Work schedules, family commitments, yard chores and inclement weather are common impediments expressed by those wishing they could squeeze a little more fishing into their summer schedule.
I hate to admit it, but I’m just as guilty as anyone else when it comes to making time on the water a priority during the course of daily survival. And like most of you, I’m sure, I get rather antsy when responsibilities get in the way of a good bite.
I notice the feelings of frustration growing especially strong after fielding a round of reports touting solid fishing all across our region, as I did this week past. Currently, catches of big fluke remain super at the Frisbees in Montauk, and there are keepers aplenty to be had in western Long Island Sound waters from City Island all the way east to Huntington and the Middle Grounds.
Word of solid striper fishing during the day at The Race, Plum Gut and Montauk’s Elbow, plus Horton’s Point and both Moriches and Shinnecock inlets after dark, simply add to the duress. Pile on non-stop porgy action out of Port Jefferson, Greenport, Mattituck, and off nearly every North Shore point, an influx of triggerfish at the north end of Shinnecock Canal, plus steady sea bass action on the South Shore reefs, and the desire to get out grows ever more urgent.
Fortunately for local anglers, good catches have been widespread enough that it hasn’t been necessary to invest an entire day to put some fillets in the cooler. Especially with mixed-bag bottom fishing, all that’s needed is a couple of hours on any moving water and dinner should be secured. That makes half-day party boating, kayak fishing or even a simple trip to the beach all productive options. Only have an hour? Hit the docks for snappers or blue crabs.
With a tight schedule this past week, my own trips were regulated to short stints every couple of days. While I wish I had gotten the chance to put in a full day targeting doormats, hammering triggers or racing offshore in search of tuna and shark, I can’t complain about the overall results.
With a 90-minute window early in the week I launched my kayak along the North Fork and used a light spinning setup and Berkley Gulp! Swimming Mullets to jig up a keeper fluke, several sea bass and a fat porgy from 12-foot depths just a short paddle off the shore.
A two-hour mid-week excursion in a 13-foot tin boat found another set of fluke fillets plus several porgies to 16 inches willing to inhale strip baits and ensuring fish tacos for dinner. My most recent trip, just 30 minutes casting from a Long Island Sound beach, scored several school blues caught and released on tins.
The point is that life sometimes gets in the way of fishing, but all you need is to find a couple hours here and there to cast a line and stay in the game until a wider window presents itself.
Sure, tides, moon phases and weather conditions matter in the long run, but when time is short put all that aside and just go fishing. The odds, at least at moment, are good that you’ll end up with something tugging at the end of your line.