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Jul 11, 2017 9:35 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Big Bass Move Back To Montauk

Nate LeFrance, John Zaweski and Jim Dubrowsky with the 229-pound mako shark they caught on spinning tackle out of Shinnecock Inlet last week.
Jul 11, 2017 9:41 AM

A new wave of big bass moved into Block Island Sound this week, turning around what had been a sort of ho-hum start to summer for the mecca of striped bass angling.Charter boats and party boats had fillet tables stacked high with striped skins this week as the bite both day and night seems to have really fired up after a little hot weather kicked water temps to near 70.

These fish, I am going to guess, are from the main body of stripers moving up the coast from the Chesapeake and, hopefully, will be less quick to keep moving north.

How long the hot fishing lasts likely will ride on the weather. If temperatures remain moderate, we can probably expect the fish now settling into the rips between the lighthouse and Block Island to stay in place for at least a few weeks, and then maybe slink into the deeper, colder runs past the Sub Buoy as the water gets hot in August. Last summer, they hung in the near-shore rips straight through, since water temperatures stayed on the cool side into late summer.

Surf fishermen are having a tough go of it. There are bass to be had in the dark in Montauk but few to be found elsewhere, at least as far as I’ve been able to sniff. The bays still hold a few fish, but they will be skedaddling now that daytime temps are getting over 80 degrees.

Fluke fishing was still okay this week—not terrible, but not gangbusters either. Congrats to my old dock neighbor and Team Ship-A-Shore sharpie Scott McMahon for taking top honors in the Hampton Bays Fire Department fluke tournament over the weekend.

With the calm weather of late, a lot more boats are making it over the horizon in search of pelagics. Small boat owners don’t have to go very far over the horizon to find sharks and tunas.

Plenty of makos are cruising the 20-fathom curve just 10 or 15 miles offshore, and bluefin and yellowfin tuna have been caught within 30 miles.

The bluefin are still spreading east and, hopefully, will find a home for the summer in the nearshore valleys again, like they did last year. Reports of yellowfin up to 60 pounds as close as 30 miles from shore already is a hugely encouraging sign for the summer to come.

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

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