Montauk Turns On

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Fishing in the shadow of Montauk lighthouse busted open this week like someone popped the cork off a champagne bottle.All the schools of little minnows that had been gathering around the point relatively unmolested early last week were suddenly set upon by huge schools of bluefish on Wednesday and Thursday, and over the weekend fast moving bunches of false albacore got into the mix as well.

Striped bass have yet to make a substantial showing in the blitzes that have churned pretty much every day since, but they can’t be far off. Temperatures in the 40s at night the rest of this week are sure to bring the fall run to a full boil.

The mullet schools are still skirting the surf line along the open beaches near Shinnecocok Inlet, just asking to get eaten by something, and some tinker mackerel and lots of sandeels are providing plenty of fuel for the fire if some predator fish were to stumble upon them.

This weekend is the Montauk Surf Classic and the action is sure to mean a highly competitive tournament. If you are going to be fishing the surf in Montauk this weekend anyway there’s no reason not to sign up. Your $15 entry fee could win you $500 or a new surfcasting outfit.

There’s been some weakfish running the beaches too. Fluke fishing in the ocean is still pretty good, though it takes some searching to find the fish now that they’re on the move. According to Scott at East End Bait & Tackle in Hampton Bays, the fluke are really bouncing around, in close one day and out in 90 feet or deeper another day. In Montauk it’s more or less the same story, with a few fish still hanging under the radar tower and the more consistent fishing mostly in about 90 feet off downtown.

The good thing about this time of year is that there is a wide array of other species to fill in the gaps between the fluke. There are tons of black sea bass on the rocky spots now and triggerfish in shallower water (including off the rocks of the Shinnecock Inlet, if you are shorebound) and porgies just about everywhere.

If you prefer to stay in the bays, there are still some fluke to be had in Shinnecock, though it’s a lot of work to find a keeper among the hordes of shorts. There are porgies and weakfish at Rogers Rock and Split Rock off Shelter Island and out by the Ruins.

If fishing is not your bag, or you don’t feel like dealing with the weekend crowds of Mecca, the East Hampton Sportsmen’s Alliance is holding its annual “Fun Shoot” at the Maidstone Gun Club on Saturday. The club is opening its doors to non-members for this fun shooting event. You will have to bring your own blunderbuss but there will be some shells for sale. It will be $10 per round of 25 trap or skeet shooting. The event is a great way to get your young hunter some good pre-season practice or into clay shooting. Call 774-0036 for more information.

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

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