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May 3, 2016 11:39 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Porgy Opener Delivers Success And Hope

May 3, 2016 12:01 PM

Not that it’s particularly early in the season to be seeing a cornucopia of species in our waters, but the warm winter has clearly shaken off the cobwebs plenty early this year.With the first sizable efforts at plying local waters this past Sunday, the opening of the porgy season, fishermen with baited hooks got a healthy sampling of the fish that have arrived in the bays already this year. Along with a much better haul of porgies, fluke in abundance, black sea bass, striped bass and weakfish all appear to have moved into their Hamptons summer homes already—while, thankfully, most humans have not.

The porgy bite in the Peconics was good right out of the gate this year, a contrast to last year when the big scup didn’t really show in numbers until mid-May. And the fact that anchored boats were catching a notable number of fluke on little clam strips is a good sign for the start of that season, just over a week away.

Stripers are also here in numbers and sizes we don’t often see this time of year. Fish up to 34 inches have been caught, a relative rarity, since fish that size are usually headed up the rivers to spawn. Perhaps there is a spawning population in the Peconic River?

The early season striper action has a dark side, too, since anglers in the New York Bight have been enjoying a red-hot bite and killing lots of large female fish on their way to the Hudson to spawn. There’s too much bragging and trophy taking and not enough contemplative conservation going on.

Maybe it would be better if striper fishing season in all Northeast states was held in abeyance until mid-May, like it used to be, to allow the spawning run to get up river before being set upon by the boats full of meat hunters.

The weakfish run, which seemed to have the potential to be decent with the landing of several good-sized fish last week, has petered out for the time being. A few fish here and there were taken this week. Another week and we should see the main body of what will be our local spawn this year in the bays; hopefully, it will be an up year for that severely over-taxed species.

White Water BBQ,
DU Pig Roast

White Water Outfitters will host its annual spring customer appreciation weekend at its Hampton Bays headquarters on May 14 and 15.

Live music, raffles, tackle give-aways and discounts, flyrod and surfcasting demonstrations, climb-aboard boats and a delicious barbecued feast courtesy of Paul Hodges and Willy Mata will be on tap all weekend long.

The great discounts and free stuff aside, the event is always a pretty fun gathering, as the White Water guys do their best to create a very festive atmosphere.

My other favorite event of the spring, the East Suffolk Chapter of Ducks Unlimited’s annual spring BBQ, is also coming up and this year it has a couple of cool new tweaks. First of all, the party will be a pig roast this year, which I’m particularly looking forward to. Second, it’s on a Friday! Friday, May 20, to be exact. This is another really fun gathering of local outdoorsmen put on by a dedicated fun-loving group of guys and gals from the local DU chapter.

Until then, catch ’em up. See you out there.

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