I’ve written before about the odd juxtaposition of crowds on the waters and on land in the eastern and western regions of the Hamptons. To the west, you are spared the maddening congestion on the roads and the deluge of conceit everywhere else, but it is hard to escape boat wakes and spot muggings on the water, unless you want to run off into the Atlantic a fair distance. To the east, if you survive the drive to the marina or boat launch or shoreline without road rage, it is easy to find peace and solace—and usually a few fish for yourself—on the water.Well, let me tell you, the traffic on the roadways of Southampton, Water Mill, Bridgehampton and East Hampton reached new all-time highs (or lows, actually) for gridlock and parking spot conflict this past weekend, amid the rainy weather that sent every weekender desperate to do something worth talking about on Monday into the downtowns. And yet it was lonely at the shore. I managed to catch a few striped bass from the Montauk surf on Sunday morning, with nary another person in sight on Sunday morning, except for a friend in his boat, bobbing a few hundred feet away, equally unmolested by anyone other than the striped bass and bluefish.
So, yes, there is peace and quiet in the Hamptons in summertime still. You just have to go looking for it.
If you don’t mind a little bit of a crowd, the walls of the Shinnecock Canal are a good place to spend your days, especially if you have kids. The snappers are in the canal in decent numbers, and they’re just getting to the size that makes for good frying pan fare. Remember, 10 per person is the limit, so keep a few alive and cull for the bigger ones. Snapper poppers, little Kastmasters or the old bobber with a hunk of shiner hanging below it are the way to go.
The Quogue Canal, Bay Lane bulkhead in Eastport, the town dock at Gann Road in East Hampton, or the jetty by Gosman’s in Montauk are all good places to take the kids for easy access to our most iconic summer fishery. Get them in shape now for the snapper derbies at the end of the month, when the little choppers are real brutes!
Fluke fishing to the west is slowing a bit; the bite isn’t quite as consistent but is still decent for those who put their time in. David Riester continued a summer of hot fluking by picking out a 5-pounder on Sunday night in Shinnecock.
Most Shinnecock fishermen are swapping their light tackle and shallow waters for something a bit heavier, and are heading to the reefs outside the inlet, where big sea bass and porgies are added to the mix, with a few solid fluke.
Much of the offshore gang were frustrated by great conditions but frustratingly few fish in the canyons. There are tons of really small yellowfins and smallish longfin, but bigeyes have been relatively scare (compared to the last couple years, anyway). The crew of the Granite had a solid trip, putting a dozen longfin and good-sized yellows on the dock at Jackson’s Marina, as well as a nice wahoo.
With the Tri-State Canyon Shootout this week and the Hamptons Offshore Invitational next, the canyon edges will be rumbling with a lot of diesels, so if there are any tunas arriving we should know it in a hurry.
Catch ’em up. See you out there.
Be sure to sign your boat up for next week’s Hamptons Offshore Invitational, the largest local big game tournament of the year. Fishing will kick off on August 16. Boats can fish four days, either four day-trips or two overnighters. There will be prizes for biggest fish of each species and an overall biggest tuna prize.
Go to www.hamptonsoffshore.com for full information on how to sign up and the huge list of prizes and sponsors for this great tournament.
The tournament benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, for which it has raised more than $1 million in the last 14 years.