This is a weird fall. If you are interested in catching lots of fish, now is the time to come out here. If you are interested
in catching some big striped bass that are typical this time of year, maybe not so much. The charter boats have been
catching a ratio of around ten bluefish for every striped bass for the past week or so. And, the bass are all small,
averaging around eight or nine pounds. Boats that make the trek over to Southwest Ledge, or other less notable spots
eastward, are catching the same ratio of blues to bass, but somewhat larger fish of both species. On Monday I went out
to try and use up the last of my commercial tags and we caught about seventy-five or so bass, with about twenty of them
too small for the 24Ē commercial limit. This was down the south side around Ditch Plains. All the charter boats kept
calling to see if we were catching any larger fish, since all they were catching were blues. The arrival of lots of small
bass quite often is a sign that the end is near, but itís hard to believe that could be the case this early in the month.
The commander of the Montauk Coast Guard Station, Chief Petty Officer Jim Weber, has been temporarily relieved of
his command after a picture of a 47í boat he was operating during one of this summers passing hurricanes appeared in
Newsday. The problem is that the chief had not been re-certified to operate that particular boat in surf conditions. It was
a pretty dramatic shot, but according to the photographer Thomas Coller, the foreshortening of the shot caused it to look
more dangerous than it was, and the boat was not actually in the surf but in swells further offshore. The chief is
considered very highly by the fishing community and has had an outpouring of support.
If you have always wanted to fish at Tropic Star Lodge in Panama but were never able to plan ahead the year in advance
that is usually required to book a winter trip there, now is the time to act. They have been coming up with occasional
cancellations, including one in mid January. If you are interested, give me a call, ASAP.