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Jul 10, 2018 9:53 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Calm Seas And Superb Fishing

Elizabeth Drew of Hampton Bays with three bigeye tuna caught during the maiden canyon trip aboard Wac'Em. Brandon Arnister
Jul 10, 2018 10:01 AM

It has been a great week to own a boat.Mother Nature has nary kicked up a ripple on the sea in nearly a week, and fish species from tuna to fluke have been enjoying the calm and are eager to eat.

From big game over the horizon to flatfish in the shallows, the fishing over the last week has been excellent for everyone.

The canyon bite last week was one of the best in several years. Cover-ups by multiple bigeye tuna were seemingly common for several days, and at least one boat, the Rebel out of Oaklands Marina in Hampton Bays, returned from a canyon trip with nine tuna between 100 and 200 pounds.

Shark fishing has also been outstanding, with lots of makos now cruising the bait-rich waters 15 to 25 miles south of Montauk and the western inlets. Captain Mike Saio’s Mishell II charter boat out of Montauk’s Westlake Fishing Lodge has caught four makos since Sunday afternoon, and neighboring charter boat Double D had a 280-pound mako that had broken free from not one but two longline hooks linked with 500-pound test.

Closer to home, the big stripers have now set up in the rips off Montauk, giving the customers of the charter fleet there ample opportunity to deck their trophy stripers. It would be nice to see a few more charter captains encouraging their customers to photograph and release fish in the 30-, 40- and 50-pound classes, but a lot of people are having trips they will remember for the rest of their lives regardless.

Bait-soakers have been enjoying the calm seas as well, as the fluke have been happy and hungry on the sandy ocean bottoms outside Shinnecock and off Montauk. The bite off Montauk has been way out in the 90-foot depths south of town. Anything shallower is a struggle with the marauding packs of sea robins that have set up in the eastern reaches, from Cartwrights all the way in to Shelter Island Sound. Shinnecock boats have had better fishing in a little closer and easy drifts in calm seas.

The coolers of fluke have been seasoned nicely with big black sea bass as well as a few ling and big porgies, so a charter or party boat fare has sent most home with sacks of fish fillets for the summer dinner table.

Surfcasters are getting their chances at the action. There has been a good bite of schoolie stripers along ocean beaches in Hampton Bays and Bridgehampton. The rock-hoppers in Montauk are starting to stick some solid fish in the wee hours too.

The calm weather appears to be persevering for a while, too, so if you have any time off from work saved up, now is a good time to use it.

I’m off to iCast tonight, so stay tuned next week for a glimpse of the coolest and most absurd new ideas in fishing tackle.

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

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