Weather for the weekend looks great – excellent for boating but not so great for fishing. Mid-day action will be slow. High sun makes for slow fishing, so try and go in the evening or early morning. Water temperatures are in the mid-70s in the Sound and high 70’s in Manhasset Bay.
Saturday. High tide: 11:25 a.m. and p.m. Low tide: 5:46 a.m., 5:37 p.m.
Sunday. High tide: 12:01 p.m. Low tide: 6:21 a.m. and 6:24 p.m.
Manhasset Bay is jammed with snappers now. It is a great time to take your kids fishing. Try to hit it as high tide for the best snapper action from the shore. Use a snapper popper, small spoon lure, or long shank hook baited with spearing (minnows) with a bobber about 12 inches above your hook. When fishing with lures, reel your lure in quickly giving small, periodic tugs from for the most strikes.
At night the snappers are under the lights eating everything in sight. Water quality is great now, so you can see snappers feeding on stray cinder worms and other white bait.
Fluking has been great in Manhasset Bay and in the Western Sound. Plum Point and East of Stepping Stones reef off Kings Point reports good nunmbers, but there have not many keepers. Spearing and squid strips on Spro bucktails are always a great bet. High-low rigs with a spearing and peanut bunker on them also bring success. finally has peanut bunker in the shop and in the bait machine outside. The limit on fluke is three fish at 20.5 inches, and the Department of Environmental Conservation does check.
Striper action has been slow. Warm temperatures and a lack of bunker have made for mediocre fishing. Early morning and dusk have been the better times for fishing.
Bunker chunks in deeper water are bringing in some fish, but recent reports haven’t been too encouraging. The run of larger fish has ended with the departure of the big schools of bunker locally. We have fresh bunker in the shop, but had to get it from the South Shore because of the lack of it in the Western Sound. There are still lots of schoolie-size stripers around and they are hitting Smack-its and Storm swim shad. Other soft plastics work well but snappers keep chewing them up. If out early in the morning, try throwing a Smack-it or Pencil Popper around the rocks off Barkers or Hewlett Point. Keeper-size stripers like to lurk in the shallows in the morning.
Bluefish have been blitzing on spearing in the Sound. Look for flocks of gulls working the surface to get in on the action. Don’t motor right in on them, you will scare the fish off. Keep your distance and cast to them or go upwind, turn off your engine, and drift down into the action so as not to disturb the fish. Motoring up on them and chasing the birds around only spooks the fish and ruins the fishing. Blues may be voracious, but they are not fearless and the noise of a boat engine will scare them off when they are feeding on spearing and other small fish. Keep it quite to prolong your fun.
Porgy fishing has been great. Big fish are spotted off the points and rocks from Great Neck to Matinecock. Minimum size for Porgies is 11 inches with a 10 fish limit. Clam chum, sandworms, and clam strips are the ticket. Porgies are another great way to get your kids fishing.
Fly fishing, clousers and deceivers in chartreuse and white and olive and white work well. You’ll feel snappers tugging at your fly all hours of the day. For fun, get a 6- or 7-weight line and catch some snappers. Use a fly with a small trailer hook (size 6 or 8) in its tail. From 8:30-9:30 p.m., as the tide comes in, stripers work in the lights, eating leftover cinder worms and white bait. The action is great until the tide nears its peak; then the snappers take over. Check it out at a dock with spotlights on it.
Fisherman’s tip: By boat, it's best to consult a chart and learn the basic rules of the road. A large number of boaters have been hitting rocks over the past week because they didn’t notice navigational markers. If you don’t have a chart and are unsure remember, “Red Right Returning” as a guide for passing/rounding a navigational marker. When returning into a harbor or heading west on the Long Island side of the Sound, leave red navigational markers (nuns, bells, and rock piles) to your right (starboard). Still aren’t sure? Slow down, look for another boat, and follow them as a last resort. They may not know either, but if you follow in their wake and they make it, odds are pretty good you will also.
Click here for a local detailed nautical chart. Don’t try printing, it is a full sized chart – roughly 3 foot by 3 foot.
For live reports, tips, call Atlantic Outfitters at 516-767-2215, visit www.atlanticoutfitters.us, or find us on Facebook.