You had to know the warm weather wasn’t going to last. But this is really how it should be. That 70-degree stuff is for the birds. It’s spring and this is New York. The ocean is still 50 degrees, the air should be too.
I’ve been hearing a lot of talk over the last couple cold and drizzly days about how it doesn’t look like the fishing in some of the early hot spots is going to happen this year. Not so, I say; things are just getting warmed up.
It was this week last year that the first fish started to show up. There weren’t any squid, no keeper bass had been taken yet and nary a sign of a weakfish had been seen. Then all of a sudden that first week of May there were weakfish and keeper stripers popping up all over—those jumbo weakfish that came out of Heady Creek were taken on May 2, and the first keeper stripers had only beaten them there by a day or two.
Everything is about a week ahead of last year, possibly because the water is a bit warmer after a mild winter and a fairly warm spring. The first keeper stripers came out of Moriches, Shinnecock and Montauk on the warm mornings late last week—nothing big, but keepers and maybe a couple fish in the low teens. The bigger ones will be in as soon as the sun comes back out.
Squid showed up in monster numbers in Fort Pond Bay over the weekend, so there were plenty of folks out hunting for this summer’s fluke baits and maybe a couple calamari appetizers. I haven’t heard of any having pushed west into Shelter Island Sound, but maybe the east wind will push them into the bay.
A bad sign for the prospects of a prolonged squid presence was the appearance of bluefish in just about every bay this week. Big ones and little ones. The choppers seem to be mostly in Moriches and off Sag Harbor, where the bunker are still present. Shinnecock had mostly little cocktails, in case you’re looking for some smoking-sized fillets for those Memorial Day weekend parties.
A couple weakfish came up here and there, but I’m worried we may be entering another down-swing in weakfish populations. There were lots of young ones last year, but the draggers really put a hurting on them down south.
Fluke are set up, just waiting to hear from the regulators. Looks like May 15 is going to be the day.
I love spring. I wish summer would never come.
Catch ’em up, folks. See you out there.
Striped Bass Tournament
Sporting enthusiasts will have an opportunity to support next fall’s duck hunting with this spring’s bass fishing next month when the Ducks Unlimited Invitational Striped Bass Tournament kicks off what DU hopes will be an annual event in Montauk. The tournament will take place the weekend of June 6 to 9 at the Montauk Yacht Club. Fishing this year will be on Saturday, June 7, with an awards ceremony, banquet and live auction at the club that night. The entry fee is $100 per angler, and there will be cash and trophies awarded. The largest fish of the tournament wins a free mount ?from Fish Unlimited Taxidermy.
Ducks Unlimited Dinner
The Eastern Long Island chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host a special cookout dinner on Wednesday, May 14, at the Water Mill Community House. There will be burgers and dogs and homemade chili and beer and soda on ice, all you can eat and drink. Tickets are $25. The DU boys will be raffling off dozens of collectible decoys and working decoy packages as well as other hunting gear. They want to plan ahead for the size of the crowd, so no tickets will be sold at the door. To reserve a spot for you and your young hunters, call Duane Arnister at 726-0015 or Mark Borucke at 283-6041.
Safe Boat Class
The East Hampton Sail and Power Squadron will hold its Boat Smart Class on boat handling and safety on Tuesday evenings this month at the Bridgehampton National Bank headquarters in Bridgehampton. For information, contact Wilbert Holmer at 324-5364.