Christmas is around the corner, the wife is running around like a chicken without a head trying to get those last minute gifts and I’m reflecting back on our season and what is coming ahead.
The Season. Well, let us start by saying a boating/fishing season can never be bad, well almost can never be bad. As long as your boat didn’t sink, break down and you’re healthy, the season was good. Just think of the alternative. On the Great South Bay, inside Fire Island, the fishing opportunities started off promising with small bass showing up early and a fair volume of winter flounder were active. But then came May along with that brown tide. It seems that every year the brown tide is showing up earlier and staying longer. The bay became dirty and stayed dirty. Darn, it was basically dirty right through August. Now to the west, closer to Nassau County, the water clarity was better, and thus the fishing was better, but for those who call the Fire Island region home, boy or boy was it aggravating.
I’m a Lemonade maker aka a person who turns a negative into a positive. Because the bay stayed dirty and kept the near-shore migration of the Striped Bass beyond the 3-mile zone, it was either clean up the backyard and spend my day complaining or do something. Thus, this is the first year I began taking my boat out to Montauk. I picked my days, traveled inside the bay east, scooted out of Moriches Inlet, then hugged the beach until my Chartplotter showed the Montauk Frisbie fishing grounds. It was like finding a fishing oasis. I forgot how great and enjoyable fishing could be. The fluke were HUGE, keeper size Sea Bass and Porgies were stacked up and the water, although not tropical, sure looked like paradise to me. Between the Frisbies, the Lobster Pots and the Cartright, it was all about fish, fish and more fish. When we got tired of catching these species of fish, and the tide began to come in, we moved towards the shoals near the lighthouse and began Striper fishing. And YES, there is a reason why Montauk is the Striper Capital of the World. Lines took off and after a while, it became more like a game of tug-a-war between man and fish.
After a day or two of just pure fishing heaven, we traveled the 24 miles east to Block Island and spent the weekend. WOW, is all I can say. Block Island is a northeastern gem. Not only was the island full of activities, fun and a nightlife, during the day one may argue it provides better fishing than Montauk. We fished the windmills, and caught fish after fish. Sea Bass and big Blues were everywhere. We never even tried to Fluke fish as we were having too much fun with the blues and jigging up Sea Bass. Then there were the sharks. Yes, Sharks! As if we were at Sea World. Sharks, likely brown sharks, would circle our boat and provide a supersonic fight to end a great day.
But now it’s December, boat is winterized and all of the fishing equipment is at home. It’s time to Clean Up – Freshen Up and Tie Up some new rigs and lines.