TODAY'S PAPER
Scattered Clouds 50° Good Afternoon
Scattered Clouds 50° Good Afternoon
SportsColumnistsTom Schlichter

Bottom fishing is top of the list in Long Island waters

No doubt heavy winds over the past week kept many anglers off the water. On the bright side, that seems to have allowed local wrecks, ledges and rough bottom a chance to restock and, right now, bottom fishing couldn’t be any better.

Capt. Mike Boccio’s Orient Point open boat, Prime Time 3 has seen local trips produce limits of big blackfish to 9 pounds while split charters on the skipper’s charter boat Jenglo have resulted in mixed bag slams that include huge sea bass, blackfish and some cod.

Out of Montauk, Capt. Jamie Quaresimo has been sending everyone home with full coolers. “It’s lock-and-load action around Block Island right now,” he said, “and there’s plenty of room along the rails. We’re scoring with blackfish, sea bass and porgies, plus cod to about 8 pounds.”

One thing Quaresimo noted that bodes well for the months ahead was the arrival on Wednesday of greenish-colored cod in the catches. “Our resident cod are usually reddish brown,” he said. “Greenish fish filter in from more northern waters to boost our stocks so things are shaping up nicely for the winter season ahead.”

On the blackfish front, Capt. James Schneider of the James Joseph II in Huntington had fast action on Wednesday with a blast of short ‘tog keeping rods bent, plenty of keepers, plus a pool fish of 8.5 pounds. He was fishing in 45 to 70 feet of water. At the same time Schneider’s son, James Jr., put the family charter vessel James Joseph III on a limit of blackfish before bailing and releasing all the 16- to 29-inch stripers his fares could handle northwest of bouy 13. According to the skipper, all anglers had to do was drop a 3-ounce diamond jig to the bottom, crank five turns and set the hook.

Stripers have also been hot in the middle waters of western Long Island Sound, and they aren’t finished yet on the South Shore. The Captree Fleet continues to pound them on windy days south of Fire Island Lighthouse and down along Jones Beach to the west. Bass remain plentiful out of Point Lookout, Freeport and off of Long Beach.

More holiday gifts

With the giving season fast approaching, those with anglers on their “good” list can feel overwhelmed by all the possibilities. In a pinch, a simple gift certificate to a local tackle shop is a good idea as it allows anglers to choose exactly what they need.

If you want to have something to unwrap, there are some good deals available right now. For piscators that want to hear their favorite tunes but not scare their quarry, a set of High Performance Sports Wireless Earbuds by Re-Fuel is a great idea — and their price was recently sliced in half for the holidays. ($49; https://re-fuel.com/audio/high-performance-sports-wireless-earbuds.html).

Kast King’s 24 Rod Rack is another sure hit. It stores up to 24 rods (roughly 12 rod and reel combos) and takes up minimal floor space. It won an ICAST Best in Show award this year and is easily assembled without tools in under ten minutes ($69.98; http://www.eposeidon.com/accessories).

For kayak fishing fans, you can’t go wrong with a Hobie Soft Cooler/Fish Bag. It’s durable, rugged, really holds the cold and fits most any kayak brand. At $129 (hobiecat.com) it’s actually worth every penny.

Email: outdoortom@optonline.net

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