Can you feel a little bit of fall in the air these days? Certainly the fish can. From Montauk to Freeport and throughout Long Island Sound, action with everything from porgies and fluke to stripers and false albacore seemed to ratchet up a notch or two over the past week.
Nowhere was that more evident than at Montauk Point, where false albacore flooded the inshore scene and went on a binge of epic proportions.
"It was the best false albacore action I've seen in a decade," said Captain Craig Cantelmo, a field sales manager for Van Staal reels and owner of the North Fork charter operation, Shallow Minded (firstname.lastname@example.org). "The albies are feeding on big bait -- snappers, mullet and peanut bunker -- so you can catch them readily on spinning gear instead of flies. Small tins work well but the best lure this week has been a 3-inch, yellow Sebile Magic Swimmer."
The albie action was smoking around Shinnecock Inlet, especially early in the week with boaters, jetty jocks and kayak fishermen all having a blast.
"When the false albacore show up, the action is red hot," said Mike Mader at White Water Marine in Hampton Bays. "But they do come and go -- so expect to invest a little time before hooking up."
Mader noted that the fluke bite has also improved with plenty of smaller flatties still available inside Shinnecock Bay and quality fish staging for their southward departure in 60- to 90-foot depths. That seems to be the case along the entire South Shore and all the way west to Ambrose Channel right now. Fish fast for the summer flatties because the season runs only through Sunday.
Over on the North Shore, porgies and sea bass remain the primary players and the fishing has been excellent outside of Hempstead Harbor, Huntington Harbor, Port Jefferson Harbor and Mattituck Inlet.
"We've never seen this many big porgies around here," said Candice Caraftis at Caraftis Fishing Station in Port Jefferson. "Many of these fish measure 17 inches or more. It's tremendous fishing with plenty of black sea bass as a bonus."
The scup have also provided excellent action on Peconic Bay off Jessup Neck, Rogers Rock and southeast of Robins Island. Mixed with these are sea bass, blowfish, kingfish and school weaks. Small pieces of clam have been the hot bait between The Forks. Backing strict striper regs
The long awaited public comment meeting for Draft Addendum IV to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass was held at Stony Brook University on Tuesday night and the recreational fishing community turned out in force. While there were some calls for status quo or a gradual reduction over three years by for-hire and commercial fishermen, the overwhelming support was for an immediate harvest reduction of more than 31 percent, an increase in the minimum size limit from 28 to 32 inches, and a one-fish creel limit for all recreationally caught fish.
Comment continues until 5 p.m., Sept. 30. To make a comment, send an email to Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at mwaine@ asmfc.org. You can view all of the striped bass management proposals at asmfc.org.