Leaves are falling to the ground, there is a bite to the early morning air, the sky is dark before quitting time, and now there’s snow on the roof of my car. At least for me, the 2016 fishing season is over.
I asked my son, Jon, if he wanted to go fishing with me. He demurred, claiming he had homework to do. Sure. I asked my daughter, Rebecca, if she wanted to go fishing with me. She replied, “Me on a boat? Unless I see a dead body it’s not interesting.” Someone has been watching way too much “Law and Order.” I beckoned my dogs Comet and Teddy to go fishing with me. They bolted out the back door. Clearly they are more doodle than Labra. So I grabbed a couple of spinning rods and headed over to my boat, solo.
My plan was to take advantage of the warm day with light southwest winds and head toward Montauk Point, where striped bass were attacking bait on the surface, according to reports. I had been looking forward to a day of casting at bass blitzes for weeks if not months. But an unexpected late start forced me to reconsider the value of making the 16-mile trip from my dock in Three Mile Harbor.
Striped bass and bluefish soon will begin their migration south and, we hope, come within surfcasting range. Fishermen hoping to bend a rod and others eager to observe the spectacle of birds diving, fish crashing bait, and rows of anglers launching lures into the surf will slowly roll their cars off the hard pavement into the soft sand.
While most East End fishermen wisely retreat to the comfort of home during a period of fierce northeast wind and rain, others pull on their waders, grab a stout surfcasting rod, and head toward the Point in search of big striped bass.
A great number of striped bass over 40 pounds have been caught locally so far this season. Among these cow bass are several that weighed over 50 pounds, which for many serious anglers is the dividing line between a large and true trophy fish.
The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, located 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod, became the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean through designation by President Obama under the 1906 Antiquities Act.