Archive for Fishing News
I took advantage of some decent winter weather to hop around various locations on the Ocean Pkwy to check out the progress of the Fire Island Inlet dredging project. The company arrived in Fire Island Inlet just a few weeks back and from the looks of things they are move large amounts of material from the inlet bottom and onto the beaches that Hurricane Sandy destroyed.
Starting at the West end of Gilgo I found the beach to be extremely narrow despite it being close to LOW tide while I was there. The beach was also very flat with no height to keep the wash from running right up to what is left of any dune-line.
Moving East I saw a HUGE mountain of sand being built up by the dredge company’s bulldozers. I spoke briefly to one of the operators and found they are pumping the sand from the inlet (about 1.5miles east) through the pipeline and onto this mountain. From there dump trucks are being filled to transport the sand to where it’s needed.
My last stop was the Babylon Overlook beach which was the closest I could get to the area the dredge itself was currently working. On this day the dredge was on the south side of the inlet up behind Democrat Pt. The pipe from the dredge angles across the inlet in the shallows before going underwater where the actual channel would/should be. The pipe comes ashore on the north side approximately 1/2 mile west of the Sore Thumb.
With the zoom lens on my camera I was able to make out numerous floating buoys and markers related to the dredge pipeline. With this project reportedly to run into May, Fire Island boaters are going to need to be on their toes when transiting this area.
When Hurricane Sandy crashed into the Northeast coastline on October 29th 2012, she brought with her an historic storm surge that pushed water levels along the New Jersey and Long Island New York shoreline to record breaking heights. This surge was responsible unprecedented flooding all along the coast. Buildings, homes, boats and cars were no match as Sandy racked up damages in the billions with rebuilding efforts sure to continue for months if not years.
The record storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy also caused many wash overs along the Atlantic Ocean facing barrier beaches. In fact, the barrier islands were breached in three locations as a result. The east side of Moriches Inlet and the Smith Point County Outer Beach Park were cut through and quickly filled in by the Army Corp of Engineers are part of their Breach Contingency Plan.
The third breach was in an area of the Fire Island National Seashore called the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dunes Wilderness area and fell under the National Park Service jurisdiction. The stretch where this breach is located is ironically called Old Inlet due to the fact it was actually a navigable inlet many, many years ago.
NPS took a different approach to this breach by deciding to leave it alone for a period of review after which they would then make a decision. During this time there has been public meetings to discuss the possible impacts. One side of the coin has public officials and some waterfront residents urging the Park Service to close the breach to prevent further flooding. The other side, includes area scientists, naturalists and enviroment organizations who feel this breach is a wonderful opportunity for the Great South Bay.
I count myself among those who feel this breach should be left to it’s natural course of evolution. This breach occurred in an area of the Great South Bay where there is historically NOT a lot of natural flushing action due to the area’s remoteness from other south shore inlets. The clean, clear water exchange between the Atlantic Ocean and Great South Bay is doing wonders already.
Stony Brook University has been conducting studies on the Great South Bay for several years now and reading through their reports shows nothing but good news. To date there has been no evidence of increase flooding due to the breach and the water quality has greatly improved. In my very un-scientific opinion, and this just coming from someone who’s entire life has been on Great South Bay, this breach can do nothing but GOOD things for the bay.
Those of us who care for the Great South Bay can only hope the powers in charge of the final decision will consider what a wonderful gift this breach is, and understand this is the single bright spot Long Island received from Superstorm Sandy
Last winter I posted a video on my YouTube channel discussing the knot I was shown many years back for connecting braided fishing line to mono-filament and fluorocarbon leaders. This knot has served me well over the years and numerous large striped bass and bluefish have put it to the test. I can say that this knot has not let me down since I’ve been using it.
The original video has received a positive response, however, there were some questions and/or concerns that some folks had regarding the knot, the most popular being that it did not work at all with SeaGuar fluorocarbon leader material. This struck me as strange and was the first I had heard of such a thing. Another commenter stated he did not feel the knot would be very strong due to the fact I use a Surgeon’s Loop as part of the knot.
I try to answer both these concerns as best as I can in the video below while at the same time being extremely disappointed with how the Power Pro braid itself held up in my tests.
As we approach the start of 2012 I wanted to take a bit of time to review how the fishing season went down on the waters of the Great South Bay and Fire Island Inlet during the 2011 season. Before getting into this too far, I want to say Thank You once again to all the folks who sailed aboard the Maybe Tonight during the 2011 season and who played such a large part in making it such a GREAT year!!
Striped Bass fishing in the Spring and Fall was VERY good. The Spring bluefish action was very nice as well but the larger fish were not around in the numbers we are used to until almost summer-time.Speaking of summer, fluke fishing in the area was EXCELLENT both in the bay and the ocean waters. The Fall brought us some nice striper action both day and night. Mild temperatures had the fish in the area right up to the closing bell on December 15th. Let’s take a closer look at how the season went aboard my boat.
The 2011 season started for the Maybe Tonight at the end of April when the boat was launched during a miserable, rainy, windy day for the ride to her slip in Seaborn Marina in Bay Shore NY. Little did we know at the time that the wind that day was going to be a harbinger of the winds we would endure for the majority of the season.
The end of April into May saw the flounder fishing actually providing some results for folks giving them an honest shot. While far from red-hot, the action was solid enough where you could actually feel as though you were going to catch a couple. Added to this was the surprise return of the blowfish to the Great South Bay waters. For many folks the blowfish outnumbered the flounders and this was a very welcome addition to the Spring fishery in the area.
By mid-May the bunker were settling into their normal locations in the Great South Bay and the striper fishermen were all over them with cast-nets flying to fill their live-wells with this prime striped bass bait. The stripers did not disappoint either as they put on quite a show in the Fire Island waters right into late July. Anglers drifting their live baits in the inlet or outside in the ocean around the large bunker schools were rewarded with numerous LARGE stripers with the action lasting for weeks.
As we moved into summer, there were still bunker schools in the ocean but now the bluefish had found them and were tearing them up making it very hard to find any stripers who remained in the area. Not a problem though as I love catching this saltwater alligators too!!!
Fluke fishing was also in full swing as summer moved in, the bottom of the Great South Bay seemed to be paved with the flatties. The downside here in the bay was that the vast majority of the fish were below the New York legal size limit.
Summer also brought with it the beach season and my wife and I took full advantage by making several trips to our favorite anchorages at Talisman Beach and the cove of the Sore Thumb. Sand, sun and surf were the rule of the day on these trips. Love it!!!
As we moved to the end of summer, the snapper bluefish were in solid numbers and these prime baits were put into use searching out some of the hard to find weakfish in the bay. While these fish are not around in good numbers in recent years, late summer generally gives us a shot at a few and I was happy to find them in early September on a few late afternoon trips.
Moving into October things began to pickup nicely as the weather began to cool. The bunker put in appearances in the Fire Island Inlet and Great South Bay again and the large bluefish were right on their tails. Good stripers were in the mix as well but the bluefish were tough to get through. By mid-month the bunker had moved back outside again and daytime action on the bass slowed. At the same time the night bite on live eels really started to shine and the boat had a great finish to October right through the middle of November fishing night tides with the eels.
The end of November had the large baits show up again inside, with bunker, shad and herring all appearing in decent numbers and the stripers blasting them in short order. While making bait was tough some days, you were almost guaranteed a fish per bait on the days you found the livies!!!
The fantastic jigging action we had in the ocean the past couple of years just never materialized this year along Fire Island area. Several exploratory trips made in the ocean along the beaches produced very little, with most days not even showing any marks on the finder. The schools of sandeels that had driven the action the last few years just did not show in any numbers this season. Even days where you did mark the baitfish, the gamefish were just not on them.
Here’s a video I threw together with some highlights of the 2011 season. I am already chomping at the bit to get on the water for 2012!!
After cancelling my plans to fish the ocean outside Fire Island Inlet this morning due to MORE of the winds that have plagued the area the entire Fall I decided on an evening trip to drag some live eels around the Great South Bay.
I found my buddy Dennis willing to give it a go and we sailed off into the choppy bay right at sunset. We arrived for the start of the ebb current and made a bunch of drifts and moves around the inlet area with nothing to show for it.
I decided to try and find some lee behind the beach and it did not take long for Dennis to find the first fish of the night. This one turned out to be a short striper. I had a quick pickup on my eel but did not get hooked up.
I made another move back further into the bay and once again, it did not take long for Dennis to find another fish. First drop and BANG!! Shortly after a decent 17lb striper was on the deck. Still nothing for me and sadly that was how it would end up.
We called it a night as the current began to slow. Not a bad way to kill a few hours. I’m hoping for the weatherman to throw us a break and turn the FAN off. We’ll see what happens.
I arrived at the Marina at 2am on Halloween morning with the thermometer reading 33 degrees and the boat covered in frost. This was my first trip since the historic Nor’Easter that hit Long Island over the weekend delivering the first snow of the season. Bundled up the thermal clothing and backed the boat out of the slip into a VERY still canal.
Arrived on scene for the start of the outgoing current and several drifts produced no life so I made a move to the Fire Island Inlet. Spent time drifting each of the rips inside the inlet with no results either. I did not notice any of the other boats doing anything either. I started to get worried about the storm’s impact on the stripers in the area.
The search continued with me making a move way back into the Great South Bay and found the fish right away. Not red hot action by any stretch but did manage 5 stripers in the teens before the sun came up and ended the action. One of the fish appeared to have suffered an attack in it’s younger days as he was missing a chunk out of his back. The wound was fully healed over and he appeared none the worse for it. All the stripers tonight were released back to enjoy their Halloweens.
Fun night on the water,