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SportsColumnistsTom Schlichter

Long Island anglers should keep an eye on Hermine this weekend

This satellite image shows Hurricane Hermine approaching Florida

This satellite image shows Hurricane Hermine approaching Florida from the Gulf of Mexico. Photo Credit: NOAA

Yuck! That’s the general weather forecast for the second half of the holiday weekend and many local anglers are wondering if high seas from the remains of Hurricane Hermine will disrupt the fishing should it strike here Sunday into Monday.

There’s little doubt it will to some extent, but it bears noting weather forecasts can change substantially over a day or two so don’t cancel your plans until it is clear foul weather is indeed on the horizon.

“I’m hoping some stormy seas will shake up the fly-fishing along the North Fork and Peconic Bay,” said Capt. Joe Blados of Maverick Fly Charters in Southold. “With water temperatures around 83 degrees we’ve had small blues to play with but little in the way of favored fly-rod exotics like false albacore and bonito.”

For dealing with the remains of Hermine, Blados suggested fly-casters look for action in the lee of an island or North Shore bluff.

“I hope Hermine doesn’t bust up the bait that’s gathering at Montauk,” mused surf casting guide Mark Malenovsky of Long Island Surf Fishing Charters. “Bay anchovies are setting up in a way that should lead to a solid fall season with stripers, blues and false albacore. I don’t want a big heave to drive those baitfish schools offshore because then there’s no telling where or if they will come back inshore.”

If we do see foul weather, Malenovsky suggested anglers get out Friday or Saturday. “The first few hours of building seas will probably fire up bass and blues in the surf,” he noted, “Arm yourself with some heavy, 3-ounce bucktails or diamond jigs and get your fun in before the seas become discolored.”

Over on the North Shore, Capt. James Schneider of Huntington figured the storm will shut down the mid-Long Island Sound bluefish action, which has been rocking out of Huntington aboard his Capt. James Joseph II. Porgy and fluke, he believes, should remain viable targets because anglers can tuck inside the harbors where seas shouldn’t be as rough.

“Once this mess clears up,” Schneider said, “The blues and bass should go nuts — so we might see some good come out of this yet.”

Schneider, by the way, will begin full day porgy trips Monday as the creel limit for scup when fishing aboard party or charter vessels increases from 30 to 45 per angler per day from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. The creel limit for all other recreational anglers remains at 30 until the season closes for all on Dec. 31. Minimum length for the tasty saltwater panfish remains at 10 inches for everyone.

Up until now, half-day porgy fishing aboard Schneider’s boat has been vicious on the mussel beds near bouy13 in Long Island Sound.

“We just drop the anchor and the rods start bending,” the skipper said. “That action has been so solid of late that I don’t think the storm will have any effect.”

On Long Island’s West End, Elias Vaisberg of NY Kayak Fly-Fishing Guide Service thought it likely the stormy weather predicted would take the edge off the fantastic action with school weaks his kayak fares have been enjoying inside Jamaica Bay of late.

“Then again,” Vaisberg added, “the size of the weaks has slipped so maybe some turmoil will stir up some bigger fish.”


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