November 01, 2006

Gone Fishin'

This past week has seen more than its fair share of strong winds, but the fishing continues to dominate our local scene. On Saturday, I ventured to the surf near the Shinnecock Inlet to see what was brewing after all the rain and before the big blow returned. While much of the actual beach had that blown clean look, the sand appears to have stored up into the dunes. Mother Nature can sure change the structure of both dunes and shoreline in a brief period of time.

I did observe several surf anglers who had seen those flocks of birds working the ocean and one fisherman had just scored well by being in the right place at the right time. He explained that he'd seen the bubbling water just east of the inlet with water broken clearly with blitzing fish. Baitfish were being pushed in ahead of the winds and schools of frenzy-feeding blues were attacking them; much to the delight of the well-prepared angler. He went home with several impressive bluefish and a keeper striped bass.

During this seasonal time of migration, both boat and surf anglers must be aware that blitzes pop up like thunderstorms in August and no time can be lost if you want to hook up with fish. Rods should be fully rigged and spares are a must. Have all the bait and lures that you might need to deal with whatever might appear near your boat and along the shoreline.

The Shinnecock Star reported that last Friday's trip produced not only blues and blackfish, but some jumbo porgies and several sea bass in the catch. Speaking of porgies, their season officially ended at midnight on Halloween. The porgie season was a great one for Long Island anglers who hooked some of the biggest and fattest ones seen in several years. They were in all the places you would expect to find them and if you happen to catch one these days, they must be released back to their watery domain.

Paulie from Freddie's Bait and Tackle in Montauk reported that Shagwong is still producing good bass with its clean water. He heard of a handful of guys that caught nice fish over the weekend. But in the other surrounding areas, the water is still dirty due to the storm surge. Other than that, it's been real quiet.

Steve at WeGo Fishing Bait and Tackle in Southold reported that the fishing action prior to the big blow remained strong. He predicts the wind will result in pushing all the bait in our water back to the shoreline. Steve suggested surf anglers leave home fully prepared for fast strikes of feeding-frenzy fish, noting that no fisherman or woman wants to have to struggle with line-changing or knot-tying while the fish are practically jumping into your waders.

Steve reported that the black-fishing has accelerated and his shop has all the green and fiddler crabs you might require. The day bite was great for both bass and blues in the Gut and Race. Two good weigh-ins at the shop in recent days were caught by Rich Gendron, who had a 23-plus pound bass on a cast-master. The surf angler took his prize along a local Orient beach. Phil Bloom also had an 11.5-pound blackfish reeled in from a boat off Mulfords. (This is one whopper of a tautog!)

If you were on the North Fork, Ken at White's Bait and Tackle in Greenport reported that last Friday was the best angling day. There were numerous blitzes with anchovies being the dominant bait. Anglers noted there were more bluefish around than had been seen all season. In recent days, the striped bass bite has continued to be excellent, especially if you are fishing in the pre-dawn to early morning hours.

Ken predicted "as long as we have bait, we'll have fish. When you want to be sure that the schools are close to shore, look for the birds." This has been consistently true anywhere along the shorelines from Mattituck Inlet to Orient, he added.

"Use that lure you haven't taken out all season," white's owner said. Just about anything will tempt feeding fish during a blitz: pencil poppers, diamond jigs, bucktails, plastic lures, metals, spoons and swimmers all work equally well.

The message boards on the website of Noreast.com really lit up this past week. The Orient Star out of Orient had a group from the Oyster Bay Anglers that took 60 blackfish in just a few fast hours of fishing along the Sound on Friday. Most were in the 4-5 pound range, but there were two in excess of seven pounds hooked. The boat switched to scup when the tide changed and did quite well with some of the last porgies of this incredible season.

Good Fishin' to all of you!

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