Last year, 13-year-old Allison Turbush pulled in about 20 fluke while on a fishing trip sponsored the Suffolk County Police Athletic League in Great South Bay, but none of them were keepers. She returned Wednesday for another try with the same group and reeled one catch of a lifetime.
Turbush, of Manorville, who is going into eighth grade at Eastport-South Manor Junior Senior High School, was aboard the Bay Princess II with her brother Dillon, 15, and cousins Larissa Steuer, 13, and Dillon Steuer, 12, when she pulled in a fluke that measured 33.5 inches and weighed 14 pounds.
“I was just standing there and I felt a little tugging. I wasn’t sure if it was the bottom of the ocean, because one of the mates said that’s what could happen,” Turbush said. She also wasn’t certain if she had caught on someone else’s line.
But she reeled it in and there it was.
“It was a gigantic fluke; I’ve never seen something like it,” said Officer Terrence Buckley, of the Suffolk County Police Community Response Bureau, who was supervising the trip for PAL.
Buckley said most catches don’t meet the 18-inch minimum, so things had been pretty quiet.
That changed when Turbush started to wrestle with her line. “The mates and the captain came to help,” Buckley said. “They said they had never seen anything like that in years.”
After the fish was weighed, pictures were taken and it was filleted into four parts. They grilled one of the pieces at Turbush’s cousins’ house in Bohemia.
“It was the first fish I’ve ever had, other than lobster and crab, but it was actually really good,” she said.