06/28/14 10:00am
06/28/2014 10:00 AM
Those interested in learning more about saltwater fishing will get a chance this summer. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Those interested in learning more about saltwater fishing will get a chance this summer. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A free saltwater fishing clinic is coming to Riverhead this summer.

The clinic will be held at Ammermann Riverfront Park Aug. 18, a collaborative effort from the Department of Environmental Conservation’s I FISH NY program and the Riverhead Town Recreation Department.  (more…)

06/09/14 5:00am
06/09/2014 5:00 AM
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…)

05/25/14 9:00am
05/25/2014 9:00 AM
A tackle box. (Credit: Flickr/Viewoftheworld)

A tackle box. (Credit: Flickr/Viewoftheworld)

A few weeks ago we got a call from an editor to write a piece on scup, our favorite saltwater panfish, maybe our favorite fish, period. But the angle our friend wanted was not the typical one, e.g. porgies in the spring, porgies in the Peconics, etc. No, this was to be all about porgies on ultralight tackle.

What is really meant by “ultralight” tackle? What, in fact, distinguishes “ultralight” tackle from “light” tackle or “heavy” tackle, for that matter?  (more…)

05/12/14 6:00pm
05/12/2014 6:00 PM
MELANIE DROZD PHOTO | A striped bass pulled from Peconic Bay last summer.

MELANIE DROZD PHOTO | A striped bass pulled from Peconic Bay last summer.

Get your rods out: the Flanders Men’s Club is hosting its second annual fishing tournament this weekend.

The Weakfish, Bluefish and Fluke Tournament and Striped Bass Calcutta kicks off on Friday at 5 p.m., running through Sunday at 1 p.m. Up for grabs are prizes such as fishing poles and cash prizes for adults, and trophies for kids.

Mark Hodun, one of the event organizers, said that entries are accepted right until the 5 p.m. start at the end of the week, and last year’s tournament brought out about 35 fishermen.

Entry fees are $25 per adult and $10 for kids, and includes a barbecue awards dinner on Sunday afternoon, when the winners will be announced. The official weigh in station is at the Flanders Men’s Club.

Entry Forms are available at Warren’s Bait & Tackle in Aquebogue, Edwards Sports in Riverhead, White Water Outfitters in Hampton Bays, Haskell’s Bait & Tackle in East Quogue, and East End Bait & Tackle in Hampton Bays.

For additional information contact the Flanders Men’s Club at 631 727 9746 or Mark Hodun, 631 813 0279 or Bob Glinski, 631 728 5761.

02/05/14 2:00pm
02/05/2014 2:00 PM
A 'fisherman' at Kenny's Beach in Southold last week.(Stanley Siejka courtesy photo)

A ‘fisherman’ at Kenny’s Beach in Southold last week.(Stanley Siejka courtesy photo)

New York anglers can now enjoy the same fluke size and bag limits as neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut, leveling the playing field when it comes to catching one of region’s most popular fish — summer flounder, commonly known as fluke. (more…)

08/24/13 8:00am
08/24/2013 8:00 AM

FILE PHOTO | For years, anglers turned to Newsday columnist Nick Karas for reports on the outdoors.

To the editor:

I don’t know where to start when discussing Capt. Nick Karas’ impact on fishermen like me.

I read his columns continuously throughout his career at Newsday. I missed very few. He always put me right there as if I were his shadow.

The first time we met was at Salivar’s in Montauk during an evening before a cod trip in the very early ’70s. A few years later, despite our initial conversations, I felt strangely intimidated when I called him to ask if he would accompany a large group of fourth-graders on a school boating and fishing field trip I had planned. Naturally, he followed his guest appearance with a wonderful and accurate column on our adventures at sea.

Thank you again, Nick. After that, I would see Nick regularly at the winter outdoor shows or on the Orient or Montauk docks. I was always greeted with a friendly smile and an enthusiastic hello. He frequently spoke of the refurbished center console that he now took charters from. A few years ago, he joined my dinner guests, consisting mostly of fishing addicts, as a guest speaker at a local restaurant. He did a fine job of outlining and discussing sight-casting on the flats for large and small stripers.

Nick Karas wrote so much about the outdoors, his writing credits are way too many to list. They were all terrific works.

What stands out the most to me is “The Complete Book of Striped Bass Fishing.” It is considered by many to be the bible for linesider anglers. Nick’s attention to detail is overwhelming. The book is a must-read for every bass angler, including the best of the pros.

Sadly, Nick Karas will be missed by many, including this angler.

RIP, Capt. Nick.

Capt. Jerry McGrath, Wading River

Mr. McGrath is a licensed charter boat captain and the owner of Sportfishing Adventures in Calverton. He’s a retired Shoreham-Wading River schoolteacher.

07/26/13 5:00pm
07/26/2013 5:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Jamesport Bait & Tackle owner Bill Czech holds one of the few sandworms he can offer to fishermen.

Looking forward to a day of fishing, Spiro Beletsis of East Marion visited his local bait and tackle shop to pick up a few dozen worms.

After leaving empty-handed, he moved on to two other area bait shops.

“All three of them didn’t have worms,” Mr. Beletsis said.

There has been a shortage of worms since the July 4 weekend, North Fork bait shop owner say, leaving fishermen, particularly surfcasters, without the bait they prefer.

When hooked, the slimy creature known as the sandworm gives off a juicy brew that finfish — like porgies and striped bass — cannot resist, said Glen Valentine of Regal Marine Products, a bait distributor that supplies some local shops.

“It hurts business because some people don’t how to fish with anything else,” said Bill Czech of Jamesport Bait and Tackle in Mattituck.

“I can order 14 boxes, and I get delivered three boxes” of about 125 worms each, he said. “I usually put a two dozen maximum [limit on sales per customer].”

WeGo Bait and Tackle in Southold hasn’t had sandworms in stock for over a week, said Steven, the shop’s owner. He said he sent close to 100 customers away worm-less in recent days.

Capt. Dave Brennan, owner of the Peconic Star fleet in Greenport, said the shortage has had an effect on fishing.

While he said he usually relies on other types of bait for porgy and striped bass fishing “sometimes they are very critical to put a catch together. You need worms, and that’s the time I miss them. I am not able to carry them this year,” he said.

Sandworms are harvested from the shores of Maine and distributed nationwide, Mr. Valentine said.

He said his distribution company, which works out of Huntington Station, is receiving only about 15 percent of what is demanded by area bait shops.

In Maine there are a lot of mud flats where the worms burrow into the sand. When tides go out the flats are exposed, giving more of an opportunity to gather worms, he said.

“Right now the tides are not great,” he said, adding that the hot temperatures send worms deeper in the ground.

He said summer weather and tides are only partly to blame, though, as the worms have been overharvested for years.

“It’s getting worse every year because they are over-dug,” Mr. Valentine said. “There is very little conservation in Maine.”

To get any kind of quantity, harvesters are digging them kind of small, at about 2 to 5 inches. “Years ago they were much bigger, [about 7 to 8 inches] you don’t see them that size anymore,” he said.

“The public needs to understand that it is a problem. It’s going to get worse and worse every year,” Mr. Valentine said.

Until more worms can be unearthed, there are alternatives fisherman can use as bait, shop owners said.

“You can improvise and use clam or squid,” Mr. Czech said. “But for some reason the worms work better.”

cmiller@timesreview.com