Porgies are Jumping

September 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

It’s amazing how a little chill in the night air can have a powerful effect on bottom fishing. Although water temperatures have dropped only a few degrees during the past two weeks, porgies and sea bass catches have rallied.

“It’s clearly porgy time now on the East End,” said Dave Brennan of the Greenport open boat Peconic Star. “We’ve got some devastatingly big scup mixed in with the mediums. It takes a pair of five-gallon buckets to hold a limit catch.”

Mike Boccio from the Orient Point open boat Prime Time III agreed that the porgy bite “is totally turned on!” Boccio has been sailing with roughly 20 anglers per day and three-quarters of them limit out. Mixed with the scup have been some sea bass.

“One thing I’ve noticed,” said Boccio, “is that anglers with forgiving rod tips and 30-pound test monofilament lines seem to score best. Shy away from braided lines while these fish are shallow. The non-stretch braids, combined with a stiff rod tip, rip baits from the fish.”

From the open boat Captain Bob V in Mattituck, Bob Ceglowski said he’s been letting customers exhaust themselves by diamond-jigging bluefish and stripers before lowering baits for hungry porgies.

“It’s just super fishing right now, tons of action,” Ceglowski said. “We try to limit out the boat on bluefish and stripers at Hortons Point, and then load up with porgies by drifting off the Firing Range near Mattituck.”

Fishing action is also hot in the middle stretches of Long Island Sound. Anglers sailing out of Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai, for example, have found plenty of porgies off points or over small humps in 25 to 30 feet of water. A short run to deeper water finds aggressive bluefish awaiting diamond jigs or chunked bunker.

The Huntington-based open boat Noli Eileen has been decking plenty of porgies in the 14- to 16-inch class while anchored in 25 feet of water inside Huntington Bay, or slightly deeper at Eatons Neck, according to captain Peter Gens.

“Two keys to high scores,” said Gens, “are twitching the line slightly without moving the sinker, and frequent bait changes to provide fresh offerings.”

In western Long Island Sound, Chris Cullen from the City Island open boat Island Current said “the bottom is paved with porgies at Oyster Bay and Center Island Reef.”

“Use a tandem-hook bottom rig, but add a third hook 18 inches above the sinker to entice incidental weakfish, school bass or blues,” Cullen said.

On the South Shore and West End, mixed bag action has resulted in sea bass, porgies, triggerfish and an occasional striped bass hauled over the rails. Catches have been solid out of Captree, Freeport and Point Lookout. Dennis Kanyuk, skipper of the Point Lookout open boat Super Hawk, noted that bluefish have been especially hot at the Mud Hole, with many choppers in the 6- to 12-pound class.

If you target porgies from shore or a private boat, the size limit is 11 inches and you can keep 10 a day. Those fishing from open or charter vessels can keep 45 porgies with a minimum size of 10.5 inches. Either way, fish fast because the season for open and charter boat porgies runs through Oct. 15, but the last day for everyone else is next Friday

By Tom Schlichter


Entry filed under: Get Wet, Public Waterfront, Region. Tags: , , , , , .

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