While the inshore fishing has been surprisingly good during what should be the August doldrums, it’s the offshore fishing—or, more accurately, a certain offshore fish—that once again was the talk of the town this week.A possible new state record wahoo, 300-pound bigeyes and a sailfish caught in the Cape Cod Canal were the hot topics of conversation.
The big wahoo bit a ballyhoo skirt being trolled by the Tonto out of Star Island Yacht Club. Jonathan Stabe fought it on standup gear, and when it hit the scales, it bottomed out at 117 pounds, 3 pounds heavier than the current New York State record. Jon says he’s submitting it for record consideration.
Oddly, considering the exceptional size of Jon’s smoker, there have not been a ton of wahoo caught in our local canyons thus far this year. There were a couple caught last month by the bluefin gang at the Coimbra, along with some blue marlin—both odd visitors within 30 miles of the beach. But there have only been a few others that I’ve heard of from the canyons, which isn’t many, considering how many boats have been out there the last few weeks.
The bigeyes continued to put on a show last week as the August moon waxed toward full. The Flying Dutchman continued its hot streak, putting a pair of jumbos in the boat, one that might have broken the 300-pound mark. Star Island Yacht Club owner Sam Gershowitz put three on the deck of his new 105-foot Jim Smith, Marlena.
The fishing was dampened a bit over the weekend, unfortunately, by the east winds, but a handful of ’eyes still hit the scales at Oakland’s Marina in Hampton Bays, where the Hamptons Offshore Invitational is being held. A bunch of boats left Monday morning for overnighters, so by the time you’re reading this we’ll know whether the shift in winds back to the west turned the bite on for the full moon, as it should have.
Inshore, the fishing has been steady as she goes, spurred on by cool nights that have reminded everyone, including the fish, that fall is just around the corner. The striped bass are still stacked up in the rips right under the Montauk Lighthouse during the day, a very strange occurrence for mid-August. Most are being caught on the troll off the south side, but some are still falling for live baits. At night, most guys are making the run east to Block Island’s deep-water rips.
Big bluefish are marauding baby anchovies all along the south shore. The rain minnows are so thick that it’s hard to think that the fall blitzes won’t bust open any day now. Bluefish are a key ingredient to that. The blues are big right now—all we need is an influx of the cocktails to push the bait into the surf, and some stripers to go with them. Keep your eyes peeled.
Fluke fishing is holding tough, too—lots of fish in Shinnecock and Moriches Bay and in the deep water off Southampton and Montauk. Triggerfish are getting thicker on the rock piles, and there’s plenty of porgies at Rogers Rock still.
Scott at East End Bait & Tackle says that the snappers are thick in the Shinnecock Canal and are finally getting to a size worth keeping for dinner. This is the best time of year to be a young fisherman.
Speaking of canals, yes, a sailfish was caught in the Cape Cod Canal by someone fishing from the rocks last week. There’s a great video of the amazing catch at StripersOnline.com. Check it out—seeing is believing.
Catch ’em up. See you out there.