May 31, 2006

Tight Lines Fluke Tournament

As the weekend of May 13 approached, Ken, the owner of Tight Lines Bait and Tackle in Sag Harbor, made the wise decision to postpone the shop's 28th annual fluke tournament until the following weekend. Out east, we've been living in a world of wind, torrential downpours and pea soup fog, while Nassau County and New York City were basking in sunshine and mild temperatures. I began to think that the distance from point A to point B was much longer than as it appeared on the map.

Way to go, Ken! The shop was finally able to proceed as planned this past weekend and no one was disappointed. The top three winners in the fluke division were:

1. Mike Shipkowski- 7.14 pounder

2. Frank Cafiso- 6.36 pounder

3. Mike May- 5.95 pounder

The first place winner in the bass division was Larry Myers with his slightly-over 12 pound striper while Bill Wheeler took home the prize for best bluefish with an 8.4 pounder. In the weakfish division, Wayne Galbraith won with a 4.14 pounder.

The only disappointing part of this great event was that only five kids were enrolled in the young anglers division.

Over at Tight Lines, each of the five child entries was a winner! Each kid went home with a new tackle box and a few other surprises. First place for the best fluke went to Zack DePetris with a 3.79 pounder while second was held by Cassidy Becker.

Ken would like all our readers to be aware that the adults who won first prize for fluke, striped bass, bluefish and weakfish took home $250 each; not a bad payoff for the small entry fee charged by Tight Lines. Other prizes and monies were spread out amongst winners in each division and entry fees have always gone back into the prizes.

In Southold at WeGo Fishing Bait and Tackle, Steve reported that the fishing has been decent in spite of the roller-coaster weather. The fluke action has been on the upswing and there are a ton of bluefish in the water. The latest developments also show that striped bass and weakfish have been making their usual appearance in all the expected spots.

Last Friday, Steve weighed in a 13.30 striper hooked at Jessups by Jack Thilbert while Jack Swiskey brought in an 8.5 pound fluke from the area of the Greenlawns and Tammy Girzadas pulled up a terrific fluke that weighed in at 9.55 pounds. The "kid story" of the week is the tale of 11 year- old Mike Partridge who hauled a 17.55 pound striped bass out of Plum Gut on one of the windiest days of the young spring season. Certainly does seem that this young angler has been encouraged to take part in nature's bounty from an early age.

Christina at Capt. Marty's Fishing Station in New Suffolk reported that the shop is open daily at 7 a.m. and fluke, striped bass, bluefish and weakfish have all been decent in the South Race and Roses Grove.

Linda at Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck said the fishing action from Roger's Rock to buoy #28 has been strong in front of the slack tide with weakfish and fluke making their presence known. This past week had some nice catches near buoy #17, with bass, blues and weaks hooked predominantly on diamond jigs.

Linda said the shop weighed in fluke to 9 pounds, taken in the Sound off Mattituck.

There are times when the twin forks can seem eons apart, in spite of our close proximity. The most interesting posted report on the Noreast.com website was from a fishing boat in Plum Gut. While working the area on Friday, a few boats from Montauk also appeared on the scene, including the Sea Otter IV. Everyone shared the space, which was producing nice bass to 28 pounds as well as some impressive fluke. Perhaps the Montauk boats had gone out for blackfish and continued the journey to the Gut when they heard about the strong fluke bite.

It's always interesting when east meets west, but becomes noteworthy when north meets south. One thing's for certain; in my best pirate voice, I echo the phrase, "Argh, there be plenty of fish in these waters for everyone."

Good Fishin' to all of ye!

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