Quality over quantity
This week’s fishing report sees the catching remaining good. From the beach, striped bass have filled in with both numbers and to a good size.
For the heavy-duty surf caster, and wet suiter, the south and southeast sides of the island are producing numbers of teen class weight fish, with reports of some larger fish landed. The east side sand beaches are continuing to produce schoolie- to keeper-sized bass for those fishing with clams and employing a hi-lo bait rig. Along with the bass on the east side, very large scup/porgies are also falling to the same rigging. For the light tackle shore-based angler who is lucky enough to get parking at the Coast Guard Channel, large scup/porgies remain built-in in numbers, along with fluke. While the fluke are showing in numbers, one still must first wade through a bunch of under-sized to get the keepers. For the shore-based fly rodders, the Coast Guard Channel has bass moving through in the dark time and first light hours of the morning. You can also find success from Scotch to Mansion Beach sight fishing during the day with crab and small sandeel patterns.
Getting out on the water will find you with plenty of options for striper fishing, with large fish close to shore or out in the deep holes. There are several reports of 50-pound fish being landed — with one 63 pounder that was released — a rarity today (both in size and the fact that it was released). The topwater game is strong off the points around the entire island, with a wide size range of fish to be caught. North Light has had a consistent evening bite around sunset and eeling off the Southeast Light and southwest reefs have produced some nice fish. Definitely quality over quantity now — you might get two or three bites, but the fish will be good ones.
The bottom fishing scene is equally as good with big seabass and porgy to be had. Again quality over quantity. Bait is not necessary to land these fish, a metal jig like a Hogy Sandeel or Shimano Coltsniper will do the trick. Fluke have moved to deeper holes on the south side of the island and off Clayhead. Bucktail rigs with whole squid are fooling fluke in the five- to eight-pound range — not a lot of fish but the ones there are nice.
Catch ‘em up!