The big fish are coming
Off the beach during the day, the Coast Guard channel still seems to be the best spot for fishing. Most people are bottom fishing strips of squid or live minnows and catching fluke or scup. The occasional striped bass will come in, along with bluefish and black sea bass. But have your Deadly Dicks and L-Jacks ready!
The bonito can blitz the sand eels at any point in the day, and you should be ready to throw your thin metal lures at them for an amazing catch. Common mistakes that people make attempting to catch bonito are that they’ll use too heavy a line, or too big a lure. You don’t want to have anything heavier than a 10-pound test monofilament attached to the lure, because the bonito’s amazing eyesight will see the thicker line. Bonito swim really fast, and the best way to catch them is to cast ahead of where they’re blitzing and reel in quickly! Along with the Coast Guard channel, Charleston Beach, just on the other side, is a good place to try for fluke.
In the last week, Dorry’s Cove has been best for striped bass at night. Dark-colored sluggos and needlefish are the most common there, but you can use an assortment of swimming lures or bait as well.
Another good spot to try at night would be Mansion Beach. Walk out onto the beach and head left toward the rocks and hopefully you’ll hook up on a large bass or bluefish. The best way to catch the big fish is to move around to several spots and not stay in one place too long. As for boat fishing, Capt. Matt of Hula Charters says that plenty of big striped bass are being caught on the southwest side of the island in about 40 to 50 feet of water.
The black sea bass fishing has also been great, according to Matt, using pink fluke rigs with squid in about 30 to 60 feet of water on the south side. Capt. Eric on the Rooster caught several sea bass over five pounds in 60 feet of water also on the south side.
On Sept. 1, sea bass limits will rise from three fish a day to seven. As the summer begins to wind down, we look forward to all the great fishing that the fall has in store for us. The big fish are coming!