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Oct 8, 2019 10:21 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Bass Blitzes Churning, Bigger Fish On The Move

Oct 8, 2019 3:16 PM

The fishing has been excellent of late, though perhaps not quite what most fishermen would like it to be.There are lots of striped bass spread out all over the South Fork and they have presented surfcasters and boaters alike with some windows of especially outstanding fishing.

Montauk has had huge blitzes of striped bass more or less every day for weeks now so it would seem that the return to the “old days” that we had been missing for the last six or seven years is firmly cemented, at least for this season.

Surf fishermen have been a little frustrated as the blitzes have not pushed up into the suds quite as often as land-locked anglers might hope, but there have been some days when the opportunities were ample. Like anything with surfcasting, it’s mostly a matter of biding your time for the right opportunity.

Those late night rock-hoppers who have been doing just that in Montauk were finally rewarded with the arrival of some bigger striped bass last weekend. Several fish over 30 pounds were caught. Hopefully those fish will be on the move in the wake of this week’s nor’easter.

To the west, surfcasters patrolling the sand beaches have found some very good fishing at times. There are lots of mostly schoolie bass in the surf zone pretty much from Napeague to Moriches Inlet with the average size makeup seeming to be a little bit higher to the west of Shinnecock Inlet — but watching the gillnet boats haul back off Bridgehampton and East Hampton will reveal that there are some 20-pound class fish out there.

Sharks have been prevalent in the surf as well, blowing up the schools of bunker and stalking hooked stripers. Most are dusky and threshers, their long tails easily seen knifing through the bunker, but several dead white sharks have been found on local beaches lately, obviously victims of gillnet entanglements. With a seal or two in the neighborhood, I don’t think I’ll be doing any “skishing” anytime soon.

False albacore hunters have had a very frustrating few weeks. With the big hurricane swells and strong southerly winds, waters have been dingy and the albies have gotten scarce and finicky when they do show up.

With fluke season over and blackfish season not due to open until next week, meat hunters are focusing on the nearshore wrecks and reefs where they can pick away at a mixed bag of black sea bass, jumbo porgies and a few triggerfish. If you don’t have a boat, pretty much all the party boats in Montauk and Shinnecock are making these kind of trips nowadays, with maybe a stop here and there to pick up a striped bass as well.

Whatever you do, catch ’em up. See you out there.

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