Captain Rich Jensen, aboard the Nancy Ann out of Orient by the Sea on Monday, told us he was “doing okay, grinding it out” during the typical August doldrums. Striper fishing was a pick, but his boat had limits more often than not. Bluefish were available, and the parties could mix scup action during a day trip, too. With phosphorescence in the water on moonless nights, the striper action was actually better during day trips. Best fishing is on deepwater drifts through the Gut and the Race.
Liz Caraftis at the Mattituck Fishing Station and Marina on Mattituck Creek saw good fishing for scup, often close to shore, with occasional porgies to 16 inches. Over the past week, a few sea bass were mixed in, fish as big as 20 inches. Hortons Point continues to produce bass action in deep water, while the Firing Range and the Motel are best markers for the porgy angler. Snappers are large enough to eat, and blues in the area range from cocktails to slammers. Steven at WeGo Fishing in Southold called the Peconic Bays “snapper city” and praised the continued “pretty good fishing” off local Sound beaches for scup.
Back west at the Rocky Point Fishing Stop Mark saw porgies in depths to 30 feet as well as off the beaches. Fluke continue to be available, but most are small; one pair of anglers reported two legal fish in a catch of 100. The scarcity of blues is puzzling, though it helps the scup fishing. Only a few bass came from the nighttime beach.
On the South Shore at Silly Lilly on Moriches Bay, fluke fishing was reported to be excellent with a 20:1 ratio of shorts to keepers. Triggerfish are on the Rockpile and there are plenty of blue claw crabs as well as snapper available. Off Buoy 14 a catch of northern whiting (“kingfish”) was recorded, fish in the 12-14 inch range. Captain Scott Jeffrey at East End Bait and Tackle in Hampton Bays wrote that better fluke action occurs around Shinnecock Inlet on live baits with a possible start on the ocean. The Ponquogue Bridge has a fluke bite as well. Bass fishing is slow, but the ocean is “loaded with bunker pods with bluefish feasting on them.” Offshore, most small craft can find sharks (browns, makos and a few hammerheads) within the seven-mile marker on a good day. Offshore tuna grounds have a bigeye bite in progress while trollers still find tuna at the Coimbra at first light.