I don’t know about you, but I actually feel overwhelmed by the many fishing and hunting opportunities this most recent mild streak of weather seems to be presenting.
After all, with water temperatures still in the mid-50’s blackfish, sea bass, codfish, striped bass and bluefish are all still in play. So are walleye, largemouth bass, pickerel, perch and trout on the freshwater side.
It’s also archery season on Long Island right now and, based on the number of deer that have been clipped by cars on the East End of late, you can assume the rut (breeding season) is in full swing. Many hunters believe that’s when the biggest bucks are most vulnerable.
Then there’s fall turkey season. Here on Long Island it begins Saturday and ends Dec. 2, during which time hunters can legally take one bird of either sex in Suffolk County. Turkey are considered among the most challenging of gamebirds to hunt but there certainly is no shortage of them from Manorville eastward to Montauk. Add in the chance to go pheasant or small game hunting where permissible, and you realize the sportsman’s late fall dilemma: so many choices, but time is running out.
On the fishing front, stripers and blackfish continue to offer solid action. The tautog are hitting hot and heavy in 50- to 70-foot depths of Long Island Sound and around South Shore ocean wrecks.
Stripers are mixed with blues and sliding ever westward. Catches have slipped at Montauk and points east of Shinnecock Inlet, but seem to be growing more engaged from Moriches Inlet west to Captree, Freeport, Point Lookout and Long Beach. Don’t wait to target these fish because this far into the season it sometimes takes only a gale or two to collapse the action. In any case, the blackfish season ends Dec. 14 and striper season closes the next day.
Great books for holiday gifts
Local fluke fans will be thrilled to know that popular fishing author John Skinner has just released a new title: Fishing for Summer Flounder ($18.95, softcover). This book covers everything you’ll need to know about catching summer flatties on jigs. Skinner breaks it all down with clear and precise instruction and plenty of insights based on years of personal experience and research.
I’ve had the book a week and have already studied it from cover-to-cover. It’s filled with valuable tips I can’t wait to try next year. Fishing for Summer Founder is available direct from www.FlounderBook.com, or you can grab a copy from a nearby tackle shop.
Another book local anglers should find interesting is Looking Through Water ($24.95, hardcover) by Bob Rich. In addition to being one of the world’s top businessmen — he owns frozen food conglomerate Rich Products Corporation — the author has fished around the world with amazing success.
His latest book, a novel set against the backdrops of fishing the Florida Keys, Adirondack lakes and the Manhattan skyline, explores the raw emotions of family structure by pulling at the threads of truth, lies, and misunderstandings. It’s a quick and intriguing read. Check it out yourself first, then pass it along to your fishing teenager.
Proceeds benefit Project Healing Waters, an organization that uses fly-fishing to help injured veterans and active duty military heal from physical and emotional wounds.