Fishing Montauk with Captain Skip: September 2023

Despite the crazy weather and easterly winds, it’s been a pretty action packed 2023 season so far. The only disappointment has been the Fluke, but not totally. The Fluke were slow starting up, but then they woke up and bit their faces off, then went back into hiding. It’s been a roller coaster ride with them all season. Now we’ve had a lot of easterly wind with a southerly swell, great for the surfers, but Fluke just hate that big swell. Also there was a massive school of Bluefish that came through, which probably sent the Fluke swimming for their lives! It’s definitely been crazy. One day they’re out by the windmills, the next day they’re found at Outer Cartwright, then another day they’re at Inner Frisby. Then at inner Frisby you have to battle the Sea Robins, which are a complete nuisance. You just got to pick an area that the wind and tide are working for you and hope the Fluke are there. Seems there are Fluke scattered around all the spots, hopefully September will provide a little more consistency, like in past years. Fluke season is open till October 9th and as a reminder the bag limit is 4 per angler and the size limit is 18.5 inches.
As far as other bottom fishing action the Porgy have been as thick as Fleas. With the right wind and tide you can drift from the Elbow all the way to the Porgy Lump and catch the entire way! Now these tasty little jewels get a bad rap because of their size and the small belly bones, just don’t eat the bones is what I say to people that say “their boney”. They actually make great Fish Tacos. They’re better eaten the same day, as they don’t last frozen as well as the Black Sea Bass. Speaking of Black Sea Bass, they have really been taking up the slack when the Fluke are not cooperating. In fact some die hard serious Fluke fishermen despise the Black Sea Bass because they can be annoying when fishing for Fluke. Any hard bottom you find will most likely hold Black Sea Bass. A simple high-low double hook rig works just fine with some clam or squid for bait.
Offshore has been on fire for some time now. From 30 miles on out. Anglers were finding Yellowfins & School Bluefins around the Suffolk wreck, Tuna Ridge, & the Dumping Grounds. Further out in Atlantis & Veatch canyons, action with Bigeye Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, & Swordfish has been hot!
Good to see is the number of Swordfish showing up. They have really bounced back these past 10 years and that’s good to see. What has really come back is the Sharks! Sandbar & Dusky up here are eating anglers catches. Down South it’s the Bull sharks that are out of control. Numerous anglers have lost their Striped Bass to Sandbars (Brown Sharks) & Duskys. Even an occasional Mako slides in for an easy meal! Seems the sharks are not so endangered as previously perceived. Huge schools of Bunker migrating along the coast have brought them in right off the beaches. If schools of Bunker or other bait fish are off a beach, you might think twice about taking a swim!!
September is going to probably be action packed as well, so get on out there and have some great fun catching supper! Always check your safety equipment before going offshore or anywhere for
that matter, your life could depend on it!!
        ~ Tight Lines, Captain Skip