When we drove out to help a colleague of ours on the West End recently, his car was stuck in a deep icy rut at the bottom of his driveway. Clad in a light jacket and wearing no gloves, he was frantically trying to shovel his way down to the bottom of the tires with a small straight-handled snow shovel that might have passed for a child’s toy. (more…)
Two ice fishermen hard at work, drilling holes in the ice atop Great Pond in Southold. (Credit: Garret Meade)
In the year of the big freeze, Long Island’s East End presents myriad opportunities for a so-called third season, fishing what is known as “hard water.”
For those who venture out onto area ponds and small lakes, some basic tackle and a little common sense can produce excellent winter table fare and a way to get out of the doldrums. (more…)
Planning, like weather forecasting, is tricky business
From December through April, many of us enduring a dreary Paumanok winter seek vacation destinations and book their spots months in advance. Those who gamble on northeastern ski vacations are often in for surprises and disappointments. (more…)
Whenever we fish Long Island beaches in the fall and look at anglers fishing the suds, we always see one or more individuals slinging surface lures. In most cases, especially when there’s no “blitz” of diving birds and splashing bait, these folks would be better served casting tipped bucktails or tins. Yet they persist. Why? (more…)
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…)
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…)
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.
As a university instructor and professor, I’ve spent a lifetime teaching students the fine points of math, science and history. While teaching in schools can be challenging at times, it doesn’t compare with the teaching that guides and skippers do on a daily basis when sports step out of their cars or cabins to “go fishin.”