April 12, 2006
Looks Like Fewer Fluke For Anglers
Steve at WeGo Fishing Bait and Tackle in Southold reports that the shop is well on its way to being ready for the upcoming season. New stock is arriving daily and he said that the shop will feature a wide variety of new rods and reels by Daiwa and Shakespeare.
At the moment, WeGo is open daily from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Steve said the water temperatures were still on the chilly side, yet several anglers showed up last weekend to purchase mussels and clams for flounder season. WeGo will soon have all the necessary bait and plans, as usual, to collect fresh local bunker, squid and spearing as soon as they become available.
When asked about any definitive DEC decisions regarding the future fluke season, he said that he last heard that the size limit would most likely be set at 18 inches with a four fish bag limit per person, per day.
Personally, I'm not sure exactly what will happen, but there will be a lot of anglers disappointed with this decision if these are the numbers. WeGo had also heard that opening day for fluke might be pushed to May 6 instead of the present date of April 29. I'll keep you posted as I learn the results.
East End Bait and Tackle in Hampton Bays is stocked and ready for the fishing season and bloodworms, sand worms, mussels, clams, and chum will be available. Don White, the owner of East End has also opened up another shop on the dock at Soleu's wharf on Dune Road. This shop will be more than able to accommodate all your fishing needs especially if you are after flatfish on the southern side of Shinnecock Bay.
Posted reports online for the past week have been better than I expected. Noreast.com postings include one from the Super Hawk out of Debs/Jones inlet. An angler reported that the trip the boat made to an offshore wreck resulted in his returning with 22 large sea bass, 12 ling, two pollock, and a pair of weakfish. The pool fish was a pollock that weighed in at about 30 pounds.
The Blue Fin IV has also been busy out of Montauk. The popular vessel fished off the southeastern side of Block Island on Saturday for 51 cod and 15 ling. There have been reports of flounder in a variety of locations. None of my fishing friends on the North Fork had brought home one of these much-awaited flatfish yet, but they are already out in search of them. However, as the water continues to warm up there will surely be flounder stories to share.
I did hear of some decent flounder catches in the Shinnecock/Quogue Canal area, including a three and one-half pounder that was returned to the water on the Shinnecock Star. Best bet for bait at the moment is mussels but everyone is noting that you need to use clam chum, especially since flounder have such a short season of availability. Schoolie bass appear to be showing up in a lot of locations and one of my wise fish advisers pointed out that the mildness of the past winter will most likely help to jumpstart our angling activity. I certainly hope he's right.
So anglers, stay tuned for next week's column. Hopefully more bait and tackle shops will be opened for business and we'll have the real deal on fluke regulations. Warmer weather and water will surely mean more fish and anglers.
Good Fishin' to all of you.