It will be interesting to see if the remnants of Hurricane Dorian make its way up the coast and impact the waters surrounding Long Island over the next couple of days. The monstrous storm, which wreaked havoc and destruction in the Bahamas before climbing up the southeastern coast, could be on target to disrupt what has been some super bottom-fishing over the past two weeks. Or not.
“The action with porgies and sea bass has absolutely been on fire,” said Capt. Paul Ripperger of the Orient Point Prime Time fleet. “We’ve had lock-and-load catches of big porgies in the 14- to 18-inch class every day within a half-hour of port. Mixed in have been plenty of black sea bass, with some in the 4- to 5-pound class. Right now it looks like the storm is going to be far enough offshore that it shouldn’t have any real effect on inshore catches. I hope it stays that way.”
Indeed, so do other skippers and anglers along both Long Island’s south and north shores.
“We are seeing some great catches right now,” said Anthony Gillespie, who skippers the open boat Capt. Lou 7 out of Freeport. “In fact, the past few weeks have had the most consistent action I’ve ever seen when it comes to simply bending the rod and putting fillets on deck. We’ve been catching tons of porgies, sea bass, triggerfish, fluke, blowfish and bonito – the whole ocean seems alive right now just a short ride outside of Jones Inlet.”
Gillespie expects that trips for Friday and Saturday will be cancelled but figures to be sailing again on Sunday. Will the storm hurt the bite? He doesn’t think so. “It will pass by here too quickly to make a difference,” he predicted.
That would be just fine with Capt. Joe Vanderveldt of the Captree open boat Jib VI. He’s been splitting time between fishing inside Great South Bay or taking a short ride out into ocean waters. “It’s family fun time right now,” said the skipper, “There’s a mix of everything from porgies and sea bass to a few fluke coming over the rails. That makes for a lot of fun.”
Long Island Sound bottom-fishing has been solid of late, too, with plenty of cocktail blues, snappers at the docks, sea bass on the wrecks and porgies at Eatons Neck and Target Rock. “This storm shouldn’t take much of a bite out of the action,” said Phil McGowan at Cow Harbor Bait and Tackle in East Northport, “Everything will be back on track in a couple of days.”
SURF/INSHORE FISHING SHOW
Thursday, September 19, is slated for The Fisherman’s Surf/Inshore Fishing Show and Seminar. Over 80 surf and inshore related tackle manufacturers and retailers will be represented, with many of the best local tackle shops and fishing vendors offering great deals for the fall season.
The first 600 attendees receive gift bags with an assortment of tackle items from Super Strike, Tactical Anglers, KastKing, Fat Cow, Spro and more. There will also be seminars from local experts including John Skinner, “Crazy Alberto” Knie and Matt Broderick, a rising star on the surf scene that is the real deal. Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for children 16 and under. Show doors open at 6 p.m. For more info, call 631-345-5200.