The Montauk SurfMasters fall tournament will come to an end at noon on Sunday. What promised to be an exciting finale, with plenty of big striped bass for the final weeks of the hard-fought contest, was curtailed by Hurricane Sandy. The big storm with her fierce easterly winds looks to have speeded migrating bass in the direction of their winter haunts and away form Montauk’s casters.
Mike Martinson and Mike Doall saw the storm coming a week out and knew the potential damage Hurricane Sandy could do to their Montauk Shellfish Company, and the million or so oysters that were growing in cages in Lake Montauk.
“We . . . started sinking stuff to the bottom,” Mr. Martinson said on Monday. By “stuff” he was referring to the contents of a portion of the 3,000 or so plastic cages that were strung near the surface on longlines on the east side of Lake Montauk just south of the Gone Fishing Marina.
Three issues important to the East Hampton Town Trustees were brought to the fore by Hurricane Sandy — shellfish, sand, and public beaches.
During a quickly scheduled meeting on Saturday, five days after the storm roared through, the trustee board voted to postpone the opening of scallop season in town waters until Nov. 19. The postponement follows the opening delay in state waters until Nov. 13 for fear of contamination of scallop habitat due to storm runoff and overwhelmed septic systems.
A crew from the Montauk Coast Guard Station plucked a man from his smoldering boat Tuesday night, minutes before it was engulfed in flames. The 44-foot sportfishing boat, Island Girl, sank.
Its captain, whose name has not been released, received first aid and was taken to Southampton Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Capt. Fritz Hubner of Montauk said that before superstorm Sandy arrived he hauled the Captain Jay, the fishing boat he’s been running for the past 14 years. Experience has proved the better-safe-than-sorry adage many times over, he said in a recent interview.
The veteran charter captain who recently turned 80 said he had planned to hang it up 14 years ago, but a private boat owner liked his fishing experience and offered him the helm of his 43-foot Viking, the Captain Jay; he has been skippering ever since.