I guess summer is officially here, at least for the tourists. The town was mobbed this
weekend and it looks like Montauk needs a parking garage, at least on weekends.
Fishingwise, the striped bass fishing is very consistent, with most charter boats easily
catching their limits of 10-20 pound bass on half day trips, with occasional 30-40
pounders popping up. Theyíre being caught on umbrellas, parachutes and diamond jigs
when conditions warrant them. The biggest problem for the charters is the fog, which
weíve had here all week. Sometimes the bass are on top, but itís hard to find them when
the only sign is the noise the birds make. Also, itís a bit unnerving for the captains when
they have to worry as much about avoiding playing bumper boats as about catching the
Fluke fishing is good if not great. It would be great if the size limit was more reasonable
than it is. The fish have spread out more now and are in the rips and back in the bay in
addition to the south side. Each day you hear about the 8-10 pound fluke being caught,
but the vast majority are shorts. You can catch a limit of dinner fish, but you have to work
at it and cull through a lot of fish.
The seabass regs, were announced about two weeks ago, with an opening day of June 13.
I donít remember the exact day it was announced, but up until it was, the season was set
to open on May 22. One charter captain booked a group that wanted seabass a month or
so ago based on the old opening date. He didnít find out that it had changed until a casual
conversation he had while picking up some clams for bait. Except for that conversation
he could have been in deep doo-doo had the DEC come by when he got back to the dock.
A while ago I mentioned that Salivarís would not be opening this year. There was a time
that it along with Tumaís tackle shop next door was the heart of the Montauk charterboat
scene. Tumaís is gone for a number of years now, replaced by what is now Lennyís
restaurant, but it was still home to a number of well-established charterboats. Walk the
dock now though and youíll see five empty slips there. The times are changing.