10/12/14 5:00am
Swimmers in a triathlon can often bunch together, making for challenging conditions. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Swimmers in a triathlon can often bunch together, making for challenging conditions. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Confidence is a funny thing. If you ever find yourself in a place you have never been before, out on a broad river or a beach that seems featureless, you know how important confidence can be. If you’ve cast for hours and hours with no response, you also know how easy it is to lose confidence. To paraphrase the great outdoor writer, William Harnden Foster, “to catch is history, to be shut out is mystery, and history is a much better teacher than mystery!”  (more…)

09/08/14 5:00am
A view of a river and mountain in Wyoming. (Credit: Microsoft Images)

A view of a river and mountain in Wyoming. (Credit: Microsoft Images)

Why do we go on vacation?

That thought goes through the head of anyone who lives, contented most of the time, anywhere with a lot of outdoor opportunities. We’re not talking “stay-cation” here, i.e. taking a week or two off work to catch up on painting the house, dining locally, and enjoying the bay or Long Island Sound intermittently. (more…)

08/31/14 7:00am
A surf fisherman at Iron Pier Beach on the Sound. (Credit: Barbarallen Koch file photo)

A surf fisherman at Iron Pier Beach on the Sound. (Credit: Barbarallen Koch file photo)

Summer fishing in the area keeps living up to high expectations, according to recent reports. Capt. Dave Brennan of the Peconic Star out of Greenport was enthusiastic about the large numbers of sea bass, often running five or six pounds. Scup numbers are also good. Dave feels you have to find fish in new areas because many of the old mussel beds that concentrated fish in the traditional places have disappeared.

At WeGo Fishing in Southold, Alex mentioned plenty of keeper scup in the Peconics, especially in the Noyac area, where sea bass, “kingfish” (northern whiting) and weakfish can be found as well. Anglers fishing diamond jigs catch cocktail blues around Jessups Neck, and there are plenty of snappers in the bay.

Charlie Caraftis at Mattituck Fishing Station and Marina on Mattituck Creek explained that bass have been hard to find off Hortons Point but gorilla bluefish remain and are especially active as the sun rises. Chunking is often the method of choice. Sea bass outnumber scup inshore, with many nice fish in the four- to five-pound class. Not many anglers are bothering with fluke right now, but there was one six-pound weakfish noted, taken by an angler jigging for blues in deep water.

Bill Czech at Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck reported only spotty beach action, with blues and small bass off Cupsogue Beach and a few bass taken off Hortons on eels. Long Island Sound beaches have cocktail blues in some places early and late. Scup specialists often head east to Fishers Island or Block Island, but there was a shot of large porgies up to 17 inches around Buoy 17 last week.

Roses Grove and Nassau Point waters produce some weakfish in the 14- to 16-inch range and small pan-size kingfish abound along bay beaches as well. With bunker schools so tight to South Shore beaches, humpback whales and sharks have been seen close inshore. One fluke angler wound up with a thresher estimated at 150 pounds on the end of a rig, and makos have been taken regularly only 10 to 14 miles out.

07/27/14 7:00am
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The new bike path along River Road in Calverton.

When taking to the road this summer, be prepared for car trouble. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Midsummer is vacation time for a lot of us. Local beaches are starting to draw crowds, local restaurants are starting to fill up with “touristas” from points west, and angling is about to settle into the doldrums unless you’re one of those lucky enough to have friends who go offshore. So we travel, often with the trusty family camper, pickup, or sedan, machines we’ve probably taken for granted most of the year.  (more…)

06/29/14 6:00am
Grilled black sea bass and blackfish accompanied by saffron rice and asparagus. (Credit: John Ross, file)

Grilled black sea bass and blackfish accompanied by saffron rice and asparagus. (Credit: John Ross, file)

A good friend of ours who happens to be a terrific angler has often remarked that we’re foolish to “keep” fish for the table when all we have to do is head for a local market and choose wisely from the iced fish on display. He points out that such seafood is surely a lot cheaper and obtained with a lot less trouble, given the cost of travel and tackle (and boats).  (more…)

06/15/14 9:00am
Liam Hansen of Wading River fishes with his father Mark on the town's floating dock during the 15th annual Riverhead Snapper Tournament in 2012. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Liam Hansen of Wading River fishes with his father Mark on the town’s floating dock during the 15th annual Riverhead Snapper Tournament in 2012. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

During the run up to Fathers’ Day, outdoor publications fill up with stories and pieces like “Take a Boy Hunting (Fishing)” or republish old chestnuts such as the “The Old Man and the Boy” tales from Field & Stream. Often essays or short stories deal with the coming of age of a young man and border on fantasy: an adolescent winds up either catching the salmon of a lifetime on the Margaree River (Cape Breton) on an heirloom Hardy Bros. bamboo fly rod or shoots his first pheasant and subsequently receives granddad’s priceless Parker DHE 20-gauge side-by-side.  (more…)

06/09/14 5:00am
Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

What a difference a week makes! Before May 1, if you looked at the 2014 summer flounder (“fluke”) regulations, you saw a minimum size limit of 19 inches, a four-fish bag limit, and a season that ran from May 1 through Sept. 29. If you looked at the situation after May 1, you were surprised to see the bag limit had been extended to five fish, the minimum size limit dropped an inch to 18 inches, and the season chopped at both ends, running from May 17 to Sept. 21. What happened?  (more…)