Striped bass fishing really came to life along the South Shore this past week with the linesiders busting on bunker in ocean waters and inhaling both clams and eels inside the inlets. Fire Island Inlet, in particular, has seen explosive action over the past several days with Jones, Moriches and Shinnecock inlets nearly as productive.
"We had boat limits with stripers on Tuesday and Wednesday," said Walter Czekaj, skipper of the Captree open boat Fish Finder II. "During the day we've been fishing in the inlet with clams. After dark we switch to eels. The bass are chewing right now and our daily pools are running 15 to 30 pounds."
Fall fishing action has also been good to the west. Mike Wasserman, of Freeport's Captain Lou Fleet, said that blackfish and porgies are feeding well over local reefs while bluefish action remains "lock and load" three miles south of Jones Inlet for those using bunker chunks and chum.
North Shore anglers have had their pick of stripers on bunker around the westernmost harbors or bluefish slicing through thick schools of smaller baitfish at The Middle Grounds and around Huntington, Smithtown and Port Jefferson. Blackfishing slipped a notch this week, but that's probably because of unseasonably warm weather. Give it a few days and the bite should rebound.
If you have been hoping to squeeze in a last trip or two for tuna, head out now. Action at The Fishtails has been very strong with yellowtails to 80 pounds, plus a ton of mahi mahi around the lobster pots. The bite has been best on the troll.
If you're tired of reading the same old themes when it comes to fishing and hunting books, here are two new titles I found to be refreshing as an October breeze -- and just as timely. Either would make a fine holiday gift.
"Farewell, Old Girl and Other Stories of The Great Outdoors," (Herald Publishing Co., LLC, Syracuse, N.Y.; 128 pages) features 30 of the best newspaper columns by J. Michael Kelly, a popular outdoors writer from the Syracuse area. Kelly writes with crispness, authority and honesty while covering everything from stream fishing for brookies to directly answering a letter from an anti-hunter.
The fishing passages will make you feel as though you are wading knee-deep beside the author while the tales of days afield with bird dogs, friends and family will tug at your heart. The book is a fine example of writing done right. It is available from the author at 4445 Dublin Road, Marcellus, N.Y., for $13.95.
"The Blitz, Fly Fishing The Atlantic Migration," (Departure Publishing, Austin, Texas; 218 pages) by Pete McDonald and photographer Tosh Brown, is a celebration of the unique fly-fishing culture centered around the pursuit of striped bass, bluefish, false albacore and other near-shore predators.
The authors spent a year covering the major runs and hot spots from Casco Bay to the Outer Banks, making several stops on Long Island. It is an introspective look at the fascinating edge where angler lifestyles and fish migrations merge. The writing is inspired and the photography is superb.