2012 MONTAUK SPORTFISHING REPORTS

If you would like to receive these weekly reports directly, just drop me a line and I’ll put you on the list.

WEEKLY FISHING REPORT


FISHING BOATS


BOOKING SERVICE


TOURNAMENTS


FORUM


TIDE TABLES


REGULATIONS


MARINAS


MOTELS


RESTAURANTS


MBCA WEBSITE


TROPICAL FISHING TRIPS


FISHING STORIES
(mostly true)

PHOTOS

VIDEOS

Capt Gene Kelly

Montauk Sportfishing

Tropical Fishing Adventures

PO Box 2104, Montauk, NY, 11954

631 668 2019

E-mail











Meet Capt Gene Kelly

2011 REPORTS

2010 REPORTS

2009 REPORTS

2008 REPORTS

Get your New York State fishing permit here.

8/27/12


Up until the end of the week, if you wanted to eat fluke the best place to go was to Rocky Hill, a little to the southeast of Frisbies, and it had been that way for about a month. And, if the fluke didn’t cooperate, there were plenty of sea bass. Then by the weekend it had become a “was good”. Instead you had to head a little to the east to Cartwright.


Shark fishing has been OK as long as there was enough breeze to give the boat a little drift. For much of the week, there wasn’t any. With the warm water it seems that we’re seeing more hammerheads and less makos now.


Tuna fishing is still a crapshoot. I heard a third hand report from a reliable source of a Connecticut boat that had something like ten yellowfins, a 200 plus pound bigeye and some longfins just short of the Tales. On Saturday I also heard a boat coming in from an overnighter that had released two white marlin and kept one yellowfin.


Striped bass fishing seems to be getting a little better especially over toward Southwest Ledge. For the first time in the last couple of weeks I saw a charterboat come back to the dock with a full limit of bass on a half day trip. There was a rumor that the Coasties were checking the boats at the Ledge to make sure no one was over the line. Apparently nobody from Montauk was caught.




8/20/12


We had a couple of touches of fall over the weekend. One was the weather and the other was when I ran into Paul Dixon at Gaviola’s. He’s one of those light tackle fly guys that always show up here looking for the albies. He’s a little early because everything has dried up for him back in the bays where he usually fishes this time of year.


I’m a little out of touch right now because the owner of the boat that I run has been away for the last week and won’t be back until later this week. It’s always easier to keep in touch with things when I’m on the water.


Depending on who you talk to, striped bass fishing is good or tough. Saturday the Point was hot, but a lot of bluefish. On Sunday morning one charterboat captain I talked to came back complaining about the crowds and how difficult it was to troll his spots, bringing back one only one striper and a mess of bluefish, while another also trolling around the Point had a half dozen or so nice fish to almost 40 pounds. The secret is to find a spot where there are fish that nobody else knows about. One thing that there is no disagreements about is the size of the fish. There are very few. if any 10-12 pound fish around. Virtually everything is 20 pounds at least. More boats are heading over to Southwest Ledge. The fishing is more consistent over there and less crowded.


Fluke fishing is still holding up with most of the keepers coming from Rocky Hill to the south of Frisbies, where there is also a good mix of sea bass. Charterboats that have all day trips and want to mix in some bottom fishing are usually going after the porgies and/or sea bass.


Shark fishing is still pretty good for makos, and you don’t have to go far for them. Twelve miles or so is far enough, but a lot of the makos are a little too little to be eaten. I guess everyone has heard about the white sharks up on the Cape. We’re starting to see some sharks close to shore here as well, although I don’t think they are white sharks since there are no seals around here. But a shark is a shark. A couple of small threshers have been taken on the head boats and a surfer was knocked off his board by a six footer down by Hither Hills this week.


Tuna fishing out on the Edge seems to be getting a little steadier with boats coming back with double digits of tuna of varying kinds, and some blue marlin showing up in the mix. But overnighters are still the way to go.


8/6/12


Fog made the already tough bass fishing a nightmare on Friday and Saturday. Drifting boats, trolling boats and even anchored boats, all in the same half mile by half mile area with hundred foot visibility is bad enough, but then there is always one jerk who will steam back uptide through the mess. It’s a wonder there were no accidents. Fish catching wise it’s tough right now. There are not that many bass around and they all want to be in the same area. Rarely does a charter boat come back with a limit of stripers and a half dozen a trip is considered good. The most consistent fishing is over at Southwest Ledge, but there are a few caveats with that. Only a few of the charterboats make the run. You can actually burn less fuel going for sharks than running over there. Then too, if the tide is not right, it’s not worth it. You don’t want to get over there as the tide is dying, wait through slack for it to get going again and then have to leave for home before it’s right.


It’s “one bite” time in the shark fishing game. Maybe two or three, but not much more than that. But right now that bite is more likely to be a mako than anything else. It’s also more likely to be less than legal size. Star Island held their Mako Mania/ Thresher tournament over the weekend with thirty-three boats participating. The results are:

MY ROCK 148 lbs mako
TOMI CHRIS 147 lbs mako
THOR 2 142 lbs mako

No threshers were weighed in.


Tuna fishing continues to be slow. Most boats coming in from the Edge have brought back little to shout about. The Tails and Dip have been especially slow with slightly better action at Atlantis and Hudson, but they are long runs better suited to overnighters. In fact an overnighter is really the only way to go right now. The best fishing is early and late in the day and on regular day trips you are often too late getting out there and leave too soon. There is a bit of a bite going on between the 600 & 500 lines to the south. It’s nothing special with a real good catch being three yellowfins and one fish being closer to average. There are also small mahi, bonito and even some wahoo there as well. It’s not much but it’s something and the fuel cost is quite a bit lighter.



7/30/12


Thursday the bass fishing went on fire with big fish eating all kinds of live bait, but mostly eels. It continued Friday and then Saturday, when everybody and his brother and mother and all his other relatives were out. It was akin to a hoard of locusts. Boats drifting would all be in the same area and would continue drifting there until all the bass were either caught or were hugging the bottom and trembling. Then the boats would move a little more to the east and drift that area with the same result. Sunday there were fewer boats, but the action was a bit slower.


The bottom fishing is pretty good, but less emphasis is put on the flukimg, with most boats catching a mix of fluke sea bass and porgies. The half day head boats are about the only boats strictly fishing fluke. Frisbies and Rocky Hill south of there is still producing well.


Offshore we are in the summer shark mode, with two or three bites about all you can expect, but maybe half the boats fishing are catching makos, although only about half of those are edible ones. It is possible to not catch one as I proved on Saturday. It was a little crappy going out and we got off to a late start so I stayed a little shorter than I usually fish, but where I would expect to catch something. All I got was three bluefish. Here’s a hint. Go out further than the 790 line.


Star Island is holding it’s annual Mako Mania and Thresher tournament this weekend. I haven’t heard much about any thresher recently, but I’m sure there will be some makos brought in. Most of the time a 200 pounder is a big one, with most of the fish usually coming in between 125 -150 pounds.


As far as tuna are concerned; What are they?


7/23/12


Bluefin tuna are still scarce, but further offshore the yellowfins action is improving, at least for boats doing the overnighters. A couple of charterboats, the ADA K & SEAWIFE, did them during the week in considerably less than ideal weather and came back with three and ten fish up to sixty pounds or so. They both caught most of the fish in fifty fathoms rather than on the Edge itself. That’s nothing like last season when boats had to go ten miles or more south of the Edge for fish. It would be nice if they moved in even closer, maybe to forty fathoms or so.


The MTK Canyon Challenge was held this past week. I don’t have the final results yet, but as of Saturday morning these were on the boards;

Heaviest Yellowfin

Freedom 73.4lbs

Blonde 52lb

Gotcha 49.9lbs

Persuasion 49.7 lbs

JB Tackle 49.1lbs

Bella Donna 48.4lbs

Omerta 48.2lbs

Open Bight 45.2lbs

Persuasion 44.7lbs

Lady Marion 39.7lbs

Sneaky Pete 38.9

Torta 37. 9 lbs ( plus a beautiful 50lb Wahoo)

Overtime 35.8lbs

On the Ball 32.4lbs

Total of Top 3 Yellowfin

Blonde 143.8lbs

Gotcha 143.0lbs

Persuasion 142.3lbs

Bella Donna 136.3lbs

Open Bight 128.9lbs

Omerta 127.8lbs

Heaviest Albacore Tuna

Lady Marion 29.7lbs

Overtime 29.6lbs

Bella Donna 28.8lbs

Persuasion 28.5lbs

High Point Marlin

Sneaky Pete 100 Points

Blonde 100 Points

Open Bight 100 Points

Heaviest Mahi Mahi

Bella Donna 15.5lb

Blonde 13.3lbs

JB Tackle 13.3lbs

Persuasion 8.6lbs

Heaviest Bass

Useless 44.2lbs

On the Ball 38.5lbs

Gotcha 33lbs

Heaviest Fluke

On The Ball 6.7l

Heaviest Mako

Santana 59.8lbs (55 inches tip to fork).


Shark fishing is a little more like it should be in the heat of the summer with fewer bluesharks around, but occasional surprises showing up in the slick like hammerheads and mahi.


Inshore the bass fishing is not great. There are some real nice fish around as well as some smaller borderline fish. From Pollock Rip and south around the Elbow and Great Eastern all the bigger fish are hanging out along with a million boats drifting eels making for a real headache for boats trying to troll, at least on the weekend. During the week it’s a different story with so few boats out that you can almost troll blindfolded without any problems. The smaller fish are in the rips north and east of Pollock Rip. A couple of the charter boats have started making the run to Southwest Ledge or that other spot out that way, and doing better with less aggravation but higher fuel bills.


The fluke fishing right now is OK, but to come up with a limit, you have to spend a lot of time, in order to make sure that you are fishing when they are eating. There are some keepers in the Rips, but you have to cull through a lot of shorts first. Out in deeper water off the south side most of the fish are keepers, plus there are always some sea bass mixed in.


7/16/12


The MBCA held it’s annual shark tournament over the weekend with twenty some odd boats participating, which is considerably more than they’ve had over the past couple of years. In spite of that there were only three sharks weighed in. The results are as follows;

ARC ANGEL - 204 lbs blue shark

Boat #20 - 143 lbs mako

AM SAM - 119 lbs mako


Unlike all the other tournaments there is no separate categories, just biggest fish wins, except that there are different minimum size requirements; 100 lbs for makos, 150 lbs for threshers and 200 lbs for blue sharks. I’m sure that there were a many blue sharks caught that would have beaten the second and third place makos, but not according to the rules of this tournament.


The LADY GRACE caught a no doubt winner, a 401 pound plus thresher, but no $$$ is coming their way because they weren’t entered. The same thing happened two years ago. Guaranteed next year they will enter and their lucky streak will end.


The offshore fishing is a little out of whack this year. Normally by now the majority of the blue sharks would have moved east and most boats would be catching two or three per trip. This year there are still plenty of them around locally.. Bluefin tuna are scarce, but still every once in a while someone will catch one, usually on the way shark fishing like the HURRY UP did on Sunday. Out on the Edge things are still slow with boats doing day trips only scratching out a fish or two. Overnight boats do better since they get the early and late bites. Apparently there are some yellowfins and mahi out around the 500 line, but not many boats are making that run, or are steaming past it in a rush to the Edge.


The MTK Canyon Challenge is going on this week out of the Montauk Yacht Club. It runs from this past Friday until next Sunday and boats are allowed two 24 hour trips or one overnight 48 hour trip. So far there have not been very impressive catches with one white marlin release, one wahoo and some yellowfins, most between 30 and 40 lbs.   


Inshore the bass fishing is getting tricky. Most of the bass being caught are nice fish ranging from twenty or so pounds and up, but there are not a lot of them. To be successful you have to be at the right place at the right time of the tide and the tides have been a little whimpy all week. They’ll pick up this week and hopefully things will improve.


Fluke fishing right now is a was good. Actually it’s a was great, but most of the fish were in the same area south of Frisbies and I guess they all got caught so it’s a little slow again. But there are sea bass out there so even if you don’t do great with the flatfish you’ll be able to bring home some dinners.



7/9/12


If you want to catch a big striped bass, get your ass out to Montauk now. Virtually every bass being caught right now is a bragger. Not very many limits being taken, but you are more likely to catch a forty pounder than a ten pounder,  Many of the boats are fishing live baits, either eels or porgies or live spots or bunker when Star Island has them. Trolling gets tough in the midst of all the live baiters but the large tubes are great for the big fish


Bottom fishing is hot. Fluking is finally to where we like it to be with limits being fairly common, and along with the fluke there is a steady pick of sea bass. Porgies are hot as well, but for boats using them to target the bass, getting fish small enough can be tough.


Offshore tuna fishing is pretty slow. Just about every day somebody catches a bluefin somewhere, but somewhere is a pretty small spot in a very big ocean. And out on the Edge it isn’t much better with occasional yellowfins, but really not much worth the fuel to get out there.


In spite of seventy-two degree and better water, there are still a fair amount of bluesharks around as well as some makos and threshers. The MBCA shark tournament will be held on Saturday and Sunday at Star Island. For more info call Capt Rick Etzel at 631 668 2914.



7/1/12


We had some crappy weather this week, three days of northwest breeze that was more typical of September than this time of year, and it made some fishing a little difficult, especially shark fishing as it pushed cruddy water thirty miles or more offshore. Then on Saturday we had a little southwest, but more swell than could be accounted for by the breeze. It made it a bit uncomfortable for those in the Montauk Marine Basin’s shark tournament.  Last week I mentioned that I thought the water warming up would push the bluesharks to the east. Well, the breeze cooled it down again and once more we have bluesharks up the whazoo. On Saturday only four fish were weighed in, two bluesharks and two threshers. Sunday was better, but still too many bluesharks. The results are as follows;

Largest Overall - 448 lbs Thresher - Siren

1st Place Mako - 201 lbs -Third Wish

1st Place  Blue Shark - 243 lbs - Power Play

2nd Place  Blue Shark - 225 lbs - Knot Board

3rd Place Blue Shark - 213 lbs - Alyssa Ann

1st Place Thresher - 448 lbs - Siren

2nd Place  Thresher - 406 lbs - Oh Brother

3rd Place  Thresher - 311 lbs - Professional Cryer


Inshore the conditions made the bottom fishing a little dicey, although it started to improve by Sunday. The best of it is for porgies. Most of the charterboats on all day trips have been going after the seabass after catching their striper limits rather than fluke. But, some doggies have been showing up and they might change their minds if they get too unmanageable. But, this year they are the summer variety, not the spiny ones.


Striped bass fishing is getting a little touchy, with only a couple of spots holding fish. That results in too many boats trying to fish the same place, and it is likely to get more difficult this week. The charterboat business kind of sucks this year (like last year) and most of the established boats have bass tags. With the commercial season opening on Sunday, boats without charters will be out there fishing in addition to those with charters.


The Montauk Surfmasters spring tournament finished on June 30. The standings are as follows;


1st Place   Mike Coppola  28.80  6/22/2012

2nd Place  Rich Rielly  26.40  6/21/2012

3rd Place  Mary Ellen Kane  12.80  6/26/2012

First Fish Award  Rich Rielly  26.40  6/21/2012



6/24/12


The bluefin tuna that were being seen have apparently boogied on out. Very few sightings and even less hookups over the weekend. And the edge is only slightly better with a few small yellowfins and an occasional bigeye being taken. The shark fishing however is another story. A mako or occasional thresher being brought back, but you have to pay your dues to get one. Lots of bluesharks to weed through. But the water temps are in the upper sixties and on a couple of those real hot days into the seventies. If it keeps moving up many of those bluesharks will be moving east.


Inshore the striped bass fishing has tailed off a little, but most boats are still getting their limits. Miss the tide though, as one charter boat did on Sunday because the party showed up two hours late, and you might be in trouble.


Bottom fishing for porgies and seabass is excellent. It seems to me that the average size of the seabass is better than we normally see, and I have yet to see a dogfish. Fluke fishing is good enough, but limits of keepers are few and far between.


Montauk Marine Basin is holding their shark tournament this Friday and Saturday. For info call 631 668 5900.


The Montauk Surfmasters spring tournament has finally got some entries. Nothing exciting, but it’s over the end of the month, so I guess the embarrassment of weighing in a small fish is being overlooked this year. The standings are as follows;


1st Place  Mike Coppola  28.80  6/22/2012

2nd Place  Rich Rielly  26.40  6/21/2012

3rd Place  John Ward  7.25  6/19/2012

First Fish Award Rich Rielly  26.40  6/21/2012



6/17/12


Well, the offshore season got off to a good start at the Star Island Tournament, with 156 boats participating, and all of them parking their car in Star Islands parking lot. The results are as follows;

Overall Leader - BLUEFIN - 422 lbs. Thresher


1st Place Mako - LITTLE MAC - 344 lbs

2nd Place Mako - BARBARIC - 317 lbs

3rd Place Mako - BILLISTIC - 305 lbs


1st Place Other - BLUEFIN - 422 lbs Thresher

2nd Place Other - MY BUDDY - 319 lbs Thresher

3rd Place other - RAMBLE ON ROSE - 289 lbs Thresher


1st Place Blueshark - P POD - 237 lbs


Two makos over 200 lbs as well as one thresher were taken on Saturday but got pushed out of contention on Sunday.


I’m hearing more about school bluefins being taken or seen, but nobody is really going all out for them. The most reports seem to be from southwest of the Point and further west toward Shinnecock. I’m going to give it a try on Monday, so we’ll see what happens.


Inshore the seabass season openned on Friday and the reports are pretty good. Most of the action I’ve heard about was at Frisbies, and there are finally some fluke out there as well. As for the normal fluking, it is what it is. Enough shorts to keep anglers busy and enough keepers to provide dinner, although limits are hard to come by.


I forgot that last week was Paulies Tackle Shop’s spring bass tournament. The results are as follows;

1st - Lois Scalesse -23.70lb

2nd - Gary Krist - 21.36lb

3rd - Justin Rustrom - 18.29lb


The Montauk Surfmasters spring tournament runs into July, but there are still no entries. Typically the guys who enter this tournament don’t like to weigh in a fish just because it is legal. It has to be a possible contender. I guess it’s a macho thing.


I


6/11/12


The offshore season is underway a little early this year. Boats shark fishing this weekend had lots of bluesharks and I heard of one thresher being taken. A Rhode Island boat fishing south of Block Island brought back a 300+ lb mako. Tuna are being seen all over the place; south of Moriches and Shinnecock and a Rhode Island boat caught a schoolie also south of Block Island. It seems like those guys are a little ahead of us, but that will change next weekend with the Star Island Shark Tournament scheduled for fishing on Friday and Saturday. It always draws the most boats and should result in some pretty decent fish being brought in. As long as the Weather Lady cooperates.


Inshore the fluke fishing keeps inching better and better, but not really great yet. Usually this time of year you come down the hull into town from the west and you can see more boats than you can count fluke fishing. Today I only needed one hand to count them. Everything is still from the radar east. Shorts are providing decent action, but there aren’t as many keepers as we would like to see.


Bass fishing is a s steady as it gets, with still most of the fish what I would call mediums, but some fish into the forties showing up. South of Great Eastern on the flood you can usually see all kinds of bass swirling on the surface, giving anglers a lot of choices in how they want to fish.


Seabass season opens this Friday and based on the number of those guys showing up with the fluke it looks like a good year for them, and no sign of dogfish.


I

6/4/12

The nice weather we have been having on the weekends evened out on Saturday with a blowout, but Sunday was great.

Last week I mentioned that I wouldn't be surprised to hear about a mako showing up earlier this year than normal. Well, one did show up on Sunday in the SEA WIFE's slick. It was only a two footer and it wouldn't eat. Normally you don?t see those little guys until July or so. Threshers usually show up sooner than makos, and that proved to be the case on Friday when the HALFBACK released one of around 200 pounds. Both boats also released a bunch of bluesharks. Nothing about tuna though, but I'm sure they're out there.

Fluke fishing continues to improve, slowly. LAZYBONES has been coming back with 10-12 keepers per trip with the pool winner ranging from five to close to ten pounds. There are plenty of "Jersey keepers" as MIKEY MONTAUK says, just not enough NY keepers.

Porgie fishing is great, but the number of pinhhookers going after them is dropping because of the price. They are getting eighty cents per pound and after deducting the twenty-five cents for shipping and the cost of fuel, chum and bait, it doesn't make much sense to do it. They are allowed 500 pounds per trip, and that is a lot of ups and downs. Back in the seventies I made  a living doing that and it seems to me that we were getting about the same price that they are getting now. As the years passed it eventually got up to about $2.50 per pound, but then it was shut down for a year and the following year came back with less than a hundred pounds a day limit. When the fish markets couldn't get porgies, they started to get croakers and such from down south to take their place. The demand for porgies never returned.

The striped bass fishing just keeps on keeping on, with limits of medium sized fish the norm along with occasional thirty pounders. Trolling and diamond jigs are doing the trick as long as the tide is moving. There are plenty of little bluefish around to keep anglers busy during the slow periods.


5/28/12

Even if you didn’t know the date, it would be obvious that summer is here, what with traffic stop and go, people waiting outside of restaurants for their turn at breakfast and the dreaded “Gray Plague”, also know as fog.

The bass fishing continues to be great, but the captains eyeballs are burning from dealing with the fog. Everything is working, diamond jigs, parachutes, umbrellas and I guess eels, although they are a poor choice thanks to all the bluefish that are around. The quality of the bass is improving a bit with some thirty pound fish starting to filter in as well. But nothing so far along the lines of the near 75 pounder that was taken by an angler out of Niantic.

Fluke around the Point is a little better but still could use some help. But, there are some real nice fish down there, just not enough of them. Boats will be picking away at shorts with an occasional fish that will make the grad when all of a sudden an eight pounder will show up. The HURRY UP has been running over to Block Island for the fluke and has had better luck than locally, bringing back sixteen keepers on one trip, the best catch I’ve heard of so far.

It looks like we are in for a great seabass season based on the occasional fish that are showing up along with the fluke. The recreational season doesn’t start for another couple of weeks. I almost hate to mention it, but I haven’t heard of any dogfish showing up yet.

Porgie fishing is still hot over at Cherry Harbor, but they are showing up around the Point now as well.

With water temperatures at the Butterfish Hole in the low sixties, it’s not too soon to start thinking about the offshore fishing. The lowest temperature I ever caught a mako at was 57 degrees. Normally I wouldn’t expect one to show up until mid June or so, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about one sooner this year. There have already been yellowfins taken out at the Edge, and I have hear rumors about some bluefin being seen already. I know that guys monk fishing were seeing bluefins all winter in the Hole, so maybe it’s time to get out the old mackerel chains and give it a shot. There was a time in the eighties when giants were taken regularly here around this time of year.

As I was posting this I got a call from The SEA JEANNIE who was out looking for bluefins south of the POINT and they are there. He saw a number of giants as well as smaller fish.


5/21/12

That Old Mother-Nature has us in a nice weather pattern, with marginal weather during the week, but great weekends and it looks like this week is going to be the same.

The striped bass fishing just keeps on keeping on, with plenty of stripers being caught, most in the ten to fifteen pound range but occasional fish into the twenties. They being caught trolling on the parachutes and diamond jigging. I don’t believe many anglers are using eels because there are just too many bluefish around. The flood tide has been especially good with fish on the top at the Elbow.

Fluke fishing is marginally better with more shorts than there have been, but keepers still in short supply. The new regs haven’t done much since now many of the fish are around eighteen to nineteen inches. I could never figure out how the fish know what size they should stop growing at. I spoke to one of the charterboat guys who made a commercial trip for fluke the other day and he was only able to catch eighty pounds, and his size limit is a lot less than the recreational limit. Some good news for bottom fisherman is that some nice sized seabass are showing up on the fluke grounds. Their season isn’t open yet.

Porgies are thick as fleas over at Cherry Harbor. A couple of charterboats have been going over there fishing commercially, catching a hundred pounds or so per hour. It’s easy fishing in ten to twenty feet of water with no tide to speak of. The bad part is that they are only worth seventy-five cents or so. If I remember correctly, that’s close to what we used to get back in the seventies when I use to do that.

You might get the idea that things are slow for the charterboats based on these guys going pinhooking and you’d be right. Saturday there were less than a dozen of them out.


5/14/12

It was a pretty lousy week, weatherwise, but Old Mother Nature celebrated her weekend with a couple of great days.

Striped bass fishing could only be better if there were some bigger fish around, but based on the numbers, it would be hard to complain. All the charterboats that got out were easily able to catch their limits of fish, mostly from 10 - 15 pounds or so, as well as a good supply of bluefish. Trolling with the ‘chutes worked best, but diamond jigging was equally effective as long as the anglers had a little skill on the rods.

It would be nice if the fluke report were as good, but it isn’t. Everybody cheered when we got the new fluke regs (4 @ 19.5"), but it’s only good news if the fish are there to be caught. Right now there is only one place that has any kind of a consistent bite and that is to the south of the Elbow. Boats have tried all of the normal fluke hangouts, but to get anything they have to come back there. A couple of keepers per boat is about average, although there are some real nice sized fish being taken. As a sign of how the fishing is, some of the head boats targeting fluke have been spending time diamond jigging the bass.

The Montauk Surfmasters is now running a spring tournament, in addition to their fall-long bass tournament. It started this week and will run until the end of July. In the past the only weigh stations were the tackle shops in town but now in addition, Star Island Yacht Club and West Lake Marina are participating.

Pell’s or the Montauk Fish Dock, the fish packing place on Duryea’s Dock in the harbor, burned up this week, apparently from an electrical short.


5/7/12

Well, the fishing season is officially started. The LAZYBONES has been fishing everyday and a handful of charterboats have started sailing as well, although not so much during the week yet. But that will come.

The bass fishing is great, with the boats that have gone after them all catching limits, both by trolling and diamond jigging. And there are some bluefish in the mix as well. The bass are mostly all legal size with fish up to fifteen pounds or so.

The fluke are here as well, although not as good as the bass. Over the weekend the fishing continued to improve over the early part of the week and should be in top form by next weekend. For now there is a mix of shorts and legal fish, including some real doormats. The best fishing is on the south side but when weather conditions don’t allow it, there are some fish in the Rips as well. Bones had fish up to nine pounds on both Saturday and Sunday.

There was a bit of a “ooops” on Thursday night when a scallopper ran up on the beach between the lighthouse and North Bar. I guess someone fell asleep or something. A dragger took advantage of the high tide on Saturday night to haul it off.


4/23/12

It’s early in the season, but the fish are here. Small stripers have been on the beach for more than two weeks and now they’re in the Rips as well. At least a couple of them were for the BLUEFIN IV when they did a little shake-down trip on Friday.

The LAZYBONES did a similar trip early in the week and caught a couple of fluke, but the season doesn’t open for them until the first of the month. The guys with commercial fluke licenses have been catching them for a while as well.

There are still some cod around even though hardly anybody has been fishing for them. The SEA WIFE and HURRY UP each made trips over to Block Island and were able to scratch out some fish along with ling. The HURRY UP also made a drop at Block Island’s Hooter Buoy for a handful of flounder even though the conditions weren’t the best with a hard tide running.

The DEC finally got out the chisel and put some regs in stone. Fluke open up on May 1 and runs until September 30 with a four fish limit at 19.5 inches. Seabass are fifteen fish at 13” running from June 15 to December 31 and porgies are twenty fish a 11” for private boats from May 1 to December 31 with a bonus of forty fish on party and head boats between September 1 and October 31.

Of course New York State giveth and then it taketh away. For years commercial boat owners in New York State were refunded the state sales tax that they paid on fuel purchases. That included charter and party boat operators. That has been going on at least since Perry Duryea was the Assembly Speaker. Now boats are getting letters from New York saying something along the lines of “OOPS, we were wrong to give you all that money. Please send it back”


4/9/12

It’s not official, but realistically, codfish catching is over. The occasional boat that goes fishing these days is targeting ling and hoping to find a stray cod along with them. No boats sailed on Sunday and the only boat that was out on Saturday was the Viking. It was also out one day during the week as was one of the charterboats, but I haven’t heard any reports from those trips which will give you an idea of how good they were.

The boatyards are starting to get busy, even more so than they were last year at this time, spurred on by the warm winter and the belief (or hope) that things will heat up early this season. Mackerel have wintered-over south of Long Island instead of down south of Jersey, and there have been some reports of bluefin in with them, as well as some striped bass when the schools got close enough inshore. That will probably mean a bunch of baby mackerel (tinkers) in our area, which might (hopefully) mean a better than normal showing of bluefins eating them (maybe?).

There have been some rat bass caught out of the surf already, and I expect to start seeing some draggers off the beach any day now (but that probably won’t happen). Striped bass season opens on next Sunday and if there were any charterboats codfishing I would expect one of them to at least give it a try for some bass. We’ll see! Fluke season opens up on May 1 and I would expect the fish to be here by then at least. Blackfish season opens up on October 8, so there will be no spring fishing for them except commercially, which doesn’t seem right to me.

As for local news, the Surf Lodge, the tourist nightspot that attracts all the nighttime parking headaches on Fort Pond is for sale. Lenny’s on The Dock is being torn apart and redone by new owners and the rumor is that it’s parking lot will no longer be available for clients on the fishing boats. (Maybe next they will be not renting dockspace except for nightclubbers who want to arrive by boat??). Marshal’s regular pump it yourself is $4.30/gallon and diesel at Montauk Marine Basin is $4.45  

I might have an occasional report, but don’t expect weekly reports until sometime in May when things start to get more active.

Of course the fishing in Central America will still be hot through the spring and some of the lodges that were booked up through the winter months are starting to have some availability, so if the ling don’t interest you and you can’t wait until the fluke and stripers show up, give it a thought and check it out at www.tropicalfishing.com



3/19/12

I got back from Costa Rica this past very early this past Wednesday. We had spent the last couple of days up in the mountains at Monteverde where it can be a little chilly. It felt warmer at JFK than it did there.

I guess the winter codfishing is over and now we’re into the spring codfishing, with little if any change in the bottom line. It isn’t what it has been over the last couple of years, and that apparently is a result of the warm winter we’ve had. There are still occasional seabass and porgies being caught. But, it really isn’t as bad as it seems. There are still some occasional decent catches of cod being taken and when they aren’t cooperating, there are always ling available to fill up the fillet bags. I watched Capt Mark unloading on Saturday. His six patrons walked away with about 75 pounds or so of fillets.

The carptebagger boats have all left, and based on what I saw in the parking lots, I doubt a couple of them even paid their expenses to spend the couple of months here. I imagine they might wait a little longer next year before committing to come back.

According to a couple of charterboat captains that I have spoken to, the bookings for the upcoming season are looking up. That could be a result of the warmer than normal winter or maybe the economy is improving a little. Whichever it is, it’s welcome. If you have to fish on a weekend, it might be a good idea to start your planning . Otherwise you just might not be able to get the date you want on the boat that you want.

I might have an occasional report, but don’t expect weekly reports until sometime in May when things start to get more active.

Of course the fishing in Central America will still be hot through the spring and some of the lodges that were booked up through the winter months are starting to have some availability, so if the ling don’t interest you and you can’t wait until the fluke and stripers show up, give it a thought and check it out at www.tropicalfishing.com


2/6/12

Remember how good the codfishing was last year? Well, this ain’t last year. Codfishing isn’t for me. I’m too much into being warm, but it’s easy to get an idea of what is going on just by counting cars in the parking lots. The carpetbagger boats have been here for a while now, but I don’t know if any of them have fished more than a day or two. The Viking has been getting one boat out maybe three days or so a week, but that has been about it.

I guess the water is too warm or something. During the first half of January the boats were still catching porgies and seabass and either sneaking them home or throwing them back to float away until a seagull ate them. Now they are catching some cod, but also an awful lot of doggies.

It looks like the DEC giveth and the DEC taketh away, at least for bottom fish. It looks like we are going to be getting to eat a few more fluke this year. I don’t know that it is down in ink yet, but it looks like the minimum size will be dropped to 19.5” from 20.5”. On the other side of the ledger, and this has been written in ink and carved in stone, the blackfish season has been shortened by 70 days and now runs from October 8 to December 4, and the minimum size limit has been increased by 2 inches to 16 inches total length. The possession limit of four fish per day remains unchanged.

All you guys who have to renew your captains ticket should be aware that you no longer need a TWIC card unless you need to have access to a secure area. For a new license you will have to get a TWIC card as part of the process to prove that you are not an axe murderer. Check it out at

http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/marpers/pag/twic_809_policy_letter.pdf

I might have an occasional report, but don’t expect weekly reports until sometime in May when things start to get more active.

Of course if you still want to fish, but don’t want to be cold while doing it, think about Central America. Fishing is great right now and you can sweat while you do it. Check it out at www.tropicalfishing.com



STARTING SEPTEMBER 1, ALL REPORTS WILL BE ON THE MONTAUK SPORTFISHING FORUM