Our ocean reefs are clearer than we would have expected since Hurricane Irene tried hard to destroy us, but failed. Sea bass and porgies have been a focal point this past week.
The easternmost parts of Moriches Bay saw several private boaters who travelled through thunder and lightning on outgoing tides past huge breakers to find striped bass. Some of the best fishing action of the week happened during the worst weather conditions.
The Shinnecock Star, on Saturday, pulled jumbo sea bass over the rails and one private boater risked high seas to score with false albacore tuna while trolling south of the bridge. One giant mako shark was the reward.
Scott Jeffrey over at in Hampton Bays said that the Shinnecock canal continues to hold snapper and porgies and that the bay still has a decent fluke bite.
"The great news is that the bass are beginning to show in better numbers," he said. "Most fish are in the inlet and around the Ponquogue bridge and are mainly taking the live and fresh baits but a few have fallen to the artificials. The ocean bite for both the fluke and sea bass is way off, but that would be expected due to the huge swells of late."
Scott went on to say that porgy fishing in the Peconics continues to be strong and that weakfish are also beginning to be part of the mix.
"The fall weather is slowly making itself known and the fish are moving in slowly as well along the beaches," he said. "The best bet for a bass on the south-facing beaches is with fresh clams. Artificials are having a tough time convincing the fish to bite and there are some blues around as well, but not in great numbers as of yet. The most promising areas I've heard this week are Cupsogue and Shagwong. The Ponquogue bridge is holding bass as well with fish falling for sandworms and clam baits with fluke in the mix too. The snappers are still holding strong at most local docks and creeks and a few porgies have been found by those targeting bass and fluke from the jetties at the inlet."
East End Bait & Tackle will be holding its annual Striped Bass Tournament beginning on September 17 and running until November 19. There will be both surf and boat categories, including a junior and senior division and you can sign up at the shop until October 15. Entry fees are $25 for senior entries and $10 for juniors. Jeffrey said that all senior entry fees are returned in prize money and the juniors will be awarded a custom rod.
Out at Orient Point, The Prime Time II, running now as an open boat
has been striking big time for jumbo porgies. A group from Staten Island made the arduous trip and hooked many scup longer than 15 inches. The awful weather conditions last Thursday did not deter them and they went home inspired to return again.
The Brooklyn Girl, out of Orient Point, dealt better with the weather on Friday, as some calming water and winds lessened the swells. The group had striped bass to 35 lbs. and a ton of monster bluefish. The humpback porgies were at least three pounds or more. Aboard the Black Rock, Capt. Sloan continued to have excellent trips on both the day and night bite, with the striper action heating up and less blues in the mix.