With the summer doldrums hitting harder this year with higher air and water temps, I know I’m not the only one excited for some September fishing. The migration of striped bass will be starting by month’s end, a more reasonable (6 fish) black sea bass limit goes into effect, and offshore opportunity is there for the taking.
Striper fishing slowed down for most of the island during august, with some nice cameos in Montauk on the last supermoon of 2022 after most of the bigger fish had left town for Block Island and the Cape. A steady chunk bite of slot fish and a few overs to the west kept things interesting around the NY Bight. Cooler nights will bring back the bite as the start of the herd makes its way south this month and will only get better. The hot diamond jig bite from earlier in the season is coming together again off Montauk, and a bigger population of resident bass around moriches are taking jigs, bucktails, along with bunker and spots drifted on circle hooks. If the sand eels stay strong, and the insane amount of bunker in our waters this could be the start of an epic fall run.
Scott from East End Bait and Tackle reports that there are some bass moving in east of Shinnecock inlet being caught on snagged bunker. Other local anglers have reported a few catches on flutter spoons and large surface plugs around bunker pods. The back bays near any of the inlets on the south shore have also had some fish straddling the slot limit on incoming with the cooler ocean water drawing the bass in. Deeper into the bays fly and light tackle for schoolies to slots has been active and should only get better towards the end of September. Tim O’Rourke of Montauk Point fly fishing has had a steady bite all summer at sunset with his charters, but no blitzes to report of yet but should be any day now.
Fluke action has been solid and with the season’s end on October 9th, there’s still a shot for some double digits making it to the box. Surprisingly during the heat of August many of the bays saw some nice flatties caught from Shinnecock to Jamaica Bay. Gulp and fishbites continue to outfish spearing and Peruvians, with the exception of live or dead snappers bringing in some doormats. Nick at Haskells in East Quogue reports 5-inch grubs both on a bucktail and teaser have been killer in the bay and ocean. As of the first of the month the sea bass and already generous porgy bag limits increase and offer more motivation for bottom fishing outings. Still have some time to go until it’s tog time but finding new pieces while fluking or going for seabass is a nice bonus while out on the water.
Near shore wrecks are still producing sharks and yellowfin despite the hot yellowfin bite in late July/early August fizzling out. Jig and pop have been more effective than trolling in these areas and the abundance of offshore sand eels. On the shark front, the old reliable bluefish filets, butterfish, and bunker along with a good chum slick has produced well for those motivated to make the trip for catch and release basically with the mako moratorium.
The boats venturing all the way out coming off a frustrating late summer season are starting to come back to the dock smiling. Hydrographers, Weather Buoys and Atlantis are holding bigeye and yellowfin. Some wahoos are popping up here and there along with white marlin. Pot hopping for mahi has put some tasty ones in the box as well.
Catch ‘em up and tight lines to everyone! Talk to you next month.