This may have been the final straw that gets a lot of New York’s recreational anglers to start treating the fishery regs the
same as 55 mph on the LIE. The feds closed seabass in their waters starting today for six months. Most states, including
New York have decided not to go along with them, although they did close the commercial fishing. This means that you
will no longer be able to fish for seabass outside of Frisbies to the south, east of the west end of the main Midway Rip,
roughly 14639, or at North Grounds or Pocketbook to the north. Most of the seabass grounds of Block Island are OK,
except for parts of Southwest Ledge. But, here is the kicker. Party and charterboats are required to have federal permits
to fish in federal waters (private boats don’t need them, nor do they want them), and by having those permits, they need
to abide by the federal regulations, even in state waters. That is going to put a huge hole in the pocket of a lot of guys
trying to make a living as the season dies down.
Apparently the saltwater license reciprocity has a caveat as applied to New York and Connecticut. It only applies in
common waters, namely Long Island Sound. That means that any Connecticut boat that comes over to the Montauk area
to fish will need to have everyone onboard with a non-resident New York license.
I think everyone will agree that this summer the weather was lousy. However, what has been just as bad or worse is that
the weather forecasts have been especially crappy as well, often predicting winds that never get here causing fishing
trips to be canceled unnecessarily. This became more evident to me on Saturday night, which happened to be the full
moon. A weekend in October with a full moon, but with a forecast of 15-20 plus gusts. The Point should have been
swarming with boats, but there was only the Viking and four boats, us included, all out commercially fishing.
As far as the fishing is concerned, the bass fishing couldn’t be much better, with plenty of fish and some very nice ones,
like the 58 pounder that Frank Schultz caught on the HERLS GIRL. They are being caught trolling with the ‘chutes or
on live eels, with some bluefish around but not enough to be a big problem.
The head boats are still catching some fluke, but a lot more seabass are being caught, which starting tomorrow will be
off limits. And, the porgie season closes next week.