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May 17, 2016 9:25 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Chill In The Air But Hot Fishing All The Same

Gus Segarra, pictured, and his dad Pedor landed this 40-inch striped bass last week. Pedro Segarra
May 24, 2016 11:02 AM

The downside to the wonderfully warm winter the El Nino brought us is that the weather pattern has also made May feel a lot more like April, or October thus far.The other side of that chilly coin is that the fish haven’t seemed to mind at all. Despite very slowly warming waters, the fishing has been outstanding pretty much wherever you look, and as the first reports trickled in from fluke grounds on Tuesday morning it’s looking like a good start there too.

The westerly gale that blew on Monday will probably put a damper on the prospects of the ocean fluke bite on opening day, but the bay runs sound like they cleaned up pretty quickly overnight and the bite was decent. No word on any jumbos from the Greenport drift yet, but one is sure to be there.

Some big stripers, well into the 30-pound class, have been caught from local shores already, and schoolie-sized fish are in residence at just about every bay and ocean stretch. This is the time of year when surfcasters actually might have an upper hand over boat fishermen, though the wire-line gang around Shelter Island have been doing just fine.

Porgy fishing has continued to be a steady prospect—perhaps not the full-tilt bail job of some years but red hot fishing for jumbo specimens in just about anyone’s book. John Capuano, captain of the Shinnecock Star, dropped a line during a recent trip and came up with a 3.75-pounder that even wowed the crowd of seasoned porgy pullers lining the head boat’s rails.

Monster bluefish also started making their way into the bays this week, pretty much right on schedule, so get those smokers warmed up. The big choppers are carpeting the eastern reaches of Gardiners Bay and the Great Bonac Bluefish Blitz is in full swing. I would expect the big choppers to find their way into Shelter Island Sound just in time to destroy some fluke rigs this weekend.

Fishermen who were watching their OCEARCH shark tracker apps and saw Mary Lee, the 2-ton white shark the app follows, lurking off Moriches over the weekend had their mako appetites whetted. At least one shark fisherman off Jersey got a whopping surprise when a 110-inch bluefin ate a shark bait and clocked in at a respectable 700-plus pounds back at the dock. So the offshore season is officially under way now as well, a nice early start to things, when the wind allows.

Don’t forget about the Ducks Unlimited Pig Roast in Water Mill this coming Friday evening. Tickets at the door are $50 for all you can eat and drink and lots of raffle prizes to be won.

See you there. Catch ’em up.

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