Weekend warriors had a tough go in August. It felt like every weekend had some questionable weather days. Wind and waves kept many anglers closer to home. However, there were plenty of mid week weather windows that allowed boaters to head out of Long Island’s inlets in the hunt for a variety of species. Whales dolphins and sharks were very close to shore in August. They were all harassing the large schools of bunkers found in 30 -130 feet of water. Trigger fish and jacks showed up at most of the head buoys with smaller mahi occasionally mixed in. A bunch of nice size cobia showed up as well. This was a pleasant surprise for anglers looking for striped bass and bluefish. Cobia can be caught in similar fashion, trolling, chunking and bucktails. Sight casting just ahead of a swimming fish is most deadly. Tossing a live bait or bucktail and working it into the strike zone is a sure way to catch them. Sea surface temperatures rose into the high seventies. As the water warmed more brown sharks and hammerheads were reported. Smaller Blue sharks, threshers and occasionally makos were constantly caught from 5 miles out to 20 fathoms. As you went further to 30 fathoms bluefin slowed, but yellowfin tuna seemed to pick up. From 30 – 40 fathoms mahi, yellowfin tuna and white marlin were caught with a good degree of certainty. A little further as you approached the edge very large yellowfin blue and white marlin. Tile fish and big eye tuna kept anglers busy. Sword fishing both day and night provide plenty of action with fish between 100-300 pounds.
Offshore: The big eye bite remained to the East from West Atlantis to East Atlantis and the Tsunami buoy. A few big eyes were taken just south of the tails. Longfin albacore made a come back this year. A good number of these fish were taken in the deep and up on the flats. A nice school of larger yellowfin moved into the Triple wrecks, AP, and Bacardi areas. These fish were up on the flats North of the Hudson all the way to the Chicken Canyon. Trolling to find the school and switching over to jig and pop or chucking provided great success. Live lining peanut bunker was almost a sure thing. The Hudson to the claw has seen a decent yellowfin bite with a few big eyes mixed in. The west wall has been out producing the 100 square area. Sword fishing has been decent. Expect wahoo reports to come in for late August into September. Remember to use wire leaders when trolling the warmer summer waters! Also, as the days get shorter nighttime chunking will become very productive. So, bring plenty of bait flats on your overnight trips.
Viking Fleet: Capt. Steven Jr reported great trips in August on the Viking 5 Star. One trip to East Atlantis produced 17 Yellowfin, 2 Albacore, 4 Big Eyes, a few Mahi and a nice Swordfish. The night fishing has been improving the last few trips with quite a few Swordfish bites every night. Inshore Capt. JR reports loads of action every day from start to finish. Jumbo Porgies make up most of the catch for the first half of each trip. The second half they typically head deeper to the rock piles. There they would capture some big, beautiful knot head Seabass to round out a nice mixed bag catch. Miss Montauk out of Montauk Marine Basin had some real nice Fluke coming over the rails. Drift fishing baits and buck tails. Again, August did not disappoint for whale watching. They were found close to shore inhaling bunker.
Shinnecock: Hampton Lady has had constant action with sea bass, scup, ling and even had a small cod. Ocean fluking has remained insane with plenty of double-digit fluke hitting the deck. Slow drifting bucktails and or sand eel squid combs was very productive. Like Montauk they reported seeing whales and dolphins in 80 feet of water. The Shinnecock Star did both bay and ocean trips when the weather permitted. John reported a very consistent bite for the month with plenty of 5 to 10-pound fish.
Moriches: The Rossie “Big Red” saw August trips filling coolers with a nice mixed bag Fluke, Sea bass Porgies and Triggers. Sailing open boat trips twice daily, no reservations needed. But check their calendar at www.rosiefishing.net because sometimes the entire boat gets charted
Fire Island: Laura Lee fleet has been truly doing an amazing job with mixed bag fishing as well. You never know what you will see and or catch out there! Porgies, Fluke, Trigger fish, Blackfish, Sea bass, Mackerel, Bluefish, Sea Robins, and Cape Shark have all been caught throughout the month of August. Expect to see more striped bass caught in September.
Port Jefferson: Celtic Quest continued to see quality fishing throughout the month. Porgy trips have had nonstop action. Seabass have been steady with some blowfish being caught (fine delicacy). Lots of season left to get the family out before school starts.
Huntington: Marc from Cow Harbor Bait and Tackle mentioned the striped bass fishing remains epic. Cocktail blues and smaller snappers have joined the mix too. The larger striped bass have been holding deep in the triangle with school sized fish closer to shore. Weakfish have started to show in and around structure, like channels. This is great news to see them return this season. A large new body of bluefish also invaded the area to provide plenty of action on every trip. Pencil poppers and jigs have been both working well. Fluking has been steady with some very decent fish being caught. Porgies have been plentiful and are a great trip saver on a slow day.
Surf Fishing: The North Fork of Long Island out to Orient point have been having a great deal of success with slot size striped bass. Pencil poppers and chunk baits have been hot. Montauk surf action has been ok but should really heat up as the waters cool and we approach the fall run. The beaches along the South Sore have been holding a ton of bunker. There are some bluefish in reach of most surfcasters and there is a great deal of optimism for the fall run. There have been sea robins and fluke also caught from the beach. You never know what you’ll catch. There have been plenty of whales and sharks visible from the beaches. If you wade into the water to cast be mindful of your surroundings. Most of the local docks have been loaded with snappers and crabs. Best time to go is when boat traffic is at a minimum.
Patronize your local Bait and tackle shops. No excuses get out and enjoy what’s left of the summer. Take your family or friends fishing. If you don’t have a boat jump on a head boat or book a private charter. If your new to sport seek the advice of your local bait and tackle shops and charter captains. Take advantage of the bounty that mother nature offers us. But please, only take what you need! Save the resource for future generations to enjoy. Be safe and have fun! Feel free to email me any photos and reports from your trip and we will try to include them firstname.lastname@example.org.