For decades, the annual Captree Snapper Derby in Bay Shore has drawn hundreds of people from across Long Island to Captree State Park, where youngsters have fun while learning how to fish.
But the weekend tourney got off to a slow start Saturday — and Brenden Rutigliano placed the blame squarely on the heat.
“It’s a light day,” said Rutigliano, 26, owner of Captree Fuel, Bait and Tackle and a derby organizer.
Where normally about 300 people sign up for the event, he said, Saturday drew only 46.
Across Long Island, people sweated through a second-straight day of record-setting heat. The 93 degrees set at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma bested the previous mark for the date, set in 2002, by 1 degree — and the heat index soared above 100, the National Weather Service said.
Sunday is expected to bring more of the same.
“We are expecting the oppressive heat and humidity to continue into tomorrow,” weather service meteorologist Joe Pollina said. “We’re looking at a high of 95 in Islip.”
The record for Sunday’s date is 89, set in 2005.
The forecast for Monday shows signs of a slight break, with a cold front moving toward the area and an expected high of about 90.
“We are looking at a little less hot and humid, but still above normal,” Pollina said.
Michael Worthman, 43, of Levittown, and his family were among those who came to the snapper derby Saturday. Asked if he loves fishing, Worthman laughed and pointed to his son, Ryan, 8. “No,” he said, “but my son, he loves it.”
Moments later, Ryan’s fishing line went taut and he reeled in his catch. “I caught one! I caught one!” the boy shouted as his family laughed and cheered.
At Ellsworth W. Allen Park in Farmingdale, local residents found ways to beat the heat — and some even said they were enjoying the temperatures.
Nadia Martin, 38, of Farmingdale, was sitting in the shade next to the park’s spray area as her son played in the water.
“I like the summer,” she said. “I’m West Indian, so I love the heat.”
At Jones Beach, Madelyn Quintana, 16, of Stamford, Connecticut, was among hundreds gathered on the sand and swimming in the ocean.
Quintana, who was visiting relatives for the weekend, said when it comes to the heat, she prefers the open air of Jones Beach to staying inside.
“You just get to chill,” she said.
Laila Gawsu of Ghana, who was visiting New York with her 7-year-old son Alem Gawsu, said she wanted to spend the last day of her New York vacation on Jones Beach before catching her flight home on Sunday.
“The beach is clean; it’s a good beach,” she said.
Still, Gawsu added, “I’ve never seen a day this hot,” laughing as Alem smiled and hugged her while murmuring an eager plea.
“Mom, I want to go to the beach now,” the boy said.
People at a crafts fair outside The Hicksville Gregory Museum had different takes on the weekend heat.
Brian Kazmierowski, 27, of Ridge, one of the vendors, said the heat had an effect on his movements.
“It feels like you are going slower than your usual pace . . . it’s that hot.”
Denise Loecher, 27, also of Ridge, sat in the shade outside the museum, awaiting customers to look at the jewelry she was selling. She had heard about a posted heat advisory.
“But it doesn’t bother me,” she said, smiling. “I’m a beach girl . . . born in the summer.”