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Oct 22, 2019 10:23 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Stripers Surrounding South Fork

Oct 22, 2019 5:59 PM



Storm-tossed seas have continued to plague fishing efforts, but in between the heaves the fish are on the feed and on the move.

After the bomb nor’easters from last week finally cleared, striped bass of all sizes showed themselves to be on the move off the South Fork. The ocean off Bridgehampton and Quogue instantly came alive with striped bass feeding on all sorts of different bait species.

Bunker continue to carpet the coastline from Moriches to Amagansett. There are big bass feeding on them, but they are scattered, and with so many bunker around it takes a lot of looking, or a lot of luck, to find the ones that bass are lurking beneath.

Schoolie-sized bass are everywhere. The surf zone has solid numbers of them feeding both day and night on sandeels and other minnow species, and occasionally on a peanut bunker. Big blitzes washed ashore on the sand beaches last week and churned in the ocean between Shinnecock and Moriches inlets, whenever the seas were calm enough to reveal them.

Montauk still has some large stripers lingering in the rips, and the charter boats were carving off big fillets over the weekend (and dropping many meals’ worth of heads and collars into garbage cans, wasted for crab bait).

There are still tons of fish back in the bays, also. The waters off the North Fork and Gardiners Island are still loaded with schoolie stripers and false albacore that followed bay anchovies seeking shelter from the series of storms the last few weeks. The albies have been a little unsettled and hard to catch, but the bass and some bluefish have been churning themselves into a frenzy on the daily. These fish are a gem for anglers, because they will likely not be unsettled until temperatures drop significantly.

Blackfish season got into full swing this week, and although there were only a few calm days for boats to venture out to the rocky spots, anglers seem to be putting together good catches of togs.

This is also the time of year to get out to a reef and stock up on black sea bass for the winter freezer. I would recommend keeping your BSB whole, because there is a lot of meat lost in the cape of black sea bass, because of their large heads and rib cages, that grilling them whole reveals.

Southampton DU Dinner 
Tables Available



The Eastern Suffolk Ducks Unlimited annual dinner will take place on December 6 this year, once again at 230 Elm in Southampton Village.

This event is sold out every year, so table captains will want to get on their horses early if they want to secure a table for their friends and family — and their entry into the captains-only raffle drawing.

Sponsor-level entries this year will receive “Head of the Creek,” a painting (greenwing teal) by Michael Byrne.

You can get your tickets to the event at Ducksystem.com or by calling Mandy Sachtlaben at 631-926-2533.

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