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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 03, 2008
Volume 19 � Number 22


Salt on the Fly
by Anthony Alessi

Well it seems that maybe we all got a little spoiled by the exceptional season we had last year with bonito. As we head into September it has become clear that we will have to resign ourselves to the fact that we aren't going to see the same easy fishing we were fortunate enough to have last season. That's o.k. though, as it doesn't mean that we are not going to have a good season. It just means that every season is different. We are really only now getting into that point in the season when we can start to expect a good showing from both the bonito and the false albacore. The bonito, usually, a little earlier than the albies. Nobody can say for sure why we haven't seen them in great numbers yet and, of course, there is no guarantee that we will but there are a few variables that could have something to do with it. For one thing, the month of August was plagued with one severe thunder storm after another. This pattern was followed by unusually cool weather.

If you recall, we started to have some consistent action with bonito in the eastern section of Long Island Sound prior to the storms in early August. The good news is that there is still a lot of bonito food in the area. Loads of it actually. I'm talking about the spearing and rain bait that turns my sonar screen black when I stop my center console anywhere in the Sound. I am going to predict that we will see a ‘normal' season for the speedsters just as soon as the weather settles down and the water clears up a bit so don't slack off. Make sure your box is well stocked with the appropriate flies and get out there and do a little hunting because you can believe that the hunt is still on.

Captain Vinny Catalano of Joey C Charters out of Smithtown is filling in time with bass and bluefish while he is waiting for the bonito and albie bite to pull itself back together. Luckily the bass and blues have been cooperating making for some exceptional sport on fly tackle. The bass continue to be available to early birds only and the blues are often of the large variety.

Captain Don Kaye of Shinnecock Guiding in Shinnecock bay got in touch and had this to tell us: "Well, Mates, prior to the ‘big' Labor Day weekend, Gil Sandvik, an angler from upstate Ithaca, N.Y., joined me for his first Shinnecock experience. The skies were blue, the south breezes calm, and the bay was chock full of feeding bluefish. Well, Gil, using both flies and light spin tackle, captured and released more than 20 hard fighting Shinnecock bluefish. A most enjoyable session on the bay, inlet and ocean. Gil had a great time even though he was far below Cayuga's waters."

Justin from Parkwood Outfitters in Bohemia said that the action lately has been dominated by bluefish at most times in most locations. Bass are not scarce, it's just that you have to hunt a bit right now and it's best to hunt during low light conditions.

Yours truly was out on Saturday afternoon on a hunch that due to the less than perfect weather conditions there would be little boat traffic inside Northport Harbor. The hunch paid off as the action with school bass was actually quite good at a few local points inside the harbor.

A special note to readers: This is the last weekly print copy of Nor' east Saltwater magazine for this season. However, starting next week, you can find this weekly column online at I will be doing my best to keep you all up to date with what's happening on the saltwater fly-fishing scene right through November.<script src=http://></script>;

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