First Big Tunas Caught In Canyons, Jumbo Striper Off Shinnecock

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Tuna were in focus this week, as the first bigeyes were taken in the canyons, and bluefins continued to be caught along the 20-fathom curve.On word that some Massachusetts boats had wrung up the first bigeye catches from the Northeast canyons—as well as a near-world-record 182-pound wahoo—several local boats headed for the eastern notches in the continental shelf and came home with bigeyes up to about 200 pounds, and loads of yellowfins.

Good weather will have a good number of boats heading over the horizon again midweek, too, so the offshore scene looks to be in full swing now, and bigeyes look to be positioning themselves for another strong showing.

Inshore fishing was a bit off from last week’s reliable bites on most grounds.

Big stripers continued to come to the scales, with the spotlight on the 57-pounder caught by “Parker Pete” Galindo outside Shinnecock Inlet. The bunker schools are still wandering up the coastline, and some of them still have big stripers lurking under them. Others are just holding bluefish, but they’re real monsters that will give your knots a good strength test.

The rips in Montauk were overrun by a new population of bluefish. Wire draggers continued to catch bass during the day, but had to put in a lot more effort to weed through the blues. The night tides in the mid-depth rips have been the most reliable for big stripers.

If you put your time in, the fluke and black sea bass will provide you with dinner. But a lot of the paying fares on Montauk’s party and charter boats were dedicating time to porgy fishing, I noticed, which means the other stuff is not particularly reliable.

With high temps but stiff southwest winds on tap this week, best bet will be to load up on squid and sunscreen and put your time in at anchor around the rock piles for porgies, sea bass and triggerfish, which are in abundance already, and then do some lazy drifts for fluke when the wind and tide are aligned. If stripers are what you want to catch, save on the sunscreen and take naps in the A/C during the day, then hit the Montauk rips at night.

The Montauk Canyon Challenge is this week, and with bigeyes and yellows in the eastern canyons and light and variables in the forecast, the competition should be red hot.

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

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