It’s snapper season! For whatever reason, the snappers have been arriving late in the season the last several years and growing larger even later. But thanks to the extra week of summer for local kids this year, the 2013 snapper season is hitting its stride in time for budding young anglers to get in some halcyon afternoons at the water.
Spending the week at your local dock, canal or bulkhead honing your snapper-catching skills is the best way to wind down the summer, with little pan-fried fillets and the season’s best corn on the dinner table at night.
And at week’s end young anglers can show off their skills in East Hampton at the Gann Road town dock at the 15th annual Harbor Marina Snapper Derby on Sunday. Registration is just $5 per anger, and the first 30 anglers to sign up get a free snapper lure. There are age categories—3 to 8, 9 to 12, and 13 and over—so that everyone is competing against their peers. Fishing starts at 10 a.m., and final weigh-in is at 2 p.m., with snacks and refreshments for anglers and their parents.
For those with bigger fish on their mind, the fall striped bass run is on the horizon. There is tons and tons of bait, mostly rain minnows, on the south side of Montauk, so the stage is set. Things had been looking to be on the fast track for an early start a couple of weeks ago, but the return of heat and humidity seem to have tamped things down again. A cool front or two in the next couple of weeks will no doubt set it off.
For those of you with a competitive streak, or who want to adjust your calendar to stay away from the Montauk surf scene, the Montauk Surf Classic tournament is the weekend of September 20. Fishing is from Friday night to Sunday noon. Call 321-3510 for information.
There are some little tunas starting to fill into local waters. Tiny bluefins have been crashing sandeels out by Block Island, and a couple pods of false albacore have popped up in the rips under the lighthouse, but no reliable reports of them back in the bay yet. Soon enough.
Offshore is still on fire when the weather has allowed boats to get there. Bigeyes are still roaming the Fish Tails—the Flying Dutchman put four more on the dock this week. There are also some big wahoo and reports of truly monster yellowfins—supposedly a 200-plus-pounder was taken by a northern boat, and a 150-pounder by a Shinnecock boat.
The third annual White Water Marine Sportfish Challenge is coming back to Star Island Yacht Club this weekend, too. It’s an outboard motors game, so, hopefully, the weather will cooperate for the go-fast crowd. There’s $30,000 on the line and plenty of big fish around to keep it interesting. Check out www.sportfishchallenge.net for more information.
The East Hampton Sportsmen’s Alliance is hosting its third annual Fun Shoot at the Maidstone Gun Club in East Hampton on September 22. The event is open to the public for $10 per round of 25 trap or skeet. There will be a swap meet, refreshments and prizes provided by the club and the East Hampton Sportsmen’s Alliance. For more info, email EHSportsmen@aol.com.