It may be hard to believe, but Long Island's big game archery season is just around the corner. With an opening date in Suffolk County of Oct. 1, those who haven't yet begun to prepare are already behind schedule.
"Right now, you should be practicing as much as possible," said Rob Greco at Long Island Outdoorsman (lioutdoorsman.com) in Rockville Centre. "Put on all your hunting gear and get up in a tree stand, if possible. Once your bow is sighted-in, shoot at whitetail decoys instead of foam blocks. You want to make every practice session as real as possible."
At Thrill of the Hunt 3D Indoor Archery in Riverhead (indoor3d.com,) Art Binder said the most important thing in archery is "form." Like Greco, he believes making practice realistic is vital. "Shoot at lifelike targets in as natural a setting as possible to acquire the feel for doing this right," he said. "Being focused is a process that takes practice and needs to be mastered if you want to be good at this game."
At Smith's Point Archery (smithpointarchery.com) in Patchogue, Jared Schneider advised beginning archers to surround themselves with successful hunters. "That's one sure way to reduce the learning curve," he said. "They'll help you with scouting, understanding the effects of wind and setting up a tree stand or blind."
Schneider, Binder and Greco all agree on a several key points that can sharpen an archer's game. They believe the best hunters practice year-round, shoot mostly at decoys instead of paper or foam targets, and that taking shooting lessons is vital when starting out.
"When people begin playing golf or tennis they get lessons," said Schneider, "Archers should do the same. This is a complex sport and you'll need help to ensure those broad heads fly fast and true."
Fluke, sea bass are hotMontauk continues to see super fluking with a generous number of doormats. Aboard captain Ed Beneduci's open boat Montauk Star on Wednesday, the action was slower than early in the week but seven doormats weighing over six pounds still came over the rails. Captain Chris Kadlec and crewman Dominic Pellegrino, on a busman's holiday from the Port Jefferson open boat Celtic Quest, put a hurt on the summer flatties as Kadlec took the pool with an 8.5 pound brute.
Luis Araujo from Brooklyn targeted mostly sea bass and limited-out with humpbacked monsters to 4 pounds while members of the Lady Reelers scored with fluke to 7.5 pounds. Jeremy Way, visiting from upstate Monroe drilled his first pair of keeper fluke, first bluefish, largest porgy and several big sea bass.
Sea bass fishing has also been hot on the Captain Bob Fishing Fleet out of Mattituck Inlet. By noon on Thursday, captain John Bowen's fares had nearly limited out and the boat was making ready to head for the porgy grounds.
Good scores with big fluke this week were also recorded in 50-foot depths off Moriches, on the Fishfinder II out of Captree, and east of Shinnecock Inlet. Farther west, the Point Lookout open boat Super Hawk has been hammering big sea bass along with an occasional doormat fluke.
For bluefish fans, plenty of big choppers await your poppers and tins in Jones Inlet. Just look for the diving birds.