Fishing report: Fishing comes to life

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 8:30am

Kicking off the August fishing report, we’re pleased to say the catching is good.

Starting with the surf zone, the stripers are cooperating at multiple spots around the Island, at sunset and through the night. Shortly prior to sunset, up to full dark, large, noisy, surface lures are turning their fair share of stripers with the occasional bluefish. After dark, the stripers are falling to needle fish-style lures, as well as plastic swimming lures, with the Diawa SP minnow really getting the job done. For those who are throwing bait, the east side beaches are seeing bass clam baits. For the light tackle anglers fishing the Coast Guard Channel, it has been great for scup with good numbers reported during daytime fishing. The stripers are also moving through the Channel late at night. No shoreline fishing report is complete this time of year without mentioning the squid. The squid are indeed thick in the Great Salt Pond, and are providing great fun for youth and families in the evening. Don't forget, though, the squid may be caught during daylight as well — you just need to fish the jigs deeper. 

Heading off the beach to the boat will find you thick with jumbo seabass, bluefish and stripers. Bluefish have been all around the Island and easy to find under the terns and gulls feeding on sand eels. They will hit pretty much anything, just use a wire leader to save lost gear from getting bit off. Striped bass are also in good numbers around the Island, from schoolie to cow-size — depending on your location. North Rip has been very consistent as long as it doesn't blow northeast. Fish there are 24 to 36 inches, and mixed with blues. 

The southwest reef, from the hooter buoy and out, has been producing some big stripers — up to 50 pounds — but just not in big numbers or consistency. Live eels at night, and around the moon cycle, have been most productive. Close to shore, flyfishermen and light tackle anglers have found plenty of bass readily hitting topwater lures and large profile flies. The real treat this summer has been the plentiful number of giant black seabass. These delicious fish are found in deep water from Grace’s Cove to the southwest ledge, off Black Rock, and up at the outer reef at Sandy Point on the deep west side of the rip. 

These fish are plentiful enough and big enough that we've been tossing back all the females and keeping the males over 18 inches and still limiting out. Bait is not necessary for fishing seabass — two to three ounce metal jigs, bucktails, and sluggos all work just as well. Fluke fishing has been a bit slower, but big fish are being caught around the BI5 turbine and off Vail Beach. 

Put your time in and some 22-inch fish will come over the rail. 

Catch ‘em up!