Big Bass Abound

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Montauk is in its full glory. As the temperatures have climbed, most other spots have gone dormant, but Montauk’s deep-running currents have come alive with big fish. The deep eastern rips are pumping out some big fish, day and night, for diamond jiggers, trollers and the live bait squad.The Viking Fleet had its best night of the year in the rips this week, hanging 12 striped bass over 35 pounds on the bulkheads of the Viking Star on one of its 7 p.m.-to-1 a.m. striper trips. That’s an easy-access fishery for anyone willing to stay up late, preceded by a sunset cruise.

Congrats to Mark Borucke, Frank Lenihan and Bobby Bossung for their first- and second-place finishes in the Ducks Unlimited Striped Bass Tournament at the Star Island Yacht Club on Saturday. Gray skies, light winds and lots of bass greeted 50 anglers. The 43- and 38-pounders that the crew of the “Sky Leigh” put on the scale were representative of the big fish that are being taken daily.

The Shinnecock Marlin and Tuna Club also held its annual inshore tournament for striped bass and fluke. Woody Worth’s crew aboard “Fishin’ Mission” took first place, followed by Pat Dickson and the crew of the “Alexa” and the “KamikaZ” and skipper Garrett Moore. There was a mako division for those who just can’t fathom fishing within sight of land—like Adam Kibel and the crew of the Tiger Lili, who decked a 167-pounder for the first-place prize.

Speaking of big stripers, Montauk may be the striper capital of the world, but some Connecticut guys are quietly cornering the market on the biggest fish. Greg Myerson, who broke the all-tackle world record for striped bass two years ago with an 81-pounder, put a 73-pounder on the dock this week and a 60-pounder last week. He’s taken a fish over 70 pounds in each of the last three years. That is some serious fishing. Nothing complicated about it—he’s fishing regular live eels bought from a bait shop, on three-way rigs. He supposedly uses some sinkers that have rattles in them, but that sounds more like a gimmick to try to cash in a little on his astounding success—can’t really hold that against him.

Don’t forget that this Saturday is the Benny Lupia Memorial Fluke Tournament, put on by the Hampton Bays Fire Department. Sign up at East End Bait & Tackle, or come to the captains’ meeting at the HBFD firehouse on Friday night at 7 p.m. The good fishing in Shinnecock Bay right now should make this a serious competition with major bragging rights on the line.

If you’re more into the offshore game, there’s a new big game tournament coming to town next week, too: the Montauk Canyon Challenge, being put on by Staten Island Yacht Sales at the Montauk Yacht Club. It’s an easy commitment for the offshore gang with plenty of time: fish one overnighter or two day trips between July 21 and 28, biggest tunas and others take the prizes. Entry fee is $1,200 per boat. Sounds like it should be a fun tournament, a good warm-up for the Tri-State Canyon Shootout and the Hamptons Offshore Invitational that will take place the following two weeks. Hopefully, some good water will slide in over the eastern canyons so that it’s a real Montauk tournament (boats also may fish out of Shinnecock but must weigh contender fish in at Montauk).

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

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