June 21, 2006

Gone Fishin'

By Rich Smidt

Ken at Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor reported that fishing was exceptional this week with porgies tipping their scales at more than three pounds and averaging 13-15 inches. He noted that weak-fishing was sensational at Roses Grove and past Jessups by buoy #16, where one weighed in at 9.5 pounds. He'd also seen a double-header hooked in Noyac Bay by buoy #16.

Ken revealed a heating-up of the fluke action and said the true hot spots of the past week were to be found in some places off Mashomack Point near Shelter Island. One 28-inch beauty was in excess of nine pounds. Ken's best quote of the week was about striped bass, which he said were nothing less than phenomenal in the rips off Montauk. In his own words: "The water is full of fish; grab some live eels or a porgy and hold on for dear life." He would like our young anglers to be aware that the black sea bass, our slowest growing local species, grows only one inch per year. I'm sure they can calculate the age of the 22-inch black sea bass that was caught near Mashomack Point this past weekend.

There a memorable fishing experiences and then there are MEMORABLE fishing experiences. The two groups that went out of Orient with Captain Sloan Gurney aboard his private charter The Black Rock (www.orientpointfishing.com) last week will have fishing tales to tell for the rest of their lives.

One group limited out on fluke with some gigantic monster doormats in the mix including one that weighed more than 13 pounds! The other group, in search of striped bass, found fishing bliss as no less than four of their limit measured between 40 and 44 inches! The gargantuan stripers were caught in a spot known only as "The big hump." Once again Gurney and his fantastic mate Rick sent everyone home with the biggest fish of their lives and a surreal experience that will fill the hearts and minds long after the fish has satisfied the appetite.

Ken at White's Bait and Tackle in Greenport reported a really good week prior to the Father's Day weekend, noting that the striped bass night bite in the Gut was especially productive. Fishing the full moon at the start of that week yielded a lot of 25-28 pounders as can be seen by the vigorous activity aboard Capt. Sloan's vessel. Ken pointed out that the day bite has also resulted in some impressive stripers, particularly if you hit the magic hour when the school was feeding aggressively. It reminds me of the old adage about real estate: location, location and location!

White's had just about every customer who weighed in a fish either complain about the abundance of bluefish in our local waters or give a mighty thumbs up to those feisty fighters. Yes anglers, they are everywhere, guaranteeing that even if you didn't find the species you were after you would not go home empty-handed.

White's noticed that the fluke bite in the bay had slowed a bit as the schools seem to have moved towards Gardiner's Bay and the Ruins. At this moment in time, it appears to be where the greatest concentration of keeper fluke can be found. Speaking of the summer flatfish, don't be surprised to see numerous seabass and a megaton of large porgies in the catch.

Ken's dad, owner of Surf and Turf Charters, has had good success in the past few weeks with keeper bass and fluke, including an awesome 4.6 pound sea bass along with scup to a whopping 20 inches. Everyone was limiting out in their catches.

Posted reports from the Noreast.com website included several from the Prime Time III out of Orient. On one recent trip, seven anglers had 23 fluke and some sea bass appeared in the mix, including a few keepers snagged on a bluefish strip. The first casts of the day noted bending rods as the monster scup to more than three pounds got in on the action.

The Prime Time III continued to score high and last Friday was not a disappointment. In water temperatures that were logged in at 57 degrees in some spots, 26 keeper fluke came over the rails. The captain seems in tune with several secret locations that have brought happy smiles to the faces of customers in the past few weeks.

Aboard the Brooklyn Girl out of Orient, last Thursday resulted in a solid night of striped bass. Noreast.com reports that a group of four anglers on the charter limited out before dark on bass that were fat and long. While lots of blues were a part of the catch, the clients did not mind that the big bass cavorted with the wild blues.

A boater fishing off Sag Harbor on Thursday posted a log into the Noreast.com site about trolling for stripers with parachutes on wire. The result was that as the sun set the angler went home with a fat 31-inch striped bass and three big blues. It was his first time trolling the ferry channel and he vowed to return to this successful location.

So stop reading this, grab your pole and your tackle box and get out there and make some memories!

Good Fishin' to all of you!

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