This is the last you will be hearing from me until April or so, unless something exciting happens.
The bottom fishing is still going strong especially for blackfish for the couple of charterboats that are still sailing, but they will close out on December 14. They usually spend part of the trip with them after which they head out a little deeper where they load up on seabass and occasionally some cod. The Viking is still sailing regularly with two boats, at least when the weather is good enough, and for those boats thatís pretty often. One is catching seabass and scup and the other seabass and cod. Things will continue like that until the end of December when everything but cod will close out and then it will be dependent on weather and cod cooperation.
Overall it was a good and poor season, great for the inshore bottom fishing, not so much offshore. Seabass was especially good, although at times it was difficult catching legal ones. Fluking was also very good with consistently good fishing and the porgie fishing was great. But all that good news good bring bad news in the form of more stringent regulations next year. Striped bass was excellent all summer although it took a while to get started, but the best news to me was the amount of small fish that were around into mid-November, giving some hope for the coming years. All big fish, while great to catch, lead to fewer and fewer fish in years to come.
Offshore is where the disappointment was, starting off first thing with the Star Island tournament, which usually brings complaints about too many blue sharks to guys wanting makos and threshers. Not this year. Only one qualifying blueshark was brought to the dock. As the year went on the makos and threshers cooperated, but most of the time that was all there was. By the fall when the big bluesharks are usually plentiful, boats were hooking up with only one or two sharks of some kind per trip. And donít ask me about the tuna. They were almost non-existent. A couple of weeks of small bluefin followed by some equally small yellowfin around the 700 line was about it. Out by the Edge most of the time there were more marlin then tuna, so much that boats that were accustomed to making the long ride stopped doing it.
The annual Montauk Surfmasters tournament wound up on Thanksgiving weekend with the following results;
1st: Ben McCarron 55.14 lbs
2nd: Larry Welcome 23 lbs
3rd: Wilan Pilco 22.30 lbs
1st Place: John Bruno 37 lbs
1st: Mary Ellen Kane 19.75 lbs
2nd: Mary Ellen Kane 16.74 lbs
3rd: Christine Schnell 8.88 lbs.
And since most of you arenít going to be fishing around here this winter, think about a trip to warmer climes where the fishing is hotter and you can forget about snow. Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize all have consistently great fishing for everything from two pound bonefish to 500 pound marlin and everything in between. Check it all out at www.tropicalfishing.com