Ducks Unlimited Youth Hunting Program

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Windy weather put a bit of damper on fishing this past week, even in the surf, where I and many others thought it would really turn things on again.Thursday’s southeast winds, combined with the arrival of swells from Hurricane Gonzalo, created nearly perfect surf fishing conditions just about everywhere I looked between Montauk and Shinnecock—but the striped bass didn’t seem to agree. The fish had been biting well early in the week and seemed poised to really explode in a glorious pandemonium with a storm approaching … but they up and vanished. The rain minnows apparently were able to find other, more effective shelter than the white water of Montauk’s South Side coves, and the bunker that had ridden the previous weekend’s southeasterlies into the shoreline, where they were set upon by striped bass in the 30- and 40-pound class, chose to take a different tack this time around (probably a smart move).

The bass came up again on Monday, in a couple of huge schools gorging on rain minnows (bay anchovies). With another storm approaching Wednesday, we’ll all be hoping that they charge ashore this time around.

Looking back to last week, I finally found out who beached the 42-pound striper in Bridgehampton early last week, the biggest I heard of being pulled off the bunker schools. It was Vinny Latanzio from Sag Harbor. Nice fish, Vin—congratulations.

Blackfishing has continued to be the other main focus these days, and it’s been a fairly easy focus. Aboard Captain Harry Garrecth’s Breakwater, with Captain Michael Potts manning the helm this season, Chris Davies, a 40-year regular of the Blue Fin IV (Capt. Potts’s boat, which is laid up with engine problems), was down from Buffalo and found easy limits of blackfish, up to about 8 pounds, and enough black sea bass to keep her vacuum-packing machine busy for a few nights.

With striped bass, porgies, sea bass and the abundance of togs, Montauk’s charter captains can fill coolers with a kaleidoscope of colors these days. Throw in a few codfish in another couple of weeks, and it will be a Northeast smörgåsbord. If only the tunas would cooperate, we could have the best of all worlds.

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

DU Youth Hunting Program

If you have a young hunter, boy or girl, it’s time to start getting ready for the waterfowl hunting season, which opens for youth hunters on November 22, the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Ducks Unlimited is bringing back its wonderful Youth Waterfowl Program this year and will host up to 35 young hunters for sporting activities and instruction at Hubbard County Park on November 8 and for hunting on November 22. Young hunters between the age of 12 and 15 who have completed their firearm safety training and obtained their hunting licenses are eligible. Instruction day will include hunting ethics and rules, waterfowl identification, decoy spreads, boating safety and cold water survival techniques, and some trap shooting to hone those skills for the season.

Call 444-0255, or email Danielle.Stango@dec.ny.gov to register your young hunter.

SABA Beach Cleanup

The Southampton Association for Beach Access will muster a beach cleanup on November 8, from 9 a.m. to noon on the beaches of Southampton.

The beach access group is asking all of its members and any non-members to help clean up debris and trash from the ocean beaches this fall.

The cleanup crew will meet at Old Town Pond beach parking lot at 9 a.m.

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