The summer is in full swing and there are fish to catch in our area for everyone. The water temperatures and boat traffic are at their peak this time of the year, so the best Striped Bass fishing will be dusk till dawn, if you want some real action. Surface plugs will work well until complete darkness; my favorite is a pencil popper and it needs to be worked slowly but very actively across the water. You must learn how to “walk the dog”; it’s a constant twitching of your rod tip while reeling, making the pencil popper twitch back and forth in the water. If you’re having a difficult time raising a fish, try stopping the plug for five seconds, then reeling again, many times this will trigger a fish to strike! If you raise fish but can’t get them to strike your lure, try switching lure size and color, this can also get the fish to bite. After dark use swimming lures that stay under the surface or bucktails tipped with a plastic curly tail or pork rind; it’s still a slow retrieve for Bass.

Bluefish aren’t as shy in the daylight, when using artificials reel much faster though and use wire leaders or you will lose many lures to the Bluefish’s sharp teeth. Blues can also be caught using bait, if you can find a bunker school, snag a few and live line or chunk them into the bunker school; again wire leaders are strongly suggested. If you’re fishing the surf both Bass and Blues can be caught the same way; look for schools of bait, birds feeding, the fish will be under them.

Some big Fluke will move into the Western Sound this month at all the usual spots. Bucktails are the way to go and seem to attract the bigger fish; I like to tie a teaser above my bucktail also. Fresh spearing, Squid strips, Sea Robin belly strips and Fluke skin strips are great fresh baits. Take the time to cut your strips tapered so they won’t spin when drifting. Live Snappers are also a great bait for doormat Fluke; use a three way swivel, put a 4/0 hook on the end of three feet of thirty pound leader material, attach the other end to the Snapper’s mouth and keep a few inches from the bottom. A bait bridle also works well and will give you a better hook-up ratio, I like the Ultimate Bait Bridle, it’s made by the 3D FISHING PRODUCTS COMPANY, located in Wading River NY, and can be found in most tackle shops.

GULP products also work great for Fluking. Four inch curly tails in white or chartreuse are the go to colors; I’ve also had success with pink. GULP also sells a five inch version that I like to use when targeting doormats!

Once you hook your trophy Fluke, keep your rod tip up and slowly retrieve, keeping constant pressure on the fish. Make sure you use a net to land your fish; Fluke can easily shake a hook if you try to lift them into the boat without a net. You don’t want to lose the big one being careless.

The Porgy or Scup will also be abundant in the Western Sound in August. Fresh clams and plenty of clam chum should attract the Porgies and keep them around until you have had your fill. They fight hard and are a great fish for kids to catch .

Blue Claw Crabs also will be available to catch now; most docks or piers will have these crabs living around them.

They can be caught by using traps, baited with an oily fish or chicken parts, these traps can be bought at your local tackle shop. It’s an easy way to kill a few hours down by the water and bring home a great dinner.

It’s very hot out; make sure to bring lots of liquids to drink, a cooler of ice for your catch, use some sort of sun block, hats and sunglasses to protect yourself during the day. A sunburn or heat stroke is no fun for anyone.

The Moonlight Lady is a 29’ Dyer custom bass boat and will be available for Charters for whatever we can catch. If you want a chance to catch some nice fish and have some fun, or have a comment or suggestion about Coastal Angler Magazine; you can reach me at capttommykampa@gmail.com.

Like us on FACEBOOK at Coastal Angler Magazine Long Island and Moonlight Lady Fishing Charters; I’ll be posting trip reports and photos daily.

Stay safe and enjoy the summer!!