Is this a ranking of CURRENTLY commonly available fish or the favs of all time? Anyway -
1/ Blackfish. Hands down the toughest to consistantly limit on. On the South Shore, the fight against the weather makes any late season trip special and to be enjoyed. Any fish over 10lbs is reason for celibration and a real difficult fish to successfully bring to the net. Its these fish that got me going on graphite rods, spectra lines, pin-point deep water wreck fishing, 10" CRT fishfinders, redundant electronic locating and catching of my own crab bait, which has its own subset of frustrations.
2/ Striped Bass - I agree about honey holes west of the Wantagh Bridges. Got a few of those myself and found yet another recently while deploying my green crab pots. Nothing like having a school in your chum slick, taking the bellies as fast as you can get the line out there. Very good fighter, but clearly not in the class of the bluefish. And throw in wire-lining along the beaches in the Fall, for pure shock value not much on the inshore scene can match the scream of one of my rods going off with a 40" fish going the other way. Plus the eel thing in the inlet, cool but spotty this past season. Not to mention absolutely the handsomest fish God ever created. It looks like what it is - the King.
3/ Fluke - another fun fish that are NOT all that easy to limit on as this past season's unrealistic and politically-motivated recreational limits proved. This is the fish that taught me about deep water light-tackle jigging, silver bullets and catching my own spearing and killies. Also, though they don't really fight all that great, what's more exciting than seeing an 8lb fish next to the boat, waiting for the net?
4/ Flounder - this was the standard go-to fish for our blown out Codfishing trips of decades past. What other fish could be counted on to provide consistant action up in the marshes with the wind blowing 30 kts? If I had had any idea of what was to come, NO WAY would the 5-gal pail per man catch-limit have applied for all those years. we are paying for our stupidity (And for the commercial's greed) to this day.
5/ Cod - Another fish that has seen its day come and go. And I doubt the current lack of fish has a thing to do with recreational fishing. What was better than cracking the inlet before dawn to run out to the F.I. fingers for a day of open bottom codfishing? Throw in the incidental whiting and ling catches and this was truely a fun specie, the fighting ability of which is definitely under- rated. A 30lb Cod is no pushover, on any type tackle. After the loss of the open bottom fishery, we switched over to the wreck thing and killed them for seasons on the F.I. 20 mile wrecks. Sadly now this is gone too.
I've been reduced to fishing them once or twice a year at Block or Cox's on an east-end buddy's boat - what a loss.
5/ Weakfish - though I spent no time on these fish these past few seasons, they are clearly amoung the prettiest and fiesty-est of the inshore species. Got a 14lb12oz fish 20 years ago on the old Wilhelric with Capt Artie (Anybody remember the original "Mad Dog"?) and that remains a record I doubt I will ever beat.
6/ Kingfish - a great summertime diversion from the often slow mid-season fluking, 20 fish per man per tide no problemo and great fighters on the ultra-light trout gear we used to use. Where the heck did these fish go? No commercial market that I'm aware of. This would have been the ideal fish to get my 10 year old into summer bay fishing. Another shame. And add blowfish to this category.
6/ Bluefish - Others crave them, I run from them. has to do with the mate-job I had during my college days. Must have filleted at least 10,000 of the things. No more please. No denying the pound-for-pound fighting ability though. If these thing grew to the size of school bluefin, just exactly what kind of gear would we use?
Don't know a thing about the offshore scene, I see others here much more qualified to discuss the various tunas and other deep-water killers, but for me the above species are "It."
This message was edited by Leprechaun on 12-11-01 @ 4:05 PM