Holidays Are For Fishing

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Another July 4 holiday week, another summer goes full-tilt. After a week of cloudy, unstable weather, the sun is going to burst forth just in time for the onslaught. No complaints here—having the beach as a viable option to the hordes is a relief from some of the traffic, of course.The breezes look like they will lay out enough to allow for plenty of boat fishing and, hopefully, good surfcasting conditions. Striped bass fishermen have mostly confined themselves to the graveyard shift now, as the heat and humidity and boat traffic have put the bass on edge during the day.

Surfcasters, for sure, are basically a nocturnal species for the next two months, though a few early-morning casts are still worthwhile, since ocean temperatures are still pretty chilly. The night tides gave up a few more big bass this week in Montauk. The surf has been mostly quiet elsewhere, despite the presence of numerous schools of bunker off the beaches of Bridgehampton, East Hampton and Amagansett.

If you prefer to fish banker’s hours, you’ll have to head to Montauk or Plum Gut to catch striped bass, where wire-line trolling and drifting bucktails or live baits are taking plenty of good-sized stripers and big bluefish throughout the day.

Other than that, you can go fluke or porgy fishing. The fluke fishing has been solid in Shinnecock Bay, where anglers are taking lots of keeper fish and even a smattering of bigger fish, in very shallow water friendly to landlubbers and small children. The Shinnecock Star and Hampton Lady both leave daily from the marinas on the Hampton Bays side of Shinnecock Inlet and sell tickets for half-day trips on the weekends—an easy way to get some fishing in without a big expenditure of money or time.

Porgy fishing is a little trickier, since most of the party boats have switched their focus to porgies. But since it’s a bay bite, you only need a little skiff. As usual, the rocky ridge just west of Jessups Neck in Little Peconic Bay or the area around Rogers Rock in Great Peconic are the places to drop your chum pot for those.

The offshore scene has been quiet for the last few days, thanks to stormy weather, but the big tunas have definitely moved into our canyons. A couple of Jersey-based boats made the run to Atlantis and the Hudson and found small yellowfins and some large bigeye tunas, over 200 pounds.

Enjoy the holiday. Get some fishing in—it will keep you sane.

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

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