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On the Water: Fish Aplenty, Egos Too

Wed, 07/03/2024 - 11:32
Harrison Kashetta and his father, David, caught this brace of bluefin tuna last week aboard the Thermocline out of the Montauk Anglers Club.
Capt. Will Cornacchia

The July 4 holiday is upon us. That said, it feels like I just celebrated the Memorial Day parade in Sag Harbor. How did this happen so quickly?

To top it off, Labor Day is early this year. It falls on Sept. 2. That said, I’m okay with a shortened summer on the East End. As I get older, my patience runs much shorter for all things summer with its traffic, drama, and rather selfish antics. Just ask my wife of 30 years. 

Dare to do an illegal U-turn on Main Street to grab a parking spot? That’s a pretty big no-no in my book. And I’m not exactly shy to voice my opinion out of my car window to the oblivious offender. As most will attest, I’m rather soft-spoken, but traffic and parking infractions bother me like a bad rash you can’t get rid of.

Ironically, when I honked my horn at an offender last summer, it turned out to be a well-known local. I was rather shocked. He promptly flipped me the bird. Locals can be just as good at flaunting the basic rules of courtesy.

I also loathe those drivers who feel entitled to cut the North and South Ferry lines to and from Shelter Island. The savvy crews that man the ferries are well attuned to dealing with such matters. It happens often. Back to the end of the line for you.

Even on the water, rudeness runs rampant. As an example, last summer I took my niece and nephew off to Jessup’s Neck to jig up some bluefish for dinner. Several boats flew by us not more than 10 yards away while we tried to fish. Our day on the water was more akin to riding the Cyclone roller coaster at Luna Park in Coney Island. The outing was ruined.

I know that the East End is a well-known hot spot. I realize that nothing stays the same, but I miss the more simple days when courtesy, respect, and kindness ruled the road and water. Is it too much to ask for today?

Rant over. It’s time for me to chill out. Pass me a cold beer. Let’s all now just focus on the celebration of the birthday of our country and all of the good things we should embrace and appreciate. We are fortunate in so many ways.

Getting to all things fishy, there have been many smiles on the docks of late. Fishing has been really good in many quadrants as the waters continue to warm up.

Whether fishing during the day or night, the action for striped bass out at Montauk has been consistent, with fish up to 50 pounds landed and released. Bluefish too are on the prowl, feasting on the large number of baitfish that inhabit the local grounds.

“Everything seems to be improving from inshore to offshore,” remarked Chris Albronda at the Montauk Anglers Club on East Lake Drive. “The striped bass fishing remains consistently good with lots of slot-sized fish being caught, as well as a handful over 50 pounds.”

Albronda said that “bluefish have moved in, making it a little more difficult to catch your striped bass. My biggest recommendation is if you get on the bluefish, you should move! Once they get charged up, there is no stopping them or getting through to the striped bass. They are just too aggressive. Let’s not hate on the bluefish though. The thresher sharks are here and that’s one of their favorite baits.”

He noted that fluke fishing has picked up, with some decent fish to show for it. “The hot color this year is blue,” he observed. “Especially Blue Fuze Gulp! baits. With the influx of extra-large sand eels, more fluke will be coming in. The porgies have also arrived, with people getting their limits of jumbo.” Clam and squid are the baits of choice for them.

As for the offshore scene, Albronda said that bluefin tuna fishing has been phenomenal. “Chatter Lures side and spreader bars are the ticket to success. They aren’t very far away, so now is the time to get out there and get your limit of beautiful bluefin tuna.”

The only down side has been the action from the surf. “Surfcasting has been incredibly tough. We are almost on week two of tough surf fishing,” he sighed. “Only those who are putting the time in are getting what they are looking for.”

Fishing tips, observations, and photographs can be sent to [email protected].


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