November 22, 2006
"The black-fishing has been really good in between the poor weather," said Ken of Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor. Ken had several fish in his shop last week that weighed in at over seven pounds although he stressed how the local beaches haven't recovered yet since the bad winds of a few weeks ago. He had spoken to the President of the Surfrats (surfrats.com) who had told him that there were a lot of small fish out east, which is way too soon for small fish in this area.
Ken had heard of a solid day trip for bass that were basically committing suicide on some well-thought out eel bait and another angler out on evening bass trip out of Montauk had several keepers in the 35-pound range that were caught near the sub buoy.
If you have been wondering if the fish are still around, don't be discouraged by some of the unusual weather events that Long Island has recently endured. Most diehard anglers are aware that it's not over yet in our local waters.
Steve at WeGo Fishing Bait and Tackle in Southold reported that everyone is still picking away for stripers and that if you catch the outgoing tide during the daytime, you might be pleasantly surprised. Both Plum Gut and the Race have been popping up now and then with some great bass.
Steve reported that the black-fishing scene on the North Fork was very good and his shop has a full supply of green, white and hermit crabs. Blackfish simply can't resist these tasty treats and several good weigh-ins this week were the result of savvy anglers with the right bait.
Michael Zouroudis fished off Rocky Point in a little tin boat for tautog that ranged from just over six pounds to an on the button 10-pound monster. For those out there who fish for blackfish, that was one of the biggest reported of the season so far. Greg Delape had a 7.2 pounder, Steve Gutlieder snagged one the same size and Joey G. took a 7.5 pound tog. All were weighed in at WeGo.
Steve noted that his happiest customer this week was nine-year old Matt Kirby who fished aboard the Sundowner II out of Orient. There were more than 50 fish brought back to the dock as everyone limited out. In case you were curious, Matt Kirby's tog weighed in at WeGo at 9.10 pounds!
In general, the day bite for striped bass had been strong when those storms and winds didn't drive the fish out into much deeper water. Luckily, they have returned to all their favorite spots, especially since the water temperature is still quite warm. Anglers have been scoring well on the outgoing tide with bucktails and diamond jigs to produce bass from 32-36 inches.
As Steve said, there's a lot more to soon take place in our local fishing scene. There has yet to be a ground frost and the angling scene is still active on the North Fork. WeGo's owner pointed out that no butterfish or herring have yet to show up, so this could end up being a later season than some others in the past. To quote Steve, "the baitfish we've been expecting will suddenly arrive and a lot more hungry fish will follow in their path."
Along the Sound, the Osprey III has been bringing happy customers back to shore according to their posted reports on the Noreast.com website. Many anglers have been seeing the best black-fishing so far this season. The final tally was close to 200 fish on one particular trip and a slightly more than 10-pound fish as the pool winner. There have been numerous catches where most keepers were in the 5-9 pound range.
Off Fire Island, one early morning striper trip aboard the Capt. Gillen resulted in four keeper bass with a ton of skates in the mix. The funny thing about this report is that the angler hooked his large striper on Friday during all that rain. As he said in his Noreast login, "don't let a little rain keep you guys from fishing."
Heed the sage advice and make good use of the next few weeks.
Good Fishin' to all of you!