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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 20, 2006
Volume 17 � Number 25


Shinnecock Inlet
by Michael Wright

Week of Sept. 11 through Sept. 17

With the future of fluke fishing the hot topic of conversation this week, fishermen all over Shinnecock focused their efforts on the species of fish that they may have to rely on exclusively next season. If they do, thing aren't completely hopeless since just about every other species of fish was biting their little (or sometimes big) heads off.

Stripers have filled the niche for most of the local boats that had been targeting the hordes of fluke (try telling a Shinnecock fisherman in the last two months that fluke stocks are down) in and outside the inlet, including a 57-pound slob taken on a live bait in the Peconics.

Porgies are also posting a second strong showing, with big sizes and big numbers coming out of some of the standard hotspots in Great Peconic and off the sides of the Shinnecock Canal as they start their migration out of the bays.

Snappers are just all over the place and their much bigger cousins are destroying topwater plugs in the Peconics and along the ocean beaches on a daily basis.

Offshore fishing (which is directly tied to the snapper and bluefish bite, as I'll explain later) has been steady, with a little bit of night bite finally starting to turn on down in the Hudson Canyon-snappers are the live bait of choice-along with some big mahi mahi. In the deeps, there have been some monster marlin seen and big schools of longfin albacore.

No sign in the last several days of the body of giant bluefin that had set up in the Mud Hole last week, producing the first giant brought into Shinnecock in three years. The fish should be moving west though, probably behind the draggers that are working sea scallops and squid 15 to 20 miles off the beach. There was at least one 1,000-plus-pounder taken last week and a two 800-pounders, so there could be some big fish going by right now. Most of the fish caught last week were taken on live bluefish, which are certainly feeding in large numbers on the same stuff the bluefin are on.

The trolling bite quieted down in the Dip and Fish Tails last week after the big storm over Labor Day Weekend but things ramped up again early this week. Green water has moved into the edge but the yellowfin seem to have stuck around just the same, though most of the albies have moved out to the deeps with the blue water. Some of the boats from Oakland's Restaurant and Marina out by the Shinnecock Inlet hit the Dip on Sunday and Monday and found yellowfin in the 40 to 60-pound class on the troll. Oakland's own charter boat the Reel Action did an overnight charter to the Hudson Canyon and brought home eight yellowfin up to 60 pounds, all caught on the night chunk, despite windy conditions that made fishing difficult at night.

The boats that ventured out past the edge and into the deeps to find the blue water again, found large numbers of albacore and some big blue marlin. A few local boats had double-digit catches of longfin and at least one reported a released marlin that topped 1,000 pounds.

Back inshore, Desi Menendez got in the last chance addition to the Willy Wall at Molnar's Landing on Tuesday afternoon, hanging an 8-pound, 2-ounce fluke that he caught in the bay. It was one of the busiest years ever for Lanny Molnar's Big Willy Wall, which honors fluke over 7 pounds and striped bass over 40 pounds. Lanny himself got in a little last day fluking too, taking Gary Z out to Rampasture for the afternoon and putting a half dozen flatties up to 5 pounds in the box. The rest of the week has been dedicated to stripers. Mary Kerch and Jackie Marie were out on the Four G's on Wednesday and put two keeper stripers in the box fishing clam bellies near the Ponquogue Bridge.

According to Steve at East End Bait and Tackle, the boats drifting live eels in the inlet at night are finding a good bite of stripers up to 30 pounds on most days. The boys on the rocks are taking a few fish too on bucktails on the incoming tide.

Kenny Morse at Tight Lin<script src=http://></script>;

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