With September upon us, we have a few more opportunities to fill the cooler with fluke, porgy, snapper and other inshore delights before the fall blitz of bass and blues in early October. And it's time to put in some serious scouting hours if you take part in the big-game archery season on Long Island. Add in a little competitive fishing and the desire to enter a contest or attend an outdoors show, and your schedule can soon become crowded.
Now is the time for hunters to purchase or renew a license if you haven't done so already. You can do this easily online at the DEC website (go to dec.ny.gov/permits and find "hunting" under the "outdoors activities" tab) to access specific requirements, license packages, fees, agents and hunter education course schedules. You can also do it by phone (1-86-NY-DECALS,) or go to town clerk offices and select sportsman's shops.
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As for fishing contests, shows and events, there are plenty on tap in the weeks ahead. The Third Annual White Water Sportfish Challenge is scheduled Sept. 5-8. Based out of Star Island Yacht Club in Montauk, this outboards-only tournament offers more than $30,000 in cash and prizes for tuna, shark, blues and stripers. Entry is $975 per boat. Call 800-894-9383.
The Fisherman Surf Fishing Show & Workshop, Sept. 12 at the Huntington Hilton, is a great place to whet your appetite for crisp fall action in surf fishing. Doors open at 6 p.m. with more than 50 surf fishing exhibitors attending and continuous seminars scheduled. Admission is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and free for kids 16 and under. Call 631-345-5200, ext. 209.
Montauk, of course, is Long Island's premier surf fishing hot spot and you can test your skills against the best at the Montauk Surf Fishing Classic Sept. 20-22. Cash and tackle prizes will be awarded for the three largest stripers and five largest bluefish. There's also an award for the largest bass released. Entry is $15. Call 631-321-3510.
The annual National Hunting & Fishing Day celebration at the DEC Hunter Check Station in Ridge is Sept. 28. The Suffolk Alliance of Sportsman, Inc. (SASI) is hosting the event 9 a.m.-4 p.m., with plenty of fishing, hunting and outdoors-related demonstrations planned. And there will be free pumpkins and face painting for kids. Call 631-566-2804.
The Tobay In-Water Boat Show offers a chance to test-drive the latest models. Catch it Sept. 26-29 at Tobay Beach Marina on Ocean Parkway in Massapequa. Check out the latest electronics, power houses, accessories, fishing gear and more. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors. Children 12 and under are free. Go to nyboatshows.com online for more information.