Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

(photo: 67-pound striper taken recently in montauk. Heading our way. Well, maybe not this one, per se ... )

Saturday, October 13, 2007: Waves: Small. Water clarity: Very good bordering on too clear. Water temps: 66.\

What a day. If I had a buck for every “you shoulda been here” story I got today I wouldn’t need a fundraiser. Mongo blues began early and persisted through much of morning. What’s a “mongo” blue – especially with the half dozen existing nicknames? Well, try three blues over 20 pounds!!!!!! You heard right. The blues were running right through the teens and into the 20s. It is unofficial but I believe a 22-pounder may have been weighed into the Classic. I know a 19-pounder is/was in the lead. We’re talking super-serious bluefish here.

Here’s just one email from among mongo finders. “Jay, Today will be forever known as the day of the choppers. Big blues were everywhere all day long. They started close to Holgate and moved further north and offshore as the day progressed. The most impressive thing were the dozens of big fish chasing the one you had hooked. The biggest one we boated weighed 17.25 lbs, but we had bigger ones on that we lost. We weren’t really geared up for that size gators. A real fun day after being off the water for almost a month. Frank”

Another email. This one from Joe Handley: “Had some massive bluefish on the beach here in Brant Beach this morning right before 10am. I was there at 8:30am and I missed them. My non-fishing neighbor came up and said guys were dragging massive fish off the beach. I ran up and talked with a plugger who had two blues. Went to call my buddy in BH to say, "They're coming at you", when I received his voicemail of a bluefish blitz in BH and he had a 17lb 9oz in the box. I ran down to Holyoke and met him. He caught and released another 12+lber. Headed to Holgate and saw nothing. Saw you on the way. Were you netting mullet, or chasing fish? Saw a bunch of mullet today, mostly smaller ones though. Pods of breaking fish all over from Holgate to BB about 100 yards out…”

And there were bass to boot. I hear a 32-pounder made it to the tourney. Again, I was getting stories at every turn and many were passed from one buggy to another but there’s often legit info mixed in there.

The odd – and typical – thing was the fact I spent the morning playing with my little nephews in Surf City and the folks on the beach there couldn’t buy a bite, even a junkfish. At that same instant, as I was to find out, all hell was breaking loose on many beaches. That’s what can happen on 21-mile island.

Very heavy boat fishing traffic off the South End, as folks also found the bigger fish in deeper water.

Will it carry on?

The bait is so thick it easily outnumbers the gamefish. Bunker of all sizes is all over the place near the beach – and also many miles out. The potential for insane collisions of bait and big fish is through the ceiling. The odds you’ll be right there when it happens is not quite as high. Just stay ready and alert.

I netted about 100 pounds of huge bunker at the entrance to Holgate. It was gathered in baitballs. The balls looked like dark balls in the water -- and zigged and zagged all over the place. I just waited for them top get close to the beach, then threw. Hauling those monsters in within a net deigned for finger mullet was a task. My net is now ruined. It has many holes too many.

The smaller blues are back near the inlet and along the frontbeach (less consistently). I was catching one after the other at the Rip but couldn’t stay long. Those cocktails were larger than the last month, maybe 3 pounds.

Those huge flocks of dark-colored birds flying in formation along the beach are the aforementioned double-crested cormorant.

Thanks for all the consoling words about my lost clammer rake. It’s a man thing.

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