What’s with the wind? It has come out of the west and southwest every day for the past two weeks now. A southwest wind prevails this time of year, but not at 20-knots plus, and not with so much accent on the westerly component. The pattern has kept small-boat operators at bay, especially in the afternoon.
The recent passing of the bayman Wayne Vorpahl at the age of 49 caused this observer to mourn the loss to the community of people whose lives and livelihoods depended on an understanding of nature’s rhythms.
Wayne knew where the clams were and why. He knew where the bass were and why. Same with crabs and oysters and striped bass and any of the creatures we share this place with.
“Moooooooooooo,” was what Brian Ritter heard when he answered the phone at 4 in the morning one week ago. He recognized the voice, and he needed no translation. It was Mike Coppola telling him he’d caught a big cow, a female of the species Morone saxatilis, a striped bass.
Of course, the big news is the 44.7-pound striped bass that the surfcaster Ben McCarron caught on Saturday under the Montauk Lighthouse on a bucktail. The big bass puts McCarron in first place in the Montauk SurfMasters spring tournament, and the fish beat the competition in the weekend tournament held from Paulie’s Tackle Shop in Montauk.