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Patrick Scali hoists a tunny caught from the waters of the Long Island Sound. Photo from Angelo Peluso

By Angelo Peluso

What connection does the Latin phrase dies caniculares have with summer fishing on the North Shore of Long Island? Literally translated the idiom means dog days. The Romans linked hot summer weather to Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, or large dog. Contemporary humans link “canicule” to dogs sleeping in the shade on hot days, beach and pool time, barbecues and a period of stagnation in the fishing season, but the dog days of July actually bring some great fishing throughout the Long Island Sound and the North Shore of Long Island.

Anglers may lament during mid to late summer that they can’t wait for the fall run to begin in the Long Island Sound, but while those anglers are looking to the future for quality fishing, others are cashing in on the summer bounty that the North Shore of Long Island provides.

If you give up on fishing in the Sound when the mercury rises, you may miss out on some of the largest bass and bluefish, which has said to have been caught in July and can continue to hang around into the late summer months. I once even enjoyed a very special fly and light tackle surprise: an advance guard of early Atlantic bonito. And the best part was that I had that fabulous fishing all to myself for almost a week.

There can be a lot of fishing variety to appeal to even the most ardent anglers.

July entertained, and August continues to host open seasons for fluke, striped bass, bluefish, sea bass, scup and the occasional weakfish. There was a time when sizeable tiderunner weaks could be found mixed in with hordes of July bluefish and bass.

While the extreme western areas of the North Shore of Long Island that heated up first in the spring may experience somewhat of a daytime slowdown in fishing activity, changing tactics to early morning and evening tides can prove to be the key to unlocking the secrets of summer bass fishing.

As one moves farther east along the North Shore toward the central and eastern regions of the Sound, you will begin to encounter some unique hydrodynamics that are favorable for supporting good fishing throughout the summer months. Deeper, cooler water combined with a solid dispersing of oxygen throughout the water works to keep these central and eastern areas of the Sound suitable for sustaining baitfish and game fish. As a matter of fact, some of the areas within this part of the Sound are so oxygen-rich that clams are transplanted from lower water quality areas farther west so that the filter feeding bivalves can cleanse themselves before being shipped off to market.

So far, the 2015 season has shaped up as a decent one.

Striped bass settled in late, but have maintained an extended presence in the Sound. While the peak of early season fishing has passed, and August will continue to see summer feeding and behavioral patterns emerge in full swing. Daytime fishing will have its share of rewarding surprises as will the magical times around dawn and dusk. If your bass fishing is being done from a boat, make sure to spend some time prowling the deeper water off rock promontories, the drop-offs around shoals and around the depths of the offshore lobster pots.

Most all the areas around the navigation buoys from Eatons Neck out to Rocky Point will hold fish during periods of the tide cycles, as will most areas in between. Light tackle jigging and bucktailing these areas will yield fine results.