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.

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