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LI Fishing Report

May started with a great deal of wind and rain. This made it difficult for anglers to get out and chase their favorite fish. But when Mother Nature allowed, those who made it out were not disappointed. Opening day fluke fishing saw some real good numbers caught. Jigging bucktails or drifting strip baits worked well. Mixed in with the fluke were plenty of tide runners (weakfish). They hit offerings meant for fluke, but anglers using soft lead heads with red spiral tails did a bail job on these fish. They are often found swimming along channel ledges and drop-offs, and the bite turns on with the tide. Bluefish seem to have made a much welcome return this spring. Smaller fish were in the bays harassing bunker, while larger ones were caught along the beaches in the ocean. Wreck fishing continued to be strong. Pollock, ling, cod were steady catches in May. Porgy fishing was red hot. They are a great deal of fun and once you find them and get them in a frenzy it’s easy picking. Striped bass were caught all over and in good numbers. Back bays have been holding schoolish, while the ocean and sounds have offered larger fish. They showed strong in Raritan Bay early and right on schedule their migration continued north and east to their usual stomping grounds throughout Long Island.

The Rotten Kid out of Shinnecock did a great job in May with the inshore species. They traveled north through the locks to fish the Peconic Bay. Specifically, Jessup’s Point area gave up a nice mixed bag of; porgies, fluke, weakfish, and cocktail blues.
The Hampton Lady did a great job finding spring fluke for their customers. For the 2021 fishing season, they choose to keep the passenger count to 50% of the legal Coast Guard sailing occupancy. Passengers last year enjoyed the extra room on deck and have had a lot of positive feedback regarding the limited passenger count. This leaves plenty of room on deck for everyone to be comfortable as well as better service to our customers while the covid dust settles.
Celtic Quest out of Port Jefferson started the month off with mostly porgies and weakfish. In the middle of May, they ventured a little further to the east and started to pick away at fluke as well. They are currently following covid protocol. The vessels are meticulously cleaned and covid compliant
Passenger counts are strictly limited to ensure everyone’s safety.
Osprey V has seen steady action with fluke since opening day. Porgies and striped bass have also been coming over the rails. The water was cool early on but the life improved a little every day and it seems like there’s going to be plenty of fluke around this season which they are very excited about. They sail every day (weather permitting), 9 am to 2 pm for fluke. They are limiting the load for safety and comfort, reservations required. 631-331-4153 office hours 9 am to 5 pm
The Rossie from Center Moriches sailing from Center Yacht Club has a new owner-operator this season. He has all the knowledge and skill to make the transition seamless. This is a great family party boat. Young Liam is selling fresh live bait, (when available) that just may be the key to hooking that bucket list doormat. But get there early as Liam sells out quickly with limited supplies. They started sailing on the fluke opener. They saw constant action as they culled thru shorts to find the keepers. As the waters in Moriches warmed the fishing also got hot. The Rossie saw some banner trips throughout the month and is expecting June to be even better. They do recommend making a reservation to guarantee a spot. Call or text 631-831-6859 or 631-905-5829 (Rosie Fishing has changed from to
Also in Center Moriches, King Cod out of Senix continued doing well wreck fishing but added fluke to the mix at the beginning of the month. Captain Joe Tangel is an expert at finding and catching skinny water fluke. If you haven’t fished for fluke on very light tackle in the bays give this a try. There is an art to not only finding the fish but being in the right place at the right time. As the tide changes the bite turns off in 1 spot and on in another. Local knowledge and experience pay big dividends in this fishery.
Laura Lee out of Captree sailing 7 to 1 weekdays and 6:30 – 12:30 on weekends has been doing a bail job on the fluke. The month of May started with plenty of action in the bay as the water temperatures outside were still a little cool. At the end of the month, things started to heat up outside. Expect more ocean trips in June.
Cow Harbor Bait and Tackle reported porgie fishing has been red hot. Worms outperformed clams in early May. As the month progressed and the water temperatures rose it didn’t matter which bait you used. Striper fishing got better and better as larger fish moved in throughout the month. Find the bunker pods and you’ll find the bass. Chunking or casting plugs and poppers worked well. Fluke fishing has been steady. Drifting squid and spearing combinations when the tide is moving will give you a great chance of catching them.
As June approaches we should start to hear of larger schools of bluefish beating up on bunker pods in the ocean. The bluefish will attract and hold the sharks. First, blue sharks will show as they can tolerate the colder water better. As sea surface temperatures rise into the low sixties the makos and threshers will appear. Often captains overrun these fish. Find the bait and the correct water temperatures and you will find sharks. There is no need to run to or past 30 fathoms. If the conditions are correct, they will be found on wrecks, rock piles, and fathom line fingers 5 -20 miles along the south shore of Long Island. June is also the time for bluefin tuna to show up. There were some sporadic reports of large bluefin reported throughout May. They should start to follow sand eels and squid along the 20 and 30-fathom migratory routes. Reports will come from the west namely the Resor and Bacardi wrecks, and eventually the Coimbra south of Shinnecock to the Ranger off Montauk. Find the whales, especially ones that have active birds and you will find the tuna. The fishery will develop in late May, and build in June. Long Island-based Chatter lures side trackers trolled along with skirted ballyhoo are deadly combinations. Remember you need a permit to target both tuna and a special endorsement to chase sharks. Both species have been in crisis stock management mode. Fortunately, bluefin tuna are on an upswing and making a noticeable recovery. Either way please only take what you need. Forward progress on rebuilding these stocks is essential. Please don’t forget to report your landings. These numbers are needed to help accurately manage the regulations. If you don’t report your catches it will appear as though the stock is not healthy and this can lead to an early close or reduction in quota.