It was a pretty crappy week, followed by a marginally decent weekend. But the weather
didn’t bother the stripers at all. In fact they seemed to like it as virtually all the charter
boats that sailed caught their limits of what we refer to as “nice tagging fish”. This refers
to the size restrictions on commercially caught striped bass. The maximum size we are
allowed to sell is 36” and since we are only allowed to sell a fixed number of fish each
year, ideally we would like them all to be between 35” and 36”, close to fifteen pounds.
The fish are in all the normal spots, with the Elbow and Pollock Rip getting the most
traffic, and are being caught mainly on the good old chartreuse parachute, with diamond
jigs also working well.
Fluke are another story all together. There are lots of them around, with most of the
activity still on the south side between the Lighthouse and Ditch Plains to the west. But
keepers are hard to come by and you can spend the whole day chasing them without
catching a limit. And, a lot of the fluke that are being caught and released are unlikely to
grow up even to sandwich size this year.
The DEC finally came up with the seabass regs. The season will run from June 13 to
October 1, go on vacation for a while and reopen again on November 1 until December
31. The minimum size will be 13” with a bag limit of 10 fish per angler, a big drop from
the previous bag limit of 25 fish. Overall I guess it is livable, although head boats will
probably be unhappy. Charter boats here in Montauk will probably be OK with it.