Big Bass Lurking In The Dark

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Big bass, but not lots of bass—that continued to be the story from the Montauk surf this week. Four more fish over 40 pounds and a handful of 30-plus-pounders were dragged from the suds “up front” on the graveyard shift.A population of large sand eels seems to be responsible for the gathering of big bass along the rocky edges of the Point, and skinny artificials are taking most of the fish. The fish are not chock-a-block, but they are clearly trending on the large side, to say the least.

Elsewhere, the surf bite has been picky, mostly resident rats and schoolies patrolling the surf, though the presence of schools of bunker just outside the surf line in Bridgehampton, East Hampton and Amagansett presents the potential for a big fish to turn up just about anywhere.

Boat-borne fishermen have it plenty easy these days. There are lots of stripers in all the usual haunts, from the south shore inlets to the rips off Montauk to Plum Gut and the Race.

Sue Loetscher took the first 40-plus striper out of Shinnecock Inlet that I’ve heard about this year. The bite in the inlet has been pretty steady on live baits, bunker during the day and eels at night. Moriches has had its share of good fish, too, and, as usual, has generally produced larger fish than Shinnecock—except for Sue’s slob.

The Montauk bite has been mostly on the troll but has put a bunch of big fish on the scales, at least one over 50 pounds. A 60-pounder fell for a big plug trolled on wire near the Race last week, too.

Fluke fishing is just good enough to be worth going. The cuts inside Shinnecock Bay seem to be the best bite going, mostly at the start of the outgoing tide. Shelter Island Sound is still producing a few keeper fish on the outgoing tides, near Cedar Point and off Southold. If you put in the time and catch the right tide, there are fish to be had in the ocean off Montauk, including a few jumbos, but the flier-to-keeper ratio is high.

If you get up early, you can catch a weakfish or two in Noyac Bay. Once the sun comes up, go porgy fishing.

The offshore scene burst to life for a few local boats this week. A belly of warm water nudging up against the eastern canyons produced a good load of medium-sized yellowfins and a handful of bigeyes. The warm water seems to be spreading westward gradually, so there is hope that the closer canyons will come to life soon.

Congrats to the crew of the “Barbaric,” which ran from Hampton Bays up to Hyannis for Tuna Fest and brought home the second-place trophy with a 368-pound bluefin, one of two they landed over the weekend.

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

Molnar’s Early Fluke ShootoutThe Molnar’s Landing Early Fluke Shootout will be this Saturday, June 29. Fishing is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with weigh-in at 2:30 p.m. and awards presentation and barbecue at 3:30 p.m. Entry fees are $50 for adults and $25 for juniors. Tackle and cash prizes, and trophies for the kids.

Call Lanny Molnar for details at 723-1508.

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