For many Long Islanders, the passing of Memorial Day weekend kicks off the fishing contest season. From this point through October there are opportunities to compete just about every weekend. A sampling of upcoming tourneys shows just how diverse your options can be — from fluke to shark.
The Suffolk Marine Anglers Eighth Annual Striped Bass Tournament is June 5. The largest spring striper contest in our area begins with a shotgun start at 6 a.m. from the Babylon Village Dock and covers all waters between Moriches and Debs inlets. There is more than $20,000 in prize money but the crews on every boat that pays the $225 entry fee come out winners as proceeds go to the non-profit Hospice Care Network. The captains meeting is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Miller’s Ale House in Deer Park. Call (631) 669-0907 for details.
North Shore fluke fans will want to get in on the Fourth Annual Marty Lyons Foundation Fluke Tourney and Barbecue slated for June 11. This charity fundraiser is based out of Stony Brook Yacht Club and also features a barbecue with raffels, door prizes and give-a-ways, and can meet Lyons, the former Jets star, and other former NFL players. Entrance fee is $175 per boat, including the party. If you attend the barbecue alone it’s $25 adults and $5 for kids under 12. The captains meeting is June 10. Call (631) 275-6700 for more information.
If you don’t have a boat or simply prefer to fish from shore the Goin’ East Showdown out of Jones Beach Fishing Station should be your gig. This contest gives cash and tackle prizes for the three biggest fluke, bluefish and striped bass beached between Fire Island and Debs inlets. The contest runs June 17-19 and the entry fee is $15 Call (631) 559-5938.
Big game anglers will want to ante up for the 44th Annual Freeport Hudson Anglers Shark Tournament, June 18. This tourney promotes conversation with 150-pound minimum weight for eligible fish and a tag-and-release category as well. The contest launches from the Town of Hempstead Guy Lombardo Marina in Freeport and features almost $250,000 in prize money. Call (516) 286-8293 for additional info.
Fluke on the chew
Summer flattie action continues to build around the Island. On the West End, the newly repowered Super Hawk II out of Point Lookout and Capt. Lou Fleet from Freeport have scored well in the bay inside of Jones Inlet with fluke balls and teasers the hot combination. Plenty of hits and enough keepers to 6 pounds hold everyone’s interest has been the rule.
Capt. Ken Higgins on the open boat Captree Pride noted that morning trips for fluke have had the edge with action in Fire Island Inlet and the State Channel. Evening trips have seen a blast of blues up to 12 pounds at Fire Island Inlet.
On the North Shore, Capt. Bob Simon of Stony Brook Charters reports steady fluke action with a surprisingly good ratio of keepers running five shorts to each legal fish. He’s been fishing in 15- to 20-foot depths, mostly between buoys 11 and 9. Outgoing water and white bucktails tipped with white Gulp! have been the right combination.