Marauding hordes of bluefish moved into Block Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay in recent days. The invasion quickly got a strong showing of squid heading for the marine equivalent of the hills with the blues nibbling at their heels.
As a result, early surfcasters who are finding the bluefish in all the usual spring haunts will have noticed the squids’ sweet influence upon their flavor. Squid-fed bluefish are very tasty.
Trap fishermen, and fishermen who plan to use squid bait as the season progresses, loaded up on squid at the end of last week, but the glut lasted only three days. Bluefish moved into Fort Pond Bay in Montauk on Friday. Kathy Kronuch of Johnny’s Tackle shop in Montauk said there could still be some die-hards left, and recommended that squid fishermen not put away their jigs and lanterns just yet.
The inky cephalopods did not show up for a few jiggers with calamari on their minds Monday night. Lights aimed at the dark surface of Fort Pond Bay to attract them instead produced a galaxy of krill, swarms of pink shrimp the size of your average garden grub.
Jiggers jigged lighted jigs, jigs stacked three high on the terminal end of their fishing lines. They jigged fast, and jigged slow. They cast magic spells on their jigs, and with a half moon half-hidden behind the clouds and the smoke from Michael Grande’s fine cigar enriching a warm breeze, they talked bonanza squid hauls gone by, one in a rainstorm that caused the teller to fish on with “wet underwear,” a statement met with silence.
Surfcasters report bluefish blitzing the north side of Montauk Point. On the ocean side, Steve (the Perv) Kramer reported catching 13 small stripers on Friday morning, five the next morning at Ditch Plain, a few larger than “rat” size. Bass were also being caught at the Georgica jetties in East Hampton.
Applications must be in by 7 p.m. today for surfcasters wishing to enter the Montauk SurfMaster’s Spring Shootout. The tourney begins tomorrow at one minute after midnight, May 13.
Last year’s contestants have already gotten their applications via fax or e-mail. First-time contestants can obtain applications by calling Fred Kalkstein, a k a the Eel, at 907-0610. The entry fee is $105 for the six-week contest. The first surfcaster to weigh in a striped bass over 25 pounds will win a $100 cash prize. There are no divisions in the shootout. It’s every man and woman for him or herself.
As for fluke, the Lazy Bones party boat reported “a lot of action,” plenty of smaller fluke, but with eight-pounders mixed in. The Bones has been fishing the south side of Montauk mostly in 60 feet of water, a few anglers using glo-squid lures. Kathy Vegessi, Capt. Mike Vegessi’s shoreside support, predicted the fishing would soon “break wide open.” On the Bones’ Friday afternoon trip, an angler reeled up a 101/2-pounder, and Becky, daughter and Bones mate, caught an 81/2-pound fluke.
“On Sunday, two guys caught eight-pounders at the same time, and they were fat,” Vegessi said.
Bill Becker of Becker Home Center in Montauk drove to Vermont over the weekend. While crossing on the ferry from Shelter Island to Greenport he noticed large fluke being caught from boats within spitting distance of the Greenport docks.
Light-tackle and fly fishermen should be stretching their long-dormant casting arms with small stripers and bluefish at Sammy’s Beach in East Hampton, as well as just about any inlet they can find.