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April 26, 2013

Northeast Fluke Fishing

A guidebook to the East Coast's top summer flounder haunts.

Long Island, New York

Follow the compass to the North Fork, South Fork and East End, and you’ll find prime fluke haunts in any direction along Long Island. The North Fork branches off into Gardiners Bay and Long Island Sound, while the South Shore in Great South Bay grabs the ­attention of ­midisland flounder pounders. Come early May, large-and-in-charge fluke move into Peconic Bay’s prolific grounds, feeding along the mud- and sand-bottom stretches, scattered with shell beds, quarterdeck, mussel and scallop patches, which in turn draw in fluke to feed. Fluke push in and pin grass shrimp and killifish into the three- to four-foot shallows along the beaches of Jessups Neck and Nassau Point on the North Fork, where light-tackle tactics reign supreme to haul up 5-plus-pound flatties.

Top Technique: Drifting a whole 6- to 8-inch squid rigged on three-way swivel, 5-foot section of 40-pound fluorocarbon leader to a sliding snell two-hook rig with 4/0 Baitholder hooks

Hot Spots: Orient Point, ruins off ­Gardiners Basin, Peconic Bay, South Old Bay, Jessup’s Neck

Who: Capt. Bob Rochetta, 631-445-7088, rainbowcharters.net

Captain’s Tip: Rig a whole squid so it sits straight, one hook in the mantle and the second hook right behind the eyes. Make sure your sliding snell hooks point upward and not downward, so they don’t snag debris on the bottom.