November 29, 2006
Fishing is Still Good, Weather or Not
Ken, owner and operator of Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor, told me recently that although he had not heard of any blackfish reports, he quickly sold out of the last green crabs of the season. The shop has also sold out of all live bait for the season.
Two customers of his, Fred Mayer and Mike Brennan, went out to Montauk last weekend and using live eels, caught five keeper striped bass ranging from 34 to 39 inches in length. They reported that the conditions were rough, but catching fish was not. On Sunday, another of Ken's customers, Dean Foster, jigged up a whole mess of herring and proceeded to catch several good-sized bass into the 20-pound class outside the inlet in Montauk.
Local surfcasters were averaging bass in the 20 to 24-inch range and last Tuesday, the cuts at Mecox and Sag were both open and a steady pick of 24-inch bass were being reeled in just to the east of the inlet before the conditions changed drastically on Wednesday. The one lure of choice on the East End at the moment is a small white bucktail with a red pork rind.
Tight Lines will be open through December 22, so why not pick up a great Christmas gift for that angler friend or loved one? Or better yet, get them a gift certificate. The shop will reopen on January 17 on a limited basis, so call ahead for days and times of operation.
Steve at WeGo Fishing Bait and Tackle in Southold reported that those big winds that arrived prior to Thanksgiving slowed fishing down, but it's surely not over yet. Anglers have been picking away at schoolie bass and blues at McCabe's and Kenney's beaches, waiting for the schools of herring to show up. Herring did begin to make their presence known this weekend off Montauk, so that's a good omen for the fishing world.
Steve would like everyone to know that the shop will stay open until Christmas Eve and that there are many specials available as well as holiday sales and gift certificates. Specials on rod/reel combinations can be purchased for the angler on your list as well as stocking stuffers that are destined to end up in a tackle box. Better yet, check out their new website at wegobait.com/.
Aboard the Prime Time III out of Orient, recent trips were productive with blackfish as the target. The winds of the Thanksgiving Day storm slowed but did not stop the action, as it came back into swing again the following day. As the seas calmed down, the fish were back on the bite. Capt. Mike reported that the weekend trips aboard Primetime III sent anglers home with fish to seven pounds.
An angler who fished the boat on Saturday logged onto the Noreast.com website and reported that they had fished the waters off Fishers Island in water that ranged from 50-100 feet in depth using green crabs as bait. He thanked the captain and crew for their sage advice about using at least a 16-ounce sinker to hang onto the bottom. The Prime Time III will continue to fish for tog until December 3.
The most impressive log in on the Noreast site took place over the weekend and was reported by a member who regularly contributes to their web entries. "Aquaholic1" had just left Moriches Inlet on an incoming tide and was in quest of those schools of migrating fish when he was rewarded with a much greater present. Three humpback whales suddenly appeared next to the boat in about 45 feet of water, just off shore. His photos are incredible, so take time to look at them and you will surely be in awe by the beauty of these creatures.
In "Aquaholic's" own words, "I knew it was a whale, but didn't know whether to be scared or get closer to it . . . I cruised alongside of them and they didn't seem to mind . . . they would come back to the boat like they wanted me to continue with them . . . they were about three times the size of my boat."
This pod of humpbacks was not the only whale sighting in our local area as the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation reported several sightings of humpbacks over the Thanksgiving weekend along with a possible finback sighting. If you are lucky enough to be in the presence of these gentle giants, contact the foundation at 369-9840, ext.15.
So anglers, it is surely not over yet although the end of another spectacular fishing season is drawing near. Striper fishing ends on December 15. If you are not lucky enough to get that big fish you've dreamed about, perhaps you will be surprised by an even more incredible appearance in our local waters.
Hope your Thanksgiving found you surrounded by family and friends.
Good Fishin' to all of you!