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May 6, 2019 12:18 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Porgies, Fluke And Keeper Stripers

May 6, 2019 12:18 PM

The weather wasn’t exactly beautiful for the first few days of the porgy and fluke seasons last week and over the weekend, but those intrepid anglers who ventured out found plenty of big specimens eager to gobble up their squid and clams. The early start to the seasons this year didn’t seem to have kept things from getting off to a running start, with big fluke and big porgies hitting the ice almost as soon as the first baits dropped.

The porgy bite in the Peconics seems to have been fairly decent, with a few of the jumbo panfish that we have come to rely on as the staple of our early spring fishery already in residence. As usual, that fishery is focused mostly in Little Peconic Bay, near Jessups Neck, and anchoring up with a chum pot is probably the way to go.

Porgy rules this year are 9 inches minimum size and a bag limit of 30 per person.

Fluke fishermen were not disappointed, either. Shelter Island Sound and the waters off Montauk both produced a decent pick of fluke—and even a limit or two for some of the sharpies—for such an early start to the season in cold waters. The Green Lawns fleet had a fair number of 4- to 6-pounders mixed in, and the Hampton Lady party boat put the first doormat of the season, a 9.5-pounder, on the deck right out of the gate.

Other than the earlier season, fluke regulations this year are the same as last year: four fish per person, per day, with a minimum size of 19 inches.

The weather early in the week was set to be much nicer, so the lucky ducks who didn’t have to go to work on Monday and Tuesday probably put in a good effort on the water. Fishing is always good on Mondays.

If you are looking for a ride to the fluke grounds, the Hampton Lady and Shinnecock Star will both be running full-day trips to the Peconics daily for a mixed bag of porgy and fluke. Out in Montauk, the Lazy Bones and Viking Fleet and Miss Montauk are all on the daily local fishing grind now, with the Lazy Bones running two half-day trips (8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m.) for fluke every day from now on. The Viking is sending one of its boats into Gardiners Bay for porgies daily, leaving at 4 a.m.

Surfcasters beached the first keeper striped bass of the season this past week, too. Schools of bunker pushing east along the shoreline have brought some of the larger non-breeding fish into the suds. The bigger fish are still scattered in a few spots, but there are smaller schoolie fish just about everywhere along the ocean beaches and in the harbors off the Peconics and Gardiners.

Plenty to do. Take advantage of the nice days when they come.

Catch ’em up. See you out there.

Ducks Unlimited Pig Roast

Don’t forget that Eastern Suffolk Ducks Unlimited will be hosting its annual pig roast and spring gathering on Friday evening in Water Mill. Don’t miss this fun event, which is also a great deal at $50 for all-you-can-eat pig and barbecue, and all-you-can-drink beer and soda, and mountains of great raffle prizes, from hunting gear to decoys to shotguns.

The party kicks off at the Water Mill Community Club fieldhouse at 6 p.m. You can save $10 by buying your tickets in advance at www.ducksystem.com.

Sorry, I forgot to include Heather Sacthleben’s number with last week’s column: It’s 631-405-8836, but, hopefully, you already found her and bought your tickets!

See you there!

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