Gurney's Inn
August 09, 2006

Gone Fishin'

A saltwater fishing clinic for kids 10 and older will be held at Captree State Park on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Specific instruction will be given on such topics as fishing techniques, the best tackle to use for success, fish biology 101, marine biology, state regulations, and even how to fillet the fish you bring home.

The best part of the event is that you don't have to think about anything except getting to the schooling site. Rods, tackle, and bait will be happily provided along with some sage advice about the work involved in angling. However, you must be a pre-registrant so be sure to call 444-0283 for information.

It's also a good idea to put August 27 on your calendar. That day your whole family can participate in the Family Fishing Fun and Marine Expo sponsored by New York State Assemblyman Joe Saladino held at parking field #10 of Jones Beach State Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Events include a snapper derby, great fishing instruction involving a variety of species, kayak and sailing demonstrations, hands-on boat building dynamics for children, demonstrations by local marine biologists, music and a whole lot more.

Levittown's Kevin Covais, who almost made it to the end of American Idol, will be singing the national anthem and will surely sign autographs for interested fans. If you need further information, call (516) 844-0635.

As for where the fish in our area can be found, Montauk continues to be a shining star with all the fish where fishermen would want them to be. Lots of great fluke catches along with impressive striped bass dominate our reports. Freddie's Bait and Tackle in Montauk reported that numerous bass in the 30-50 pound range have been hooked on live baits or eels. Fluking in that location has really picked up with 5-9 pounders becoming usual and some huge sea bass to 6 pounds in the mix.

The North Fork, always a hot spot for fish during any part of our season, saw Jim Powell take a 13 pound, 2 ounce doormat while aboard the Capt. Bob out of Mattituck. And Jim was not the first seasonal winner. He was the Capt. Bob's sixth seasonal pass winner this year.

Shinnecock was not to be ignored this week, as the fluke bite in the bays increased, in spite of the rising mercury. Years ago, everyone said fish sought deeper, colder water when summer temperatures rise too high. Not so this summer, as striped bass continue to be an impressive force along the surf beaches. Even the snappers started their influx into our local bays and canals. Your children should be out there fishing. They will surely be smiling with the abundance of bites and keepers.

Over at Moriches, a flurry of excitement still exists for the Cobia Boats/ tournament, which is on its third leg. The Big Blue Challenge is on for August 19 and 20 with a total in prizes of $25, 000. The first place winner will receive $10,000, so be sure to register before next Monday in order to be entered in the sweepstakes for a Cobia boat and motor package along with extra prizes if you hook the biggest bluefish.

Reports out of Moriches Inlet indicate that fluking continues to be strong inside the bay while catches near buoy #15 on the high tide remain consistent. There are some quality fish in the bay, while the day bite for stripers has been something that anglers have found to be hard work.

There are reports of triggerfish outside the inlet, especially near the buoys. Don't be surprised if you end up reeling in a weakfish. If crabs are your quest, the local docks and jetties have been good places to find them although the shallows have heated up a bit too much for these crustaceans. Give the water a few days to cool and blue claws will be back in abundance.

This past week was great for posted reports on the site. The Brooklyn Girl out of Orient saw excellent daytime action for striped bass and fluke and the boat limited out on bass to 25 pounds last Friday. Blues and fat porgies appeared in the mix as well.

The Black Rock (, out of Orient reported superb bass and bluefish catches as the private charter once again limited out in every one of its trips last weekend. "And the porgies this year are bigger than red snappers," said Capt. Sloan Gurney. Black Rock's mate Rick, confirmed the incredible size change in the porgies this season, saying that they were the biggest that he's ever seen. What's even more incredible is that in an hour, a fisherman can go home with a large bucket full of tasty fish that are large enough this season to fillet as an individual meal. When could you ever say that about porgies?

Out of Montauk, the Viking Fleet was busy with non-stop action. Striped bass fishing became huge on the night bite; fluking did well by day and those fat porgies were everywhere. Last Wednesday was a good day in Montauk for a classic father-son trip where a ton of fish were caught and released off Shagwong Point on tins in the flood tide. More than a dozen cocktail blues were set free along with a 14-inch sea bass and three keeper fluke. Check out the website for some dynamite photos.

The Sea Otter out of Montauk was one of the best places to catch fish during the past week. A great report from an angler who identified Montauk as "Mecca," took off a day from work in the city because the call of fish was more than he could ignore. The boat limited out on fish before lunch that day and some giant fluke were hooked and reeled in.

Comments were made by locals about the new schools of fluke in Montauk waters, evidenced by their bruised red bellies. Moriches was not to be ignored. The Rosie's afternoon trip last Thursday hooked up with some solid sea bass and fluke. Many double-headers were caught along with the always exciting triple-headers for a few anglers with three hooks. When all was said and done, it took more than two hours back at the dock to clean and fillet the catch. It doesn't get better than that.

So anglers, waste not, want not . . . Fabulous fish are everywhere and you won't spend a useless day on the water. Take the kids before they have to go back to school.

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