Fishing for Striped Bass in Montauk, New York on August 17, 2016

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Ten-year old Robert Kosar with a 40-inch striped bass. Photo credit: Kevin R. Kosar

Doh! I meant to post this entry long ago. Oh, well, better late than never.

What. A. Fishing. Trip.

We left Montauk on a charter boat at about 7am. I made the bad mistake of staying up late the night before, consuming bourbons aplenty, and then eating greasy bacon while on the pitching boat. I had never been seasick previously, or ever had any sort of motion sickness. Live and learn.

Nonetheless, the sun shined and the huge (16-inch?) fake eel lures we used scored one striper after another, along with a few bluefish, out past the famed Montauk Lighthouse. (See the video at the bottom of this post of one of our fish being brought in.)

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Note the red and yellow artificial eel lures. Photo credit: Kevin R. Kosar.

The fishing style was simple: The mate would let out 100 foot or more line while the boat trolled. Then he handed it to you, who sits in one of the two seats (see photograph below). You do not allow more line to go out, and you sit with the rod across your lap and a firm grip. Keep your hands apart, with one over and one under—like you are holding a hockeystick. Then WHAM! the rod yanks and you then have to reel in the stainless steel line smoothly while distributing it across the whole of the reel (otherwise it can bird nest). My arms felt like jelly after our 3.5 hours out there.

Captain Richard Etzel and his mate were great. Charters can be scheduled by calling 631-668-2914. The website is http://www.breakawaysportfishing.com/. If I make it to Long Island this year, you can be sure I’ll get on this boat again.

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Captain Richard Etzel’s Breakaway. Photo credit: Kevin R. Kosar.

Fishing for Snapper (Baby Bluefish) in East Hampton, New York on August 16, 18, and 19, 2016

Fishing for snapper at Louse Point in East Hampton was a blast. It is a tiny spit of land—the road literally ends there. A parking permit from East Hampton is required to park there (there is room for maybe 8 cars), but early in the mornings the city didn;t seem to be patrolling the area.

Every day we caught fish—the hot time was between 8am and 9am. It didn’t matter if it was cloudy and lightly drizzling or sunny. Our first day we got maybe 5 fish in 2 hours; the other days we had 12 and 20 fish in 3 hours.

Thanks to the Tackle Shop (575 Montauk Hwy, Amagansett, NY 11930), we had exactly what we needed to succeed. We took our lightweight 5.6 spincast Zebco and other light rods (with 4 to 10 pound monofilament) and added conic, styrofoam, bobbered rigs with long-shanked small hooks and frozen 3-inch Regal Minnows. There was about 24 inches between the hook and bead/bobber.

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We would cast from 20 to 50 feet out, and pretty quickly snapper would hammer the minnows. Rigging the hook through the eye and into the back of the minnow worked best—snapper tore at the bait crazily, often ripping half off without touching the hook.

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We swapped on GULP! small minnows, which are made of a rubbery material, and those also got attacked and held up great. When the fish got a bit less excited for eats, slow drawing the bait in elicited strikes. Nearly all the snapper were between 5 and 11 inches, but we also pulled in a Porgy (see below) and a tiny sea robin, which nabbed the bait off the bottom when the rig floated close to shore.

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Striper and Skate Fishing In Royal Oak, Maryland, June 28 to July 4

We stayed at a house in the woods which had a dock leading into serene bit of water off the bay. It was below Deep Neck Road and where we fished fed into Irish Creek.

The effort to bottom fish striped bass using young soft-shell crab (supplied by our babysitter) was mostly futile—we got only one small one.

Small striped bass

Little white perch hung around the dock and could be taken on bobbered tiny hooks and worm or crab. The crazy catch was a few skate—they hit hard (once snapping a line) and were 24- to 30-inches across or so. I netted them to control their whippy tails, but regretted that the tails tore the net a bit and also led to the line being tangled. (But that beats getting lashed with the tail.) Getting the hook out was a challenge—I basically had to wait until they were stilled/oxygen-starved and pin the tail under the net and a heavy oar.

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Fishing for Stripers In Montauk, New York, August 18, 2014

Striped Bass Bluefish Rig 1 Striped Bass Bluefish Rig 2We caught a Viking boat (65 feet, 200 tons) at 6pm, and got off the boat at midnight. It was about 1.25 hour trip out to the Block Island area. The previous night between 12-6am, the boat fished this same area and had 2.5 quiet hours and then 1.5 hours of many fish. The trip cost $85 per person plus $5 to rent a rod. We fished with live eels that we hooked through the lower and upper lips.

Our rods were 6 feet or so in length and very thick. The rig was a big hook on the end of the line, and a three-leaf clover shaped swivel with a line tied to a fat sinker (#12). The line was incredibly thick monofilament. The aim was to sink the line to the bottom and have the eel swim a couple feet above.

In short, it was a “scratch and claw night” as the captains put it—and very disappointing. Two stripers were caught (one more than 40 inches), along with two bluefish (including a 30+ incher by yours truly) during 4 hours of fishing.

Bluefish

Bluefish

Croaker, Spot, and White Perch in the Chesapeake, July 9, 2014

Croaker Spot White Perch Bottom Rig

To catch these fish we bottom fished on the Chesapeake in water that was 18 to 30 feet.

Rigging had a 2 ounce sinker at the end (to help keep it at the bottom in the firm current.) About 12 inches above it, was a rig with a floater, a bead to hold it in place, and a hook (~Crappie-sized) on which we put bloodworm (very good) or fake bloodworm (good). About 16 inches up from the first hook was the same floater-bead-hook and bait rig. These rigs were bought pre-made.

We caught Croaker, Spot, and White Perch. All fish were between 5” and 13”. The best fishing was at 20 feet or so; out at 30 feet we caught a big Croaker or two, but little else.  As always, finding a place where we could sink the line quickly and feel the bottom then tense the line was critical to detecting nibbles.

We fished these rigs on monofilament (6-8 pounds) seeing as each fish caught was less than 1 pound in weight.

Spot

Spot

Croaker

Croaker