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Dec 6, 2016 11:12 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Tiny Stripers Linger, Big Black Sea Bass Abound

Mike DeVito of Bridgehampton with a nice codfish caught aboard the Shinnecock Star last week off Hampton Bays. Deena Lippman/Shinnecock Star
Dec 6, 2016 11:12 AM

The last of the striped bass have not completely left our area. Hopeless fishing addicts can still have some fun on very light tackle with the numerous tiny stripers lingering in the surf. No word of any dawdling bigger fish, though not a lot of guys are keeping them honest, either.

Black sea bass, porgies and a few cod are the best bets for finding fish that pull back, and are what most of the local party boats are focusing on. Black sea bass season closes at the end of this month so get it in while you can. Codfishing hasn't been good enough for most of the boats to put in the effort the last couple years so other than the Viking don't expect there to be a lot of opportunity in the new year.

There's also one week left in the blackfish season and there are still plenty of fish on the nearshore pieces. Montauk charter boats like the Blue Fin IV are doing mixed bag blackfish and sea bass trips that gives you a good shot at a limit of both popular rock-dwelling species (which would be several huge bags of fillets) with a couple codfish, ling or porgies mixed in for good measure.

I hear from the commercial docks that the bluefin tuna are set up good in the east elbow of the Hudson Canyon. Alas, since the bluefin fishery is closed for the first time in years, there are no hook and line boats there to take advantage, or see if there's any bigeyes mixed in with them. Supposedly NOAA is going to increase the quota next year to keep up with the exploding "recreational" demand for the fish.

Whatever you're fishing for, catch 'em up. See you out there.

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