Heavy winds and rough seas may have kept the Long Island fleet at bay during the past week, but before the breezes started to blow fluke action was steady off Montauk and along the South Shore, stripers were feeding off Orient, and porgies were swarming throughout Long Island Sound. As the water settles down for the next few days, solid action should resume. It might, in fact, even improve a bit with an influx of speedsters like false albacore and bonito. The latter, albeit small ones, already have made cameo appearances at Shinnecock Inlet.
Plenty of action with all of the above should be on tap during the next several weeks but fish fast for the summer flatties as their season draws to a close on Sept. 21. Black sea bass, on the other hand, have their creel limit per angler increased from three to eight fish starting on Friday, and from eight to 10 fish from Nov. 1 through season’s end Dec. 31. Their minimum size limit remains at 15 inches.
Scup, too, will have an increase in creel limit starting Friday, but only for party and charterboat anglers. Private boaters and shore fishermen can continue to take up to 30 per day with a 10-inch minimum size but pay to play fans can now keep up to 45 per day through Oct. 31. After that, it’s back to 30 fish per angler for everyone until scup season ends on Dec. 31.
Had enough of fishing tournaments and contests yet? If not, there are still some really fun ones on tap. Consider, for example, the 2nd Annual Mixed Bag Sea Bass & Porgy Tournament & BBQ to benefit the Down Syndrome Advocacy Foundation (DSAF) on Saturday, Sept. 16. Fishing runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. while the barbecue will be open from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. The entry fee is $125 per boat. Half of that will be given away in prizes and the other half will be donated to DSAF to fund its valuable projects. Landlubbers can reserve tickets for the barbecue at $25 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-682-2488.
If you fancy yourself king of the sea robin brigade, Silly Lily Fishing Station’s Largest Sea Robin Contest should be right up your alley. It’s scheduled for Sept 1 through Sept. 10, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily, but you need to rent a skiff from the shop and register before heading out.
“Sea robins taste great, fight hard, look cool and anyone can catch them,” said the station’s owner, Jeff Scott. “This derby should be a ton of fun for friends, family and anglers of all ages.”
With a $5 entry fee, this contest is also very affordable. Call Silly Lily at 631-878-0247 for details.
Another affordable fishing contest is on tap for Saturday. The Shelter Island Snapper Derby is free for kids ages 14 and younger. Just catch your tiny bluefish anywhere on the island between sunrise and 5 p.m., and weigh it in at the Shelter Island American Legion Hall. You’ll get a free lunch, and the staff might even cook up your catch. Donations at the derby benefit the Shelter Island Lions Club. Call 631-749-2110 for details.