore and the schools of bay anchovies and peanut bunker are starting to mass near inlets. Just a few weeks, and it will be worth starting to look for false albacore to start showing up.

Keep at it and catch ’em up. See you out there.

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