Big holiday weekend, with lots of cars. Bumper to bumper traffic through the village. To make a left turn onto Montauk Highway, itís easier to turn right, then left and go around the block.
Inshore with the stripers, there are enough fish around in enough spots that you donít have to fight any crowds, and the size of the fish is improving. Pretty decent fishing throughout the week, but it got a little difficult over the weekend, with many charters not limiting out.
The fluke fishing has improved in both numbers and size of fish, and catching dinner is a lot easier now than it has been. You still have to work at it, but you will probably get what you want by the end of the day.
Seabass fishing is great, with very few of the dogfish problems that weíve had over the past couple of years, and porgy fishing couldnít be better, with some of the biggest kind around.
Offshore there are yellowfins out on the Edge, but most of them are still the dwarfs. But put in enough time and fish your way through them and the mushies, and you can probably luck across a couple of keepers.
Closer inside there are a lot of bluefins in a lot of places, but theyíre not that easy to catch. You will see them, along with the whales, porpoise and birds in the Butterfish Hole or over at the Tuna Bank, but seeing is a lot easier than catching. However, there are some being caught. A lot of the fish that you see look like hundred pound fish, but most of the ones being caught are closer to fifty pounds, although some of the bigger fish have been taken.
Shark fishing is just right, with enough bluesharks to guarantee some action, but not enough that they become a nuisance. Plus there are enough threshers and makos around to keep hope alive.
The MBCA is holding their annual shark tournament on Saturday and Sunday. For years it has been promoted as a charity tournament, but no more. Now the money goes the same place as in all the other tournaments.
Thereís always a little something interesting going on in Montauk. This week itís at the Star Island Yacht Club. The southern half of their parking lot, by the charterboats, actually belongs to the Montauk Yacht Club, and Friday they pointed that out by erecting a snow fence on the property line. Now there is just enough room to park behind the boats, but you have to leave a little extra space alongside your car. Otherwise you are not going to have enough room to back out of your spot without a lot of maneuvering.
The Turk is back. For years the cheapest gas in Montauk was at a rundown Empire gas station run by a Turk, whose name I forget. Last year it was shut down and for the last couple of months they have been rebuilding it. It just opened and regular gas is $3.99/gallon, and heíll pump it for you - at least for now. Thatís thirty cents less than any other stations in town and comparable to Riverhead prices.
Canada has loosened the restrictions on recreational giant tuna fishing (for years it was restricted to commercial fishing only), and I am arranging packages to Prince Edward Island for fish that average between 600 & 800 pounds. A package for three days fishing, four nights lodging for a party of two will cost around $4250 - $4850 for a party of two and $5150- $6350 for a party of four, depending on accommodations. Delta has a two and a half hour non-stop flight out of JFK for around $670.